Back to the Future

Air Force and Navy planners shaping the fledgling AirSea Battle concept could benefit by incorporating facets of past joint-service warfighting initiatives, said Alan Vick, RAND senior analyst. Speaking last week at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Vick suggested that a sound model for AirSea Battle would be a hybrid framework that combines aspects of the Cold War Air Force-Army AirLand Battle plan with components of the earlier Army-Navy War Plan Orange strategy. Vick portrayed AirLand Battle’s strength as being a short-term solution for executing well-defined initiatives. Conversely, War Plan Orange—conceived in the early 20th century for dealing militarily with Japan—provided a framework for long-range planning and an analytical strategy that was adaptable and able to withstand budget perturbations, he said. (For more of Vick from the symposium, see Change Your M.O.)