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Air & Space Power Journal

Volume 04, Issue 2, Summer 2013

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Counterinsurgency Is Dead: What Else?

Rémy M. Mauduit
Combat is winding down in Afghanistan, and—as in Iraq—serious questions have arisen about the value and intent of counterinsurgency (COIN). We remember the motto No More COINs in the 1970s after Vietnam. Today, lessons learned should tell us again that we should avoid such wars, but it is doubtful that we can do so in the future any more than we have in the past. Thus, perhaps we should now think seriously about the fundamental cause of the most prevalent form of conflict—insurgency.


Public Health Considerations of Launching Nuclear Waste to the Sun

Murray R. Berkowitz, DO, MA, MS, MPH
This article addresses the public health aspects of disposing of radioactive nuclear waste by launching it to the sun. The environmental and ecological problems that have occurred since British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April 2010 have prompted discussions about finding alternative energy sources. On 11 May 2010, Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) introduced legislation (the American Power Act) “to secure the energy future of the United States, to provide incentives for the domestic production of clean energy technology, [and] to achieve meaningful pollution reductions.”

Defense Diplomacy and the Arab Spring
New Ventures and the French Presence in the Persian Gulf

Maj Anne de Luca, PhD, French Air Force
The year 2011 was marked by a wave of Arab Springs that collapsed several regimes. Western countries did not anticipate this “black swan” and now have to revise their thinking about the Middle East. These forces, encouraged by different sources of popular support, have transformed a society once considered fossilized. Because of these uprisings, which are shaking Arab governments, the French presence in this region undoubtedly takes on a new dimension. Particularly well established in the Arab world, France must now reposition its external policy. In this respect, the defensive diplomacy that it has used in the Persian Gulf deserves reexamination.

Poor Scapegoats
Moving beyond Radical Islam, Modernization, and Authoritarian Rule as the Root Causes of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa

Tiffiany O. Howard, PhD
The Middle East and the states that comprise the Maghreb have been plagued by enduring hostilities for the past 50 years. With the end of the Cold War, the region hosted some of the bloodiest and most protracted wars in the world - namely, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two wars in Iraq (1991 and 2003), the civil war in Yemen (1994), the struggle in Lebanon (2007), and the war between Iraq and Iran (1980-88), one of the deadliest interstate actions on record. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a known conflict zone rife with internal and regional struggles, is also the site of some of the most lethal terror networks and attacks in the world. Thus, the prevalence of violence in the region has made the Middle East and the Maghreb the focal point for a great deal of research in political science.

A Call for a New Counterinsurgency Theory

CDR Sidney Ellington, USN, Retired
On 19 December 2011, the last vehicle convoy of American troops and equipment withdrew from Iraq to Kuwait, bringing an end to almost nine years of war. As promised by President Barack Obama in the fall, all US Soldiers would be home by Christmas. In contrast to the return of troops from the region 20 years earlier, following the first Gulf War, these returning combat veterans enjoyed no ticker-tape parades or over-the-top fanfare back in the United States. In fact, the last departing Soldiers didn’t even have “time for goodbyes to Iraqis with whom they had become acquainted” since details of the departure convoy remained secret to minimize the likelihood of an attack from either Iraqi insurgents or “Iraqi security officers aligned with militias.”

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