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Maxwell Papers

The Maxwell Papers are the Air War College’s (AWC) selection of the best professional studies papers from its graduates. These works, meant to highlight topics of importance to senior leaders and support discussion and further investigation, demonstrate the excellent research and analytical capabilities of AWC students. The Maxwell Papers are an outstanding example of the research work done at AWC as students hone their critical thinking skills while tackling real-world problems facing the Air Force in the twenty-first century. 

  •  Enduring Attraction

    Enduring Attraction

    Lt Col Justin C. Davey, USAF
    The United States is the world’s preeminent military power due in large part to its technological superiority. This lead in innovative technology supporting national security also includes advances in new and "green" energy applications. A common ingredient enabling the production of many of these applications is a group of minerals known as rare earth elements (REE). [Lt Col Justin C. Davey, USAF / 2012 / 32 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: P-63]
  •  F-15A versus F/A-22 Initial Operational Capability

    F-15A versus F/A-22 Initial Operational Capability

    Lt Col William H. Mott V, USAF
    Because of the current security environment, the aircraft’s more than 15 years of development, and the close scrutiny of the F/A-22’s test and evaluation (T&E) program, the US Air Force needs the Raptor’s initial operational capability (IOC) status to be successful. One means of achieving this is to recognize and implement the lessons learned from America’s current air superiority fighter, the F-15 Eagle. And just perhaps the overall effect might be to challenge the US Air Force’s approach to major weapons-system development. This paper provides background information on both aircraft, their T&E processes, and their first operational assignments to Langley AFB. Comparisons are made, differences highlighted, and recommendations offered. While it may appear that everything about the F/A-22 is new, the path to its IOC is well worn. In addition, the author identifies specific recommendations that could improve the IOC of new weapons systems. [Lt Col William H. Mott V, USAF/ 2005 / 46 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-36]
  •  Flying and Fighting in Cyberspace

    Flying and Fighting in Cyberspace

    Sebastian M. Convertino
    On 5 December 2005, the Air Force expanded its mission to include a new domain of war fighting: “to fly and fight in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.” When the Air Force claimed cyberspace as part of its mission, it not only acknowledged the changing terrain of conflict and a shift in tactics of would-be adversaries but also surprised many in uniform who wondered what the move implied. By changing its mission statement, the Air Force sparked considerable debate on the extent to which cyberspace would dominate roles, missions, and the budget. To organize for this task, the Air Force established a new operational command for cyberspace on 6 September 2006, designating Eighth Air Force as the new Cyber Command. [Sebastian M. Convertino / 2007 / 91 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-40]
  •  Ground-Aided Precision Strike

    Ground-Aided Precision Strike

    Lt Col Eric E. Theisen, USAF
    The advent of near-precision weapons, particularly the joint direct attack munition (JDAM)—combined with the flexibility of the heavy bomber—offers the combined/joint force air component commander a new tool to utilize for close air support (CAS) operations. However, Col Theisen asserts that this mission goes beyond the support of forces on the ground and should be classified as a new mission, with heavy precise firepower being the maneuver element in the sky, supported by small groups of forces on the ground. Does the coordination between heavy bombers and terminal attack controllers along with employment of nearprecision weapons constitute a new mission for the United States Air Force? He proposes calling this mission ground-aided precision strike. [Lt Col Eric E. Theisen, USAF / 2003 / 34 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-31]
  •  Growing the Space Industrial Base

    Growing the Space Industrial Base

    Robert L. Butterworth
    The Defense Department has long hoped that its needs for space products and services could be supplied by an industrial base that is sustained by commercial sales. That day has not yet arrived, despite years of targeted purchases, investments, and acquisition reform. The beacons of the past decade’s policy—competition and technology investment— cannot bring it to pass. A more promising approach is found in a strategic outlook on research, development, and procurement. Such an approach probably cannot be sustained, but working toward it would reduce the incidence of counterproductive policies. Future programs are likely to achieve innovation and cost control in the same way that past programs did—through active government participation and managed competition. [Robert L. Butterworth / 2000 / 34 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-23]
  •  Impact of Foreign Ownership on the Civil Reserve Air Fleet

    Impact of Foreign Ownership on the Civil Reserve Air Fleet

    Lt Col Donald M. Schauber Jr., USAF
    Since the beginning of manned flight, the movement of personnel and equipment by air has been critical to US national security. This realization led to the establishment of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) in 1951 to augment the military airlift fleet in times of national emergency. In the 56 years following its inception, the CRAF has proven itself numerous times as a critical enabler to US military strategy. Recent changes within the military and trends toward a globalized economy have placed the Department of Defense and US airlines on diverging paths. The purpose of this paper is to examine these changes and their possible impact on US national security. Following a basic overview of the CRAF and its criticality, the paper examines the conflict of interest between the national economy and national security regarding the push to liberalize airline ownership and control. The paper concludes by examining possible options and recommendations that help address these concerns to ensure that the CRAF program remains a viable and integral part of the US military capability. [Lt Col Donald M. Schauber Jr., USAF / 2008 / 36 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-42]
  •  Integrating Joint Operations Beyond the FSCL

