Joining the dots…


Obviously air power has a most important role to play in combating an irregular force.
The purpose of this seminar is to ask you how you would consider employing air power in
such capacity. Not an easy question!

QUESTION
How would you consider employing Air Power in combating an irregular Force?

I would use air power to sense, move and engage..

I was really disappointed in this week’s seminar, especially since it’s closely related to the topic of my current research trip where I have been spending a lot of time with people who deal with the irregular environment every day and have done for years.

I’d also consider asking some questions that better explore the issues and challenges that air power faces in the irregular environment, and not limit it solely to irregular warfare i.e. explore the USMC concept of irregular threats or even better the UK one of irregular activity, against which air power is employed on a close to daily basis. I’d also find some readings that explore these issues and that are not simply regurgitated products from the school.  There are ample writings available in the international IW community that would led to some good robust discussion (unfortunately only in a virtual forum) to peel back these issues and apply them to a national or regional context…

That might seem a bit harsh but it’s not because the time I can spare at the moment is around midnight…this seminar comes across as a last-minute bolt-on without much thought or preparation…a deviation from the path of true and pure i.e. real air power i.e. MCO. It should probably be one of the more important topics of the course that might lead into a module on ‘What Future For Air Power?’….some ideas for what could have been…

Two air forces: MCO and COIN? or a single air force for MCO and let partners handle COIN/IW…? Should we just toss COIN/IW into the SO box?

The advent of unmanned and now autonomous UAS.

How might we handle the proliferation of miniature (and smaller) UAS which are the greater threat to manned aircraft?

What are the challenges of ISR and strike in an IW coalition?

Are the days of MCO over?

Is there a place for air power in war amongst the people?

What happens when the ‘other guy’ gets UAS?

Will cyberwar replace or supplement traditional air power roles and functions? Should cyber even be an air role?

Is the current IW focus on PGM an ‘a’ war or ‘the’ war lesson?

What effects might events like wikileaks have on air power? Or do they have an effect at all – maybe we just tend to over-classify anyway…?

What effects might current outsourcing/contracting philosophies have upon air power in an IW environment?

As ISR collection capabilities expand exponentially, what changes might we need to make to ensure that air forces can optimise the terabytes of information now available – will we need a larger analysis ‘tail’ to support a shrinking number of teeth?

Do the OBL raid, Op BARRAS, and ISAF cross-border drone strikes lead towards an era where more smaller (possibly unilateral) cross-border incursions more more common as a tool of National power?


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