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Category: Commentary
  • The Integrated Resilience Program at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, 2019-2020

    In response to General David Goldfein’s call to fight “an adversary that is killing more of our airmen than any enemy on the planet,”1 Headquarters Air Force implemented Operation THURSDAY to address rising suicide numbers. From 1 August to 15 September 2019, this resilience tactical pause (RTP) sought to empower Airmen at the lowest level to
  • Ruthless Competition: What the Pursuit of a PlayStation 5 Teaches about Future Conflicts

    The author brings the personal experience of hectic online holiday shopping to understand the effect of strategies used in attacks against cybersecurity. Comparisons are drawn between hackers bypassing US government security and online bot mechanics used to outspeed online store reservations. Focuses include using social media to gather intelligence, the conflict of outmoded concepts of battle, and the continual rise of technological advancement to outwit human capabilities. 

  • Airpower in the Twenty-first Century: Swing- and Multi-role versus Single-role Specialist

    A hundred years after classics like the Vickers Virginia I, the Super Zeppelin L70, or the Etrich Taube, military air assets can be stealth-capable, accelerate far above the velocity of sound, and bear weapons systems reaching over the horizon. Among these technological developments are single-, multi-, and swing-role air assets. Which of these might be outdated, and which among these represents a trend or a “one-hit-wonder?”
  • The Future of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

    The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the export of China’s worst characteristics, while prompting delays and disruptions to BRI construction and investment plans. These delays risk years of planning and hundreds of billions of dollars in PRC economic diplomacy. Quarantine measures are keeping PRC workers from foreign building sites. PRC and target-country firms supplying BRI projects face acute labor shortages, and fears are growing that Chinese workers will inadvertently spread the virus to new locales. The outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan and its rapid global spread present China with a series of dilemmas in advancing the BRI.
  • Strike Back!: India–China Border Skirmish

    What factors, as the Germans say, were the Anlass (trigger) and the Ursache (underlying reason) for the breakdown of decades-long relative peace along the 3,488 km India–China LAC in the Himalayas? How should India react? And what does the Himalayan clash mean for US strategy?
  • Why Did Beijing Decide to Apply the Security Law to Hong Kong Now?

    The passage of the new Hong Kong national security law probably is the most significant political change that has taken place since Britain transferred Hong Kong to China. Therefore, it is hard to ignore the timing in which China chose to declare the new law—a time when the entire world is confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic that began in China at the end of 2019. It is also a time at which China is involved in border struggles with India, Bhutan, Russia, and others and, above all, engaged in a seemingly ever-growing struggle or impending war with the United States for global hegemony. What led China to make this dramatic move at this time?
  • Understanding and Challenging “The Digital Air Force” USAF White Paper

    This short article is an examination, constructive critique, and epilogue to “The Digital Air Force” USAF White Paper. The article characterizes the white paper in terms of where it falls in a traditional stratification of guidance documents, categorizes the white paper in terms of international relations theory and philosophy, identifies and challenges four key assumptions, and concludes by suggesting that the paper’s most important contribution is in its implied meaning for global warning intelligence.
  • On Early Air Combat in Southeast Asia: After Wingate’s Fortitude Eclipsed Mountbatten’s Folly

    Generals and admirals bring prior credibility to conferences. Insignia of rank demonstrate authority; rows of ribbons denote extensive service if not valor; and reputations for previous sound decisions (or lack thereof) may affect listeners. Some credibility, however, is enhanced by their speaking during those meetings. At Quadrant, British general Orde Wingate exemplified such impress.
  • Issues with the Integration of Space and Terrestrial Military Operations

    When was the last time the air war was in doubt for the United States? Maybe in the early days of World War II, almost 80 years ago. Since then we have produced many generations of military leaders who are far too accustomed to winning wars and doing things the good old way. Space is too new a conflict environment for lazy thinking about how to conduct decisive warfare.
  • Posse Comitatus in Space: Forging a Relationship between the US Space Force and Law Enforcement

    As the Department of Defense continues its stand up of the US Space Force (USSF), Congress must draft legislation similar to that pertaining to the USCG to allow local law enforcement agencies to use USSF assets, specifically surveillance satellites, in their investigations and reconnaissance. With the increase in commercial space operations and advancement of technology we see every day, the USSF will need the flexibility to enforce laws in space as well as help law enforcement agencies from space with its assets in place.

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