Is Anyone Listening?

There is a new Rand study out by David Johnson that suggests it is time to revise joint doctrine to reflect the true and evolving natures of air and ground power. Johnson asserts that neither the Air Force nor the Army has really embraced the lessons of post-Cold War operations, instead viewing them through “their specific institutional prisms.” One of his key conclusions is that airpower has proved it can accomplish deep strike operations, contrary to the Army contention that it could not or would not “reliably perform.” Johnson says, in fact, that Army insistence in retaining control of operations beyond the line of battle “limits the effectiveness and responsiveness of more capable airpower weapons in the prosecution of the overall joint campaign.” (You can read the 232 page document here or read a summary in Air Force Magazine’s October “Washington Watch.”)