31 Aug '15, 8pm

Combat Aviation and Foreign Policy: By: Michael Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken The US Air Force’s fighter ...

Combat Aviation and Foreign Policy: By: Michael Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken The US Air Force’s fighter ...

The simultaneous challenge posed by the Islamic State (IS) and Russia is a case in point. The US President’s immediate instrument to deter Russia in Ukraine included “theater security packages” of F-16s to Poland. Those same F-16s were drawn from a dwindling pool of squadrons scheduled to rotate to combat operations in the Middle East. Throughout last summer, airpower allowed the US and Iraq to halt the advance of the IS with only 350 U.S. “boots on the ground.” The air-enabled counter offensive against IS does not require many of the high-end capabilities of U.S. fighters, but the underfunded training and maintenance programs of USAF fighter squadrons means it is a challenge for them to be credibly ready to execute air support missions in the Middle East and be ready to take on adversaries like the Russian Air Force. As the force structure and flying hour programs of lega...

Full article: http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/combat-aviation-and-...

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