Almost every counterinsurgency force uses an Air Force to some
extent. A superpower like the United States or the Soviet Union has
access to incredible airpower. However, the posession of air power does
not mean it is employed effectively or successfully in a
counterinsurgent (COIN) environment.
A-29 Super Tucano by Embraer. Twenty of these planes will be provided to
Afghan Air Force in 2016-2018 for their counterinsurgency fight against
Publications, Papers, and Reports about COIN and Airpower
Cherisey, Erwan de. Task Force Musketeer, Afghan War News,
February 2015. France supported Task Force Lafayette in Kapisa and
Sarobi in Afghanistan with their helicopter task force of transport and
Aigner, Frank Douglas. Soviet Airpower in Afghanistan. Could ISAF
have learned a lesson?, Ballots & Bullets - School of Politics &
International Relations, University of Nottingham, March 26, 2014.
Lyall, Jason. Bombing to Lose? Airpower and the Dynamics of
Violence in Counterinsurgency Wars, Yale University, August 9,
Saeed, Hadiza Santali. Can Airpower Win 'Hears and Minds'?
Lessons from the Malayan Emergency, Ballots & Bullets - School of
Politics & International Relations, University of Nottingham, March 30,
Schwartz, Norton A. "Airpower in Counterinsurgency and Stability
Operations", Prism 2, No. 2, 2014, pages 127-134. General
Norton A. Schwartz served as Chief of Staff of the United States Air
Force and served for many years in Air Force Special Operations Command.
Welsh, Holly. The Real Value of Airpower in Afghanistan,
Ballots & Bullets - School of Politics & International Relations,
University of Nottingham, March 27, 2014.
Clegg, Mark. "Air Power, Counter-insurgency and Influence: the
British experience during the period 1945-1976", The Royal Canadian
Air Force Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 2012.
Dunlap, Charles J. Air-Minded Considerations for Joint
Counterinsurgency Doctrine, E-International Relations, January 25,
Kocher, Matthew Adam, et al. "Aerial Bombing and Counterinsurgency in
the Vietnam War", American Journal of Political Science, Vol.
00, No. 0, xxx 2011, Pp. 1-18, 2011.
Ritchie, Dr. Sebastian, The RAF, Small Wars and Insurgenices in
the Middle East, 1919-1939, Air Historical Branch, Royal Air Force,
Ritchie, Dr. Sebastian, The RAF, Small Wars and Insurgencies:
Later Colonial Operations, 1945-1975, Air Historical Branch, Royal
Air Force, 2011.
Stubbs, Squadron Leader David. Afghanistan Needs Our Air Power
not Our 'Boots on the Ground', RAFCAPS Discussion Paper No. 3,
Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, 2010. The author advances
the argument that the Afghan military needed to train personnel to
conduct forward air control duties and to establish regional Theater
Ahmad, Irfan. Role of Airpower for Counterinsurgency in
Afghanistan and FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), June
2009. Naval Post Graduate School (NPS).
Hayward, Joel, Air Power, Insurgency and the "War on Terror",
Maguinness, Angelina M. "Counterinsurgency: Is "Air Control" the
Answer?", Small Wars Journal, 2009. The author provides an
explanation of the best role for air power in a counterinsurgency.
Dunlap, Charles J. "Making Revolutionary Change: Airpower in COIN
Today", Parameters, Summer 2008. MG Dunlap argues that Field
Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency, published by the U.S. Army in
2006 significantly understates the important role that airpower can play
in a counterinsurgency and that precision and persistance has improved
airpowers ability to support COIN.
Vick et al. Air Power in the New Counterinsurgency Era: The
Strategic Importance of USAF Advisory and Assistance Missions, RAND
Corporation, paper prepared for the United States Air Force, 2006.
Smyth, Paul. "Airpower and Counterinsurgency: Building on a Proper
Foundation", Air & Space Power Journal, 2001, pages 115 - 126.
Smyth is a former Tornado pilot of the RAF who flew in a number of
Global War on Terrorism conflicts.
Johnson, Robert Craig. COIN: French Counter-Insurgency Aircraft,
1946-1965, published 1998.
Tiger Attack Helicopter (France) - Photo credit
Erwan de Cherisey
Books about COIN and Airpower
Cann, John P. Flight Plan Africa: Portuguese Airpower in
Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974, Helion and Company, March 2015.
Portugal reconfigured its air force to support the counterinsurgency in
three of its African colonies in the 1960s to the 1970s. Read book
Corum, James S. Airpower in Small Wars: Fighting Insurgents and
Terrorists, University Press of Kansas (June 30, 2003). Available
Amazon.com. Read a
book review by A.A. Nofi posted on Strategy Page.
Wood, Richard. Counter-Strike From the Sky: The Rhodesian
All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush 1974-1980. 30 Degrees
South Publishers (May 2009). Available on
News Articles about COIN and Airpower
September 25, 2014.
LAS in, LAS out: Counterinsurgency Planes for the USA and its Allies,
Defense Industry Daily.
March 30, 2010.
Airpower in Counterinsurgency, Wings Over Iraq Blog. A look at
the British use of airpower in the counterinsurgency fight in Iraq
post-World War I.
December 16, 2009.
"U.S. Failed to Get Best Planes, Best Bombs, and Best Plans into Afghan
Fight", Wired.com. A former air boss (06) says that the Air
Force had the wrong bombs, didn't start building the Afghan Air Force
soon enough, and the American troops are doing too much of the fighting.
"In Today's Wars, Air Strikes Under Fire", by Sandra Erwin,
National Defense Magazine. Despite the technological precision of
today's air platforms civilians still manage to be killed or injured
during counterinsurgency air strikes - undermining efforts to win over
March 18, 2005.
Air Power and Counterinsurgency in Iraq: Dominating the skies is
essential to support troops on the ground, by Lawrence Spinetta,
Council on Foreign Relations.