Counter Electrical Generation and Distribution: An Assessment for Global Strike in 2035
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The Chief of Staff of the Air Force charged the 2012 Air War College Blue Horizon Program to explore the impacts of technological advances on the Air Forces ability to conduct Global Strike in 2035. This paper investigates whether the Air Force should pursue weapons that would allow the President of the United States to rapidly disrupt electrical generation and distribution EGD systems for the purpose of achieving strategic ends. The scope of the paper encompasses current electrical system technology through technological advances projected through 2035. Using this projection and historical experience from strikes conducted on EGD systems in major conflicts, the paper concludes that due to advances in energy ubiquity, transparency of information, and the consequences of volumetric counter-electrical system attack, the strategic utility of this kind of attack will be greatly diminished by 2035. The strategic efficacy of historic EGD targeting by the United States is mixed. To understand why, an analysis begins with a review and assessment of attacks on EGD systems across five conflicts that have occurred since 1941 World War II Germany and Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm Iraq and Allied Force Kosovo.
- Humanities and History
- Electric Power Production and Distribution
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics