Accession Number:

ADA615884

Title:

Airpower in Afghanistan 2005-10: The Air Commanders' Perspectives

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

333.0

Abstract:

Afghanistan has been a rewarding, complex, and challenging mission for all nations involved, not least for Afghanistan itself. Few, if any, anticipated that the initial attacks on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in fall 2001 would become the longest war in the history of NATO and the United States of America. Today, more than 12 years later, it is still too early to conclude the successes and failures of this campaign or predict how Afghanistan will evolve once the majority of international military forces leave the country in 2014. In the end, it will be up to the Afghans themselves to make their own decisions, destiny, and future. When I took office as the 11th secretary general of NATO in early 2004, the transatlantic wounds from the US invasion in Iraq in spring 2003 were still fresh. Many European nations rigorously opposed that war and felt the United States had manufactured the rational for the invasion. But the wounds healed sooner than I thought. In summer 2003, NATO assumed responsibility for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and I saw how NATO, through its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, gradually brought the allies together. Looking back at the Iraq war, I learned two important lessons 1 whenever Europe presents itself as a counterweight for the United States, the result is a divided Europe, which saddens me as a European and 2 a United States that thinks it can do it all alone is also doomed to fail. To a certain extent, these lessons guided my approach to Afghanistan in my numerous discussions and meetings with alliance members and representatives from the wider international community. Afghanistan was always going to be a team effort if we were to succeed.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE