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Air Force Research Institute Papers

Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) Papers are written by Air Force researchers at large and military defense analysts assigned to the Air Force Research Institute, Air University, and beyond. The purpose of the AFRI Papers is to provide useful ideas and independent analysis of issues of current or potential importance to Air Force commanders and their staffs.

  •  Taking the Lead: Russia, the United States, and Nuclear Nonproliferation

    Taking the Lead: Russia, the United States, and Nuclear Nonproliferation

    Stephen Cimbala, PhD
    Dr. Stephen Cimbala, distinguished professor and author of numerous books and articles on national security issues, seeks to reestablish relations on nuclear arms control between the United States and Russia. He reviews arms control history to illustrate the complexities of building agreements that will satisfy both sides and makes the point that more than just good relations between the former Cold War rivals is at stake. Cimbala suggests that only when Russia and the United States reach agreement on nuclear weapons can the case for controlled nonproliferation among the other nuclear powers proceed. [Stephen Cimbala, PhD/2008/35 pages/AP-7]
  •  The Airpower Advantage in Future Warfare: The Need for Strategy

    The Airpower Advantage in Future Warfare: The Need for Strategy

    Colin S Gray
    The purpose of the study is to contribute to some reduction in America’s strategy deficit; a common and serious error is the belief that airpower theory is uniquely immature and contested. Dr. Gray argues that the United States needs a theory of war and warfare. His book also advises a frank recognition of airpower’s situational limitations as well as some important factors that detract from airpower’s effectiveness. He asserts that future warfare will be diverse and that the tactical, operational, and strategic value of airpower must always be situational. [Colin S Gray/2007/55 pages/AP-2
  •  The Next-Generation Expeditionary Air Force

    The Next-Generation Expeditionary Air Force

    Jeffrey Hukill, Kristal Alfonso, Scott Johnson, and John Conway
    On 20 November 2008, the CSAF tasked the Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) to determine if the current expeditionary air and space forces (EAF) construct is engineered to deal with current and future challenges facing the Air Force.* Specific elements for research were the need to meet the demands across the range of military operations, presentation of forces to combatant commanders (CCDR), appropriate flexibility and sustainability, continuity of leadership, and teaming of deployed forces. In this study, we discuss five issues for change, and our recommendations provide the framework needed to produce the project’s desired end state of a measurable and sustainable expeditionary process that meets combatant commanders’ equirements across the range of military operations. [Jeffrey Hukill, Kristal Alfonso, Scott Johnson, and John Conway/2012/49 pages/AP-87]
  •  Understanding Airpower: Bonfire of the Fallacies

    Understanding Airpower: Bonfire of the Fallacies

    Colin S. Gray
    The general purpose of this monograph is to help prevent or reduce error in debates over all aspects of airpower. Since we humans, our institutions and procedures, and our behavior are friction prone and apt to err, it is sensible to try to diminish the pile of assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions that are plainly wrong. Much of the eternal debate on defense issues cannot usefully be approached with a view to locating error. But, large swathes of frequently contested debating terrain can be cleared definitively. As a scholar it is my duty to “recognize and eliminate the weeds” of falsehood to which Clausewitz referred in one of the epigraphs to this text. This study examines and exposes nine fallacies. [Colin S. Gray/2009/39 pages/P-66]
  •  USAF Centralized Control and Decentralized Execution: A Catchphrase in Crisis

    USAF Centralized Control and Decentralized Execution: A Catchphrase in Crisis

    Lt Col Clint Hinote
    Lieutenant Colonel Hinote applies the Air Force tenet of centralization versus decentralization to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and suggests that the urgent need for improved communication between air and ground forces. Relying on the teaching of the theoretician B. H. Liddell Hart, who emphasized the role of compromise in combat, Hinote sees communication between air and ground forces as a necessity. [Lt Col Clint Hinote/2009/95 pages/AP-67]
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