US Air Force Lessons in Counterinsurgency: Exposing Voids in Doctrinal Guidance
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US Air Force Lessons in Counterinsurgency: Exposing Voids in Doctrinal Guidance

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John W. Doucette
246x189x6 mm

As it has so often in the past, the United States military and the Air Force will undoubtedly provide support across the globe to countries combating insurgents in the future. The host nation political and military organization and command and control structure governing the deployment and employment of air forces in these wars will have a large impact on the success or failure of air operations, and perhaps the national counterinsurgency effort overall. Because of the delicate political nature of wars of insurgency, US involvement in these counterinsurgency operations may be indirect or direct, and may include actual combat operations. Whichever the case, US airmen may be asked to step into either an existing structure, or help develop a counterinsurgency air operations architecture and strategy to direct the actions of host nation and/or US air assets. To help educate airmen about the realities of counterinsurgency, this study addresses how insurgent warfare is fundamentally different from conventional wars, develops lessons from two case studies, highlights the challenges that US airmen face, and examines the adequacy of Air Force and Joint doctrine for counterinsurgency operations.

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