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Savage Wars…


My latest at WPR is about airpower, “savage war,” and inter-service conflict:

Nevertheless, assessments of the utility of airpower in counterinsurgency efforts have always been bound up in debates over the utility of airpower itself and over the importance of air forces as a separate arm of the military. The warnings about airpower found in FM 3-24 aren’t just explained by military necessity or the danger that bombs pose to innocent civilians; they are also driven by a century-old conflict between advocates of ground forces on one hand and of airpower on the other. FM 3-24 condemns airpower because the manual is first and foremost an Army document. And whatever COIN’s effect on insurgents, the Army’s advocacy of it has succeeded in putting the Air Force on the defensive.

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