9 years, 8 months ago
In Can the Air Force Contribute to Counterinsurgency, I reiterated some of the exchange that Major General Dunlap and I had concerning air power and counterinsurgency over a commentary at the Small Wars Journal Blog. I concurred with Dunlap’s opinions, and have encouraged the consideration of the increased use of air power in small wars in order to effect the kinetic part of counterinsurgency more rapidly and efficiently. Of course, on cue, the objection came that the increased involvement of air power would lead to greater collateral damage.
In Air Power in Small Wars, I extended this discussion to include accounts that despite the tardy debates back home in the states, the Air Force was already finding a way to contribute to the counterinsurgency effort in Iraq. I also linked video showing anecdotal evidence of the hazards associated with the use of stand-off weapons such as artillery, pointing out that the objection to the use of the Air Force was equivalent to an objection to any stand-off weapon, whether Air Force or Marine and Army artillery.
Even this discussion is a bit tardy. In A-10s Support Marines in Anbar, I discussed the fact that as of January 2007, the A-10 (438th Air Expeditionary Group) was going back into action to provide close air support for Marines in the Anbar Province. This relationship with the A-10s to assist with counterinsurgency might be about to become more formal (h/t SWJ). The USAF is considering a new A-10 COIN Squadron.
Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley has told Jane’s he is considering the creation of a new counterinsurgency (COIN) squadron of A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
Gen Moseley said he is mulling the possibility of putting a squadron of A-10A close-support aircraft inside AFSOC to serve the Special Operations Command, which has the lead engagement role in the US-declared global war on terrorism.
“There’s a variety of … counterinsurgency aircraft and other things out there that we’ve been looking at that would facilitate AFSOC’s partnership with the Special Operations Command,