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Clausewitz The Future of the Air Power Essay

Related Topics: War Surveillance Space Drones

Pages:5 (1412 words)

Sources:4

Subject:Government

Topic:Military

Document Type:Essay

Document:#29434498


Introduction

Major wars have almost always resulted in nations and enemies trying to come up with new strategies and weapons to perform even better next time. This phenomenon has made it interesting to try and predict how future wars will be fought. Many military and conflict scholars have written theories that have attempted to predict how future wars will be fought. Perhaps the most renowned among them is Carl von Clausewitz. Carl wrote a theory that has for quite some time now been used to predict how the elements of war interact in conflicts[footnoteRef:1]. Carl also wrote a theory that attempted to explain how various elements of war are frequently changing. In the theory, Carl focused more on the changing the social elements of war and downplayed the technological ones. In this paper, my argument is that the technological advances and innovations in the airpower, cyberspace, and space industries will alter the future of war and lead to social changes, political changes, new war concepts, new war doctrines, and new rules in the utilization of airpower. [1: Mark Clodfelter, "Back from the future: The impact of change on airpower in the decades ahead." Strategic Studies Quarterly 3, no. 3 (2009): 105-6.]

The nature of war is its essence. It is what differentiates it from other human activities or undertakings. The true nature of war is that it is usually political, interactive, and violent. If an activity or undertaking is not political, interactive, and violent, then it cannot be classed as war. It is some other activity[footnoteRef:2]. The character of war is its physical and cognitive manifestation[footnoteRef:3]. War manifests itself in both the physical and the cognitive domains. According to Carl von Clausewitz, the character of war is shaped by the groups or nations in war and their political goals and objectives[footnoteRef:4]. While the conduct of war is determined by military organization, type of government, societal norms, morality, culture, ethics, laws, technology, and several other factors which change and evolve with time. [2: JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF-JCS. "Joint Operating Environment JOE 2035: The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World. US Joint Chiefs of Staff, J7, Joint Force Development [cit. 2016-07-01]." (2016).] [3: JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF-JCS. Joint Operating Environment, 1-5] [4: Clodfelter, Back from the future, 105]

The role of airpower in historic wars

Historically, airpower was initially used in a major war during the First World War. Militaries used planes particularly for surveillance and observation activities during the First World War and this helped them to quickly deal with potential threats and negate enemy activities. This made it difficult for militaries to conduct…

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…in foreign policy. [7: Clodfelter. Back from the future, 112]

When looking at how air power will be applied in the future, two important areas must be considered. First, for the USAF to carry out its core missions effectively, it must continue to improve its capabilities. Only a completely capable USAF will be able to carry out all its core missions. Second, for the USAF to continue playing a key role in the defense of the United States, it also needs to improve its more nuanced airpower capabilities[footnoteRef:8]. This is especially important because such capabilities are needed in non-conventional wars such as those being fought in areas like Afghanistan. [8: Grissom, The future of military innovation studies, 905-934]

Conclusion

As it is evident above, airpower has already changed and will further change the future of war. The core missions of the USAF include air control, ISR, air mobility, and strike. These missions and the critical systems that enable them are continuing to be enhanced through the use of technology and cyberspace. The changes are impacting the tactical and operational use of airpower. They are also changing how wars are being fought and how they will be fought in the future. For instance, new technologies in aircraft manufacture have enabled the manufacture of faster and more stealth aircraft…


Sample Source(s) Used

References

Bender, Willaim J., and William D. Bryant. Assuring the USAF core missions in the information age. Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Washington United States, 2016.

Clodfelter, Mark. "Back from the future: The impact of change on airpower in the decades ahead." Strategic Studies Quarterly 3, no. 3 (2009): 104-122.

Grissom, Adam. "The future of military innovation studies." Journal of strategic studies 29, no. 5 (2006): 905-934.

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF-JCS. "Joint Operating Environment JOE 2035: The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World. US Joint Chiefs of Staff, J7, Joint Force Development [cit. 2016-07-01]." (2016).

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