Air War College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States
In 1961, the United States Air Force started aviation advising in order to achieve National Security goals. Since then, Foreign Internal Defense FID has gone through countless modifications. Unfortunately, during Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, the U.S. military changed how they implemented FID in response to nation-building strategic requirements. The U.S. tried to leverage technology to elevate foreign nations aviation significantly above their natural capacity. When applied to Afghanistan, it had devastating consequences that continue to haunt advisors, military leaders, and politicians. This essay explores the reasons behind U.S. struggles to develop the Afghan Air Force. Through case study, it analyzes how FID definitions and goals eroded under political pressure. Following this, Afghanistan is used to show how the U.S. military applies FID in an uneven manner that threatens sustainability. In the final section, a model is presented that predicts national aviation technology capacity, where these nations are weak, and which societal strengths to leverage. Case studies demonstrate how it can be applied to every nation in the world and guide U.S. strategic aviation policy.