Two perspectives on air power and insurgency

2008-03-19

in Bombs and rockets, Law, Politics, Security

These two articles provide contrasting views on the use of air power by coalition forces in insurgency situations, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq:

The first is much more personal, written by a woman who spent months living with soldiers in the Afghan valley where the campaign is ongoing. It does a good job of capturing the chaos and violence being endured by coalition soldiers, as well as the psychological toll of doing so. The second is more removed and – unsurprisingly – more straightforwardly critical.

Both do a good job of setting up questions about how to ethically, legally, and effectively use air power when fighting insurgent wars. At the end, it’s pretty clear that no unproblematically ‘good’ answers to them exist.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 17, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Another even more critical piece:

Tomgram: Philip K. Dick Meet George W. Bush

Milan March 22, 2008 at 1:15 am

In 2006, there were 1,770 airstrikes in Afghanistan – according to The Globe and Mail. In Iraq, there were only 229.

In 2007, the Afghan figure was 2,764 compared to 1,140 in Iraq.

This excludes strikes by helicopter gunships.

. April 8, 2008 at 12:57 pm

The state of NATO
A ray of light in the dark defile

Indeed, a recent report overseen by General James Jones, formerly NATO’s supreme military commander, declares: “Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan.” Failure, the report says, will “put in grave jeopardy NATO’s future as a credible, cohesive and relevant military alliance”.

. May 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm

And a phonetic pronunciation key gave every soldier the ability to ask, in Arabic, the question that might save his life: Weh-nil kun-boo-leh? Where is the bomb?

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