Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Care a Rat's Ass About Air Force Doctrine

If the Army doesn't care about the A-10 in particular, it should care very much about what the Air Force approach to the A-10 reveals.

General Milley has a limited point:

The only thing I care about is the effect on the target, I don’t give a rat’s ass what platform brings it in,” Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on June 23. “I could care less if it’s a B-52, if it’s a B-1 bomber, if it’s an F-16, an F-15, an A-10. I don’t care if the thing was delivered by carrier pigeon. I want the enemy taken care of.”

Yes, the A-10 will go eventually even if it is kept another 5 years or another 10 years--or even longer. The A-10 is not the only way to provide fire support and one day it won't.

Add in Paladin rounds, MLRS rockets, other tube and rocket artillery, Army drone missiles, Apache payloads, and whatever the Navy and Marines bring to the fire support portfolio, and Milley has a good point. The Army should be able to call for target destruction or suppression and let the fire support system provide the best (in payload and timeliness) source.

But given how dishonestly the Air Force has dealt with the A-10 issue and other support for ground forces, the Army should care very much about the Air Force commitment to providing fire support when and where the Army needs it.

It's a matter of trust that the Air Force is squandering.

So let's hope Milley doesn't give a rat's ass if the Air Force turns out to never show up when the Army wants an enemy target to be taken care of. Let's hope somebody takes care of the target.