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Misperceptions and rivalries obscure air power’s potential

In order achieve this goal it seems that the US would pay any price ever since the terrible attacks against their center of power. Something that will be directed by a worldwide scope of action, rather than the main pattern of deployments in the Balkans and Iraq-Containment in the Persian Gulf.

Operation Enduring Freedom

All this is aimed at fighting the new No. Where no traces are visible, the US will try to find those who support terrorism and, if necessary, eliminate them like they did in Afghanistan - lastbut not least by applying overpowering military power. All in all this would roughly match the defense budget under the Reagan-Administration during the Cold War.

During the process of provisioning the appropriate military capacities that comply with future security and defense-strategy, the American services will undergo enormous transformation and modernization. After all, this has partly been fueled by the success of US-Marines against the relatively poor performance of the Army in Afghanistan. Furthermore the Kosovo-conflict in has left the US-Army with a black eye, according to an American commentator. Back then, the deployment of ground forces had been completely ruled out by President Bill Clinton.

Among the most important objectives here is the creation of a force that. The planning concept for the US-Army is oriented towards the creation of Future Combat Systems FCS that have to meet all of the above mentioned requirements and emphasize the importance of the American ground Forces in future conflict solutions. This Future Combat Systems are planned to be multifunctional, medium weapon systems, manned or possibly unmanned, for the timeframe.

The US-Army is rapidly catching up with high-tech equipment for their troops. The public witnessed the operation of new weapon technologies only by coincidence, when the New York Times and the Washington Post published photos of US.

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Special Forces patrolling in Afghanistan. The photos showed two soldiers carrying monocles on their helmets and M-4 rifles with shock resistant video cameras mounted on top. This technology enables the soldiers in combat, to see around corners, without being exposed to danger themselves.

The soldiers themselves can detect any movement, count the number of enemies and even target the enemy. Even though this technology is, by no means, matured, it roughly indicates the direction the planners in the Pentagon are heading to in the development of new weapon technologies for the US-Army. Much less important, however, will be the deployment of large and heavy assault troops to fight the enemy. This has not changed in the current situation in Afghanistan.

The US will always be the superior opponent when applying offensive air power and are thus able to pursue their national interests at the lowest possible risk.


  • The U.S. War in Afghanistan | Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Das Kapitalistische Manische Fest (German Edition).
  • Armed Forces Journal – Air heads;
  • Air Power against Terror: America's Conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom?
  • Interviews - U.s. Army General Tommy Franks | Campaign Against Terror | FRONTLINE | PBS?
  • Le fauteuil hanté (French Edition).

However, the enormous strain on the Air Force came at a high cost. Extensive usage makes weapon systems age faster, operational costs increase and personnel grow tired of the increasing operational. The Air Force has, however, addressed this problem in its future orientation. A concept has been developed since last year for the forces to work as expeditionary forces. This will enable better handling of the high operational speed and the overall strong demand as well as a better offset of negative impact on human and materiel resources.

Based on the experiences during Operation Allied Force and the current air combat in Afghanistan several priorities in procurement for the US-Air Force become apparent. The focus will be, above all, on the increased deployment of unmanned combat aerial vehicles. While the Pentagon has not given great importance to this issue in the past, it probably will during the Afghanistan operations. It is being considered to establish a squadron of 18 to 24 UCAV from the year through In addition the procurement rate of the Predator-UAVs, of which the Air Force has 50 units, has been increased from one to two per month since the beginning of the operations in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, consideration has been given to using cheap platforms, such as out-of-service fighter jets, for reconnaissance UAVs. This could increase the production of these items that are crucial for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance.

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US Navy in Operation Enduring Freedom,

Overall, the Air Force will get the greatest share of funding compared to the other services. In order to extend the relatively small group of strategic bombers, the Pentagon is considering a bomber-role for the F The main fleet consists of old C-5, 76 C and 80 relatively new C aircrafts. Since the availability of the C-5 and C decreases due to aging of the aircrafts, the Air Force plans to boost their C fleet to a total of in the next couple of years.

Navy and U. Such pre-conditions could be to attack targets on shore in order to enable the debarkation or embarkation of troops and other personnel. The maritime capabilities create rapid forces for the US, which can be maintained until step-up groups arrive in the area by sea, air or ground. Even though the US-Navy thus plays a rather important role within the American security- and defense concept, it has recently been spared additional financial support by the Administration.

