Accession Number : ADA540079


Title :   Airpower in Irregular Warfare


Descriptive Note : Research rept.


Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL


Personal Author(s) : Markland, Thomas A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a540079.pdf


Report Date : 12 Jan 2009


Pagination or Media Count : 34


Abstract : In the summer of 2003 the United States found itself embroiled in a counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq. This was not the fight we chose, but it is the one that found us. As major combat operations in Iraq demonstrated, the United States military has an unparalleled capability to wage traditional warfare. These forces, however, were neither trained nor equipped to wage the counterinsurgency with which they were faced. Where our strategy has succeeded it has not been due to the strength or our doctrine, preparation or training. The many coalition successes have been forged by adaptable leaders and the dedicated efforts of thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coalition partners. The growing emphasis on Irregular Warfare (IW) since 2003 is acknowledgement that we do not wish to repeat this steep learning process in the future. Although we perhaps could not have foreseen the insurgency that developed in Iraq, we could have predicted the need for an IW capability. Irregular warfare has a long military tradition. America, in fact, was born of Irregular Warfare against Great Britain. In the twentieth century we gained extensive experience in IW as the American military developed counterinsurgency doctrine and capabilities in the Philippines, Central America, the Caribbean, France, Burma and Vietnam. In these conflicts we developed and often re-invented effective IW tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). Further, our traditional warfare dominance virtually guaranteed our enemies would adopt asymmetric strategies. Despite these facts, by 2003 we found ourselves imminently capable of conducting traditional warfare to the exclusion of an IW capability. In Iraq and, more recently, Afghanistan we have been forced to relearn counterinsurgeny on the fly.


Descriptors :   *UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE , *AIR POWER , *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *MILITARY OPERATIONS , MILITARY TRAINING , MILITARY CAPABILITIES , MILITARY DOCTRINE , IRAQ , MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , MILITARY EQUIPMENT


Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE