CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

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CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby rattler » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:25 am

SOURCE: Air Force Times
DATE: FEB 08, 2008
BY: Eric Holmes

Moseley unveils plans for the next 20 years

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley unveiled on Thursday a “white paper” that outlines the Air Force’s strategy for adapting to the challenges of warfare in the 21st century.

The 10-page paper (http://www.militarytimes.com/static/pro ... rcedoc.pdf), which Moseley presented in a speech to students at Air University, asserts the need to better employ airpower in irregular warfare while remaining prepared for conventional wars against powerful militaries.

“We owe the nation a holistic approach that balances today’s exigencies with the far-reaching, long-term implications of looming threats,” Moseley writes in the paper.

The paper has been months in the works and is the synthesis of Moseley’s thinking on the issues facing the Air Force during the next two decades. Along with examining threats such as terrorism and other militaries, the paper takes a broader look at how issues such as technological change, weapons proliferation, globalization and climate change can challenge America’s strategic footing.

The Air Force must adapt to counter such challenges, Moseley told Air University students.

“We are committed to redefining American airpower,” he said, according to an Air Force press release. “And we are going to use the white paper and our initiatives to guide our way.”

Much of the paper focuses on how the Air Force’s three fighting domains — air, space and cyberspace — can be better integrated and placed on equal footing.

“We are transforming our thinking from considering the space and cyber domains as mere enablers of air operations to a holistic approach that factors in their interdependence and leverages their unique characteristics,” the paper says.

Moseley describes the relationship of the three domains as a product that uses each to enhance the other two rather than a sum that considers each independently.

He also warns that the 21st century is a time in which America can no longer assume its military dominance.

“Perhaps for the first time in the history of warfare, the ability to inflict damage and cause strategic dislocation is no longer directly proportional to capital investment, superior motivation and training, or technological prowess,” Moseley writes.
Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby Sickbag » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:59 am

SOURCE: Air Force Times
DATE: FEB 08, 2008
BY: Eric Holmes

Moseley unveils plans for the next 20 years

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley unveiled on Thursday a “white paper” that outlines the Air Force’s strategy for adapting to the challenges of warfare in the 21st century.

“Perhaps for the first time in the history of warfare, the ability to inflict damage and cause strategic dislocation is no longer directly proportional to capital investment, superior motivation and training, or technological prowess,” Moseley writes.
Really!?
Go tell the Spartans.
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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby rattler » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:19 pm

SOURCE: Air Force Times
DATE: FEB 08, 2008
BY: Eric Holmes

Moseley unveils plans for the next 20 years

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley unveiled on Thursday a “white paper” that outlines the Air Force’s strategy for adapting to the challenges of warfare in the 21st century.

“Perhaps for the first time in the history of warfare, the ability to inflict damage and cause strategic dislocation is no longer directly proportional to capital investment, superior motivation and training, or technological prowess,” Moseley writes.
Really!?
Go tell the Spartans.
Cannot follow, can you explain a bit more in-depth? Dont know what youre aiming at.

Rattler
Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby Sickbag » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:35 pm

SOURCE: Air Force Times
DATE: FEB 08, 2008
BY: Eric Holmes

Moseley unveils plans for the next 20 years

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley unveiled on Thursday a “white paper” that outlines the Air Force’s strategy for adapting to the challenges of warfare in the 21st century.

“Perhaps for the first time in the history of warfare, the ability to inflict damage and cause strategic dislocation is no longer directly proportional to capital investment, superior motivation and training, or technological prowess,” Moseley writes.
Really!?
Go tell the Spartans.
Cannot follow, can you explain a bit more in-depth? Dont know what youre aiming at.

Rattler
Vietnam
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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby David Hilditch » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:47 pm

Or the British in Northern Ireland, the French in Algeria, the Russians against the Finns - I am sure there are many historical examples.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby rattler » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:55 pm

O I c.

Edit: On 2nd thoughts, the text doesnt say something about generally bein unproportional (which would yield for the examples you stated) but "not (longer) directly proportional".

I have the feeling this difference is important and under the strict meaning we could well see this as a new period where the direct proportion of captial investment and damage capability has been lost:

In Vietnam etc. the capability o hurt e.g. for the Vietcong was high with regard to the capital invested, but if you check on the capital investment total still more or less directly proportional: Double capital = 1.2x factor effectiveness, on *both* sides (including external funding, of cause).

In Iraq, e.g. this has changed: Double capital investment on the insurgent side yields much more effect than double capital invesment of the coalition.

Or am I missing something?

Rattler
Sincere condolences to all Norwegians! I guess you will need some aquevit to get over this.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby David Hilditch » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:29 am

O I c.

Edit: On 2nd thoughts, the text doesnt say something about generally bein unproportional (which would yield for the examples you stated) but "not (longer) directly proportional".

I have the feeling this difference is important and under the strict meaning we could well see this as a new period where the direct proportion of captial investment and damage capability has been lost:

In Vietnam etc. the capability o hurt e.g. for the Vietcong was high with regard to the capital invested, but if you check on the capital investment total still more or less directly proportional: Double capital = 1.2x factor effectiveness, on *both* sides (including external funding, of cause).

In Iraq, e.g. this has changed: Double capital investment on the insurgent side yields much more effect than double capital invesment of the coalition.

