Small Wars Journal

U.S. Air Force

Three Reasons Air Advising is Essential to America’s National Defense Strategy SWJED 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.
An Assessment of Air Force Advising Concepts in Small Wars, “Paper Falcons” SWJED Mon, 09/09/2019 - 5:10am
Andrew Krepinevich’s “Army Concept” provides a useful model for understanding the mindset military organizations take towards advising operations, which subsequently shapes outcomes, including the U.S. Air Force’s advising efforts in small wars. Efforts to advise the South Vietnamese Air Force and Afghan Air Force demonstrate that U.S. Air Force advising concepts have been poorly suited towards irregular conflicts, creating counterproductive effects.

From a Bridge to Nowhere to Somewhere: Reconsidering Future Air Force Capabilities

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 6:04am
Every discussion of a military organization’s future must begin with this question: what capabilities does it require to meet possible strategic objectives in a variety of conflicts? Unfortunately, a recent article suggesting that the Air Force downsize significantly to focus solely on air superiority within the organizational construct of Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) fails to begin this way.

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Exchanging Hats to Fix the Military Part 1: Air Superiority AFGSC

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 4:28pm
In the aftermath of WWI, the question of Air Power’s role in the military as an institution arose. Two competing theories arose: The first treated air power as another branch of the Army and Navy, while the second treated Air power as a separate form of war that would be super-dominant. America’s Military has tried both forms, using the former during WWII and the latter post-1947. In recent decades, many critics of an independent Air Force have called for its abolition and a return to the first model.

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Resilient Command and Control of Airborne Intelligence Assets in the Theater Air Control System: A Contested, Degraded, Multi-Domain Imperative SWJED Sat, 04/27/2019 - 6:36am
The USAF is well known for its precision strike capability as well as space and airborne ISR expertise. With this consideration, a resilient ISR C2 model that offers embedded expert joint controllers for leveraging ISR C2 capabilities is appropriate; in other words, a single, integrated structure that fully empowers the TACP through its ISR team to execute C2 of ISR missions. This ensures that the USAF’s expertise is leveraged and optimized through streamlined and synchronized joint operations.