Monday, June 11, 2007

The Flipside of Attrition

Counter-guerrilla airpower is in most circles considered almost by definition as destructive. It isolates and kills the target. Highly mobile, rapid response, overwhelming firepower, intensely concentrated, counter-guerrilla airpower is a very effective tool in the arsenal of any organization engaged in a war of attrition. We should not forget that 9/11 was a display of the awesome capability of airpower in this type of war.

Thinking on the flipside of airpower however reveals numerous weaknesses. Highly dependent on real-time intelligence, easily defended against by simple maneuver, inability to penetrate civilian shields, relative isolation of inserted boots, all are major drawbacks with using airpower to combat guerrilla warfare.

In my experience with the USAF the most awesome results ever attained by airpower were not through its destructive force however. A C-130 delivering aid achieves far greater results than an F-16 delivering JDAMs.

That is a simplification. We can't send care packages to aQ. I'm not suggesting such. We can however realize the potential for airpower to be more than a tool in a war of attrition. This is especially true when the cost to destroy the enemy is greater than the gain realized by their destruction.


Federalist X said...

We can't send care packages to aQ.

or maybe we can. care packages laced with something fun. !!

good posts. i suppose the title of the blog is utterly ironic?

Papa Ray said...

While I agree with some of this, most of it is just wishful thinking.

We have given out trillions of dollars of aid, flown millions of miles of aid missions and given thousands of gallons of American blood over the last century and it has really gotten us nothing but the hatred of millions of ignorant third world people and even the envy and hatred of our supposedly allies and friends.

I don't want our enemies or even our "friends" to like us as much as I want them to respect and fear us.

Call me ol' fashioned.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Blog Archive