Airpower and Strategy in Constrained Times

In a changing world full of security challenges and a time of fiscal austerity, airpower is well-suited to protect, project, and defend American interests, said Richard Andres, a former advisor to the Air Force Chief of Staff, on Thursday. “Airpower has changed the character of how we fight wars,” said Andres, who is now a senior fellow at National Defense University’s National Institute for Strategic Studies, at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Andres was part of the panel discussion on projecting effective power in an era of decreased resources. Since Desert Storm, the wars that have been prosecuted largely by air and space assets have been short in duration and often led to definitive victory on the ground, he said. “Airpower is America’s comparative advantage,” said Andres. Today, nations have enjoyed an unprecedented era of peace from major state-on-state conflict because the calculus on the use of violence has changed, he said. A big part of this is the deterrent value of airpower that the United States has maintained, said Andres. “Air-minded solutions should be part of the problem solving we now grapple with,” he said.