Or am I missing something?

Rattler
What I understand you to be saying is this : The Vietcong decide to increase their capital invested from $1 to $2 and the Americans increase their capital invested from $1m to $2m. In the new situation today the Iraqi insurgents increase their capital invested from $1 to $1.10, while the Americans increase their capital invested from $1m to $2m or $10m or $50m. The conclusion I think you're drawing is that in the Vietnamese case the proportions remain the same and thus the Vietcong's proportionate impact on American forces is about the same, but in the Iraqi case the impact is disproportionately large to the disadvantage of the Americans. Asymmetric warfare, in other words.

I'm not sure about that. There may be marginal differences, but I think the examples I mentioned were just as asymmetric as the Iraqi situation today. Also, how about Israel versus the various Palestinian groups or Hizbollah ? The US also has its very own home-grown example being on the other side when they themselves beat the British in the American Revolutionary War - and you can't get more asymmetric than that episode - guerrilla tactics, civilians doubling up as fighters after their day jobs, use of local ethnic groups to boost your effort, mercenary forces etc. etc.. I am sure the military academics at West Point know all this.......... The trouble may be a more limited Americano-centric apporach in the Pentagon.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby rattler » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:21 pm

Basically I think you are right (though I still insist that disproportionality of the *damage inducing* effect of added capital investment on both sides - and only this! - is larger today than then), I was posting this for the sake of argument and in-depth analysis, kinda trying to take the POV of the Devils Advocate.

To elaborate a bit further on my first sentence and the previous post, lets see an example (fictioius for the sake of argument):

Lets say US/coalition double theri capital investment from 100 to 200 Billion $: The effect on a fully prospered system is about 1.2 facotr (I believe I read somewhere that it follows e-function, so probably around factor 1.25). Its a bit like viewing increment of resources on manual labor versus effect yielded or e.g. mine clearing: 1 eng team needs 10 hours to clear a path through a minefield, how many hours will 1000 eng teams need for the same task? Surely not 1/1000th of 10 hours = +/- 5 secs...

Now, lets say the Iraqui insurgents double their capital investment: 2 IEDs instead of 1: result is an effective increase of damage produced around factor 1.8 or so (not double as your detection risk increases if you have two cells involved), same for suicide bombers (capital to family).

For the Vietnames this ratio was different, as they already started from a rather high and proficient level (with the backup of China and Russia at the time), so I guess (and not more) that doubling their investment from 5 Million $ to 10 Million $ would underly the same basic effectivity increasing restraints as the US example above.

Anyway, I agree that we have had such disproportionalites before in islotated cases, just not in a World War scenario as we have now. WW1 and WW2 and even Cold War yielded more or less the same *damage increasing* effect on boths sides for invested capital. Now in WW III this is different, and probably at this scale the good General was trying to point it out.

Rattler
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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby David Hilditch » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:39 pm

Basically I think you are right (though I still insist that disproportionality of the *damage inducing* effect of added capital investment on both sides - and only this! - is larger today than then), I was posting this for the sake of argument and in-depth analysis, kinda trying to take the POV of the Devils Advocate.
Does it depend on how the increased investment is deployed ? Suicidal jihadists can double their output with the potential (though not certainty) of exponentially greater gain. American or any other "national" defense forces have to deploy capital on diversified outputs to satisfy huge vested interests as well as the infrastructure of a huge military, eg. capability to fight China, or Iran, or whoever, plus replacing lost or worn out equipment, constant training, maybe (if they are sufficiently caring) on additional long-term care over decades for the wounded. Some of these expenditures, though not all, don't increase military effectiveness or preparedness. I remain to be convinced that traditional "heavy" military expenditure or investment is the right way to deal with terrorism or with "insurgent"-style warfare in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's not so much the amount of the investment that is needed but changes in attitudes of mind. The American approach to dealing with terrorism is to bomb, and while there is a place for this, there are other intelligence-related, criminal law, educational and economic approaches to follow : all of which are being adopted to varying degrees but nowhere near enough in my view. Afghanistan is a classic case of where the "old" approach has failed. Look at MikeD's case-study the other day about destruction of a Taleban SUV versus the whole might of a hi-tech military. It's a lesson the Vietcong or IRA had learned.

The original point here, if I recall, was that Pentagon planners have come to the conclusion that so-called asymmetric warfare does not depend on shiny new equipment. Well, duh ! Trouble is, congressmen will still their devour their pork in their home towns and states, so there's still a major intellectual shift to take place before we're through.

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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby Sickbag » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:40 pm

Suicidal jihadists can double their output with the potential (though not certainty) of exponentially greater gain.
I would of said that suicidal terrorism is an area where ones output is pretty much fixed(for the individual).
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Re: CSAF White Paper: Americas 21st Century Air Force

Postby David Hilditch » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:07 pm

Suicidal jihadists can double their output with the potential (though not certainty) of exponentially greater gain.
I would of said that suicidal terrorism is an area where ones output is pretty much fixed(for the individual).
True enough for the individual, but I had in mind situations where suicidal terrorism is directed at a higher level which is capable of sending operatives "into the field" to conduct operations. We have seen situations where two operatives in concert can sometimes wreak more havoc than the sum of one plus one.


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