The use of airpower in wartime calls to mind the massive bombings of World War II, but airplanes have long been instrumental in small wars as well. Ever since its use by the French to put down rebellious Moroccan tribes in 1913, airpower has been employed to fight in limited but often lengthy small conflicts around the globe. This is the first comprehensive history of airpower in small wars--conflicts pitting states against non-state groups such as insurgents, bandits, factions, and terrorists--tracing it from the early years of the twentieth century to the present day. It examines dozens of conflicts with strikingly different scenarios: the Greek Civil War, the Philippine Anti-Huk campaign, French and British colonial wars, the war in South Vietnam before the American escalation, counterinsurgency in southern Africa, Latin American counterguerrilla operations, and counterinsurgency and counterterrorist campaigns in the Middle East over the last four decades. For each war, the authors describe the strategies employed on both sides of the conflict, the air forces engaged, and the specific airpower tactics employed. They discuss the ground campaigns and provide the political background necessary to understand the air campaigns, and in each case they judge the utility of airpower in its broadest sense. In their historic sweep, they show how forms of airpower evolved from planes to police helicopters, aircraft of the civilian air reserve, and today's unmanned aircraft. They also disclose how small wars after World War II required new strategies, operational solutions, and tactics. By taking this broad view of small-war airpower, the authors are able to make assessments about the mosteffective and least effective means of employing airpower. They offer specific conclusions ranging from the importance of comprehensive strategy to the need for the United States and its allies to expand small-wars training progra
Western interventions today have much in common with the countless violent conflicts that have occurred on Europe's periphery since the conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century. Like their predecessors, modern imperial wars are shaped especially by spatial features and by pronounced asymmetries of military organisation, resources, modes of warfare and cultures of violence between the respective parties. Today's imperial wars are essentially civil wars, in which Western powers are only one player among many. As ever, the Western military machine is proving incapable of resolving political strife through force, or of engaging opponents with no reason to offer conventional combat, who instead rely on guerrilla warfare and terrorism. And, as they always have, local populations pay the price for these shortcomings. Colonial Violence aims to offer, for the first time, a coherent explanation of the logic of violent hostilities within the context of European expansion. Walter's analysis reveals parallels between different empires and continuities spanning historical epochs. He concludes that recent Western military interventions, from Afghanistan to Mali, are not new wars, but stand in the 500-year-old tradition of transcultural violent conflict, under the specific conditions of colonialism.
Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present
Author: Daniel R. Headrick
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In this work, Daniel Headrick traces the evolution of Western technologies and sheds light on the environmental and social factors that have brought victory in some cases and unforeseen defeat in others.
"Overcoming homegrown insurgencies requires a much more creative and broad use of airpower than just dropping bombs and strafing ground targets. The non-kinetic roles of airpower play a significant and sometimes decisive role in winning over the population and overcoming insurgencies. These effects range from air mobility, to psychological operations (psyops); to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). Even further, these effects can include leadership skills and relationship building, as emphasized in the case of Ed Lansdale. This historiographical essay will focus on three books that provide historical evidence that supports the use of non-kinetic roles of airpower. In addition, two of the works chronicle specific Air Force officers, Heini Aderholt and Edward Lansdale, that in the face of a service stuck in the mindset of dropping bombs and firing bullets, had the vision and imagination to see other more important roles for the Air Force."--Abstract.
We know that trauma can leave syndromes in its wake. But can the anticipation of violence be a form of violence as well? Tense Future argues that it can-that twentieth-century war technologies and practices, particularly the aerial bombing of population centers, introduced non-combatants to a coercive and traumatizing expectation. During wartime, civilians braced for the next raid; during peacetime they braced for the next war. The pre-traumatic stress they experienced permeates the century's public debates and cultural works. In a series of groundbreaking readings, Saint-Amour illustrates how air war prophets theorized the wounding power of anticipation, how archive theory changed course in war's shadow, and how speculative fiction conjured visions of a civilizational collapse that would end literacy itself. And in this book's central chapters, he shows us how Ford Madox Ford, Robert Musil, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and other interwar modernist writers faced the memory of one war and the prospect of another, some by pitting their fictions' encyclopedic scale and formal turbulence against total war, others by conceding war's inevitability while refusing to long for a politically regressive peace. Total war: a conflict that exempts no one, disregarding any difference between soldier and civilian. Tense Future forever alters our understanding of the concept of total war by tracing its emergence during the First World War, its incubation in air power theory between the wars, and above all its profound partiality. For total war, during most of the twentieth century, meant conflict between imperial nation states; it did not include the violence those states routinely visited on colonial subjects during peacetime. Tacking back and forth between metropole and colony, between world war and police action, Saint-Amour describes the interwar refashioning of a world system of violence-production, one that remains largely intact in our own moment of perpetual interwar.
From Iraq to Bosnia to North Korea, the first question in American foreign policy debates is increasingly: Can air power alone do the job? Robert A. Pape provides a systematic answer. Analyzing the results of over thirty air campaigns, including a detailed reconstruction of the Gulf War, he argues that the key to success is attacking the enemy's military strategy, not its economy, people, or leaders. Coercive air power can succeed, but not as cheaply as air enthusiasts would like to believe. Pape examines the air raids on Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq as well as those of Israel versus Egypt, providing details of bombing and governmental decision making. His detailed narratives of the strategic effectiveness of bombing range from the classical cases of World War II to an extraordinary reconstruction of airpower use in the Gulf War, based on recently declassified documents. In the first major book since the Vietnam War on the theory and practice of airpower and its political effects, Robert A. Pape helps policy makers judge the purpose of various air strategies, and helps general readers understand the policy debates.