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AU Research Articles

  • Assuring the USAF Core Missions in the Information Age

    As we progress from the industrial age to the information age, the US Air Force must come to terms with defending our nation by executing its core missions in and through the cyberspace domain. The ubiquitous nature of cyberspace (which goes beyond networks and laptops and is now surging into aircraft, satellites, trucks, and ICBMs), as well as its
  • Command and Control of Joint Air Operations through Mission Command

    To command and control (C2) joint air operations effectively in a contested and degraded environment, the US Air Force and joint community must instill the concepts and principles of mission command in their culture. To do so, operational- and tactical-level commanders should build a vital foundation of trust. The operational-level commanders have
  • Conventional Arms and Nuclear Peace

    What many in the arms control community fail to appreciate, understand, or adequately analyze is how conventional force imbalances play into a state’s security dilemma. Conventional arms imbalances generally— and US conventional military superiority specifically—are as much potential drivers of nuclear proliferation and geostrategic instability as
  • INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO JOINT TARGETING IN THE A2/AD ENVIRONMENT

    According to the Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC) published by the United States Department of Defense in 2012, “Events of recent decades have demonstrated the decisive results U.S. joint forces can achieve when allowed to flow combat power into an operational area unimpeded...and U.S. operational access during that period was essentially
  • It is still 3 minutes to midnight

      The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by Iran and six world powers has the potential to advance dramatically nuclear disarmament efforts in the Middle East and serve as a precedent for global disarmament, if all parties adhere to its terms. The 2015 Paris Climate Conference agreement brought together
  • MOVEMENT AND MANEUVER IN DEEP SPACE: A Framework to Leverage Advanced Propulsion

    Abstract: This analytical study looks at the importance of Deep Space Operations and recommends an approach for senior policy leaders. Section 1 presents a capability requirements definition with candidate solutions and technology strategies. Section 2 recommends an acquisition and organizational approach. Section 3 provides an extended strategic
  • Nuclear Deterrence in Cyber-ia: Challenges and Controversies

    Although nuclear and cyber issues might seem to belong in separate compartments, current US military activity and prospective challenges suggest that “nuclear” and “cyber” topics may achieve certain congruities. For its success, nuclear deterrence requires secure networks for the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence,
  • Nuclear Proliferation in the Twenty-First Century: Realism, Rationality, or Uncertainty?

    Whether the spread of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century should be feared or welcomed has been the subject of considerable debate. Much of this debate presumes the explanatory and predictive power of realist international system theories (realism) and rational deterrence theory (rational deterrence). Although these bodies of thought offer
  • PREPARING FOR THE NEXT SPACE RACE: Legislation and Policy Recommendations for Space Colonies

    Abstract: This paper discusses the ambitions of the commercial space industry to build habitats in order to colonize space. It also discusses why space colonization is important to humanity. It then turns to the current international law framework to study if space colonization is legal. Next it looks at what legislation and policy the United
  • Revitalize the Squadron

    While building the next generation vision for what squadrons should look like CSAF, Gen David Goldfein assembles a team of Air Force generals to forumulate the 21st Century Squadron.   “I believe that it is the squadron level where we succeed or fail as an Air Force,” Goldfein said. “It’s where our culture resides. It’s where airmen are developed,
  • Space Force to Become Sixth Branch of Armed Forces

    The United States Space Force would be the sixth branch of the armed services and the Defense Department will release a report outlining the steps needed to make the new branch a reality, Vice President Mike Pence announced at the Pentagon.
  • Strategic Flexibility to Deter in the Asia-Pacific

    Rather than a pre–Cold War model of bilateral defense agreements supported by relatively large footprints of permanent forward military presence, a US defense posture favoring strategic flexibility should act as a greater deterrent to regional actors by reducing predictability and providing political leaders a greater range of responsive options. 
  • The Best Aircraft for Close Air Support in the Twenty-First Century

    Senior Air Force officials have announced that retiring the A-10 will save $4.2 billion and will justify spending nearly $400 billion on the F-35 program. The F-35, the Department of Defense's newest multirole fighter, is being groomed to replace legacy fighter aircraft, including the A-10. Designed as a dedicated air-to-ground platform, the A-10
  • THE CASE FOR SPACE: A LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR AN INDEPENDENT UNITED STATES SPACE FORCE

    This paper examines the USAF role in managing space and makes recommendations for the future of space in the United States military. Though it echoes specific recommendations made elsewhere by previous authors, the main purpose of this paper is to consider a legislative framework required to sever space from Air Force oversight, and to establish a
  • The Labor Pool Model: Effectively Managing Aircrew in Today’s Air Force

    Our Air Force is under tremendous manpower pressures, especially regarding our combat aircrew. Deployments are at an all time high. Pilot training units are graduating many new pilots that units must absorb. Since flying training units (FTU) must train these pilots, less programmed flying training (PFT) is available for critically needed instructor
  • The war you can’t see: U.S. cyber warriors protect us from daily attacks

    On any given day, the Defense Information Systems Agency contends day with 800 million cyber incidents “that threaten the network,” said Lt. Col. James Brindle, a Pentagon spokesman. In an inner layer of cyber defense, the Air Force blocked 1.3 billion “malicious” cyber intrusions last year alone, said Lt. Col. Mark Reith, CCR director at the Air
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