Military Operations against Terrorist Groups Abroad: Implications for the United States Air Force

Military Operations against Terrorist Groups Abroad: Implications for the United States Air Force

Military Operations against Terrorist Groups Abroad: Implications for the United States Air Force

Military Operations against Terrorist Groups Abroad: Implications for the United States Air Force

Synopsis

Outlines a straegy for U.S. military operations against terrorist groups overseas, including the capabilities that air force will likely be called upon to deliver.

Excerpt

The threat posed by international terrorists to Americans and their way of life has placed new demands on the national security apparatus of the United States. Within weeks of the attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. military forces were engaged in intensive efforts to dismantle al Qaeda and related groups, apprehend or kill their members, and destroy their sanctuaries. Those operations have continued, albeit at varying degrees of scope and intensity, not only in Afghanistan and its neighboring states, but also in such places as the Philippines, Yemen, and the Republic of Georgia. From the standpoint of defense planners, it is not accurate to say that the attacks of September 11 “changed everything”: all of the missions and responsibilities that had been levied on the U.S. armed forces prior to the attacks remain. But important new requirements have been added and these will almost certainly endure for many years to come. the purpose of this study is to help defense planners anticipate the types of demands that future operations against terrorists will place on the armed forces of the United States— particularly the United States Air Force. the discussion here focuses on the main determinant of those demands—efforts to disrupt or destroy terrorist groups by attacking them abroad.

Force planning and resource allocation must be based on projections of the nature, scope, pace, and frequency of future operations. Accordingly, strategy, which prescribes the ways in which the nation's resources are to be harnessed to the pursuit of its objectives, is the first step in the force planning process. Defense planners must be cognizant not only of the broad missions assigned to their forces but also of the ways in which those forces would likely be employed to . . .

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