Accession Number:

ADA583616

Title:

The Quest for Relevant Air Power: Continental European Responses to the Air Power Challenges of the Post-Cold War Era

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2011-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

427.0

Abstract:

During the Cold War, the comparatively minor contributions of European air forces to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO were not visible to the outside world because of their incorporation within the alliance structure and strategy. The first Gulf War starkly revealed the disparity between the air power of the United States and that of any other country. Subsequent operations in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan have demanded even more timely and accurate intelligence, with swifter response and greater precision in attack. The US accretion of all-weather precision munitions stealth technology netted real-time command, control, communications, and intelligence unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite systems has widened the gap with European air forces still further. The evolution and contribution of continental European air forces to recent operations remain largely unexplored, partly because of their limitations and partly because of Anglo-Saxon intellectual domination of air power analysis and concepts. Christian Anrig examines the responses of four countries to the challenges of air power in the last two decades. He has selected four very different air forces the French Air Force FAF, German Air Force GAF, Royal Netherlands Air Force RNLAF, and Swedish Air Force SwAF. All four were influenced by the Cold War period. The GAF and RNLAF were embedded in Cold War NATO, the SwAF maintained a well-armed neutrality, and the FAF reflected the semi-independent strategic stance of post de Gaulle France. The author addresses four questions how have these air forces responded to post Cold War political uncertainties, how have they operated, how have they responded to new air power thinking, and how have they adapted to the challenges of costs and technologies He convincingly argues that budgetary provision has not been the most important factor in generating effective air power.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE