Mission: “To provide competitively selected, highly qualified field-grade Air Force officers and their civilian counterparts an in-depth education in national security policy through assignments to a distinguished civilian institute or placement in a key government agency or department.”
The Air Force Fellows program plays a major role in contributing ideas for enhancing national security and assuring the continuing effectiveness of the United States Air Force.
• Strategic Communication: Solidify relationships w/ civilian academic & policy communities
• Broaden & develop senior leader competencies: Network w/other Fellows: OSD/Interagencies/Academia
• Evaluate national & international security policy & processes:
1) Analyze current scholarly perspectives on defense policy & strategy issues and
2) Analyze future technologies critical in the implementation of strategic US/coalition warfare capabilities
What is a Fellow? Every year, the Air Force chooses an elite cadre of officers and civilians to serve 10- to 18-month tours within DOD, other government agencies, or distinguished civilian institutions. Fellows receive in-residence SDE credit or in-residence IDE credit (upon completion of ACSC by seminar/correspondence to satisfy JPME-I requirements) and, in some cases, academic degrees, for their experience.
Follow-on assignments are normally to joint or departmental staffs, political/military affairs, or command billets.
Institutions are selected based on prominence in security affairs and ability to provide spectrum of views. Fellows serve as resident members of institutions’ faculty/staff and DoD Agency Staff.
Fellows use the nearest AFB as a host base, but they are managed by the Air Force Fellows Office at Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL.
What options are out there? The links in the menu to the right contain details of current Fellowships divided into DEDB-selected SDE programs, DEDB-selected IDE programs, and non-DEDB-selected SDE/IDE programs.
How do I become one? Typically, officers are assigned via the DEDB based on military records, academic credentials and potential for senior staff/command duty. Interested officers should include specific school preferences on their ADP and ensure a strong commander endorsement. For non-DEDB programs, officers are selected via an application process. Go to the applicable link to the right for more information.
Research and curriculum: All Fellows will conduct research during their tour on an area of personal interest or something related to their fellowship. This research will culminate with a 5,000-word paper supervised by a sponsor and a mentor. For Fellows attending a university, a school research paper may be submitted to fulfill this requirement.
Fellows attending a university will follow the school’s established curriculum. For other programs, Fellows will create an ‘experience plan’ to use as their curriculum.
Published amid the ongoing debate over the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, Air Force Col Dan Magruder provides an examination of the strategic rationale that underpins that decision. Magruder, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a veteran of that conflict, argues that the “strategic baggage” of a continued American military presence in the Middle East is hindering force recapitalization and a pivot to great power competition. By focusing on the most dangerous threats to national security, the Air Force, and the nation, can avoid the more common but less existential entanglements that inhibit our ability to adequately defend the country. [Col Daniel L. Magruder, Jr., USAF / 2021 / 57 pages / AU Press Code: P-132]
As Iran moves ever closer to a nuclear weapons capability, will other area powers such as Turkey decide to acquire their own nuclear weapons and embark on a crash nuclear weapons program to provide their own deterrent? Or will Turkey’s leaders trust in the United States’ extended nuclear deterrent for Turkey’s security? Col William G. Eldridge has explored this question in depth. To shore up the United States’ ability to convince the Turks to stay in the nonnuclear category, he recommends keeping the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and bilateral alliances with Turkey strong and, with Turkey, establishing a more common vision for the Middle East. He also advises reducing trade barriers with Turkey, maintaining and even increasing military arms trading and aid, keeping US forces in present numbers in Turkey and improving militaryto- military ties, maintaining Turkey as a partner in dual-capable aircraft production, and, for now, keeping some US nuclear weapons in NATO Europe. [William G. Eldridge Colonel, USAF / 2011 / 113 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: P-85]
This study examines the history, likes and differences of the US National Security Council system and its organizational prototype, the pre-World War II British Committee of Imperial Defence, their structures, purposes, functions, leadership, and the significant changes each experienced their origins, the historical contexts leading to their creation, their organizational over time. Then, each organization is compared, contrasted, and subjectively examined, while bringing historical evidence to bear. The study concludes with insights that form the underlying bases for recommending modest changes to the NSC system. These recommendations include appropriately sizing the NSC staff and emphasizing the importance of strategic planning, and others. [Col Chad T. Manske, USAF / 2009 / 117 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-190-9 / AU Press Code: P-63]
P. Dean Patterson and Lenny J. Richoux offer a cogent argument for a Department of Defense quadrennial defense review (QDR). Having been established in 1997, the QDR is a relatively new process. It examines the budgetary process to ensure that taxpayers’ money is well spent. At the same time, it is equally important to ensure that each service receives its far share of the allocation pie. Abandoning the QDR, enlarging it, or creating a persistent QDR are the only viable options the authors believe are available. Of the three choices, Patterson and Richoux believe that creating a persistent QDR provides the best option. [Lt Col P. Dean Patterson, Jr., USMC and Lt Col Lenny J. Richoux, USAF / 2009 / 72 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-188-6 / AU Press Code: P-62]
Lt Col Dave Marttala discusses the Air Force deployment of large numbers of Airmen to perform various combat support functions doctrinally assigned to the Army or Marine Corps. Known as “In Lieu Of” (ILO) deployment (since then the term has changed to “Joint Expeditionary Tasking” [JET]), this program has evolved from a temporary assistance measure to a de facto permanent reallocation of service roles and missions. This study gives attention to the serious, central problem of the long-term negative effects of this program on the comprehensive military capacity to fight modern wars. Using Air Force security forces as a case study, he demonstrates that ILO solutions actually do more harm than good, creating an illusion of adaptation that obscures the nature and scope of the problem, thereby jeopardizing future war-fighting capability among our collective military forces. He concludes by offering practical recommendations to rebalance requirements and resources for modern warfare. [Lt Col David W. Marttala, USAF / 2009 / 107 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-172-5 / AU Press Code: P-61]
Lt Col Roftiel Constantine cogently outlines the competitive relationship between the Europe Union and the United States regarding satellite navigation. To buttress his thesis that Galileo, the European Union’s navigation satellite system, poses a veritable threat to the global position system, the navigation system of the United States, Colonel Constantine traces the development of the navigation systems, analyzes the threat posed to the United States by Galileo, and delineates precisely the course of action the United States must undertake to protect its “industrial, military, and national security interests.” [Lt Col Roftiel Constantine, USAF / 2008 / 84 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-177-0 / AU Press Code: P-56]
No contemporary foreign policy issues captures more headlines or elicits more debate than US relations with the largest country in the Middle East and potential nuclear power, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Colonels Douglass and Hays researched the history of the Persians and talked with noted experts to analyze why Iran acts the way it does toward the United States and how we can use that knowledge to develop a strategy based on potential vulnerabilities created by Iran’s history and the nature of the country and its people. Current opportunities are addressed in their short-term strategy proposal as well as a long-term strategic outlook. [Lt Col Charles A. Douglass, USAF, and Lt Col Michael D. Hays, USAF / 2008 / 130 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-200-5 / AU Press Code: P-54]
Colonel Lengyel addresses the need for a national energy policy to meet the United States’ insatiable thrust for energy, especially its implications for the Department of Defense. He argues cogently that the United States has created one of the mightiest militaries in the world but sadly has fallen short in its efforts to create a viable energy strategy. His proposals for conserving energy include “bases operating on 100 percent renewable energy,” among others. [Col Gregory J. Lengyel, USAF / 2008 / 104 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-174-9 / AU Press Code: P-52]
This research paper explores the history of US security cooperation programs in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, from 1993 to the present, identifying five distinct phases of development as those programs sought to achieve US objectives in denuclearization and proliferation prevention, democratization and military reform, regional cooperation, and improving military capabilities. The author elaborates on the limiting factors, successes, and a failure associated with those efforts and then makes recommendations for the future of US security cooperation in Central Asia in the future. [Lt Col Michael J. McCarthy, USAF / 2007 / 265 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-172-5 / AU Press Code: P-49]
More than six decades after Hiroshima and almost two since the end of the Cold War, the US nuclear weapons stockpile is undergoing an extensive and expensive life-extension program to ensure the continued safety, security, and reliability of the legacy weapons well into the future. The current stockpile does not meet post–Cold War national security challenges. Today’s challenge is to sustain and modernize the US nuclear weapons infrastructure with minimal risk and cost. Lt Col Ed Vaughan advocates that to mitigate the risks and address the highly uncertain future security environment, the recapitalization of US nuclear weapons should begin immediately. [Edgar M. Vaughan / 2007 / 80 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-170-1 / AU Press Code: P-47]
This work presents an overview of ballistic missile defense (BMD) initiatives and their attendant technologies with a careful analysis of their existing capabilities and potentialities to make recommendations as to the BMD initiatives that are most likely to provide realistic expectations of useful defense capabilities in the near to mid-term. There is also an extended discussion of the implications of BMD in the relationships of the United States and the nations of Asia, particularly Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, and Japan. [Lt Col Jeffrey T. Butler, USAF / 2007 / 86 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-167-8 / AU Press Code: P-46]
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, NATO has enlarged its membership twice with countries formerly under Soviet influence and control and, as of this writing, is preparing to begin the process for a third expansion. Russia has watched the borders of NATO creep ever closer to its own but has generally been powerless to prevent it. Although NATO has taken pains to include and consult with Russia regarding its actions and future plans, former air attaché to the US Embassy in Moscow Gordon Hendrickson contends the Kremlin cannot reasonably be expected to continue to watch NATO’s eastward expansion without eventually pushing back hard. Without question, many significant issues and challenges must still be solved before enlarging the alliance once again. In light of this, the author says NATO must work rigorously to continue to keep Russia engaged in a productive and mutually beneficial relationship as both sides work through the future obstacles that inevitably will arise in the NATO/Russian relationship. [Gordon B. Hendrickson / 2006 / 80 pages / ISBN: 158566-139-2 / AU Press Code: P-43]
