Airmen first shaping the expeditionary air force for counterinsurgency
Kostelnik, Edward A.
Borer, Douglas A.
Greenshields, Brian H.
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This thesis attempts to convince Air Force leadership to shift its approach to expeditionary airpower in counterinsurgency (COIN) from one that emphasizes advanced technology for striking targets to one which focuses on airmen to influence indigenous populations. Judging history, airpower will certainly play a supporting role in any effort to quell insurgency through reconnaissance, airlift, and close air support. Thus, wherever the American military deploys for COIN, the Air Force will not only operate, but will also deploy substantial numbers of expeditionary airmen. This forward presence of American airmen at expeditionary airbases enables the Air Force to participate in pacification where it most counts on the ground, in the surrounding community, and among the indigenous population. To contribute more fully, airmen must comprehend the nature of insurgency to reveal the unique challenges it poses for airpower. To meet these challenges, airmen must develop an appropriate strategic framework for waging COIN so as to correctly shape the expeditionary Air Force by exploiting its own human capital to solve human problems. By bolstering its aviation advisors and security forces, and creating its own cadre of civil affairs airmen, the Air Force can most significantly improve its effectiveness in COIN.
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