The transformation program for the US-Navy plans the creation of a fleet of ships in the long term. Funds are, however, not yet available. It is now much more likely that 85 aircraft can be procured in , in , in and in The Marine Corps will get the V cargo helicopter that has been criticized for crashes during test runs throughout the last couple of years.

Also, the US-Navy is modifying four nuclear-powered submarines of the Trident-class. Europe does have enormous potential, generally speaking. In addition, there is no future record military spending in sight that could make up against the enormous US efforts in this field. Thus, domestic politics of larger and smaller European countries do not at all comply with their foreign political rhetoric. It is, however, in contrast to its allies and neighbors, not confident about its national identity [ All this, places a heavy burden on transatlantic security relations and its long-term survival.

Operation Enduring Freedom may well be regarded as a warning sign to the Europeans when it comes to the importance of military capabilities in foreign policy and how this affects a country's possibilities of exerting influence. Had the Europeans had stronger military capabilities, the US would certainly have much more included them in their plans and consulted them. Why consult with an incapable partner? A super power like the US cannot afford to wait for a military underdeveloped and politically paralyzed partner like the European Union when dealing with situations that concern vital national interests and security.

Europe has difficulties with higher defense budgets and therefore strongly emphasizes any achievements in non-military conflict solutions in its foreign political profile. Although Europe does a great job here, it is not enough to gloss over the contradiction of rhetoric and reality in the area of military conflict solution. He who commits himself in the military field and for a functioning transatlantic partnership to do better verbally, also needs to achieve more.

Even though the European countries have already begun to transform their services, it is above all the lack of financial resources that hampers a timely implementation. There are major projects on the agenda like —to name only a few— fighter jets, type Eurofighter Typhoon for four countries: Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain; a British participation in the Joint Strike Fighter; transport aircraft, type AM for eight European countries; medium and short-range precision and standoff weapons, such as multinational programs like Meteor and IRIS-T missiles; capabilities for refueling aircraft as well as improved C4ISTAR[46] capabilities.

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Looking at prominent European issues like the Airbus AM transport aircraft, one immediately identifies the problem. The AM thus resembles both a great symbol for the creation of European military capabilities and example for the major problems in this field. The AM should, however, finally be produced. There is an urgent call for action in Europe in order to build up powerful troops until —in the best case— or , which can then be deployed in EU or NATO missions.

Then, it will be about creating a common level of defense expenditure, measured against the economic potential of the respective countries. With 14 percent expenditure for military research and development Germany is, for example, lagging far behind France and Great Britain that represent 75 percent of all expenditure in this sector in Europe.

Altogether, the prospects for an improvement of the situation are not very promising. Expenditure is only increased here and there, as for example in Italy, where the defense budget went up by 7. However, these extra efforts are by far not sufficient for creating the military capabilities necessary to fully implement the Bundeswehr reform.

There is simply no money left for more projects. As a consequence of the procedure less prioritized projects cannot be implemented as planned so far. All in all, these two projects will simply eat up the biggest parts of the Bundeswehr procurement budget from until way into the next decade. The situation in other European countries is not any better, as for example in Spain, where the acquisition budget does suffice for the weapon systems that need to be procured.

And does this mean, as it has sarcastically been indicated, that America will do the fighting while Europe takes over civilian re-construction through financial aid?

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Well, it is not easy to make precise statements about possible future enemies that may pose a threat to western countries. Every era has, presumably, its own type of warfare. The most threatening SAMs in terms of range and altitude are the SA-2 and SA-3, which can reach altitudes of approximately 70, ft and 60, ft respectively. Although these SAMs were designed in the late s and deployed in the s, they remain a cause for concern today. While the radars and command and control assets for these systems are mobile, their missile launchers are semi-fixed and can only be relocated with time and effort.

This lack of mobility may be their greatest vulnerability. The United States has demonstrated a very good ability to destroy fixed targets in past conflicts. The M, S, and KS are towed guns, which limits their mobility, and thus their survivability.

Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan War (documentary)

The United States has demonstrated some difficulty in destroying moving and relocatable targets in recent conflicts. CRS-4 are based on tracked vehicles, which makes them more mobile.