The most important branch of aviation is pursuit, which fights for and gains control of the air. — Brigadier General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell, USAS
The terms of reference for looking at the next 15 years of air power are crafted to generate a broad look and a broad debate on how the various elements of change might interact with one another shaping a new combat and presence environment.
- The first issue is very basic—is there an emerging shift from the age of Air Power to the age of joint power projection—can a new paradigm be shaped?
- America should not be prisoner of last century’s paradigm nor embrace the land warfare concept of airpower. No platform fights alone.
- How to implement the Wynne Doctrine-“If you are in a fair fight someone failed in planning” with Rules of Engagement and COIN con-ops.
- The past is not the prologue to the future. UAVs are part of the future of airpower not the future of airpower.
- Can we leverage our investments for strategic change? Is a cultural change needed to integrate 4th Gen into 5th Gen capabilities? For example are AWACS really needed?
- What is the purpose-“Armed Humanitarians” versus joint power projection?
- What does a USAF over the next two decades look like as we re-shape joint approaches and operations?
- How will U.S. and allied approaches converge or differ on the evolution of airpower?
- How will competitors such as the PRC define their approach to the future of airpower? And what might the action-reaction cycle look like in the next phase of airpower evolution?
- There will be significant development of combat air capabilities in the 2nd and 3rd world. How will this development reshape the global airpower dynamics?