Rethinking the CFACC's Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Approach to Counterinsurgency
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The counterinsurgencies COIN in Iraq and Afghanistan require high levels of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR support. The operational component charged with providing much of the ISR to support these COIN operations is the Combined Forces Air Component Commander CFACC. Unfortunately, the air component finds itself ill-equipped to handle the ISR challenges of COIN because it still adheres to a Major Theater War MTW doctrine that emphasizes the detection and destruction of conventional targets, a lengthy planning process, and support to operational-level commanders. However, OIF and OEF COIN operations are centered around lower echelon commanders who face a multitude of different insurgent groups fighting with asymmetric means. U.S. ground commanders therefore need flexible, time-sensitive ISR support from the CFACC to assist them in combating an unconventional enemy. This paper reviews the historical development of the CFACC construct and discusses is MTW roots. It explains the ISR requirements of U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan and the CFACCs deficiencies in meeting these needs. Finally, the paper proposes an alternative approach to managing ISR and recommends solidifying these changes in doctrine.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics