By Alan Vick
Identifies options and applied sciences that can increase the USA Air Force's potential to discover, classify, realize, and defeat elusive objectives, even if dispersed floor forces or cellular ballistic missles.
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Extra info for Aerospace Operations Against Elusive Ground Targets
6 Finally, land operations may not be feasible in the given area of operations or against certain classes of targets. The United States will usually be dependent upon the willingness of allied and friendly countries to grant basing and transit rights. The campaign against Saddam Hussein, for example, would have been impossible without cooperation from Saudi Arabia. In Kosovo, the United States and its NATO allies needed cooperation from Albania and Macedonia. Albania was willing enough, but had only one marginally adequate seaport and poor lines of communication into Kosovo.
21 But air power alone could not stop Yugoslav forces from perpetrating crimes in Kosovo, as senior Air Force leaders realized. General Short preferred to minimize efforts against fielded forces in Kosovo because he expected poor results: “We couldn’t stop the killing in Kosovo from the air. ”22 General John P. S. ” 24 Inadequate Planning Even though the Kosovo crisis developed slowly and gave ample warning, NATO neither planned nor prepared adequately for Operation Allied Force. For political reasons, NATO planned and prepared for a short air operation against a small target set (Limited Air Response), apparently based on the optimistic assumption that Belgrade would capitulate quickly.
Short had decided that aircraft under his control would avoid low-altitude air defense by staying at least 15,000 feet above ground level (AGL). Short reasoned that it was better to minimize friendly losses by staying moderately high than to get closer to the target or under the weather by flying low. 19 Mid- to higher-altitude defenses prevented more-vulnerable aircraft, such as the Joint STARS, AC-130s, and attack helicopters from overflying Kosovo or Serbia. At mid-altitudes, fighter aircraft often had to take evasive action to avoid radar-guided surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).