Strategic Appraisal

Strategic Appraisal: United States Air and Space Power in the 21st Century

Zalmay Khalilzad
Jeremy Shapiro
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 508
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1314af
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  • Book Info
    Strategic Appraisal
    Book Description:

    Change--in international relations, in technology, and in society as a whole--has become the idiom of our age. One example of these changes has been an increasing recognition of the value of air and space assets for handling nearly every contingency from disaster relief to war and, onsequently, increasing demand for such assets. These developments have created both challenges and opportunities for the U.S. Air Force. This, the fourth volume in the Strategic Appraisal series, draws on the expertise of researchers from across RAND to explore both the challenges and opportunities that the U.S. Air Force faces as it strives to support the nation's interests in a challenging technological and security environment.Contributors examine the changing roles of air and space forces in U.S.national security strategy, the implications of new systems and technologiesfor military operations, and the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. securitystrategy. Contributors also discuss the status of major modernizationefforts within the Air Force, and the bill of health of the Air Force, asmeasured by its readiness to undertake its missions both today and in thefuture.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3246-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xxi-xxviii)
  8. Chapter One INTRODUCTION: THE PRICE OF SUCCESS
    (pp. 1-12)
    Jeremy Shapiro

    Since the end of the Cold War, the air instrument has become America’s weapon of first resort to handle nearly all varieties of contingencies from disaster relief to major theater wars. When called upon, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) has performed with such a startling degree of precision and power that many claim its new capabilities have revolutionized warfare itself. At the same time, as many of the chapters in this volume reveal, the Air Force faces tremendous challenges in adjusting to the new and expanded role it plays in U.S. national security strategy.

    These observations present something of a...

  9. PART I: THE GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT FOR AEROSPACE POWER
    • Chapter Two FORCES FOR WHAT? GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT AND AIR FORCE CAPABILITIES
      (pp. 15-50)
      Zalmay Khalilzad, David Ochmanek and Jeremy Shapiro

      The utility of any military force can only be judged in the light of potential needs for it. The United States is a global power, indeed the only global power, and as such has interests that span all regions of the world. Prudent U.S. defense planning therefore requires a view of likely geopolitical developments and trends throughout the world. Predictions in this realm are notoriously prone to error, but defense planning demands that we peer cautiously into the future. Toward that end, this chapter sets a geopolitical context for the rest of the volume and delineates U.S. goals and interests...

    • Chapter Three THE FUTURE OF U.S. COERCIVE AIRPOWER
      (pp. 51-82)
      Daniel L. Byman, Matthew C. Waxman and Jeremy Shapiro

      The capitulation of Serbia after 78 days of NATO bombing in spring 1999 heralded for many the arrival of a new era in the use of coercive airpower. Lt Gen Michael Short, who ran the bombing campaign, has argued that “NATO got every one of the terms it had stipulated in Rambouillet and beyond Rambouillet, and I credit this as a victory for air power.”¹ For airpower advocates like General Short, the Kosovo experience means that, in the future, the United States and its allies will have in airpower a coercive instrument capable of effectively modifying rogue state behavior.²

      Even...

  10. PART II: WHERE DOES THE USAF NEED TO GO?
    • Chapter Four MODERNIZING THE COMBAT FORCES: NEAR-TERM OPTIONS
      (pp. 85-142)
      Donald Stevens, John Gibson and David Ochmanek

      This chapter offers insights about decisions that will be considered in the early years of this decade regarding modernization of the combat platforms the U.S. Air Force fields. The focus is on systems that either are currently fielded (the B-1 bomber), are in advanced development (the F-22), or are close to decisions on whether they are to become major programs (the Joint Strike Fighter [JSF]). Other efforts are under way that might provide new combat platforms in the more distant future, including designs for uninhabited combat air vehicles, and craft that transit space en route to their targets. But it...

    • Chapter Five SPACE CHALLENGES
      (pp. 143-186)
      Bob Preston and John Baker

      This chapter identifies some of the key issues and challenges U.S. space activities will face over the next several decades, with emphasis on military and Air Force issues. Given the time horizon (and complexity of the subject), we paint this picture in broad strokes and focus on a few conditions whose consequences appear most serious for the Air Force.

      The timing is opportune. After a dynamic period of expanding military use of space, of commercial space industry growth and turmoil, and of congressional scrutiny of national security space organizations culminating in OSD direction to make the Air Force its executive...

