From Theater Missile Defense to Antimissile Offensive Actions: A Near-term Strategic Approach for the USAF
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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What strategic approach should the United States Air Force USAF take toward theater missile defense TMD and antimissile offensive actions in the near term An introductory chapter presents the methodology used in the study, which involved historical and literature reviews, interviews, and a qualitative comparison of current and proposed weapons systems, capabilities, and doctrine. Chapter 2 reviews milestones of missile and antimissile, diplomatic, and political history to establish a basis for how the nation arrived at its present state. Chapter 3 reviews current theater ballistic missile TBM and weapons of mass destruction WMD threat situations. An overview of contemporary political and military reasoning is presented to provide a baseline of support for an integrated joint and multilayered TMD. Chapter 4 compares current and near-term antimissile systems and programs, identifies a near-term antimissile capabilities gap, and distills the plethora of situational information to four succinct implications. Chapter 5 analyzes four proposals for possible actions that the USAF can take toward TMD. Overall, the study recommends a philosophical shift to one in which USAF near-term attack operations AO and battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence BMC4I integration are considered part of an air and space power antimissile offensive counterair effort, not simply an adjunct to a ground-force driven TMD paradigm. Jointly, this could portend a new antimissile offensive action pillar to buttress the currently defensive-oriented joint TMD concept. Tailored Air Expeditionary Force, USAF antimissile centralized control, improved USAF AO and BMC4I capabilities, and doctrinal changes are proposed as options to improve the U.S. strategic vulnerability to TBMs and WMD while reducing the impact of the current and near-term antimissile capabilities gap.
- Antimissile Defense Systems
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics