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    AKillIsaKillsymmetrically ttacking

    UnitedStates irpower

    MICHAEL A.O HALLORAN,MAJOR,USMCSchoolofAdvancedAirpowerStudies

    t Ul Sfcae4muifTft

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    AKillIsaKillsymmetrically ttackingUnitedStates irpowerMICHAELA .O'HALLORAN,MAJOR,USMCSchoolofAdvancedAirpowerStudies

    THESISPRESENTEDTOTHEFACULTYOFTHESCHOOLOFADVANCEDAIRPOWERSTUDIES,

    MAXWELLAIRFORCEBASE,A L A B A M A ,FORCOMPLETIONOFGRADUATIONREQUIREMENTS,ACADEMICYEAR1998-99.

    A irUniversityPressMaxwellA irForceBase,Alabama

    October2000

    DISTRIBUTIONSTATEMENTADistributionUnlimited

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    ThisSchoolofAdvancedAirpowerStudiesthesisisavailableelectronicallyatheirUniversityResearchwebitettp://research.maxwell.af.mil underResearchPapers thenSpecialCollections.

    Disclaimer

    Opinions,conclusions,andrecommendat ionsexpressed orimpliedwithinaresolelythoseofth e authoranddono tnecessar i lyrepresentth ev iewsofA irUniversity,th eUnitedStatesA irForce,th eDepar tmentofDefense,oranyotherUSgovernmentagency.Clearedfo rpublicrelease:dis-tr ibut ionunlimited.

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    ContentsChapter age

    DISCLAIMER ABSTRACT uA B O U TTHEA U T H O R iA C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ix

    NTRODUCTIONNotes 62S Y M M E T R I CRESPONSESA TTHEPOLITICALLEVEL9Notes3S Y M M E T R I CRESPONSESA TTHEOPERATIONALLEVEL 25Notes4S Y M M E T R I CRESPONSESA TTHETACTICALLEVELNotes5ONCLUSIONSNotes

    IllustrationsTable

    symmetricStrategies

    PhotographsUSSDwightD .EisenhowerandAmericaTransitSuezCanal

    iu

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    bstractA sthetwentiethcenturycloses,effortstowardsorganizing,training,andequip-pingUnitedStatesUS)airpowerassetsremainbasedontheassumptionofface-

    to-faceconventionalconfrontations.Thisisacomfortinghypothesis,asU Stech-nologicaluperiorityshouldkeepheoddstackedinourfavorfordecadesocome.A irstrategistsmaybeoverlookingthefact,however,hatthisverytech-nologicaluperioritymayorceadversariesocounterU Sairpowerwithotherthanconventionalmethods.Couplethiswiththestrongpossibilitythatthein-terestsof theUnitedStatesandouropponentswilllikelybefoundonoppositeendsofthepectrumofwar,andU Sairpowercouldbeinforsomeurprises.ThistudyanalyzestheasymmetricthreattoU Sairpoweracrossthepolitical,operational,andtacticallevelsofwarandexamineswhethertheUnitedStateshasadequatelyprepareditselftocounterasymmetricalmeasuresagainst itsair-powerassets.Theanswersarenotreassuring.U Sairpowerisnotlikelytoover-whelmtechnologicalcapabilitybyincreasing frictionlevelsandchangingourvi-sionsofurgicalwarfarentoanattritioneality.Theywillattemptonflictvirtualattrition aswellbychangingU Stargetingstrategiesandreducingoureffectivenesswhilebuyingthemselvestimetoattaintheirobjectives.nthisre-spect,U Sairpowercanbestrategicallydefeated.

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    bouttheuthorM ajMichaelA.O'HalloranisanativeofStateCollege,Pennsylvania,andwascommissioned throughtheUnitedStatesMarineCorps in1983.AfterattendingtheMarineCorpsBasicSchool,heproceededtoCampPendleton,California,and wasassignedtoMarineLightAttackHelicopterSquadron367whereheflew AH-1J,A H-1W ,andUH-1Nhelicoptersfrom1986throughJune1993.DuringthisperiodhecompletedanumberofoverseasdeploymentsoncludeerviceinOperationsDesertShieldandDesertStorm.A1994honorgraduateoftheJSMCAmphibi-ousWarfareSchool,heservedasaninstructoratMarineAviation WeaponsandTacticsSquadronOne,Yuma,Arizona,until1997whenhewasransferredtoMaxwellA irForceBase,Alabama,toattendA irCommandandStaffCollege.H ehasabachelor'sdegreeinaccountingfromPennsylvaniaStateUniversity.MajorO'Halloranisaweaponsandtacticsinstructor,aviationsafetyofficer,andflightleaderandhasloggedover2,900flighthours.InJune1999hewasassignedtotheMarineAir-GroundTaskForceStaffTrainingProgramatQuantico,Virginia.

    uu

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    cknowledgmentsIacknowledgeseveralpeoplefo rtheirsupportandhelp.IthankColB.C.Miller,thedentistattheMaxwellA irForceBasehospitalwhogavemetheideafo rthispaperashefilleda cavityalmosttw oyearsago.Fittingly,theresearchprocesswasinmanywaysverysimilartodentalwork.IthankDr.JamesS.Corumfo rhisguid-anceintheinitialorganizationofthisprojectandhisinsightandadvicethroughitsmanypermutations.Also,LtColWrayR.ohnson,UnitedStatesA irForce,aMarineatheart,continuously helpedmedigdeeperintomysubjectwhilepro-vidingsoundeditorialadvice.AlwaysinthebackgroundwasD r.DavidR.Mets,whohasforgottenmoreaboutairpowerthanmostmenhaveeverlearned,yethasetainedenoughojustifiablywarrantclassificationasanationalasset.thankmywife,Candice,orherloveandsupportandmyyoungsons,MichaelandTommy,ortheirconstantdistractionsandremindersofwhatisreallyim-portantinlife.

    IX

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    ChapterIntroduction

    Foroverathousandyears,Romanconquerorsreturning fromthewarsenjoyedthehonorofatriumph,atumultuousparade...Theconquerorrodein atriumphalchar-iot Aslavestoodbehindtheconquerorholdingagoldencrownandwhisperinginhisearawarningthat al lgloryis fleeting.

    G e nGeorgePattonInthespringof1991,followingagreatvictory,Americangeneralsledaparadeoftheirowninournation'scapitol.HeldostensiblytohonorthemenandwomenwhoparticipatedinOperationDesertStorm,theparadeclearlycelebratedtwoadditionalaccomplishments:irst,hattheAmeri-

    canmilitaryhadfinally riditselfoftheVietnamWar'sself-doubtingshack-les;andsecond,thatthecountrynowstoodaloneastheworld'sonlysu-perpower.TheUnitedStates(US)militaryhadonceagainarrivedatcenterstageandwasrevelinginthemoment.nthedinofcongratulationsandemotion,Rome'sslavewouldhaveneededabullhorntoissueanywarn-ings;andastheensuingdecadehasunfolded,U Sforceshavecontinuedtoprepareorwarn mannerhatargelyanticipatesDesertStormredux.Butiftherestoftheworldlearnedanythingfromthatconflict,twaspreciselythattheUnitedStatesshouldnotfightalongconventionallines.1A sa1992studydescribestheactionsoffutureenemies,H ewillnomoreseektoconfrontU.S.poweronU.S.ermshanDavidwouldhavegoneoutagainstGoliathwithaswordandhield. 2Althoughournextadver-sarymaynotbefamiliarwiththeO ldTestament,heU Smilitarycanig -norethecomparisonatitsownperil,asasymmetricoptionsmaybetheonlymethodavailabletoafo einconflictwiththeUnitedStates.Longago,theU SMarineCorps(USMC)rightfullyclaimedthetitlefirsttoight ;ndohisday,ewdoubthebilityoftheU SM Coprojectpoweratamoment'snotice.Increasingly,however,U Sairpowerassetsarethefirst(andsometimesonly)orcesthatseeactionwhendecisionmak-ersoptforamilitarysolution.nthewakeof thePersianGulfWar,hereisanalmostuniversalexpectationthatU Smilitaryactionwillbeginwithatrategicairampaign.3Withheombinationoftealthyaircraft,precision-guidedmunitions(PGM),globalreach,andstunningtechnolog-icalcapability,hefutureof airpowerwillcarrywithittheexpectationtodeliveronitseternalpromiserapid,low-casualty,anddecisivevictory.

    TheQuestionInthisstudy, examinehowwellthispromisewillbekeptif anenemyfightsinalessthanconventionalmanner.Specifically,Iexaminewhether

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    theU Smilitaryhasadequatelypreparedtselftocounterasymmetricalmeasuresagainstitsairpowerassets.BackgroundandSignificanceoftheProblem

    Nonconventionalorasymmetrictacticsarenotnewtothefair-fightingpractitionersofWesternwarfare,butheyhave lwaysbeenhated.TheancientGreeks,whopreferredheirightingace-to-face,iewedhosewhofoughtfromafarwithuniversaldisdainskirmishers,javelinthrow-ers,andaboveall,archers.4TheGreeksleftanindeliblestamponWesternsocietywiththeircontri-butionsoivics,aw ,andgovernment.Theirinfluenceonmodernwar-fareisequallystrikingandinsomeeyes,disturbing.InTheWesternWayofWar:InfantryBattlein AncientGreece,VictorDavisHansonexploresthisissuendetail.AlthoughtheGreekconventionoflimitingwarstrictlytocombatanthoplitesisnotrelevanttoday,hespiritofHellenicwarfareisaliveandwellinthemindsofWesternstrategists.5AccordingtoHanson,althoughheGreeksventuallyealizedhatpitchedbattlewasnot l-waysthemostefficientformofwar,uchfightingretaineditsusefulnessbyprovidingadecisiveandglorious)conclusion. TheGreek'starkwayofbattleleftuswithwhatisnowaburdensomelegacyintheWest:apresumptionthatbattleunderanyguiseotherthanano-nonsensehead-to-headconfrontationbetweensoberenemiesisorshouldbeunpalatable. 6TheClausewitzianquestfordecisivebattleandheprinciplesof wartaughtthroughouttheprofessionalmilitaryeducationystemaredirectdescendantsofGreekculture.A staughtbytheU Smilitary,theprinciplesofwarareessentiallyacookbookapproachtocorralanyenemyintoapo-sitionwhereAmericanfirepowercanbebroughttobearsowecandestroyhim,eturntothenormalstateofpeace,andgohome.Theseprinciplesssumehatbattlefieldvictoryselevantntself,makingfewallowancesforanenemywhopracticesa livetofightanotherday strategy,and,hroughsheerobstinacyandwill,urvives.FormanyintheU Smilitary,thedisturbinglegacyofthe VietnamWarisnotthatwefailedtorecognizethetruenon-Westernnatureoftheconflict,butratherthatpoliticiansprohibitedwarfightersfromfullyapplyingtheprinciplesofwartoourenemy.7Inmanyways,AmericanscontinueoviewlimitedwarasheBritishdidacenturyagowhentamingtheAfricancolonies.AsJohnElliswritesinTheSocialHistoryoftheMachineGun, Regularsoldierswhowentover-seas regardedtheAfricansasweirdeccentrics,hardlyevenhumanbe-ings,theywouldlookoncolonialwarfareasanamusing diversionwithlit-tleincommonwithrealwar. 8Technology(i ntheformoftheMaximgun)wasagodsendforthesegoodcitizensoftheworld:Inancienttimescivilizedcommunitiesouldhardlydefendhemselvesagainstpoorandbarbarousraces. nourdayitisthepoorandbarbaroustribeswhoareeverywhereatthemercyofthewealthyandcultivatednations. 9Certainly,theBritishtooktheirsenseoffairplaytoanywartheywaged,andthistoohasfirmrootsintheU Smilitary.WhilesuperintendentoftheU SMilitaryAcademyatWestPoint,GenDouglasMacArthurorderedthefollowingverseinscribedontheportaloftheschoolgymnasium:

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    Uponthefieldsoffriendlystrifearesowntheseedsthat,uponotherfields,onotherdayswillbearthefruitsofvictory.10Teamwork,camaraderie,andespritdecorpshaveadefiniteplaceinanyconflict;butalsoimplicitinthequatrainistheconceptofsportsmanship.OneoftheprimaryreasonsAmericansdisdainguerrillas,errorists,andirregularsisthattheydonotfightfair. Timeandagainthedirty ac-ticsofthesegroupsurpriseheAmericanmilitary,yetittlesearnedfromtheexperience.11Whenthenextconflictarises,AmericansassumethattheMarquisofQueensburyrulesarebackineffect.Withtheinertiaof2,500yearsofWesternculturebehindit,thereislit-tlewonderheU SmilitaryisrequentlyhockedwhenwardiffersromWesternexpectations.Whileairpoweradvocatesviewtheirtoolasrevolu-tionary,theyhaveactuallydonelittlemorethansecureanicheinthecon-ventionalWesternwayofwagingwar.ik eheGreeks,irtrategistsyearnfordecisiveness.Towardsthatend,heUnitedStateshasinvestedingenerationaftergenerationofthefinesttechnologyavailabletofind,fix,target,rack,nddestroyournemies.Butwhenonfrontedwithheskirmishers,javelinthrowers,andarchersofthewentiethcentury, ir-powerhasbeenfarlessthandecisive.Asthiscenturycloses,manypunditsspeculatethat withtheadventofnuclearweaponsandglobalinterdependence,Western-stylewarhasbe-comeextinct.ButasHansonwarns,'ThelegacyoftheGreeks'battlestylelingerson,anarcoticthatwecannotputaway. 12Thefutureof warfarecannotbeseeninthehulksof Iraqitanks;ratheritcanbefoundlurkinginHaitianslums,Albanianvillages,andIslamicpressurecookers.nthenextcentury, irtrategistswillcontinueoearchordecisiveesults;butheymayfindgreateruccessftheydependmoreontheadviceofpsychologists,ociologists,andlinguistsandlessontargeteersandtech-nologists.LimitationsofThisStudy

