Making a difference with Aviation Foreign Internal Defense
Carrano, Eric M.
Greenshields, Brian H.
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This thesis analyzes how U.S. Aviation Foreign Internal Defense (AvFID) proved itself to be a critical component in the successful campaign against the Hukbalahap (i.e., Huks) in the Philippines and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador. In addition, this thesis explores how AvFID was employed in Vietnam and why AvFID was not successful there. The overall argument is that airpower was not a decisive factor in the two successful counterinsurgency campaigns examined. However, airpower certainly played a critical role in quelling both insurgencies and without U.S. AvFID the air forces in the Philippines and El Salvador would not have been able to employ airpower as effectively as they did. In contrast, Vietnam offers a case study where AvFID failed; this thesis explores why. Ultimately, the reader should walk away with ideas about how to implement AvFID more effectively, and that if done right, can help ensure that AvFID can make a significant difference in a counterinsurgency campaign.
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