Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July thoughts & more

AFA Members, Congressional staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA members, last week the Mitchell Institute issued its latest report entitled: Airpower for Hybrid Warfare by Michael Isherwood. In the report, Isherwood defines hybrid warfare [a blending of elements of different forms of combat] and describes airpower’s contributions to hybrid warfare. His summary best describes his main point:

“While the environment has changed and the style of warfare has changed, airpower’s enduring attributes remain relevant to the hybrid fight. Airpower’s speed, range, flexibility, precision, and persistence enable it to rapidly adjust and adapt to the dynamic environment we now call hybrid warfare.”

In the discussion of the paper, a member of the press asked why airpower was killing so many civilians … especially in Afghanistan. Isherwood made an important point, saying the ground commander was the final approval authority for all targets in close contact. Thus, the procedures for when and where to target airpower needed increased scrutiny to avoid targeting non-combatants.

You can find the study on our website here.

Secondly, I responded to an op-ed in the NY Times last week. I thought you’d like to see my letter to the editor – which was published on 25 June. You can find it at this link.

Finally, as we reflect on our nation’s birthday on 4 July, we should remember the sacrifices of those who served before us. Our men and women in uniform have been the ones to keep us free … and helped make us prosperous. I am reminded of an old poem – attributed to Father Dennis O’Brien – and if it were written today, it would have a footnote to say “soldier” is meant in the broadest sense – to include all those in uniform:

It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.

AFA wishes all of you the best on the 4th. I think our press release here says it well.

For your consideration,

Michael M. Dunn


Landslide said...

Your comments in the letter to NYT are so obvious that it's a wonder that neither the media, DOD management, nor many in congress can grasp the concept that not all wars our fought in the same place or on our terms. "Walk softly but carry a big stick" is still apropos as the basis for a strong foreign policy.

Bill T. said...

What the soldier has given us says it all. Excellent.

William Thayer

Bill T. said...

What the soldier has given us eloquently says it all.