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Drew Papers

The Drew Papers are award-winning master’s theses selected for publication by the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Maxwell AFB, Alabama. This series of papers commemorates the distinguished career of Col Dennis “Denny” Drew, USAF, retired. 

ImageTitleDescription
 A US Air Force Strategy for AfricaThis groundbreaking study offers a thorough analysis of the context for USAF strategy making in Africa, followed by a synthesis of what that strategy might look like. The study concludes that a viable Air Force strategy in Africa is properly based on modest “ends” that reflect US national interests on the continent that are themselves limited in scope. Spaven proposes that “only by accepting the risk of stepping beyond tactical and operational thinking can the Air Force do great things for the poorest of continents.” Major Spaven’s thesis was the recipient of the Airlift/Tanker Association’s 2008 “Global Reach” Award. [Paul F. Spaven / 2009, 116 pages / ISBN: 978-1-59566-198-2 / AU Press Code: p-73]
 Air Superiority at Red FlagOriginally written as a master’s thesis, Lieutenant Colonel Locke’s Air Superiority at Red Flag relies on data compiled from 299 Red Flag missions to illuminate the role of air superiority. His provocative and well-written study shows a distinct correlation between attrition rates and force ratios. He concludes that despite the role of mass, evolving technology produced the “only observable change in the kill ratio.” [Lt Col Joseph W. Locke, USAF / 2009 / 200 pages / ISBN: 978-1-59566-201-2 / AU Press Code: P-75]
 Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting TheoryCyber targeting and associated doctrine should be the center of Air Force cyber strategy and its plans to organize, train, and equip a force for full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Understanding what targets cyber operations can affect is critical to deliberate planning or crisis planning. This paper attempts to draw parallels to early airpower targeting principles in order to propose a cyber-power targeting theory based on offense, defense, and exploitation objectives. It draws upon limited artifacts inherent to wielding cyber power—attribution, authorities, and centers of gravity—and acknowledges their impacts upon leaders and practitioners of cyber power. In addition to focusing on the adversary, the theory is intended to cause introspection toward the end of identifying potential Air Force and national security vulnerabilities in, through, and from cyberspace. [Steven J. Anderson / 2016 / 169 pages / ISBN: 9781585662388 / AU Press Code: DP-23]
 All the Missiles WorkInnovation has always clashed with entrenched bureaucracies and tradition, creating a tension that weaves itself through the fabric of US military history. With his concept of technological dislocation, the author examines factors that can dislocate the predicted evolutionary pathway of established or emerging technologies and steer them in new directions. Colonel Fino shows how a commitment to existing technologies and a fascination with the promise of new ones often complicate an institution’s ability to recognize and adapt to an evolving strategic environment. This study provides today’s leaders and strategists much-needed insights into how to bring about change and create advantage in the swirling complexity of modern technology and bureaucracy. [Lt Col Steven A. Fino, USAF / 2015 / 169 pages ISBN: 978-1-58566-248-7 / AU Press Code: P-108]
 At the Fulcrum of Air Force IdentityThis paper explores the roots of the Air Force's identity problems to explain why many previous leadership-driven identity initiatives—bits of sizzle in the form of a shiny logo, fresh motto, or revamped uniform—have been so startlingly unsuccessful. It concludes that senior Air Force leaders have failed, in part, because of their disregard for the powerful roles that organizational cultures play in the day-to-day lives of the average Airman. In the end, a leader will be truly successful only by discovering and communicating an emergent sense of Airman culture that resonates throughout the rank and file and inspires Airmen with a clear and compelling “why.” [Lt Col Jonathan Riley, USAF / 2014 / 97 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-229-6 / AU Press Code: P-101]
 Balancing on the PivotThe United States has used primacy as its grand strategy for some time now. While this strategy has ensured US hegemony, it has also fiscally drained American power and left the United States with a poor global standing. As such, rethinking US grand strategy should be considered in order to maintain its relative position in the twenty-first century. The United States is poised to pivot east, to meet the demands of China as a rising challenger. The question I raise here is how viable would an alternative grand strategy in Asia be? There is considerable enthusiasm in some corners of the policymaking world for the United States to return to a balancing strategy in Asia. Formerly known as offshore balancing, the strategy aims to conserve American power as it deals with the challenges of a rising China. One important, albeit overlooked element of offshore balancing is: Who plays the role of the balancer? This thesis seeks to answer that question. [Lt Col Reginald J. McClam, USMC / 2016 / 107 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-257-9 / AU Press Code: P-110]
 Blunting the SpearAnalysis of Air Force rated officer retention data, interviews with squadron commanders, and surveys of pilots from the fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft communities highlight the need for more focused retention methods. The surveyed communities reported different contextual definitions of key retention variables. Failure to negotiate these disparities at key points throughout an officer’s career will lead to decreased retention of the best, regardless of monetary payout incentives. The author proposes methods the Air Force can use to address retention contextually from the Air Force level to individual major weapons system communities. [Lt Col Brian T. Stahl, USAF / 2015 / 177 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-237-1 / AU Press Code: P-99]
 Casting Net AssessmentIn government service, Andrew Marshall has projected and sustained influence in defense policy circles while serving eight presidents and 13 defense secretaries. Yet he remains an enigma to all but his closest associates. This paper attempts to answer the central and compelling question, who is Andy Marshall? Marshall’s formative ideas about the practice of net assessment and his unique understanding of organizational behavior provide him a kaleidoscopic and masterful understanding of strategy. The story of Marshall’s journey, of his growth and maturation as a strategist, is the focus of this biography. [Lt Col John M. Schutte USAF / 2015 / 114 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-240-1 / AU Press Code: 104]
 Complex Adaptive Systems and the Development of Force Structures for the United States Air ForceForce-structure analysis is critical to the process of planning, programming, and acquiring the military means to provide for national security and to shape the strategic environment. The author presents a theory of complex adaptive systems and demonstrates that force structures are examples of such systems. He then argues that the prevailing paradigm of the force-structure-analysis community in the United States Air Force is inconsistent with this reality. Recommendations identify low-cost opportunities with the potential for significant long-term effects in aligning the force-structure-analysis paradigm with the fact that force structures are complex adaptive systems. [Lt Col Eric M. Murphy, USAF / 2015 / 125 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-239-5 / AU Press Code: P-103]
 Culture WarsThis work studies American civil-military relations at the level of an individual military service and considers the impact of the Air Force’s organizational culture on its civil-military relationship. Whereas most of the literature on civil-military relations treats the military as a unitary actor, this study considers the services as separate entities with unique self-interests. [Lt Col Jeffrey W. Donnithorne, USAF / 2013 / 123 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-225-8 / AU Press Code: P-92]
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