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Paul Bracken describes the United States as experiencing an “Indian summer in national security.”1 For the first time in half a century, America faces few threats to its vital interests. Its enemies are weak while its friends are strong. America’s borders are secure, its economy is growing, and its military is far and away the finest in the world. All in all, America is in a relatively comfortable situation.
This is not to say threats don’t exist. Given certain circumstances, small states such as North Korea or Iraq could threaten US interests. But in relative terms, such threats are manageable. During this Indian summer in national security, all threats to vital American interests can be managed by current US security mechanisms.
But as Bracken’s metaphor implies, this condition won’t last. Just as winter inevitably follows Indian summer, more substantial threats to America’s vital interests will eventually arise. As the previous chapter outlined, these threats could take the form of a peer competitor. Fortunately, for the reasons stated, a peer competitor is unlikely over the next 15 years. A more likely threat within the next 10–20 years is a niche competitor.
A Niche competitor is a state (or alliance) that combines limited numbers of emerging weapons with a robust inventory of current weapons, then develops an innovative CONOPS to best employ this mix. Examples of possible niche competitors include Iraq and North Korea.
There are five key points to remember when envisioning a niche competitor.
First, a niche would always be militarily inferior to the US. It would have a weaker military and it would have a weaker strategic position. By the former, we mean the niche would never have the breadth and depth of weapons available to the US. A niche could never hope to slug it out toe-to-toe with the US. It would inevitably lose an all-out war. Its goal would be to raise the cost of US involvement beyond an acceptable level. A niche would seek to effectively challenge US interests in its region by making the US military response sufficiently costly to either deter initial involvement or dissuade further involvement.
By the latter point, we mean a niche would find it difficult to close out US options; that is, to decisively knock the US out of a war. Because of its strategic depth and wealth, the US will always have the option of “revisiting the decision.” The US could lose the initial campaign and withdraw, then return to the fight after rearming and restructuring. A niche, on the other hand, wouldn’t have these options. Once it loses to the US, the niche would find it impossible to mount another campaign of equal or greater intensity.
Instead of counting on an absolute defeat of the US, a niche competitor’s best course would be to encourage the US to avoid the fight. The US will probably do so when it perceives its possible costs exceeding its gains. The prospect of high casualties or a drawn-out conflict may affect this perception. Such an election is different from being forced out. Conversely, the niche will present multiple strategic centers of gravity to US attack. Its leadership, industrial base, national infrastructure, population, and key military forces will be reachable by US aerospace forces from the first day of the war onward. It will be far easier for the US to close out a niche state than for the niche to decisively defeat the US.
Second, the niche will present operational centers of gravity to attack. We can assume the niche is doing something outside its borders that is contrary to substantial US interests. That is the casus belli for US military involvement. The invasion/ occupation involved in this aggression must be of sufficient size to gain and hold territory.* The invading forces would require personnel and equipment numbering in the tens of thousands. These operational forces would present numerous critical targets for attack. Their detection and targeting would be a prime mission for US aerospace forces.
*Examples could include second invasions of Kuwait by Iraq or of South Korea by North Korea. We’re not talking about civil wars against an insurgent or nonstate enemy.
Third, many nations have the capacity to attain niche status. Unlike a peer competitor, a niche seeks to develop a proficiency in only a few mission areas, as opposed to many. For example, a niche may invest only in stealthy cruise missiles, space interdiction systems, and data fusion centers, while eschewing competition in sea control, air superiority, R&D, airlift, and amphibious operations.
Because its military capabilities are considerably less, a niche can get by on a smaller resource base. Smaller resource requirements mean there are literally dozens of nations capable of fielding a niche-competitor military. Examples of possible niche competitors include the two countries used in current MRC planning (Iraq and North Korea), plus Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and the Ukraine, among others.* In essence, any nation with the wealth to buy limited numbers of emerging weapon systems is a potential niche competitor. While a niche would not have the size or sophistication of the US military, it might be able to frustrate limited US objectives in its region.
*These nations are listed solely for illustrative purposes. There is no intent to imply conflict between one of these nations and the United States.>
Fourth, a niche would have to be capable of doing more than fielding state-of-the-art weapon systems. Modern weapons underwrite the ability to compete in the new warfare environment, but are not enough in themselves. To take full advantage of the capabilities inherent in emerging weapons, a niche military must be able to adjust its CONOPS as well as its inventory. For example, a niche must do more than simply buy information weapons. Rather, it must integrate information war systems with the rest of its inventory in a synergistic way. We must expect the niche to employ and control new technologies in innovative ways. These ways might differ markedly from their past doctrine.
Finally, unlike war with a peer, war with a niche will be a “come as you are” war. The absence of risk to US vital interests would preclude domestic American support for a rapid buildup. The prospect of war with a niche would probably have little effect on the future years defense plan (FYDP). In addition, warning time would be shorter than for war with a peer. The niche would need little time to field its limited number of emerging weapons. These two factors mean the US would likely have only its existing units at its disposal. Some acceleration of procurement immediately before hostilities is possible, but a rapid US rearmament is unlikely. US employments would largely mirror those planned and exercised in peacetime.
Niche competitors will face a similar situation. They’ll have military requirements unrelated to a war with the US. For domestic and regional reasons, niche competitors will be unable to focus their military efforts solely on defeating the US. In fact, only a small proportion of their military will be optimized for defeating US forces. Niche states will have more important military missions than just war with the US.
Take present-day Iraq as an example. Iraq uses its military for two missions which have nothing to do with the US. Its military’s highest-priority mission is internal security, which is Saddam’s number one security problem. Iraq‘s military manpower, resources, and CONOPS must support this mission. Officers are promoted based on loyalty and their ability to effect internal security. The second-priority mission for Iraq’s military is security against regional foes. Turkey, Syria, and Iran all pose credible threats to Iraq. Iraq‘s military must maintain the capability to deter those countries. For both these military missions (internal security and regional defense), manpower-intensive, attrition militaries are effective. Tanks, Scuds, infantry divisions, helicopters, and nonstealthy fighters are suited to these missions.
Fighting the US is a third-priority mission for the Iraqis. Unfortunately for them, however, the military forces and CONOPS required to defeat the US are ill-suited to the first two missions. But the fact that Saddam Hussein’s forces are ill-suited to fight the US doesn’t mean he can afford to dispense with them. Quite the contrary. Saddam, like other potential niche competitors, must maintain internal security, defend his borders against larger neighbors, and remain ready for war with the US. That’s a difficult charge—and a very expensive one. Iraq‘s best solution is to lay a limited number of emerging systems on top of an existing force structure that was built with two higher priority missions in mind. Iraq cannot build a military focused solely on defeating the US. Other niche competitors would face a similar situation.
In summary, a niche could compete with the US by employing bits and pieces of advanced technology along with a robust inventory of traditional weapons. It would integrate these weapons using innovative strategies to offset the greater military breadth and depth of the US. Its goal would be to persuade the US to leave the conflict (as opposed to seeking a decisive military victory). The niche would exploit asymmetries in strategic culture, geography, and political/military objectives. Warning time for this war would be much shorter than that envisioned for a peer conflict.
When projecting a future conflict with a niche competitor, the United States must expect the enemy to field a mix of emerging and previous systems, as well as to use an asymmetric method of employment. The types of information, C2, penetration, and precision systems, as well as the number and size of their weapons of mass destruction help to distinguish niche competitors. Table 3 compares the capabilities of a peer competitor to those of a niche competitor.
Niche Competitor Compared to Peer Competitor
PEER COMPETITOR NICHE COMPETITOR Information Indigenous, Dedicated Third Country, Commercial C2 NRT, Redundant, Automated Delayed, Nodal, Hierarchical Penetration Multisystem Single System Precision Autonomous Guidance
External Guidance (e.g., GPS) WMD Hundreds. Can Reach USA. <10, Theater Reach Size Large, Strategic Depth Small, Little Depth
In general terms, a niche might have emerging systems with access to commercial satellite (COMSAT) networks (communications and surveillance), modern C2 systems, stealthy cruise missiles (equipped with either warheads or sensors), advanced missile guidance, and advanced conventional munitions. In more specific terms, a niche’s emerging systems would emphasize information, C2, penetration, and precision.
A niche enemy will use a mix of civilian and military information systems for military purposes. It will use civilian surveillance satellites to detect large US force movements. Data obtained from civilian sensors will not be near real time (NRT); it may be several days old. Despite its age, such data will prove useful in identifying large, fixed, build-up areas (e.g., airfield parking ramps, logistics points, lines of communication, ports).* Civilian communication satellites will relay military data and instructions. Cruise missiles will have surveillance and communications packages to augment satellite coverage.
*By 2002, experts estimate civilian imagery satellites will have one-meter resolution.
Owing to expected advances in the civil sector, niche C2 will exceed the current state of the art. Advances will be most significant in the areas of processing, fusion, and encryption. Due to its reliance on civil systems, niche C2 will be delayed relative to our own. It might also present single-point failure nodes and a hierarchical planning and tasking process.
It’s a near-certainty future niche competitors will field stealthy cruise missiles. They are currently under development by a wide variety of sources. Any nation with a moderate defense budget should be able to buy several thousand stealthy cruise missiles capable of strike, communications relay, and surveillance. Therefore, we must assume at least a portion of the enemy’s aerospace weapons will present low signatures.
A niche enemy will have a large inventory of precision weapons. Reflecting at least mid-1990s state of the art, these weapons will have less than 10-meter accuracy. They may depend on US-controlled navigation systems (e.g., global positioning systems). Some of these weapons will retain their accuracy regardless of weather or darkness.
A niche’s previous systems might consist of a handful of nuclear weapons, large stocks of chemical weapons, a limited number of ballistic missiles, and substantial numbers of late-generation traditional systems (e.g., tanks, aircraft, artillery, surface warships, mines).
A niche competitor would likely have a robust inventory of currently (mid-1990s) available weapons. These could include infantry, armor, artillery, submarines, mines, nonstealthy fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, ASATs, chemical munitions, and short-range ballistic missiles (e.g., Scuds). The niche would use these previous systems to conquer territory, while using its emerging systems to combat US intervention. A niche would also have weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
A niche competitor would probably have a limited number of nuclear weapons (less than 10). Without an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), however, these weapons would not directly threaten US territory. Nevertheless, they’ll threaten US allies and bases in the region. A niche could use these weapons to threaten a country which gives the US basing or overflight rights during a contingency. For example, a nuclear-armed North Korea should be expected to threaten Tokyo with a nuclear strike should Japan allow US forces to operate from Japanese bases during a war in Korea. Similarly, the North Koreans might inhibit a large US logistics flow by threatening Pusan with nuclear attack. In these examples, a niche would need only a handful of nuclear weapons to complicate US operations.
Putting all of these factors together, a niche competitor of 10–20 years from now will present challenges of a different nature from those posed by an MRC-scale competitor today. A future niche will be able to detect large US force deployments and relay this information to stealthy weapon systems. These systems will likely penetrate US aerospace defenses in significant numbers. Once in the target area, they’ll strike with great accuracy. This combination of previous weapons (tanks, a few nuclear weapons, submarines, ASATs, surface-to-air missiles, etc.) plus emerging weapons (stealthy cruise missiles, civil satellites for reconnaissance and communications, etc.), orchestrated by a new CONOPS, would confront US aerospace forces with a demanding situation.
Asymmetric Employment Schemes
Further complicating this environment would be the likelihood of asymmetric employment schemes.* A niche competitor would likely avoid a direct confrontation with the US. Rather, the niche would attempt to offset US strengths by employing an indirect strategy. For example, a niche competitor would not seek information dominance. It is highly unlikely a niche will surpass the US military in information technologies over the next 10–20 years. US companies and universities lead the world in information technologies; the US military totally dominates the military applications of these technologies. Therefore, the niche might pursue an “information neutral” environment. It would attempt to “level the playing field” by degrading US information flows.
*Conflict is almost always fought in an asymmetric manner. Even among peer competitors, symmetric conflict is rare. For example, Great Britain and Napoleonic France were peer competitors, even though the former relied mainly on its navy while the latter emphasized its army. The World War II Battle of the Atlantic between US/UK and Germany matched merchantmen/aircraft/destroyers versus U-boats. In the sports world, two football teams may be evenly matched although one emphasizes a running game and defense while the other relies on a passing attack. In conflict, asymmetries are the norm. When we use the term “asymmetric,” we’re trying to identify fundamentally different ends and means
Information leveling could be accomplished several ways. One way would be through hackers. The niche could hire any number of computer hackers to attack US information networks. These hackers could be hired at the last minute, assuring state-of-the-art competence. They could be hired in large numbers from around the world; India and Russia, for example, have a wealth of software talent willing to work for relatively low pay. It would be very difficult for the US to assess the scope and direction of this campaign in advance of hostile intrusion.
Fortunately, such an offensive has significant weaknesses. For example, the US could take steps to protect its vital information systems. Just as banks and businesses protect their information systems through encryption and protocols, the US military would use similar methods to protect its information systems. Another weakness is that disorganized hackers would probably bring little orchestration to their attacks. Lacking proper training and positive control, they would likely “service” targets with little regard to operational art. Finally, hackers would get little feedback on success or failure. They would not know whether they were successful; nor could they be sure they were entering a real system. Despite these weaknesses, however, hackers in the employ of a niche could pose a credible threat to US information systems. Serious defenses are mandatory.
A second approach to information leveling would be by physical attacks on US collection and communications satellites. The niche could launch primitive ASATs against these platforms, particularly those in low earth orbit. The niche could also detonate a nuclear weapon in space or in the upper atmosphere. The resulting electromagnetic pulse (EMP) would disable unshielded satellites. Replacement satellites, if also unshielded, would quickly degrade due to the enhanced radiation retained by the Van Allen Belts.2 While niche systems in space would also be affected, EMP blasts would probably adversely affect US information forces—and thus, US operations—to a greater extent than those of the niche aggressor. An orchestrated campaign with ASATs and EMP blasts could degrade US space systems and cripple US military operations worldwide.
A third asymmetric employment strategy available to a niche is projection denial. Niche competitors will not have the means to conduct a long-range campaign against US forces with a high confidence of success. They would lack the NRT intelligence and manned penetrators necessary for such a campaign. However, niches could offset these shortcomings by combining a mix of relatively low-tech systems and weapons to make US power projection operations difficult, or even unfeasible. For example, a niche could mix a handful of modern diesel submarines and mine barriers to slow and canalize US sea lift. It could observe the resulting choke points with commercial overhead imagery then target specific ships with stealthy cruise missiles.
In this example, the niche would avoid challenging American naval forces directly. Its objective would not be command of the seas, but rather sea denial. The niche would use information obtained through third-party COMSATs to plot the movement of US forces at sea. It would then launch missiles towards anticipated LOCs. These missiles would use seekers with broad-area terminal guidance.
Should the US decide to absorb these attacks and remain in the war, it would face a decision. The US could either operate under this type of observation or attempt to interdict the niche’s information. The latter would prove difficult in the Information Age where multiple sensors outside government control are available.* Data—and its means of transmission—is becoming ubiquitous. It seems most likely the US will be forced to operate under a limited amount of enemy observation. Prudent aerospace planners should allow for this probability.
*Third-country satellites could be vulnerable to (1) government-to-government pressure, requesting the third-party state cease providing satellite information to the niche competitor, (2) to electronic warfare against the satellite or ground station, and (3) direct ASAT strikes.
By employing innovative operational concepts and a limited number of emerging weapons, a niche competitor could pose significant challenges to US operations in certain circumstances. Asymmetric employment concepts, particularly in the areas of information and power projection denial, might “level the playing field” to the point the US is dissuaded from involvement. To deal with this challenge, US aerospace forces should prepare to employ the following 10 operational concepts:
- Paralyze enemy command and control.
- Dominate battlefield awareness.
- Integrate space-based systems and unmanned aerial vehicles for conflict surveillance.
- Support the information campaign.
- Attack enemy wealth.
- Attack enemy invasion/occupation forces.
- Establish aerospace superiority.
- Avoid deployment of critical fixed targets within range of enemy stealth.
- Airlift forces and logistics into the combat area.
- Support the ground counteroffensive.
Paralyze Enemy C2
Every military professional knows the absolute necessity of continuous control of military operations. Murphy’s Law is alive and well in the military profession; military operations as simple as change-of-command ceremonies require constant massaging. Wars are infinitely more complex than ceremonies. Unexpected obstacles and opportunities are the norm; no operation ever goes according to plan. As a result, each and every military operation requires an incredible amount of hands-on control. Continuous adjustments are always required. These adjustments depend upon positive command and control. Decision makers and the means to transmit their decisions make up this system. Thus, nodes crucial to this system are high-value targets. Their disruption would cascade chaos among subordinate units.
For a niche competitor, command and control nodes are a major vulnerability. Modern US surveillance systems (especially electromagnetic intelligence) are expert at identifying command links. Open-source literature can also provide wiring diagrams of communication flows. Once identified, these nodes are vulnerable to US attack.
There is little a niche competitor can do to forestall this vulnerability. If the niche constructs a command and control network comprised solely of hardened, indigenous systems, it will be, at best, rudimentary. The US could easily operate within the niche enemy’s decision loop. If, at the other extreme, the niche uses world-class communications systems and protocols, it will expose itself to massive information interdiction. This interdiction could be remarkably precise. The US would pressure companies based within the US or allied nations to provide source code and architecture information. This knowledge would facilitate an information interdiction campaign. Unfortunately for the niche competitor, there is little recourse. Any information system, indigenous or imported, will have substantial drawbacks.
If the niche has indigenous satellites capable of NRT operations, they should top the US target list. NRT information architectures put all aspects of US military operations at risk. On the other hand, architectures using another country’s civilian imagery satellites will be a less immediate threat, necessitating a less immediate response. Third country civilian systems are inherently less responsive than indigenous military systems. It will take time to get the right picture from the civilian satellite through the downlink station to the niche’s operational headquarters for analysis and tasking. It may take days to produce an executable product. During the processing time, the US could redeploy forces or defenses.
The US will strike enemy C2 nodes at each level of war. At the strategic level of war, national political and military leadership will be attacked. The goal will be to isolate the enemy’s national decision makers from their instruments of power. These instruments may range from weapons of mass destruction, to air defense, to intelligence, to political control over their population. The niche’s nuclear weapons should not sway this strategy. As long as the US effect is to isolate the enemy leadership from its means of command—as opposed to decapitation—the US can avoid placing enemy leadership in a suicidal corner.
At the operational level of war, field commanders will be severed from their subordinate units. At the tactical level, units will be cut off from their battle managers. Threat warnings and targeting information will arrive too late to do any good.
Dominate Battlefield Awareness
It is well within the realm of technical possibility to observe practically everything of operational significance about a battlefield. Admiral William Owens, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called this concept dominant battlefield awareness. This concept has three components. First, platforms continuously surveil the area of interest. A mixture of aircraft, satellites, and UAVs, equipped with multispectral sensors, establishes 24-hour, all-weather coverage of the battle area. Unattended ground sensors sniff/watch/listen/ report along areas of possible maneuver. SOSUS-type sensors listen for underwater threats. Second, data generated by these sensors are fused and filtered through wide-area automatic target recognition software. This software cues more refined systems to specifically identify emitters and high-signature targets (e.g., armored formations or logistics points). Lastly, this information is disseminated to weapon systems. This dissemination takes advantage of large bandwidth and digital compression technologies. It transmits via direct broadcast satellites. The result of these three steps is dominant battlefield awareness.
A note of caution: Dominant battlefield awareness does not mean perfect knowledge of all enemy locations and intentions. Knowledge of everything, distributed to everybody, is impossible to attain. Plans based upon such an impossible standard are doomed to failure. Rather, dominant battlefield awareness is an attempt to exploit order-of-magnitude increases in what’s identifiable about a battlefield.
Throughout military history, what commanders have not known about an adversary has dominated our image of war. The armies of generals Lee and Meade bumped into each other at Gettysburg. In 1914, the German army didn’t even know the British Expeditionary Force was on the continent until they ran into the BEF at Mons.3 Hitler kept panzer divisions in reserve near Calais, waiting for the “real” cross-channel invasion. Saddam’s army had little knowledge of Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf’s deployment to the west for the “left hook.” In each of these cases, commanders had little information on whole armies maneuvering in front of them. In today’s Information Age, such military ignorance is impossible if one fields an integrated mix of sensors, filters, and disseminators—and protects this architecture from effective enemy interference.
Integrate Space-based Systems and UAVs
for Conflict Surveillance
Niche competitors will probably have the ability to target satellites in LEO and to effect an EMP burst in space (via a nuclear explosion). The US must have ready counters for these probabilities. Of the two, the EMP threat may be the lesser challenge. Satellites must already be hardened due to solar activity. This shielding could be intensified to negate EMP effects. However, this shielding would be required on all satellites for which military operations are dependent—including civilian-owned communications satellites.*
*The US could promote such shielding by reimbursing COMSAT owners for carrying the extra weight needed for shielding. The mechanism could parallel that presently used for the civil reserve air fleet (CRAF). The US government pays airlines for the extra weight some aircraft carry in order to be suitable for military operations.
The ASAT threat depends on target orbit. Satellites in geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) should remain relatively secure. During our planning period (2005-2015), it is improbable that any niche will have air-launched access to GEO. Putting an ASAT into GEO will require a powerful booster. For any niche, such boosters will require a fixed launch complex. Such a complex should not survive conflict initiation; the US would attack fixed space launch facilities on day one of the war.
On the other hand, LEO satellites would be reachable by air-launched (e.g., the F-15/ASAT) or mobile ground-launched systems. US options for decreasing this vulnerability will be few. Targeting air-launched ASATs prior to launch is not likely; they’ll be difficult to identify among the hundreds or thousands of similar type weapons. The most effective measure will probably involve two steps: (1) maneuver the satellites and (2) destroy the niche’s space-tracking capability. Without solid data on satellite tracks, the niche would find targeting extremely difficult. Other defensive measures could include in-flight interception of the ASAT, stealthy satellites, and a rapid replacement capability.
What this means is that satellites would probably be targeted to varying degrees. Because communications satellites are primarily in GEO, they should survive (unless the niche develops a mobile ASAT with GEO range). Reconnaissance satellites, however, operate primarily in LEO. Their survival in war with a niche is less certain.
As a result, the US must augment space-based systems with atmospheric systems. Fortunately, UAVs, along the lines of Tier II+ and Tier III-, are well along in development. High altitude-long endurance UAVs, with loiter times of 48–72 hours, are probable in our planning time frame. They promise sufficient loiter times and survivability to accomplish the surveillance mission. While UAVs have capabilities that recommend them in their own right, they are also necessary to provide redundancy for space-based systems. Satellites in LEO with predictable trajectories are simply too vulnerable to interdiction.
This technological solution brings with it an organizational challenge. The theater commander must integrate two fundamentally different architectures. The commander in chief (CINC) must integrate both space-based and atmospheric sensors and relays; total reliance on one or the other for critical tasks is not wise. One or the other may be unavailable to perform a specific job at a crucial time. It will be far more effective to integrate their tasks so that one type of system is not the sole source for any vital node. It will also be far more efficient to integrate the data acquired by each system. Because space-based and atmospheric systems are presently controlled by separate commanders (USCINCSPACE and the theater CINCs, respectively), this integration will require adjustments to current command relations.
Support the Information Campaign
Dominant battlefield awareness also requires denying the enemy a similar amount of information. As with a peer enemy, the theater CINC will task the Joint Force Information Component Commander to orchestrate a denial/distortion campaign. In a sense, the JFICC will deprive the information age to the niche. Once that’s accomplished, the other components will end the industrial age.
Against a niche competitor, we should expect the JFICC to conduct a short, high-tempo information campaign. This is due to two factors. First, the niche’s information target set would be smaller than that of a peer. By definition, a niche would be less robust in information infrastructure. Second, because the niche would not pose a likely nuclear threat to the US, fewer political restrictions on homeland attacks will come into play. This would permit attacks with all types of conventional munitions across all target categories. The result should be a short, intensive campaign on a limited number of targets in the most efficient way possible.
Aerospace forces would directly support this campaign. In most cases, targets should be highly precise. They would include connectivity (e.g., fiber-optic lines and radio/cellular antennas), nodes (e.g., switching stations), repair assets, downlink stations (e.g., satellite ground stations), fusion centers, and C2 personnel. Munitions used against these targets will cover the gamut of the inventory—earth penetrators, MHD, EMP, CBU, HE, etc. Bombers and cruise missiles would serve as delivery platforms.
Attack Enemy Wealth
To undercut the niche’s ability to continue the war and to punish it for starting the war in the first place, the CINC would probably direct aerospace forces to attack the niche’s wealth. If the niche depends on trade, aerospace forces would identify and interdict that trade. Shipborne trade would be easiest to interdict; overland the most difficult. The goal would be to stop all substantial trade. Minor amounts of imports and exports would always occur (if nothing else, these would take the form of smuggling). But nation-supporting trade, dependent on large and regular flows of goods, is easily identified and stopped.
If the niche depends on imported resources (such as oil), trade in that resource could be struck as outlined above; targets could include trucks, bridges, shipping, ports, and trains. Also, aerospace forces could attack the supporting industry and its infrastructure. Those targets could include pumps, pipelines, refineries, storage tanks, and ports. Electrical production and transmission facilities crucial to this industry could also be attacked, as could banking and communications links with the rest of the world. Any of these approaches could cripple trade.
