Star Wars Strikes Back: Return of Space-Based Missile Defense

With North Korean missiles on everyone’s mind, it’s no wonder Americans and their elected representatives are searching for a solution.  While Secretary Mattis has (so far) been successful in convincing a public and a Congress that any military solution to North Korea is messy at best, every time Kim tries something else, we publicly go […]

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Commentary Continued: The Korean Missile Crisis

The United States’ goals in North Korea sometimes confuse the international audience. However, the current objective is clear: remove all nuclear weapons and proliferation capability from North Korea. It’s that simple.  Secretary Tillerson provided what was sorely missing, clarity of purpose. North Korea can continue to be international pariahs, so long as they do not […]

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Commentary: Establishing and Re-Establishing Modern Deterrence

Deterrence exists in the mind, not necessarily the battlefield. Nations posture against each other attempting to influence actions and perceptions. For many years, airpower has been a powerful tool of deterrence strategies. But what happens when it doesn’t work.  What happens when deterrence fails? Deterrence is the art of influencing adversary actions before they occur, […]

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Space-Mindedness: The Application of Space Power

The United States Air Force has struggled lately in resourcing its National Command Authority assigned missions.[1]  While the immediate focus tends toward material and equipment, a potentially more troubling problem facing the Air Force may be the ever-increasing gap caused by poor pilot retention across multiple platform specialties.[2]  Under-resourced and losing talent, the Air Force […]

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Reflections on Operation BURNT FROST

More than nine years since have passed since Operation BURNT FROST. I hadn’t thought about the event in a long time. While it was the highlight of my newly-minted weapons officer career at Cavalier AFS, ND, after it was over there was little more said about the event. However, the strategic implications from BURNT FROST […]

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Too Many Dollars, Not Enough Sense: Acquisition Case Studies (PART 2)

Tactical Fighter Experimental The Air Force and the Department of Defense were created amid a time of massive military drawdowns and shrinking budgets. However, nuclear weapons, nuclear strategy, and their associated systems were impervious to this drawdown. In the 1950s and 1960s, nuclear strategy permeated every area of the military, as the services must train, […]

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Too Many Dollars, Not Enough Sense: Acquisition Case Studies (PART 1)

“Seldom in the course of military development have opinions been so conflicting as in the acquisition of this revolutionary aircraft.”[1] This is a quote from Congress. If you have been following big dollar military acquisition programs, particularly the F‑35, this quote should not surprise you. F‑35 has been controversial to say the least. There have […]

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An Ounce of Prevention: Counter-Proliferation vs. Disarmament and what it means for North Korea

The primary focus at Air Power Strategy for 2017 will be disruptive technology. This tech is the kind that demolishes the status quo and reduces equilibrium to rubble. Disruptive tech forces all players to reassess their assumptions. No technology has been more disruptive to strategy than nuclear weapons. With North Korea (supposedly) close to fielding […]

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Old Dog, New Engines: The Truth about a B-52 Re-Engine

It seems that the USAF cannot get through a year without being inundated with calls to replace the engines on the B-52. Recent calls from Air Force Global Strike Command,[1] Boeing, General Electric[2] and Pratt & Whitney[3] have renewed the vigor of the program despite the general lack of funding and enthusiasm for large dollar […]

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