    • Chapter Six U.S. MILITARY OPPORTUNITIES: INFORMATION-WARFARE CONCEPTS OF OPERATION
      (pp. 187-224)
      Brian Nichiporuk

      Information warfare is often seen as a new threat, a tool for adversaries to use against the U.S. homeland or U.S. forces. Numerous stories about break-ins at Pentagon computers, disabled satellites, and downed phone networks have focused the attention of the public and the national security community on the need for information-warfare defense. The possibility that these new information-warfare tools could threaten America’s ability to project power or to realize its national interests is real and deserves analytical attention and public awareness. However, information warfare creates more than just vulnerability—it may also mean many new opportunities for the U.S....

    • Chapter Seven NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY FOR A NEW CENTURY
      (pp. 225-282)
      Glenn Buchan

      During his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush promised a fundamental reevaluation of U.S. nuclear strategy to make it more relevant to the contemporary world. Early in his administration, he announced his intention to reduce the size of U.S. nuclear forces quickly and unilaterally without necessarily relying on cumbersome arms control negotiations to produce such a result (Bush, 2001). He also took the dramatic step of announcing the formal withdrawal of the United States from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, a U.S.–Soviet agreement that had been central to the orthodox views of nuclear strategy that had evolved...

    • Chapter Eight COUNTERING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND BALLISTIC MISSILES
      (pp. 283-342)
      Richard F. Mesic

      The attractiveness of both ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to various actors throughout the world represents a serious threat to U.S. security. These weapons and delivery systems are popular in part because they are highly visible symbols of military prowess. As such, they provide significant influence on regional balances of power, even among friends and allies. Furthermore, as the ranges of available delivery systems increase, proliferants will eventually be able to reach, and therefore threaten, the U.S. homeland. Such weapons also give at least the appearance of being unstoppable, even by active defenses. All these features together...

  11. PART III: SUPPORTING FUTURE FORCES
    • Chapter Nine PROVIDING ADEQUATE ACCESS FOR EXPEDITIONARY AEROSPACE FORCES
      (pp. 345-376)
      David Shlapak

      Saturday, October 6, 1973. It is Yom Kippur, the most solemn holiday of the Jewish calendar, and Israel is at prayer. Her leaders, however, have other pressing matters on their hands. That morning, fresh intelligence confirmed that Syria and Egypt were about to attack, embroiling Israel in the fourth full-scale war of its brief 25-year existence. Denied authorization to launch a preemptive air attack on Syrian forces—which pose the greater threat, since their jump-off positions are barely 70 miles from Tel Aviv—Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) General David Elazar orders a partial call-up of reserves and waits for the...

    • Chapter Ten A VISION FOR AN EVOLVING AGILE COMBAT SUPPORT SYSTEM
      (pp. 377-396)
      Robert Tripp and C. Robert Roll Jr.

      The development of Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF) operations requires rethinking many Air Force functions, among them the combat support system. To a large extent, success of the EAF depends on having an increasingly agile support system. The Air Force has thus designated Agile Combat Support (ACS) as one of the six essential core competencies for Global Engagement and has begun the transformations necessary to achieve an ACS system.¹

      Continuing development of this system will require making hard decisions on allocating limited resources to make it capable of meeting a wide range of uncertain scenarios. ACS requirements will vary with the...

    • Chapter Eleven STRATEGIC SOURCING IN THE AIR FORCE
      (pp. 397-436)
      Frank Camm

      Over the last 20 years, total quality management has penetrated the best-led organizations in the United States so thoroughly that it has disappeared into the day-to-day routines of their planning and operations. The result has been increasing adoption of a simple, customer-oriented perspective (Levine and Luck, 1994¹), in which each organization strives to

      1. identify who its customers are and what they want

      2. identify the processes it uses to serve the customers and align the processes with customer demands as closely as possible

      3. work continually to improve the quality of its knowledge about its customers and their needs...

    • Chapter Twelve READY FOR WAR BUT NOT FOR PEACE: THE APPARENT PARADOX OF MILITARY PREPAREDNESS
      (pp. 437-481)
      Carl Dahlman and David Thaler

      The purpose of a military organization is to enable the nation’s political leadership to apply or, when useful as a negotiation strategy, threaten to apply force in the pursuit of national security objectives.¹ The U.S. experience since the end of the Cold War is clear on one thing: A great nation with worldwide strategic, political, and economic relations cannot avoid situations in which challenges to its interests require the application of force. A strong—and ready—military capability has proven essential for providing national leadership a wide range of options for supporting national objectives.

      There is no discernible political disagreement...