A service-based economy would provide an extremely vulnerable target set. Because services are readily substituted, an attacker need only disrupt transactions to cause customers to look elsewhere. For example, large customers can readily choose banks and insurance companies anywhere in the world. They pick specific firms based on convenience, reliability, and returns. Attacks on either the buildings housing such businesses—or their supporting electricity and communications—would quickly interrupt transactions to the point that customers would take their trade elsewhere. Because service economies are severely affected by disruptions, aerospace attacks against their infrastructure offer high leverage.
In those cases where crucial supporters of the niche government have commercial interests, attacks would focus on those interests. It does little good to impoverish common citizens when they have no voice in government policy. It makes great sense, however, to target the wealth of key government supporters. Intelligence agencies should provide precise insights into the commercial concerns of key regime supporters. Aerospace forces would then attack these enterprises.
Attack Enemy Invasion/Occupation Forces
Wars of the twentieth century have proven infantry’s inability to overcome modern defenses by itself. Massed infantry charges didn’t work at the Marne and haven’t worked since. The Iran-Iraq War proved this lesson again. To overcome modern defenses, armies need armored mobility. They need tanks, armored personnel carriers, mobile artillery, and trucks—by the thousands. This means, by definition, that attacking armies bent on invasion and occupation are high-signature enterprises.
The combat forces themselves would also present a lucrative target set. US Defense Department planning guidance in 1993 described notional niche invaders as having at least 5,000 armored vehicles and several hundred thousand troops.4 Such massed formations of tanks, troop carriers, and mobile artillery—necessary for all but a dispersed, footborne invasion—are readily detected. Once detected, they are vulnerable to aerospace attack. Bombers and cruise missiles, carrying a wide assortment of precision munitions, have a proven ability to destroy massed, slow-moving surface forces. Practically the entire family of aerospace munitions under current development (sensor fused weapons, wide-area munitions, brilliant antitank munitions) is optimized for this target set. Equipped with advanced munitions either in service or about to become operational and directed by modern C3I systems, airpower has the potential to destroy enemy ground forces either on the move or in defensive positions at a high rate while concurrently destroying vital elements of the enemy’s war-fighting infrastructure.5
Armored Battalion in Tactical Road March
UK 1st Armored Division Entering Iraq During Desert Storm
Niche competitors would be unable to rapidly replace lost armored forces. Their inventories are limited and, because niche regimes use armored forces for internal security and border defense, they can ill afford to lose several thousand in a war with the US. Also, once these inventories are cut, replacements are difficult to obtain. Although used main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers are available on the world market, their quality is suspect. In addition, used armored vehicles aren’t cheap, spare parts availability is uncertain, and hard currency is required for purchase.
New procurement is a poor alternative. Prices of new armored vehicles are high and worldwide production is low. A niche can’t rely on the international arms market to produce large numbers of armored vehicles. The capacity simply doesn’t exist in the post-cold-war world.
For these reasons, once the niche loses its armored forces, it will have great difficulty replacing them. This difficulty will cause internal and regional security problems for the niche.
In addition to their combat elements, invading/occupying armies require immense amounts of support. Logistical “tails” are vital to land force invasion/occupation. For example, a US armored division consumes 600,000 gallons of fuel per day when on the offensive.6 In addition to the personnel and transportation units assigned directly to each division, an attacking force of six US divisions requires a support force of roughly 200,000 personnel and 40,000 trucks.7 These support forces are mandatory elements of military operations. Simply stated, armies don’t move without logistics.*
*Even if an army could cut logistics requirements by 50 percent, a substantial number of critical targets would remain.
These logistics lines and stores are ripe for interdiction. They have high signatures. By definition they are less defended than combat forces. They move slowly and have few defense systems. As Eliot Cohen writes, “The weakest part of any military organization is its logistical train—the array of ill-protected trucks, storage depots, maintenance areas, and supply points that are needed to sustain forces in combat.”8 Precision munitions delivered with an element of surprise against enemy logistics should have a devastating effect. A major goal of US aerospace forces will be to “hollow out” an attacking army by gutting its logistics.
While a niche competitor’s armored forces will not mirror US armored divisions, we can assume they will depend upon large amounts of support personnel and infrastructure. Even dividing the US numbers by a factor of two or three still leaves a substantial support force. That is the nature of maneuver units; large supporting elements are crucial.
US aerospace forces would concentrate on countering military invasions by striking an invader’s maneuver forces, logistics, and C4I from the outset of hostilities. This would not be an attrition campaign, however. The overall idea would be to deny an invader mass and maneuver, thereby forcing the enemy into a frontal attack scheme. US aerospace attacks on enemy armor, logistics, massed formations, C4I, and air support would limit the enemy’s offensive options to poorly coordinated infantry and artillery attacks. As noted above, this style of frontal assault is readily defeated by modern defenses. Should the enemy insist on massing its surface forces despite the threat of precision attack from aerospace weapons, wide-area munitions delivered by aerospace forces would have a decisive effect.
Establish Aerospace Superiority
We should expect niche competitors to field a limited number of ballistic missiles; many already do (e.g., Scuds). The speed, range, and survivability of mobile ballistic missiles make them attractive. Planners must incorporate the ballistic missile threat within their calculus when devising future aerospace superiority regimes. Fortunately, ballistic missiles in the hands of a niche competitor should have several major weaknesses.*
*One weakness of current ballistic missiles that should not persist is inaccuracy. Currently, the CEP of ballistic missiles available to niche competitors is measured in hundreds of meters. These ballistic missiles are most suited for attacking wide-area, soft targets (such as cities). Their inaccuracy makes hardened point targets invulnerable to ballistic missile attack. Given expected improvements in precision and navigation technologies, this shortfall should end long before 2010.
One weakness is that ballistic missiles offer a high signature. They emit a large infrared signature at launch and are radar reflective in all phases of flight. These high signatures mean that space-based systems can detect ballistic missile launches with high confidence and can then cue radar trackers. Once tracked, the minimal maneuverability of ballistic missiles makes them vulnerable to interception.*
*Improved aerospace technologies (e.g., lasers, kinetic kill) integrated with improved computing technologies offer considerable promise for high-confidence interceptions.
Another weakness is that ballistic missiles are expensive. A niche would probably have fewer than a hundred. For example, Iraq launched 88 Scuds during the Gulf War.9 Unclassified sources estimate North Korea‘s inventory of Scud launchers at 30; the Saudis have a total of 40 ballistic missiles.10 It is unlikely a niche could afford the massive salvoes of ballistic missiles needed to overwhelm robust theater defenses.
A third weakness is that mobile targets are almost invulnerable to ballistic missiles. Unless the missile is equipped with brilliant sensors, the combination of missile inaccuracy and target movement makes for a very low Pk.
Lastly, while ballistic missiles are optimized for attacking targets with limited windows of vulnerability, this capability demands an extensive support network. This support network must include surveillance sensors, sensor-to-warhead target data transmission, and an NRT decision cycle. Such a network adds to unit costs and presents a lucrative target set for US attack.
Despite these vulnerabilities, the threat posed by ballistic missiles demands a layered and robust defense. US defenses should target enemy ballistic missiles throughout their deployment and employment. This means (1) disrupting ballistic missile C4I, (2) targeting ballistic missile launchers prior to launch, (3) detecting launches, (4) intercepting the missile/warhead in flight,* and (5) degrading the en route accuracy of the missile or terminal accuracy of the warhead. Total success in any one of these tasks, or substantial success in them all, will effectively defeat a niche ballistic missile attack.
*Boost phase, post-boost phase, or terminal.
Manned aircraft in the hands of a niche competitor is probably the easiest aerospace defense task. During the time period of this projection, the US will face only nonstealthy fighters. It’s unlikely that a niche would have stealthy aircraft. The F-22 air superiority fighter won’t even arrive in US inventories until the turn of the century. No other stealth air-to-air fighter is under serious development. This lack of stealth availability means niche air forces must rely on nonstealthy fighters. These fighters can’t compete with the F-22. Thus, any niche confronting the US will find itself with a significant quality disadvantage in terms of air-to-air fighters.
Iraqi MiG-25 Destroyed in its Hardened Shelter by a Precision Bomb
During Operation Desert Storm
Any niche air force opposing the US would also find itself at a serious quality disadvantage (see table 4). Even relatively large niche air forces, such as the Israeli, Indian, and Saudi air forces, possess less than 200 frontline fighters.* That’s less than 5 percent of the US inventory of frontline fighters. Even assuming a 1:1 exchange ratio, any niche fighting the US would quickly lose its frontline fleet and pilots without any hope of quick replacement.
Frontline fighters: F-14/15/16/18/117/,AV-8, MiG-29/31, Mirage 2000, Su-24/27, Tornado.
Trends in Air Power
As we look to future war, the number of frontline fighters is a critical measure. Older fighters will be increasingly difficult to maintain. Old aircraft will become obsolete. How many modern aircraft a niche has today is the best indicator of future capabilities.
Finally, a niche’s nonstealthy forces would be inadequately supported by EW, air-to-air missiles, tankers, training hours, intelligence, maintenance, etc. These shortfalls would make the niche’s manned aircraft capabilities quite vulnerable.
The type of aerospace infrastructure necessary to compete with US aerospace forces is simply unaffordable for niche competitors. They would come to fight with an inferior position in each element of the air-to-air equation. An offensive counterair campaign against enemy air bases should be expected to destroy the niche’s ability to launch coordinated strike packages. The few numbers of inevitable leakers should prove manageable by defensive counterair assets. Again, an effort will be required, but the components for an effective defense against a niche’s nonstealthy manned aircraft during the next one or two decades are already programmed.
This optimism does not extend to unmanned atmospheric systems. The US will face a substantial challenge against stealthy enemy cruise missiles. Because cruise missiles require little in the way of infrastructure support, an offensive counterair campaign against cruise missiles would pay few dividends. For example, there would be few cruise missile “bases” to attack. The niche could launch cruise missiles from mobile TELs garrisoned in warehouses. It’s not likely our intelligence agencies would find many cruise missiles prior to launch.
Further complicating cruise missile defense is the ability of cruise missiles to change direction. The inherent agility of cruise missiles makes “point defense” meaningless. At no time prior to impact can the defender be certain of the cruise missile’s target. Although the cruise missile may seem headed for an unimportant area during one phase of flight, it might change direction towards a vital target during its next flight segment. This uncertainty stresses defenders. It puts defenders in the far more difficult “area defense” mode. Rather than narrowing their efforts to point targets, they must defend large areas against precision attack.
Figure 6. Cruise Missiles, Due to Their Ability to Change Course,
Make Point Defense Difficult
An additional complication to area defense is the possibility that any one cruise missile might be carrying a nuclear warhead. Because even one nuclear impact could have strategic consequences, “zero leakage” becomes the standard. Not even one cruise missile can be allowed to penetrate, even when its suspected target is benign. This combination of zero leakage for an area defense makes cruise missile defense an extraordinarily demanding task.
In the cruise missile defense equation, C4I may prove the most lucrative target, especially at the strategic level. C4I for cruise missiles is a complicated task. The enemy must garner information on US vulnerabilities, decide on a course of action, distribute taskings, then assess results. Disrupt any one leg in this structure and you degrade it all. Because C4I supports each leg of this structure, it forms the key target set. Continuous attacks on the niche’s C4I should drive it towards uncoordinated and poorly considered use of the niche’s cruise missiles.
The majority of the countercruise effort would be in defensive counterair. A mix of long-wavelength radars to detect stealthy cruise missiles,* high-powered targeting radars to refine the cued information, and large numbers of interception missiles** (both ground- and air-launched) offers some promise of partial air defense. The JFACC would need to tightly integrate these components to achieve an effective system. If the stealthy cruise missiles depend on off-board navigation aids like GPS, the US should interfere with the weak GPS signals. These defensive measures would significantly decrease the effects of niche cruise missile attacks.
*Long-wavelength radars would be placed aboard aircraft, as opposed to being ground-based or carried on aerostats. Ground basing restricts detection to the horizon. Aerostat basing is difficult when conflict has already begun (set-up time is extensive for aerostats). Aerostats also present the enemy with an immobile, high-signature, high-value target.
**When fully developed, directed energy weapons may prove especially effective.
Having said that, numerous stealthy cruise missiles will almost certainly penetrate even the most robust defenses. Therefore, it’s doubtful the US will be able to establish air supremacy if the niche has a substantial inventory of stealthy cruise missiles employed from mobile launchers.
