Learning Large Lessons: The Evolving Roles of Ground Power and Air Power in the Post-Cold War Era. Executive Summary
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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U.S. post-Cold War military operations have witnessed a shift in the relative roles of ground power and air power in war fighting, but the joint war fighting potential of this shift is not being fully realized. This is the hypothesis of a larger report, Learning Large Lessons The Evolving Roles of Ground Power and Air Power in the Post Cold War Era, by David E. Johnson MG-405-1-AF, 2007. This summary of that monograph contains an abbreviated discussion of four of the cases examined in the more-comprehensive study Iraq 1991, Kosovo 1999, Afghanistan 2001, and Iraq 2003. It also incorporates modest changes from the larger monograph, based on suggestions made to the author since its publication. Key issues addressed are the dominant roles played by the services in the development of U.S. joint war fighting doctrine and concepts, and the fact that war fighting success does not necessarily achieve a strategic political end-state that supports U.S. long-term interests. Specific recommendations include 1 Shaping the theater operational environment strategically and operationally should be an air component function. 2 The Army should focus more than it currently does on the central role of ground forces in achieving strategic objectives.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics