Issue 3 - 5th April, 2011



Seminar: 'Up Top': Darwin and Confrontation with Indonesia 1963-1966

by Associate Professor Brian P. Farrell, University of Singapore
Wednesday 20 April 2011
1030 - 1130
R1 Theatre

This presentation will analyse the preparations Australia made for participating in the conflict should it widen to include an air war, and in particular the role that Darwin would come to play in those circumstances, along with what this problem can tell us about how Australia tried to relate its own direct national security interests with problems of collective security 'Up Top'.

Associate Professor Brian P. Farrell is Deputy Head of the Department of History at the National University of Singapore, where he has taught since 1993. A former Canadian soldier, he graduated with a B.A. from Carleton University, Ottawa, before gaining his doctorate from McGill University in 1992. He is author, co-author or editor of several books on the military history of Singapore, the Malaya campaign and British grand strategy in World War II, and is currently working on a history of Britain's Far East Command from 1962 through to 1971, including the period of Indonesian 'Confrontation' over the formation of Malaysia.  



Pathfinder 151
What is Airmindedness?

Pathfinder 152
The Experience of Air Power in Libya


Recommended Reading

The Future of Things “Cyber”
By GEN Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Retired
Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 2011

The author, a former director of both the (US) National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, asks and discusses some tough questions regarding the inadequacy of current cyber knowledge, cyber policy and mechanisms to counter cyber vulnerabilities and issues. In this thought provoking article that effectively identifies the broad range of cyber challenges that have emerged over the last decade, GEN Hayden suggests that “Now is the time to think about and force some issues that have been delayed too long.” Noting the Defence White Paper 2009 guidance on cyber, there is much value in this article from the Australian Defence Force perspective.


Airpower in Counterinsurgency and Stability Operations
GEN Norton A. Schwartz
PRISM 2, no. 2

Air power has been used to conduct counterinsurgency (COIN) and stability operations since its inception. In this informative article, GEN Schwartz, the current Chief of Staff of the USAF, uses historical and contemporary examples of how air power has been effectively employed in irregular warfare (IW), citing rapid mobility, ISR, precision attack and building partner nation indigenous aviation capability as the main Air Force contributors to success. Backed by a significant amount of statistical evidence, GEN Schwartz also dispels claims that air power has caused an inordinate amount of collateral damage and civilian casualties in Afghanistan. As the title implies, this article is a good reference for those wishing to gain a broad understanding of what air power brings to IW.


Strategy and Airpower
By COL John A. Warden III, USAF, Retired
Air & Space Power Journal, Vol XXV, No. 1, Spring 2011

In this recent article, Warden not only reinvigorates his basic theory of paralysing the adversary by targeting his five strategic rings (leadership, processes, infrastructure, population and fielded forces), but more importantly, he also strongly advocates the use of air power to directly achieve strategic endgame objectives while avoiding military force-on-force fighting associated with traditional land centric warfare. Warden himself recognises the controversial nature of some of his ideas in stating that “espousing the unlimited concept of air power exposes the advocate to charges of air power zealotry, a lack of jointness or some other nasty label.” It should be noted that many Warden critics suggest his theory is too focused on targeting nation states and thus he may have missed an opportunity in this article to address the applicability of his strategically focussed, systems analysis approach to other forms of conflict like irregular warfare. Regardless, there is much to consider from Warden’s basic premise that “if air power is truly to come of age, it must do so in the context of a modern concept of war that associates the use of force as directly as possible with endgame strategic objectives, not with the act of fighting.”


Air Force ISR Operations - Hunting versus Gathering
By LTGEN Dave Deptula, USAF, Retired & COL Mike Francisco, USAF, Retired
Air and Space Power Journal, Volume XXIV, No. 4, Winter 2010

In order to meet the challenges of the coming decades and eliminate the segregation that has historically existed between ISR and operations, this article argues that the Air Force ISR enterprise must undergo a cultural transformation and trade the farmer’s view of ISR (methodical production of information) for the hunter’s view (anticipate, find and fix an elusive and often dangerous set of high value, fleeting or mobile targets on the battlefield). The authors stress the importance of developing ISR doctrine that harnesses and links every node in the ISR enterprise to the hunting mission in addition to the farming mission. Operationally, the ISR Division in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre (CAOC) must become an effective partner in brokering collaboration between the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) and Air Force ISR collectors/analysts, by learning how to find and use national data tactically, and make decisions that enable the execution of time-critical hunter/killer operations faster than enemies can react.


Did you know ... ?

When the Australian Government decided to support US forces preparing for a renewed conflict with Iraq in the Persian Gulf in February 1998, it deployed two B-707 tanker/transport aircraft and 80 RAAF personnel along with a contingent of about 110 Special Air Service (SAS) troops. Air Commodore Alan Titheridge was announced as commander of the ADF contingent. Although the Iraqi Government defused the crisis by agreeing to cooperate with UN inspectors looking for weapons of mass destruction, it was decided to retain coalition contingents in the area for the time being. Before the RAAF tankers withdrew in May, they had completed 119 sorties refuelling fighter aircraft enforcing a ‘no-fly’ zone in support of Operation Southern Watch over southern Iraq.


The views expressed in this newsletter and the linked articles are entirely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Royal Australian Air Force.

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