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Volume 31, Issue 3, Fall 2017

  • Published
  • Air & Space Power Journal, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

Feature Articles

The Threat Environment Demands Nuclear Weapons Modernization
The Threat Environment Demands Nuclear Weapons: Modernization

Dr. Adam Lowther / Michaela Dodge 

This article examines the need to understand technological developments of the United States’ nuclear competitors as President Donald J. Trump’s administration develops the next Nuclear Posture Review. Some of these competitors are well ahead of the United States in their modernization programs, which means that simply fielding new delivery vehicles with the same warheads may be insufficient to deter them effectively.

Transforming Future Air Force Leaders of Tomorrow: A Path to Authentic Transformational Leadership
Transforming Future Air Force Leaders of Tomorrow: A Path to Authentic Transformational Leadership

Dr. Fil J. Arenas / Dr. Jennifer Tucker / Dr. Daniel A. Connelly
This study evaluates the significant transformational leadership growth of Air Force captains (and DOD civilian equivalents) while attending Squadron Officer School (SOS) at Air University. A population sample of 7,590 students (6,113 men, 1,477 women) from annual year (AY) 14 and AY15 classes completed the leadership development survey developed at SOS.

Assessing ISR
Assessing ISR: Effectively Measuring Effectiveness

Capt Brian A. Hill, USAF
Assessing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) effectiveness is essential to ensure Air Force intelligence provides the decision advantage critical to effective operations. However, while we are very good at assessing performance; we assess effectiveness poorly.

Airpower against the Taliban: Systems of Denial
Airpower against the Taliban: Systems of Denial

Col Jon C. Wilkinson, USAF / Dr. Andrew Hill
The US Air Force (USAF) has gradually narrowed its theory of airpower into a “Cult of the Conventional” thinking that focuses on the most dangerous, high-end specialization that is ill-suited for airpower’s most likely applications—low-intensity, irregular, population-centric conflicts. This has created areas of vulnerability, dysfunction, and strategic risk.

The Birth of American Airpower in World War I
The Birth of American Airpower in World War I: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the US Entry into the "Great War"

Dr. Bert Frandsen
This article argues that the birth of American airpower took place during World War I and examines the contributions of the three key architects of US airpower: Raynal Bolling, Benjamin Foulois, and Billy Mitchell. These fathers of American airpower helped create a combat aviation arm on par with the other branches of the Army.


Capt Jeffrey C. Copeland, USAF
Formulaic Leadership: Ahistorical, Anachronistic, and Wrong for the Air Force

Capt Jeffrey C. Copeland, USAF
The Air Force has always loved its metrics to determine success, but too often it substitutes those metrics for success and good leadership. I argue that this devotion to metrics has infiltrated Squadron Officer School’s distinguished graduate (DG) selection process and leads us to select the next generation of senior leaders based on cold figures and not any true test of leadership qualities.

CMSgt Jose A. LugoSantiago, USAF
Creating Shared Culture in Merged Organizations

CMSgt Jose A. LugoSantiago, USAF
In the public and private sectors, mergers and centralizations have been a strategic means from which leaders have sought to maintain viability, increase growth, focus consolidated resources, and accomplish target improvements within organizational budget and revenue streams. Unfortunately, a great number of those mergers and centralizations have failed. A neglect of the newly merged entity’s culture has impeded its path to success. 

Photo Not Available
A Duty to Warn: How to Help America Fight Back against Russian Disinformation

Maj William Giannetti, USAFR
Russian acts of political warfare via cyberspace were attempts to subvert the US presidential election, according to an unclassified 2017 intelligence community assessment. Using the historical record and case studies, this article argues that the Air Force’s cyber, intelligence, and counterintelligence professionals should partner with federal agencies to create a small joint task force.


Lt Col Dillion R. Patterson, Arizona Air National Guard
Enlisted RPA Pilots: The Path to Air Mission Command

Lt Col Dillion R. Patterson, Arizona Air National Guard
Much has been written about whether the United States Air Force should utilize enlisted Airmen as pilots within the remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) enterprise. What has been missing are ideas for how it might be accomplished if this concept is fully implemented.

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