Small Wars Journal

advising

The Afghan Air Force: A Harsh Lesson in the Expensive Game of Airpower Reconstruction

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 3:36am
“Not to have an adequate air force in the present state of the world is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence.”[1] British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, recognized the value of airpower as early as 1933 during the rise of Adolf Hitler, and his words hold to this day. The United States spent sixteen of the last twenty years and precious resources attempting to rebuild the Afghan Air Force (AAF) into a viable, self-sustaining military aviation component capable of supporting the democratically-elected Afghan government. The withdrawal of U.S. and Coalition forces in August of 2021, and the embarrassingly swift takeover by the Taliban, have left the AAF in shambles. Many pilots fled with their aircraft to neighboring countries, where their fate remains uncertain, while the rest are now in Taliban hands.

About the Author(s)

Taking a Bite out of the Elephant: How to Improve Security Cooperation

Sat, 07/17/2021 - 2:50pm
It is difficult to ascertain if a security cooperation initiative is effective or not. This could be in part because most of the indicators of success used by security cooperation stakeholders may not be focused on measures of effectiveness, but of performance, i.e., quantity of equipment delivered and number of units trained.  As one begins to peel back the layers of an initiative, it becomes apparent that the necessary in-depth analysis which forecasts secondary and tertiary orders of effect may have been overlooked, along with critical, measurable metrics that explain how an initiative would specifically elicit a proposed reaction.  The example utilized by Maj Croshier described the unanticipated difficulties of providing a C-208 fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and Command and Control (C2) equipment to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.  The focus of this initiative was placed mainly on the equipment, without fully accounting for the significant personnel, doctrinal, and maintenance challenges that would ensue.

About the Author(s)

Competing through Deception: Expanding the Utility of Security Cooperation for Great Power Competition

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 10:46am
In the paradigm of strategic competition the United States should increase the use of strategic deception to impede competitor’s decision-making processes, increase rival competition costs, and better protect U.S. interests. Security Cooperation is an instrument that enables the generation of strategic deception by potentially confusing rival nations about what the U.S. interests and objectives are or even causing that rival to expend unnecessary resources. The United States Army is the service best postured to support combatant commanders to develop and execute strategic deception through cooperation. Executing any form of strategic deception entails a level of risk to reputation but provides the United States an invaluable tool in a geopolitical environment in which competition below levels of conflict has become the norm. 

About the Author(s)

Modern War Institute: Learning to Fly: How the US Military can fix the Problems Plauging Aviation Advising Missions

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 8:06am

Link: https://mwi.usma.edu/learning-to-fly-how-the-us-military-can-fix-the-problems-plaguing-aviation-advising-missions/

An in depth discussion on the issues facing aviation advising missions from a USAF Combat Aviation Advisor.

 

Ad hoc missions, competition for personnel, selecting ideal advisors, managing contractors, and more. 

 

 

The Case for Maintaining an Advisory Presence in Afghanistan

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 9:35am
Barring an unforeseen event or shift in policy, it seems likely that by May 2021, the United States will remove its military forces from Afghanistan. Despite claims of progress, the United States and its allies have undeniably made many mistakes over the past two decades. Some commentators have argued that Afghanistan has been an “undeniable failure.” While many commentators and policymakers have focused on getting out of Afghanistan, the past shows the potentially devastating consequences such actions could bring. Instead, the United States and its NATO allies should consider leaving a small presence of advisors to support institutional development at the ministries and institutions.

About the Author(s)

Three Reasons Air Advising is Essential to America’s National Defense Strategy

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 12:11am
Through the mission of Air Advising, the Air Force can produce a network of partners to counter the network of non-state terrorist organizations that threaten global stability. Embracing Air Advising as a core mission will also provide the U.S. with a promising way to counter China’s growing influence in developing nations. Finally, this mission ensures that America retains much needed low-intensity conflict expertise and capability. Air Advising can greatly reduce the risks the U.S. is taking in shifting its defense priorities, but to so, the Air Force must embrace it as a core mission.

About the Author(s)

Tactical Advising is Not the Problem: How to Get Security Force Training Right

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 1:29pm
Advising foreign forces is hard, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing it. Since the inception of the Military Transition Team (MiTT) early in the Iraq war people who were disgruntled by the fact they had to serve on one or didn’t understand how they worked would rail against their existence.

About the Author(s)

The Definition of Advisor: Comprehending the Mission to Advise Foreign Security Forces

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 9:18am
Military writing requires that the bottom line be stated up front. Here is the bottom line: an advisor is a person lawfully tasked and employed to provide expert advice and counsel to Foreign Security Force officials, representatives, and influencers; through the establishment or continuance of interpersonal relationships founded on mutual trust and respect.” For some reading this, that definition may seem obvious; for others it may seem almost counterintuitive. Our considerably diverse comprehension of what an advisor actually is was the motivation for writing this article.

About the Author(s)