Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I'm Still Critical of Air Power Purists

Huh, while searching around I ran across a letter to the editor that the Washington Post published that I'd completely forgotten about. My basic concern was the unlimited faith some had (and still have) in what air power can accomplish on its own.

By the end of that year, America and Britain led a brief strike campaign on Iraq in Operation Desert Fox; and in response China, Russia, and France took the lead in the dissipation of international sanctions designed to compel Iraq to comply with the Persian Gulf War ceasefire provisions on proving Saddam Hussein had eliminated his WMD programs.

Air power didn't work to stop Saddam from aiming for WMD, the ability to turn the screws on him without war was eroded as Saddam evaded sanctions and eroded the willingness of the world to enforce them with the threat of Western aerial punishment behind them, and 5 years later America did actually gather a coalition to deal with the problem on the ground in Iraq.

Funny, too, is that al Qaeda's air power strategy on 9/11 failed to terrorize America as much as piss us off, and we put a coalition on the ground to defeat them in their sanctuary in Afghanistan, too.

The struggles go in in different ways, but at least neither is the threat to America that they were in 1998. Which is no sign of failure as we continue to deal with evolving security threats on the ground in Europe and against South Korea so many decades after those wars put Americans on the ground in Europe and South Korea.

I completely forgot about writing that letter. And it doesn't even occur to me to write letters to the editor.