Air Power for These Wars
By Commanders George Perry and William Mallory, U.S. Navy
Since the early 1970s, the use of U.S. air power has been guided by doctrinal publications such as Air Force Doctrine Document 2-1, Air Warfare. These were conceived and refined in the context of the Cold War or around large-scale major combat operations. In that type of fight, the current doctrine does an exceptional job of defining traditional roles. But these operational concepts are not well suited for dealing with the counterinsurgency wars in which we find ourselves today. In Afghanistan and to a lesser extent Iraq, fixed-wing-air power providers must adapt to give the best possible support to ground-combat elements.