Æther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower & Spacepower


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Aether Podcast

Clausewitz in Space: Friction in Space Strategy and Operations
In Episode 8 of the Æther podcast, we visit with Dr. Peter Layton, author of “Systemizing Supply Chain Warfare” in our Summer 2023 issue. Dr. Layton discusses twentieth-century airpower theories as they relate to contemporary supply chains, which he characterizes as restricted complexity systems. We talk about his proposal for supply chain warfare, including leveraging elements of a supply chain system against itself, additive manufacturing on the front line, wargaming, and the assistance of AI and machine learning.
In our 7th episode, we visit with Major Joshua Dryden about his Æther Spring 2023 article, “Iran, Israel, and the Struggle for the Skies over the Middle East.” Major Dryden discusses his research on the evolution of Israeli and Iranian airpower strategy and capability since the early 2000s, the Israeli concept of MABAM, or “campaign between wars,” and the efficacy of this strategy and of airpower writ large in the struggle for air dominance in the region.
In Episode 6 of the podcast, we visit with Dr. Kelly Atkinson about her article in our spring 2023 issue, "Mission Injury: The Force after Afghanistan." She discusses the notion of mission injury--related to but separate from moral injury--which engages feminist critical theory in considering servicemembers' mental and emotional well-being in the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Interview with General Ron Fogleman, USAF, retired on John Andreas Olson's edited volume, Airpower Pioneers: From Billy Mitchell to Dave Deptula.
In our 4th episode, we visit with Dr. Bradley Podliska about his recently published book, "Fire Alarm: The Investigation of the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi. Dr. Podliska, a professor at Air University's Air Command and Staff College, served as committee staff for the investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack on USG facilities in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans, including the ambassador, were murdered.
Join us as we visit with Major Tom Burks, USAF, about his Fall 2022 article, "Military Necessity: Policy-Capability Tensions." He argues conducting cyberspace operations outside of armed conflict but consistent with LOAC principles limits USCYBERCOM to a best-tool approach to national security. Reframing conflict as strategic competition restores military necessity’s flexibility.
On September 29, 2022, we visited with Dr. Anna Batta of Air War College and Dr. Ginta Palubinskas of West Virginia State University and author of "NATO at 70: Peace in a Changing Security Environment," in our Summer 2022 issue, about Russia's war against Ukraine, the mood in Hungary and Lithuania this summer, and implications for NATO, Europe, and the world.
The first Episode of Æther: The Podcast features Dr. Chris Cain, the first editor of Strategic Studies Quarterly, discussing the inaugural issue of Æther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower & Spacepower.

Review & Reply

The journal encourages thoughtful debate in the form of scholarly feedback to our articles. For publication consideration, reviews/commentaries on our articles must range between 1,000 and 2,000 words, be appropriately footnoted (narrative footnotes are not permitted), and upon acceptance, will be sent to the article author for an opportunity to respond to the critique. Once finalized, the resulting review and reply will be featured in an upcoming journal issue.


  • Letter from the Editor

    Letter introducing Æther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower & Spacepower, Volume 2, Number 3, Fall 2023

  • Foreword
    CMSAF JoAnne S. Bass

    The USAF has only recently begun to address moral injury from an institutional standpoint. This special issue can be a starting point for discussions about moral injury in the squadron, among peers, and within families.

Battlefield Perspectives

  • A Conversation about Moral Injury
    Dave Lewis and Paul Nelson

    Retired US Air Force colonels Dave Lewis and Dr. Paul Nelson discuss moral injury from the perspectives of their active duty experiences and their current work with veterans.

  • Clear the Beds
    David Nordel

    Chief Master Sergeant David Nordel, USAF, Retired, shares his moral injury experience in Iraq as an RN and offers recommendations for healing and resiliency.

  • An Anthem of the Long War: Recollection, Learning, and Looking Ahead
    Dave Blair

    Warfighters must consider the way the character of war changes, the nature of sacrifice, the foundations of the military profession, and the relationship between killing and identity as they prepare for the next fight.

With Us from the Start

  • Living with Killing: WWII US Bomber Crews
    Heather P. Venable

    An analysis of Dave Grossman’s five factors of the likelihood of killing finds World War II bomber crews experienced significant psychological trauma, including moral injury.

Terms of Reference

  • Moral Injury: Wrestling with Definitions and Conceptual Drift
    Tim Hoyt

    Establishing some degree of consensus on key clinical elements that support the notion of moral injury is critical as research on moral injury continues to investigate treatment options and address its root causes.

  • Marooning Moral Injury: An Ethical Inquiry
    Erika Ann Jeschke

    The negative implications of multidisciplinary research reveals that moral injury holds no enduring value as a clinical diagnosis. Yet interdisciplinary research could explore communal healing rituals to engage the broader community in moral healing from war.

Implications for the Warfighter

  • Conceptualizations of War and Moral Injury: Implications for Commanders and Therapists
    Daniel A. Connelly

    When we perceive or characterize war as entirely evil or as outside morality, as in the case with amoral realism and pacifism, we deny its legitimacy as a tool of good statecraft, in turn creating challenges for psychological and spiritual care providers and commanders.

  • Moral Injury and Suicide Risk
    Mary L. Bartlett and Nicole M. Schmitz

    The interpersonal theory of suicide can assist the military as it develops mechanisms to address the effect of moral injury on suicidal ideation among the active duty and veteran populations.

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