Tag Archives: US Air force

Essay: Strategies That Matter — One Size Fits None

Essay: Strategies That Matter — One Size Fits None

Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk over Iraq. US Air Force Photo

Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk over Iraq. US Air Force Photo

Airpower advocates exited the Gulf War trumpeting an unambiguous victory for airpower—and they were right. The air campaign against Iraq was well planned, brilliantly tailored to the adversary, and superbly executed. But it was also a clear example where the enemy was outclassed from the very beginning. Coalition forces were allowed an unfettered buildup, and had clear advantages in numbers, training, equipment and a doctrine designed to defeat massed Soviet and Soviet-client forces under adverse conditions. They faced a surrounded enemy who allowed the Coalition force to seize the initiative (despite ample warning) and keep it throughout the conflict. The Iraqi military at the time was postured to lose, and lose big. Read More

Essay:  Strategies That Matter – Why Targets That Matter,  Don’t

Essay: Strategies That Matter – Why Targets That Matter, Don’t

A B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman AFB in Missouri leads an aerial flight formation with F-18 Hornets from the during exercise Valiant Shield 2006. US Navy Photo

A B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman AFB in Missouri leads an aerial flight formation with F-18 Hornets from the during exercise Valiant Shield 2006. US Navy Photo

In 1954, U.S. Representative W. Sterling Cole, chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, announced what had been suspected: that the U.S. Air Force could deliver an H-bomb anywhere in the world. Hardly a revelation, this boast since has been echoed for more than half a century. Indeed, Air Force talking points regularly repeat a version of this theme: We can hold any target at risk anywhere in the world in any time, any place. This idea is deeply embedded in the Air Force’s transformation efforts, as an aspirational statement became a “requirement” and thereby a justification for airpower capabilities. “Any target, any time, any place” is a centerpiece of service dogma, offered in place of coherent airpower strategy. Unfortunately, that means very little for the nation’s air, space and cyber power entrusted to the Air Force. A capability is not a strategy, and can’t be substituted for one. It’s strategy that matters. Read More

Opinion: What if They Held a Salvo Competition and Nobody Came?

Opinion: What if They Held a Salvo Competition and Nobody Came?

Left to right, the guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and the guided missile destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) launch a coordinated volley of missiles in 2003. US Navy Photo

Left to right, the guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and the guided missile destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) launch a coordinated volley of missiles in 2003. US Navy Photo

After Vietnam, the Department of Defense turned its attention back to the Soviet threat in Europe. Faced with an opposing force that was numerically superior, land-power-focused, and strategically positioned to overrun Western Europe, the United States initially turned to nuclear weapons to offset a battlefield disadvantage. Read More

CNO Greenert: Ohio Replacement Program First in a List of U.S. Nuclear Needs

CNO Greenert: Ohio Replacement Program First in a List of U.S. Nuclear Needs

150805-N-AT895-015 WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2015) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hold an all-hands call with members of the N2/N6 directorate at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

150805-N-AT895-015
WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2015) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hold an all-hands call with members of the N2/N6 directorate at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

While the Navy has spent much of the last few years strategizing on how it will come up with the money for the $100 billion replacement for the Ohio nuclear ballistic missile submarine without sacrificing its shipbuilding budget, the dozen planned boomers are the first of several 1970s and 1980s era nuclear strategic weapon systems that need to be recapitalized, outgoing Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said on Monday. Read More

Document: Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics

Document: Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics

The following is the Congressional Research Service Aug. 7, 2015 report, A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics. The report covers: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Read More

Essay: Capability-Based Planning and the Death of Military Strategy

Essay: Capability-Based Planning and the Death of Military Strategy

Lt. Cmdr. Kirk Benson, points at a map of the South China sea at the Tactical Flag Command Center (TFCC) of the USS Blue Ridge. Reuters photo via VOA.

Lt. Cmdr. Kirk Benson, points at a map of the South China sea at the Tactical Flag Command Center (TFCC) of the USS Blue Ridge. Reuters photo via VOA.

In the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review, released days before the September 11 attacks, the Department of Defense announced a shift in approach—one that had been trickling through DOD since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Billed as “a new defense strategy and an associated risk management framework,” the emerging addition to the defense planning lexicon was a “capabilities-based approach.” Read More