    Thesymmetricesponseo irpowerwillbeasvariedasheistofAmerica'spotentialadversaries.Findingtheanswer totheproblemwouldassumethatallasymmetricresponsescanbeidentified.Suchapremisewouldbefaulty,andIwillnotattempttoconstructacomprehensivelaun-drylistof likelyasymmetricmeasures.ndeed,omeoftheseresponses,suchastheuseofweaponsofmassdestructionfWMD),havereceivedsomuchattention intheliteratureonsecuritystudiesthatitwouldmakelit-tlesensetocoverthemhere.Whetheremployedagainstairfields,people,orports,theW M Dproblemisavexingone,anditappearsinvirtuallyalloftoday'swargames.PerhapshispointsoagreaterissueconcerninghowAmericansviewtheasymmetricthreat.W M Drepresentatechnologi-calhreathatcanultimatelybeounteredwithechnology.AlthoughAmericansareuncomfortablewithW M Duse,heyareathomegrapplingwithproblemsthatcanbeboundedbybudgetsandscience.13Inasimilarvein,heburgeoningtopicsofinformationandspacewar-farewillnotbediscussed.nChallengingtheUnitedStatesSymmetrically

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    andAsymmetrically:CanAmericabeDefeated?LloydJ.Matthewsassertsthat ourtechnologicalapparatushasfaroutstrippedourabilitytosecureit,whilegovernmentandpubliccomplacencyisendemic. 14Withthetu-multuoushangesanddual-usenatureofinformationandpaceys-tems,asymmetricthreatoptionsabound;but,asaU SMarinemorecom-fortablewithmarchinghanmegabytesandmoonhots,hepecificityandjargonofthesefieldsmakethemtoodauntingforthisauthortoenter.Whileiscussingomeechnologicallyasedsymmetrichreats,hefocusismainlyonideasthatmayappearinanenemy'sheadandnotsomuchinhislaboratories.Methodology

    ThistudyxaminesikelysymmetricesponsesoU S irpoweratthreeevels:politicalstrategic),operational,andactical.Eachofthesecategoriessexaminednurn,ultimatelyaddressingaangeofasym-metricthreatsexperiencedfromthepresidenttotheprivate.nthecon-clusion,hisauthorbringstheevidencetogetherandanalyzesitinordertoarriveatageneralanswertothequestion.Underlyingthestudyistheassumptionofalimitedconflict.Whilemanyoftheissuesdiscussedhavevalidtransfervaluetototalwar,manydonot;andsplittinghairsonthisissuewouldbecounterproductive.Whilehistudymayappearobeimplyaonglomerationofthreesmallerresearchprojectsaddressingparticularpheresofwar,tsm-portantthatthisworknotbeinterpretedassuch.Asymmetricstrategiescomplementoneanotherandwillmostlikelybeatworkimultaneouslyfromthepoliticalleveltotheactical.ndeed,asheevidencewillhow,lower symmetricacticsrequentlyranscendheircasteandenderpoliticaleffects.Sinceasymmetrichreatssaubjectareahatecentlyhaseceivedmoderateattention,heexpectationwasoencounteradearthofinfor-mation.However,hiswasnotthecase.AccountsfromtheVietnamWar,Afghanistan,andmorerecentconflictsprovidedawealthofinformation;and,urprisingly,OperationDesertStormdidaswell.Althoughavirtualdefinitionof Western-styleconventionalwar,he991onflictcontainedmanyexamplesofasymmetricmaneuvershatareikelytobeepeated.Likewise,nthepost-cold-warstruggletodiscernthefuture,professionaljournalshaveaddressedtwenty-firstcenturywarfareindepthandinvari-ablydiscusstheissuesinvestigatedherein.Newspapers,periodicals,andtheInternetyieldedagreatdealof timelyinformationaswell.Terminology

    Havingusedthewordasymmetricseveraltimesalready,itwouldbeap-propriateodefinetbeforeproceeding.ThissaaskeasieraidhandonetheDepartmentofDefense(DOD)dictionarydoesnotevenincludetheword.15Webster'sdictionaryisof littlehelpaswell,abelingasymme-tryasanunevendispositiononeachideofanimaginary)centrallineorpoint. 16Onethingiscertain,theconceptoffightingasymmetricallyisasoldaswar itself;anditisnotatechniqueusedsolelybytheunderdog.Forceshavealwaysattemptedtopitstrengthagainstanenemyweakness

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    whenable.17Forthepurposeofthiswork,hedefinitionisnarrowedooneorientedalongthelimitedwarscena...

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