/ Published September 17, 2021
Seventy-five years ago in June 1946, the US Army Air Forces awarded Boeing a contract to build the XB-52, the world’s first intercontinental bomber. After several modifications, the Air Force, satisfied with the design, ordered 13 B-52As in 1952.
Flying unmanned aircraft presents multiple challenges to safe and effective flight operations, including relying on a vulnerable data link. As militaries expand applications of unmanned technologies, several lessons learned at the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force may prove instructive as the Air Force works to improve data-link assurance and consider cost-effective system automation.
The United States must define information warfare in a way that empowers a doctrinal framework for thinking, communicating, planning, and acting within the information environment while organizing to meet the threat. This article provides a new theory for conceptualizing information warfare, informing how the United States defends itself while pursuing national interests within the information environment.
Countries transitioning from Russian-produced to US-produced defense systems often fall under even greater Russian influence during this period of transition. The United States can counter this influence through security assistance mechanisms such as leveraging existing Allied and partner maintenance capabilities, working with existing US partnership efforts, and improving the FMS Total Package Approach.
The introduction of automated satellite control systems into a space-mission environment historically dominated by human-in-the-loop operations will require a more focused understanding of cybersecurity measures to ensure space system safety and security. It is no longer a matter of whether automation will be introduced to satellite operations, but how quickly satellite operators can adapt to the onset of control automation and promote cybersecurity in an increasingly competitive, contested, and congested space domain.
Emerging technological advances have provided multiple nonlethal options to deter, deny, and incapacitate threats posed by new adversaries and changing strategic implications. Directed-energy-weapon (DEW) options demonstrate, via an escalation of force from nonlethal to lethal, a direct targeting capability with a high likelihood of low collateral damage and reduced risk of civilian casualties.
The union of technical and operational expertise within an officer is a role for which uniformed scientists and engineers are educated and professionally developed. Empowering these officers will ensure they identify and exploit technical opportunities much earlier, infuse an operational mindset in acquisition organizations, lead with a war-fighting perspective, and perpetuate and accelerate the change necessary to keep the Air Force at the forefront of technology.
This article concentrates on the likely magnitude of the mosaic warfare effect on mission success. Using a not-exactly rocket-science mathematical argument, the article suggests that this approach can, more often than not, substantially improve the chances of mission success in scenarios where traditional approaches are bound to fail.
by Thomas Wildenberg
Reviewed by Col William J. Ott, USAF, Retired
Thomas Wildenberg, an independent historian specializing in the development of naval aviation and technological innovation in the US Navy, argues Adm Joseph Mason Reeves as an unsung hero by offering Reeves’s progenitor role in the development of carrier aviation operations, tactics, and employment during the interwar years as evidence.
by Anthony M. Schinella
Reviewed by Maj Ian S. Bertram, USAF
Bombs Without Boots is a timely study of modern airpower, its ability to coerce, and its uses and shortfalls. Anthony M. Schinella, a national intelligence officer with the National Intelligence Council, brings 25 years of experience to bear while examining five post-Cold War conflicts that saw Western militaries rely heavily on airpower to achieve various objectives.
by Youssef H. Adoul-Enein and Joseph T. Stanik
Reviewed by Senior Airman Kyle K. Stiff, USAF
While Middle East 101 is touted as a beginner’s guide, it actually provides an engaging, comprehensive overview of Middle Eastern political and religious history. Beginning in southern Mesopotamia in 5,000 BC, Youssef H. Aboul-Enein and Joseph T. Stanik recount the formation of Islam, the internal and external conflicts plaguing many areas of the Middle East throughout history, and the subsequent perversion of sharia law by small groups of extremist, militant jihadis.
by Chris Petty
Reviewed by Col Jamie Sculerati, USAF, Retired
Chris Petty is a space and aviation enthusiast and author of The High Frontier blog. Beyond Blue Skies is his first major book, focused on the high-speed research aircraft programs conducted by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, later the NASA), the Air Force, and the Navy from the end of World War II and extending through the mid-1970s.
by Louise Rasmussen and Winston Sieck
Reviewed by Col Walter H. Ward Jr., USAF, Retired
Why is culture education important for everyone? Save Your Ammo is a book that provides the answer. Dr. Louise Rasmussen and Dr. Winston Sieck, founders of Global Cognition, compile an engaging, entertaining, and instructive collection of vignettes that highlight the importance of cultural savvy in global military missions.
by Matthias Strohn
Reviewed by Lt Micah Mudlaff, USAF
"So, What is Winning?" This is the question posed by Andrew Sharpe in the final chapter of Winning Wars, and it is a question that the book seeks to answer through its expansive examination of global conflicts. A collection of essays written by veterans and academics, the book synthesizes various perspectives on war fighting since antiquity.
by Greg Kennedy
Reviewed by Capt Matthew H. Ormsbee, USAF
In the midst of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) shift from wars in the Middle East with extremist groups to power struggles with near-peer adversaries, new strategic centers of gravity come into focus—chief among them, soft power. In no other way can the US retain allies and keep intact its sphere of influence over nations near to China and Russia. In this context, Defense Engagement since 1900 is an ambitious work of applied military history meant for all readers, but particularly those focusing on military and political affairs.
by Kathryn D. Sullivan
Reviewed by Kenneth P. Katz
At first glance, a spacewalk (called an extravehicular activity or EVA in the acronym-laden jargon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA]) seems cool, fun, and—after hundreds of them carried out during the past 55 years—routine. In reality, they are anything but a lark. Space is an exceptionally dangerous and harsh environment; several astronauts and cosmonauts have come much closer to perishing on EVAs than is commonly known.
by Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil
Reviewed by LCDR James M. Landreth, USN
Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer lifts the veil of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) intelligence apparatus. Richly sourced from Chinese language texts, Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil detail an unprecedented number of historical intelligence figures and foundational myths.
by Robert L. Richardson
Reviewed by LCDR Joseph A. Derie, USCG, Retired
Spying from the Sky is the story of the military career of Col William Gregory, USAF, with much of it told in his own words. It is also the story of the post-Korean War USAF and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) development of the national high-altitude strategic reconnaissance program.
by Raquel Ramsey and Tricia Aurand
Reviewed by Steven M. Guiliani
Taking Flight is the story of a young woman from Wichita, Kansas who became a part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The authors lay the foundation for her story by describing her family and their roots, a family life that played a large role in shaping her into the strong woman that she was and how this woman then embraced the growing aviation environment and went on to serve in World War II (WWII).
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