Historiographical Essay on the Non Kinetic Role of Airpower in Small Wars
Technical Report,01 Jun 2012,01 Jun 2012
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
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Overcoming homegrown insurgencies requires a much more creative and broad use of airpower than just dropping bombs and strafing ground targets. The non-kinetic roles of airpower play a significant and sometimes decisive role in winning over the population and overcoming insurgencies. These effects range from air mobility, to psychological operations psyops to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR. Even further, these effects can include leadership skills and relationship building, as emphasized in the case of Ed Lansdale. This historiographical essay will focus on three books that provide historical evidence that supports the use of non-kinetic roles of airpower. In addition, two of the works chronicle specific Air Force officers, Heini Aderholt and Edward Lansdale, that in the face of a service stuck in the mindset of dropping bombs and firing bullets, had the vision and imagination to see other more important roles for the Air Force.