Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bomber and Air Superiority

Last week AFA held its annual Convention and, in conjunction, its Air & Space Conference. We had lots of great speakers – over 60 in all. This note is the first of many recognizing some of the most important and insightful of the talks.

Bomber – one of the most interesting talks was a Mitchell Institute Panel on Sustaining America’s Long Range Strike Strategic Advantage. The panel was made up of Dr. Rebecca Grant, Director of the Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, Mark Gunzinger, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and Lt Gen (Ret) Robert Elder, Professor, George Mason University. Part of the discussion centered on a new report by Mr. Gunzinger. To quote the report:

“The ability to conduct long-range strike operations has long provided the United States with a decisive military advantage over its enemies. Today, that advantage is dissipating. Despite the crucial role long-range strike capabilities have played in our nation’s wars over the last seventy years, it is unclear whether the United States will make the investments needed to sustain this advantage in the future. Chronic underinvestment in the US military’s long-range strike “family of systems” — land-based bombers, carrier-based strike aircraft, cruise missiles and supporting airborne electronic attack platforms — combined with the creeping obsolescence of current systems could lead to a future force that is relegated to fighting on the periphery and cannot effectively penetrate anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) battle networks. Considering the time that is required to develop and field new weapon systems, if the next defense budget continues to defer needed long-range strike investments, a gap is likely to emerge in which the nation could lose its conventional long-range strike advantage for a decade or more. Consequently, the United States has a critical choice to make: either accept this loss on the assumption that long-range strike is less relevant in the future, or implement a plan and provide sufficient resources to maintain its long-range strike advantage. This paper suggests options for the latter choice as a point of departure for developing and sequencing new capabilities that will sustain America’s long-range strike strategic advantage for the next thirty years.”

You can find a slide presentation of the report at:

The report can found at:

Air Superiority – another interesting talk was given by Lt General (Ret) David Deptula. During his talk, he played a video about the current and future threats facing the nation. We have put the video on line … and it has already been cited by overseas publications … to include the Chinese. You can find the video at: (Warning – the video is about 14 minutes long.)

You can also find one Chinese response at a China news blog site:

1 comment:

syeds said...

Wow its good to read it. interesting one.

Airforce Resumes