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Heg Impact

U.S. Air power key to heg- empirically proven in Desert Storm

Posen, 3 [Barry R. Posen is Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of its Security Studies Program, “Command of the Commons: The Military Foundation of U.S. Hegemony,” International Security, Volume 28, Number 1, Summer 2003, pp. 5-46 (Article),, DA 7/16/11]//RS
Command of the Air An electronic flying circus of specialized attack, jamming, and electronic intelligence aircraft allows the U.S military to achieve the "suppression of enemy air defenses" (SEAD); limit the effectiveness of enemy radars, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and fighters; and achieve the relatively safe exploitation of enemy skies above 15,000 feet. 37 Cheap and simple air defense weapons, such as antiaircraft guns and shoulder-fired lightweight SAMs, are largely ineffective at these altitudes. Yet at these altitudes aircraft can deliver precision-guided munitions with great accuracy and lethality, if targets have been properly located and identified. The ability of the U.S. military to satisfy these latter two conditions varies with the nature of the targets, the operational circumstances, and the available reconnaissance and command and control assets (as discussed below), so precision-guided munitions are not a solution to every problem. The United States has devoted increasing effort to modern aerial reconnaissance capabilities, including both aircraft and drones, which have improved the military's ability in particular to employ air power against ground forces, but these assets still do not provide perfect, instantaneous information. 38 Confidence in the quality of their intelligence, and the lethality and responsiveness of their air power, permitted U.S. commanders to dispatch relatively small numbers of ground forces deep into Iraq in the early days of the 2003 war, without much concern for counterattacks by large Iraqi army units. 39 The U.S. military maintains a vast stockpile of precision-guided munitions and is adding to it. As of 1995, the Pentagon had purchased nearly 120,000 air-launched precision-guided weapons for land and naval attack at a cost of $18 billion. 40 Some 20,000 of these weapons were high-speed antiradiation missiles [End Page 15] (HARMs), designed to home in on the radar emissions of ground-based SAM systems, a key weapon for the SEAD campaign. Thousands of these bombs and missiles were launched in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but tens of thousands more have been ordered. 41 The capability for precision attack at great range gives the United States an ability to do significant damage to the infrastructure and the forces of an adversary, while that adversary can do little to harm U.S. forces. 42 Air power alone may not be able to determine the outcome of all wars, but it is a very significant asset. Moreover, U.S. air power has proven particularly devastating to mechanized ground forces operating offensively, as was discovered in the only Iraqi mechanized offensive in Desert Storm, the battle of al-Khafji, in which coalition air forces pummeled three advancing Iraqi divisions. 43 The United States can provide unparalleled assistance to any state that fears a conventional invasion, making it a very valuable ally.

Aerospace is the best internal link to heg- achieves strategic, operational and tactical objectives

USAF, 2k [United States Air Force, “Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power,” Air Force Doctrine Document 2, February 17, 2000,, DA 7/15/11]//RS
Aerospace power is the use of lethal and nonlethal means by aerospace forces to achieve strategic, operational, and tactical objectives. Aerospace power can rapidly provide the national leadership a full range of military options for meeting national objectives and protecting national interests. From peacetime engagement to deterrence, from crisis response to winning wars, aerospace forces offer rapid, flexible, and effective lethal and nonlethal power. Due to its speed and range, aerospace power operates in ways that are fundamentally different from other forms of military power. Aerospace power has the ability to focus the entire theater’s efforts onto a single target or target set, unlike surface forces that typically divide up the battlefield into individual unit operating areas. Airmen view the application of force more from a functional than geographic standpoint and classify targets by the effect their destruction has on the enemy rather than where the targets are physically located.