>Avoid Deployment of Critical Fixed
Targets within Range of Enemy Stealth
As with the case of the peer competitor, the niche must be expected to possess stealthy cruise missiles. Unlike a peer competitor, however, a niche’s stealthy cruise missiles would have several significant limitations.
First, a niche’s cruise missiles would be limited in number. Lacking a state-of-the-art defense industrial base, a niche would have to buy its missiles (or at least critical components) abroad. Normal constraints on sending currency abroad would likely limit procurement. Second, dependence on foreign suppliers may also limit inventory replacements after the war begins. The US may be able to either interdict resupplies or dissuade suppliers. Third, a niche’s cruise missiles would lack sophistication. Without a production base, the niche wouldn’t have the full expertise available to a producer. This lack of indigenous expertise would diminish a niche’s ability to rapidly reprogram or modify its missiles after a conflict began. Similarly, a lack of expertise would inhibit the niche’s ability to maintain the state-of-the-art status of its missiles if there were a significant time period between purchase and use. Fourth, a niche’s cruise missiles may not have real-time connectivity. A first-rate cruise missile offensive capability requires more than just the missiles themselves. It also requires advanced information and C2 systems, all of which are expensive and require extensive operational expertise. A niche probably wouldn’t have the capability to continuously monitor the entire battle area, identify key vulnerabilities, transmit this information to decision makers, then disseminate tasking orders to missile batteries—all in near real time. These four limitations would limit a niche’s ability to effectively employ stealthy cruise missiles against US forces.
Despite these limitations, high-signature, immobile forces would be extraordinarily vulnerable to a niche competitor’s cruise missiles. A niche would eventually detect large, fixed facilities via modern surveillance systems, and would attempt to overwhelm defenses with large numbers of low-signature cruise missiles. Those missiles that penetrate would probably hit vital targets with precision. The sum of these capabilities is militarily significant. Air supremacy over ammunition ships needing days to unload, airlift aircraft needing hours to off-load and refuel, large air bases with “tent cities,” air refueling aircraft parked nose-to-tail in the open, and so forth, might not be possible.12 If we make the mistake of giving a niche enough time to orchestrate cruise missile attacks on high-signature, immobile US forces, we’ll likely see the niche exact a considerable toll.
This prospect forces a basic decision on future US employment CONOPS. The question is, will the US attempt to operate inside or outside the range of emerging enemy weapons (such as stealthy cruise missiles)? In other words, will the US attempt to (1) build sufficient defenses to negate the threat posed by a niche’s inventory of emerging weapons or (2) stay outside the range of these weapons while conducting operations? The latter case drives force structure requirements towards long-range and standoff systems. The former heightens the value of radically new defense systems and low-signature, dispersed operations.
As with most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. To the greatest extent possible, the US must keep its forces outside the range of enemy stealth. Understanding that out-of-range basing won’t be possible for all forces, the US must adjust its equipment and CONOPS to operate under the threat of a stealthy cruise missile attack by a niche enemy.
The US can take several steps to minimize its force structure within range of niche cruise missiles. It can take advantage of modern communications and keep key command and control functions (e.g., component commanders) within CONUS. Because most communications “bounce” off SATCOMs anyway, and significant aerospace forces (e.g., bombers, tankers) base outside the theater, the rationale for keeping key aerospace C2 nodes (e.g., JFACC) in-theater is probably based more on culture than operational efficiency. The US could also emphasize long-range, highly survivable systems (e.g., stealth bombers) at the expense of short-range ones (e.g., F-16) that require additional support aircraft. Finally, the US could minimize its in-theater logistical departments to the greatest extent possible.* These steps would lessen the number of critical targets placed within range of niche stealth.
*The policy of two-level maintenance supports this logic.
Aircraft Parking Ramp at Sheikh Isa, Bahrain,
During Operation Desert Shield
Airlift Critical Supplies and Spare
Parts into the Combat Area
A major difference between a peer competitor and a niche competitor is the niche’s absence of near-real-time sensor-to-shooter systems. When fighting a niche, we can assume there will be a delay in the cycle time necessary for the niche to detect a US vulnerability, make an attack decision, disseminate the tasking, and put a weapon on target (time of flight). As long as airlift ground times are shorter than this time loop, airlift operations can proceed.
However, if the niche invests heavily in sensor-to-shooter technology, airlift operations could be readily targeted. For example, if the niche has direct downlinks from multiple third-country surveillance satellites, plus a rapid decision system, it could launch against our aerial ports during their most vulnerable windows. Several airlifters with their arriving forces on a small parking ramp would make a perfect target for stealthy cruise missiles with cluster munitions. In addition, if arriving units were to delay before dispersing, they would give the niche a similar opportunity to target massed forces.
A niche could also launch cruise missiles against routine airway traffic. Cruise missiles with active seekers could fly along standard arrival routes and airways. Highly reflective civilian airliners (i.e., the CRAF) on predictable routes, devoid of threat warning receivers or active countermeasures, could incur heavy losses.
GPS jamming would further complicate airlift operations. To degrade enemy cruise missile targeting, the US would almost certainly jam or spoof the civilian GPS signal (“CA” code) in the vicinity of potential US target areas. While US military forces would retain access to the encrypted military GPS signal (“Y” code), US civilian airlifters without access to the GPS Y code would find their GPS navigation equipment unusable within the theater of operations. Combined with the absence of terminal navigation aids (e.g., TACAN/VOR/ILS), only airlifters with access to the GPS Y code would be capable of instrument navigation (to include instrument approaches).
To deal with this possible environment, airlifters should plan for rapid onloads and off-loads within theater, access by civilian airlifters to the GPS Y code, and staggered, nonperiodic routings.
Support the Ground Counteroffensive
Regardless of the effect of aerospace attacks on enemy ground forces, it’s likely the niche leadership would leave its forward invasion elements in place. Even if its troops are halted, cut off, and under continuous attack from the air, a wholesale retreat is unlikely. Granted, such a strategy is illogical. Once its ground forces are stopped in their tracks with no chance of sufficient resupply, a logical enemy leadership would acknowledge the hopelessness of its situation and sue for peace. Unfortunately, such intelligence is rare. Just as Hitler left von Paulus’ Sixth Army at Stalingrad and Saddam left his conscript divisions to be run over in the Kuwaiti theater of operations, we must anticipate that niche enemies would leave their invasion forces in place regardless of the effectiveness of air strikes against them. If these forces occupy territory of interest to the US or its allies, friendly ground forces would eventually have to launch a counteroffensive to drive them out.
