Air Supremacy II: Re-learning Asymmetry

[This is a continuation of a previous article in a series] There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still. Franklin D. Roosevelt The founding fathers of military aviation had an uphill battle in advocating the value of airpower to their doubtful Army and Navy counterparts. Though their approaches (and…

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What Kind of Airpower Does a Country like France Need?

This is the second part of a two-part article on French airpower in current contingencies. For a country like France, the strategic context in the short- to mid-term will probably be the continuation of the current era of protracted interventions, necessary but unfortunately non-decisive, in Africa (as leading nation) and the Middle East (as part…

The Strategic Interdiction Trilogy

The Strategic Interdiction trilogy is the outcome of three years of intermittent study of logistic vulnerabilities of the People’s Republic of China. Current airpower strategy regarding China tends to revolve around a replay of the DESERT STORM air campaign, a technique manifestly unsuitable for use against a major power like China, to say nothing of…

Strategic Architectures

“Salvo Competition.” “Third Offset Strategy.” “Air-Sea Battle.” “JAM-GC.”[1] The DoD is brimming with warfighting concepts, often anchored on technologies we have yet to fully develop. Many of the concepts depend on US technological superiority to dominate tactical-level engagements, though they do not necessarily demonstrate how victorious engagements lead to strategic success. While an exploration of…

Ghost Fleet and Airpower

Peter Singer and August Cole’s new novel, Ghost Fleet, has become a critical darling in beltway defense circles. Called “useful fiction” by the authors, its exhaustively-researched details aim to paint a picture of near-future great-power conflict, earning favorable comparisons to Tom Clancy’s Cold War masterpiece Red Storm Rising.

Was the Air War in Libya a Victory?

In 2011, during the heady early days of the Arab Spring, a coalition of a dozen Western and Arab states led by France, Britain, and the United States conducted a seven-month military intervention in Libya that led to the defeat of Muammar Qaddafi’s dictatorial regime. A newly-released study of this campaign describes in detail why…