A Kill is a kill: Asymmetrically Attacking United States Airpower
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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As the twentieth century closes, efforts towards organizing, training, and equipping United States US air power assets remain based on the assumption of face- to-face conventional confrontations. This is a comforting hypothesis, as US technological superiority should keep the odds stacked in our favor for decades to come. Air strategists may be overlooking the fact, however, that this very technological superiority may force adversaries to counter US air power with other than conventional methods. Couple this with the strong possibility that the interests of the United States and our opponents will likely be found on opposite ends of the spectrum of war, and US air power could be in for some surprises. This study analyzes the asymmetric threat to US air power across the political, operational, and tactical levels of war and examines whether the United States has adequately prepared itself to counter asymmetrical measures against its air- power assets. The answers are not reassuring. US air power is not likely to overwhelm technological capability by increasing friction levels and changing our visions of surgical warfare into an attrition reality. They will attempt to inflict virtual attrition as well by changing US targeting strategies and reducing our effectiveness while buying themselves time to attain their objectives. In this respect, US air power can be strategically defeated.
- Military Aircraft Operations