    Integrating Joint Operations Beyond the FSCL

    Lieutenant Colonel Dewayne P. Hall, USA
    This detailed study examines the doctrinal issues concerning combat operations in that portion of the battle space beyond the fire support coordination line (FSCL). The author, Lt Col Dewayne P. Hall, US Army, makes a strong case that lessons learned from Operation Desert Storm (ODS) illustrate a lack of consensus on who is responsible for the integrated employment of combat power beyond the FSCL. This lack of consensus divides rather than integrates US combat operations. The study does an excellent job of defining the problem. It includes a comprehensive and useful summary of present terminology and doctrinal differences between the services. It then provides an assessment of the basic guidelines, terminology, and control measures, and offers detailed doctrinal, definitional, and organization recommendations to resolve the problems. The author makes an argument that placing the FSCL at the political border prior to the allied ground offensive of ODS was detrimental to the overall effort because it impeded deep operations. [Lieutenant Colonel Dewayne P. Hall, USA / 1997 / 39 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-12]
  •  Integration of Weaponized Unmanned Aircraft into the Air-to-Ground System

    Integration of Weaponized Unmanned Aircraft into the Air-to-Ground System

    Col David B. Hume, USAF
    Unmanned aircraft (UA) have changed the nature of war­fare. Their persistence, economy, and utility make them indispensable on the battlefield, but the lines between the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and ground attack missions of the UA are now blurred. Within the Air Force, the MQ-1 Predator does not fit seamlessly into the armed reconnaissance role. The ways ISR and ground attack assets are doctrinally resourced, tasked, and flown in support of requirements conflict with each other. The command and control (C2) structure of the theater air control system/Army air-ground system (TACS/AAGS) is not optimized to support the integration of UA operations required in tomorrow’s battlespace. The Army is fielding the weaponized Warrior UA system, which crosses service lines into what is traditionally and clearly an Air Force mis­sion. This study examines the issues of integrating weapon­ized UAs into the future battlespace from the standpoint of doctrine, operational concepts, and roles and missions. To address the disconnects in UA missions and systems, the Air Force must treat weaponized UAs like close air support and merge the Predator and Warrior requirements. [Col David B. Hume, USAF / 2007 / 44 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-41]
  •  Iran’s Strategic Culture and Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Iran’s Strategic Culture and Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Anthony C. Cain
    In this study, Lt Col Anthony C. Cain, PhD, analyzes the relationship between Iran’s strategic culture and weapons of mass destruction. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, foreign policy experts in the West had trouble comprehending the cleric’s politicized Shi’i ideology and reacted with alarm when Khomeini, energized by the revolution’s success, acted to export his ideology to other communities in the Middle East—sponsoring terrorism, if necessary, to combat regimes that supported US policies and interests. Consequently, the United States focused on containing Iran until the regime changed enough to allow for less ideologically charged dialogue to occur on the one hand while, at times, pursuing active measures to overthrow the revolutionary regime on the other. This range of policies resulted in economic sanctions and an arms embargo against Khomeini’s Islamic republic. Moreover, when war broke out be-tween Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the United States opportunistically backed the Iraqi dictator in the hope that a military defeat would usher in moderate leaders in Tehran. At times the relationship flared into military confrontation. US forces bombed Iranian targets in the Persian Gulf, and Iranian leaders launched missile attacks against shipping in the same waters. Beneath the surface of Middle Eastern power politics, Iran became a touch-stone for religiously charged revolutionary movements across the Middle East. Perhaps the low point for US-Iranian relations occurred on 3 July 1988 when a US Navy Aegis cruiser shot down an Iranian Airbus, killing all 290 passengers aboard. [Anthony C. Cain / 2002 / 39 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-26]
  •  Leading Air Mobility Operations in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

    Leading Air Mobility Operations in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

    Lieutenant Colonel Eileen M. Isola, USAF
    In the last dozen years we have seen a tremendous increase in US participation in and leadership of complex humanitarian emergencies (CHE). Given the breadth and depth of challenges facing each mission, these operations are always complex in tactical and operational execution. But, of even greater import, is the unwavering requirement for our war fighters to truly understand the highly strategic nature of CHEs and just how complex they really are when even the most seemingly insignificant tactical task can have global consequences and hugely complicating impacts on US national objectives. Our joint and service doctrine has come a long way in the last decade toward providing a training foundation for war fighters tasked with leading these operations. However, we can and should do more to educate those who will and do lead CHEs on not only what makes CHEs so strategically complex but also on the crosscutting tasks that will go a long way toward achieving political and mission success. A huge portion of the military burden in support of these operations falls on the shoulders of the Mobility Air Forces (MAF). Lt Col Eileen M. Isola’s Leading Air Mobility Operations in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies provides just such an educational foundation for MAF war fighters charged with leading CHEs. [Lieutenant Colonel Eileen M. Isola, USAF / 2002 / 30 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: MP-28]
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