Aerospace vital to heg- All combat operations and infrastructure require aerospace to function

USAF, 2k [United States Air Force, “Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power,” Air Force Doctrine Document 2, February 17, 2000,, DA 7/15/11]//RS
In the strategic sense, aerospace power conducts maneuver through global mobility and global attack. At this level of war, maneuver concerns such issues as ASETF deployment, over flight rights, intertheater airlift, and orbital access. Command and control of such globally deployed aerospace power is also involved. A theater CINC positioning forces so operational commanders can use them to greatest possible effect exemplifies strategic maneuver. This positioning includes not only the combat forces themselves, but also all of the combat support and infrastructure required for them to function. In simple terms, strategic maneuver involves deployment while operational and tactical maneuver concerns employment. Some missions can involve all three types of maneuver, such as when a deploying unit drops munitions en route to its deployed location or when a long-range bomber departs its CONUS home station, drops ordnance on a distant target, and returns. Tactical maneuver is the most readily recognized form of maneuver and involves individual platforms using three-dimensional movements through air or space to accomplish specific tasks. Examples include a fighter maneuvering to its opponent’s six o’clock position for a gun kill, a bomber using terrain masking while inbound to the target, or a reconnaissance satellite performing an orbital plane change to overfly a desired point of interest. In these cases, aerospace assets use their common advantage of three-dimensional maneuver to achieve an advantage in the battlespace. While tactical maneuver emphasizes such technological measures of performance as “g-available” and “delta-v,” tactical superiority only counts when it can be turned into an operational or strategic advantage.

Aerospace is key to heg- allows for effective and rapid attack

USAF, 2k [United States Air Force, “Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power,” Air Force Doctrine Document 2, February 17, 2000,, DA 7/15/11]//RS
Aerospace power is usually employed to greatest effect in parallel, asymmetric operations. This includes precision strikes against surface forces, information attack against command and control systems, or precision strikes against infrastructure and COGs. Asymmetric attack uses the speed and range of aerospace power, coupled with its threedimensional advantage, to strike the enemy where it hurts the most. Symmetric force-on-force warfare is sometimes required, such as the air-to-air combat often associated with achieving air superiority. At the beginning of a conflict, other offensive operations can sometimes be accomplished in parallel with counterair operations. If the enemy strongly challenges our air superiority, we may be forced into serial operations in which all available assets must be dedicated to winning air superiority before any offensive operations other than counterair attack missions are flown. In general terms, experience has shown that parallel and asymmetric operations are more effective, achieve results faster, and are less costly than symmetric or serial operations. Today, precision engagement and increased intelligence capabilities allow simultaneous and rapid attack on key nodes and forces, producing a cumulative effect that overwhelms the enemy’s capacity to recover. As a result, the effects of parallel operations are achieved quickly and are likely to be decisive. In addition to the physical destruction from parallel operations, the shock and surprise of such attacks, coupled with the uncertainty of when or where the next blow will fall, can lead to serious morale effects on the enemy. Commanders should consider these facts when deciding how best to employ aerospace power at the theater level.

Aerospace is vital to heg- laundry list

USAF, 2k [United States Air Force, “Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power,” Air Force Doctrine Document 2, February 17, 2000,, DA 7/15/11]//RS
Aerospace power can be instrumental to success in this phase of operations. Aerospace forces can assist in locating and removing unexploded ordnance. They can help locate pockets of enemy resistance and, if necessary, neutralize the threat. The same information gained during the combat research phase of campaign planning can be used to identify those social, economic, political, and cultural factors that may require posthostilities attention. This data, combined with the intelligence gathered during the conflict, can be used to identify and apply required national assistance or military influence to stabilize the postconflict environment. Aerospace forces can provide intelligence, airlift, and humanitarian assistance; help restore basic infrastructure; provide transportation, communications, and information support; and provide other assistance required by military, international, regional, and private organizations. Aerospace forces can directly support treaty compliance and verification. Military operations may vary from establishing a12 military government (e.g., post-World War II Japan), conducting civil affairs (e.g., post-JUST CAUSE in Panama), performing aerial occupation (e.g., no-fly zones in Iraq), conducting humanitarian operations (e.g., PROVIDE COMFORT in Turkey), to cooperating with a myriad governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The nature of the operation and the required military support will be decided by the objectives of the NCA. Finally, the redeployment of forces should be planned to provide for an orderly, well-defended withdrawal once the required objectives are met. Whether conflict termination is imposed by decisive military victory or through a negotiated settlement, aerospace forces play a critical role in any posthostility transition as they offer global and theaterwide capabilities. Since aerospace forces offer national leaders a potent force to support political and economic instruments of national power during posthostilities, COMAFFORs must clearly and explicitly define the capabilities of their respective forces to meet the objectives of conflict termination.

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