On 22 July 2004 the 9/11 Commission released its report on the events surrounding the attacks of 11 September 2001. The 9/11 Report renewed calls for reform of the intelligence community (IC), continuing a long series of intelligence reform efforts that began shortly after the National Security Act of 1947 laid the foundation of the modern IC. As reform proceeds and government officials consider further changes, three topics remain relevant: (1) the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols reform of the Department of Defense and its applicability to the IC, (2) the common findings and recommendations of past reform efforts of the IC, and (3) the competing interests inherent in the IC that influence the pace and character of actual reform. This study explores these topics in the context of the 9/11 Report and the subsequent reform efforts initiated by the executive and legislative branches. While there was common motivation between the latest effort to reform the IC and the earlier DOD reform effort as embodied in the Goldwater-Nichols Act, it remains less clear if the measures taken in the DOD case are equally applicable to the IC. One reason to question the applicability of DOD reform efforts to the IC is the unique organizational context of the IC—an interagency organization supporting multiple departments as well as national policy makers. Reform of the IC is unlike reform of a single cabinet-level department, for at its most basic level the IC exists to enhance the effectiveness of multiple departments and senior policy makers in the accomplishment of their assigned functions. In short, the IC serves varied interests with sometimes shared and sometimes conflicting intelligence needs. This organizational context suggests that successful reform requires an on-going recalibration of competing interests to meet the changing demands inherent within a dynamic national security environment. [John D. Bansemer / 2006 / 192 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-151-1 / AU Press Code: P-42]
Colonel Palmby’s study not only serves as a primer for readers not intimately familiar with either outsourcing or the acquisition/manpower career fields, but also provides Air Force leadership and decision makers recommendations designed to help them resolve or prevent the numerous pitfalls that accompany the outsourcing process. Toward those ends, it provides background on the terminology, processes, and regulatory guidance used in outsourcing. It also reviews various forces that drive the Air Force toward outsourcing as a resource option and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages that may reside in any outsourcing situation. The paper also examines numerous issues facing the Air Force and Department of Defense in general as the outsourcing of missions continues to increase. Additionally, the paper offers some critical recommendations designed to help begin the considerable effort of evolving the Air Force’s culture and structure to allow full integration of outsourcing as a key and equal component of its Total Force team. [William G. Palmby / 2006 / 84 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-150-3 / AU Press Code: P-40]
Colonel Brown argues that recent operations have highlighted seams and shortfalls in joint doctrine that need to be addressed in the shaping of a more effective future joint force. Using the current doctrine command and control tenets and Joint Operations Concept attributes as a framework, Colonel Brown develops the foundation of air-ground doctrine for the future joint force. Using case studies from recent contingencies to illustrate gaps in current doctrine, he proposes doctrinal concepts via five air-ground integration focus areas: supporting/supported relationships, establishing directives and emerging concepts, synchronization of interdiction and maneuver, joint fires concepts, and fire support coordination measures. Colonel Brown proposes support relationships be defined by the joint force commander based on operational objectives. Joint force commanders would then articulate intent, relationships, and objectives through proposed establishing directive guidance. Colonel Brown also proposes a responsive and interoperable joint organizational construct capable of integrating the effects created by fire and maneuver. He completes his proposals by recommending a standardized coordination-measure construct to allow timely decision making and execution in future joint operations. [Charles Q. Brown Jr. / 2005 / 136 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-147-3 / AU Press Code: P-25]
The collapse of the Soviet Union, the reunification of Germany, and the emergence of the European Union (EU) have all raised questions regarding the United States’ transatlantic relationship and the subsequent role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The author takes a brief look at past US–European relations and provides an enlightening and provocative analysis of the current state of affairs. Recent tensions in the relationship, he concludes, are a result of the EU’s growing role as a state actor in the international system. Policy differences between the United States and the EU are merely symptoms of the changes resulting from the EU’s new role. The author proposes a tentative typology of alliances and concludes that the United States and the EU have a co-dependent relationship, with the United States subsidizing the EU’s pursuit of policies that, whether by accident or design, undermine US interests. The author calls for a reformulation of the alliance that allows both the United States and the European Union to pursue their own interests while forcing the EU to take responsibility for its own defense. [Christopher D. Cotts / 2005 / 87 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-142-82 / AU Press Code: P-29]
Addressing the convergence of organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism requires the new paradigm of strategic thinking ushered in by the war on terrorism. Such an effort cannot be seen through a diplomatic, military, law enforcement, financial, or intelligence lens alone. Rather, it demands a prism of all of these to offer a comprehensive and coordinated approach. Colonel Hesterman's analysis of this subject is accurate and timely. She provides a fresh look at the criminal/terrorist nexus and by examining corporate trends, provides unique insights into funding aspects of both activities. This important subject matter is ripe for further policy and substantive analytical focus. Analysts and policy makers alike can use her study's conclusions and recommendations in their efforts to protect our nation against this vexing threat. [Jennifer L. Hesterman / 2005 / 96 pages ISBN: 158566-139-2 / AU Press Code: P-8]