Although the inevitability of a ground counteroffensive is of little doubt, its character would be the focus of much debate. Some might recommend a heavy, multidivision ground offensive (similar to the Desert Storm ground war). The upside of this approach is the likelihood of few friendly battle casualties. By using overwhelming firepower, the US should be able to shred what’s left of the niche’s ground invasion/ occupation force. However, this approach also has a downside. It requires a massive buildup prior to G day. This concentration would become a lucrative target for the niche’s cruise missiles. This approach is also time intensive, requiring many months to move hundreds of thousands of troops (with their hundreds of thousands of tons of equipment and supplies) to the area of operations. During this time, the enemy might adapt to the air offensive and devise an alternative strategy.
A better approach would emphasize light ground forces for the counteroffensive.The source could be the local threatened ally, other US allies, and/or US Army and Marines. All would depend on airpower as the source of heavy fire support for maneuver units. This dependence would mean extensive taskings for aerospace forces.
Figure 7. The Iraqi Army in Retreat from Kuwait City
This chapter discussed operational concepts for US aerospace forces in a future war with a niche competitor in 2010. In such a war, the United States would undoubtedly possess more and better aerospace weapons. The US aerospace arsenal would include stealth systems (cruise missiles and manned fighter-bombers), dedicated atmospheric and space-based information systems, automated C2, precision munitions with submeter accuracy, nuclear weapons, and ballistic missiles with intercontinental range. A niche enemy would possess some of these systems in limited quantity. Because of the geopolitical environment, it’s safe to assume the conflict would occur within and adjacent to the niche enemy’s borders. These borders would be several thousand miles from the CONUS.
This war would be fundamentally different from that which is possible today. The biggest difference would lie in the inability of aerospace defenses to protect high-signature forces from attack. In a future war with a niche, we must assume the stealthy cruise missiles and aircraft of both sides would penetrate aerospace defenses in significant numbers. After penetrating, these systems would target key vulnerabilities (due to modern surveillance systems) and would hit what they target (due to modern precision). Unlike Operation Desert Storm, large, fixed, high-signature US facilities would probably absorb attacks. This environment differs markedly from current conditions. It would dictate fundamental changes in our concepts of operation.
The following aspects of niche warfare deserve special emphasis:
- We must avoid deployments of critical fixed targets within range of enemy stealth. Their risk of destruction by stealth systems would be unacceptable.
- JFACC should base in CONUS. This fixed, permanent basing will allow immediate tasking of worldwide assets while excluding a high-value, high-signature target (JFACC HQ) from range of enemy stealth systems.
- LEO satellites would be lucrative targets absent extensive defensive measures. Satellites in GEO will be easier to defend; we can minimize a niche’s limited GEO ASAT capability by attacking its space launch infrastructure.
- To undercut the niche’s ability to continue the war and to punish it for starting the war in the first place, the CINC would probably direct aerospace forces to attack the niche’s wealth. Targets could include trade, resources, and/or services. Assets of the ruling elites would have top priority.
- During the time period of this projection, the US would face only nonstealthy fighters. It’s unlikely a niche would have stealthy aircraft. In addition, any niche would face a serious shortfall in numbers. Even assuming a 1:1 exchange ratio, any niche would lose its frontline fleet and pilots without any hope of quick replacement.
- The US must augment communications and reconnaissance satellites with unmanned atmospheric systems. UAVs promise sufficient loiter times and survivability to accomplish these missions. JFACC would forward NRT information on friendly and enemy maneuvers to allied forces. This transfer would require providing technical support and liaison officers.
- Degrading enemy cruise missile guidance would be a top priority. By manipulating external guidance systems such as GPS and by positioning decoys in the target area, defenders would attempt to exploit any algorithm weaknesses in the enemy system.
- Defenses would take advantage of ballistic missile vulnerabilities (large infrared signature at launch, radar reflective in flight, minimal maneuverability). Having said that, a 100 percent shield is probably impossible.
- We must mount a concentrated offensive against enemy C4I. Cruise missiles and stealth bombers would assume this mission.
- Our defensive counterair campaign would emphasize sensor fusion. Enemy stealth systems would intermittently reflect and emit in flight, especially from the side and rear aspects. A thoroughly fused sensor network holds the possibility of successful detection and tracking.
- Aerospace forces would support the JFICC‘s campaign. All niche vulnerabilities would be targeted from the onset of the war. Aerospace taskings would likely be heavy.
- The aerospace campaign would attempt to deny enemy invasion/occupation, primarily through long-range bombers and cruise missiles delivering precision munitions.
- When airlifting critical supplies and spare parts into the combat area, we must minimize ground times. Depending upon distance from enemy missile launchers, ground times should be measured in terms of minutes, not hours.
- Aerospace forces would support counteroffensive forces. A counteroffensive would probably be necessary to reclaim territory from the aggressor.
- JFACC would attack the niche in parallel. All target types at all levels of war would come under attack near simultaneously. The goal of these attacks would not be attrition. Rather, the goal would be paralysis, especially of the enemy’s C2.
While not an exhaustive list, many of these aspects of a future CONOPS differ significantly from that currently envisioned for MRC planning. Accepting stealth as a given for both sides, we must figure out how to best operate in this environment. Signature reduction would be key to successful operations. Systems with small signatures have a high probability of survival. Those with large signatures would eventually be detected and hit. The implications of this environment deserve extensive examination and debate.
1. Paul Bracken, “The Military After Next,” The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1993, 158.
2. R.C. Webb et al., “The Commercial and Military Satellite Survivability Crisis,” Defense Electronics 27, no. 8 (August 1995): 21–25. A low-yield nuclear detonation would likely “pump” the Van Allen Belts. The enhanced belts would maintain a high radiation state for over a year, thus degrading unshielded replacement satellites.
3. Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (New York: Bantam, 1962), 280–81.
4. Les Aspin, Report of the Bottom-Up Review, October 1993, 13.
5. Christopher Bowie et al., The New Calculus (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1993), 83–84.
6. Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, 1986, 60.
7. Bowie, 70.
8. “Two Types of Airpower,” Orbis, Spring 1995, 190.
9. Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Gulf War Airpower Survey, vol. 5, 1993, 562. (Secret) Information extracted is unclassified.
10. The Military Balance 1994–1995 (London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1994), 137, 178.
11. Christopher J. Bowie et al., “Trends in the Global Balance of Airpower” (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1995). Data is current as of 1991.
12. It takes approximately nine days to off-load a break-bulk ammunition ship. Point paper N513, Headquarters USN, 25 November 1992.