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Free «The US Air Force and Asymmetric Warfare» Essay Sample

The system and practices that have been described in this paper deal with the USAF Weapon System. The capabilities of the USAF Weapon System and how they are utilized and operated are also mentioned here. The main reason for choosing the USAF Weapon System as the topic of this paper is the fact that the USAF environment is changing all the time, and today its pace is greater than ever. The unit of the US is the key for the success of the asymmetric wars in recent times.

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Rationale

America’s grand strategy till now was to preserve the uncontested global supremacy it has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War times and maintain the geopolitical unipolar environment that has come into existence ever since. As a mater of fact, America has pushed for such status since the post World War II era. After September 11, 2001, when America suffered from the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon braced up its defenses against international terrorism that became America’s central concern. It declared war on Afghanistan to flush out the Al Qaeda and achieve a quasi success in the process. Once these immediate threats were defused, the nation was faced with a few alternatives in relation to its foreign policy, which it needed to choose to best extenuate the threats of further terrorist attacks against the nation. The 2003 attacks on Iraq aiming at using force to restore democracy made it apparent that the U.S. strategy of preponderance would be followed in a belligerent manner. All these activities prove the overall supremacy of the US as the only superpower. This has been achieved with the help of the policy of asymmetric warfare. According to Raleigh (2010), asymmetric warfare is a situation where “One side can have a technological advantage which outweighs the numerical advantage of the enemy” (p.74). The US certainly possesses this technological advantage, and it was best revealed in the use of the USAF. Thus, USAF is the driving force of the successful policy of asymmetric warfare which in turn is responsible for the global military supremacy of the US. The American military institutions, particularly the Air Force, enjoy an overpowering superiority as they are equipped with high-end technological machinery in conventional war capabilities. Regional powers are of no match to their abilities in this sphere and thus cannot contend with the U.S dominance. As a result, it is only logical to explore the parameters of the USAF and its use as a tool in the asymmetric warfare.

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Synopsis

It can be seen that at present the basic character of USAF operations is changing as more and more hi-tech weapons and weapon systems are readily being made available to the various nations which are far more capable than the other ones. The USAF Weapon Systems encompass a number of subsystems and components that range from manually operated simple devices designed to carry out a specific function to complex groups of subsystems that are able to perform several functions on different targets at the same time and are connected through communication channels and high speed computers. The USAF Weapon System is somewhat based on asymmetric warfare and littoral operations, and almost every USAF Weapon System executes the “Fire Control Problem which includes target detection, localization or resolution, classification, tracking, weapons selection and neutralization” (Nuechterlein 87). These basic functions are carried out by the USAF Weapon System from tanks, aircrafts, and submarines or by the marine infantry. USAF Weapon System can be divided into three basic subcategories based on their function asdata measurement, computation, and data utilization.

All these activities are used to achieve one primary objectiveto release an annihilative force to destroy an enemy target. A warhead has 3 functional units – the warhead case, an explosive filling and fuse, which contains the arming and safety devices. A warhead can be characterized by its attenuation, damage volume, and propagation. They are of 5 primary types – continuous rod, fragmentation, blast, shaped charge, and special purpose warheads, which include “anti-tank warheads, mines, chaff warheads, pyrotechnic warheads, chemical and biological warheads, torpedoes, cluster bomb units or CBU, thermal warheads, anti-personnel warheads, and radiation warheads” (Schuler 349). All these elements are formidable forces of the USAF that make this defense unit of the US a perfect tool to win the asymmetric war and make the US the supreme military power.

 
 
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Opinion

The USAF Weapons System is extremely effective and adequate since the operations that are conducted by it through the above systems and procedures result in very little collateral damages. They have also successfully developed passive defense measures which effectively reduce the efficiency of the enemy to a great extent. For the USAF forces to be able to quickly respond and take actions during hostile situations, they should have the proper level of force. Their forces through the utilization of the mentioned systems are extremely skilled and thus are able to fight any type of conventional wars. And this is mainly possible since they have an exceptionally flexible weapon system.However, since like every other system in this world, the USAF Weapon System is also developing, there is still room for further improvement. Their fire control systems and guidance systems still need to be improved further so that they have the latest technological advances integrated with their weapons and weapon systems. Although infrared and acoustic frequencies have been utilized by the communication, weapons and sensors of the USAF Weapon System, they are yet to fully exploit its potential, and thus they need to encourage more research work in this area. Nevertheless, the USAF and its facilities are clear winners in the asymmetric wars, and this force is fundamental of US power, politics, and military in the globe.

However, as understood by the new administration of Barak Obama, with a changing world situation, continuing the strategy of American preponderance would cause disastrous effects (Nuechterlein 114). Fighting wars are expensive and take the toll on the economy.  With the current economic crisis, mounting going to war is not a feasible option anymore. Even exerting uncalculated pressure on countries may backfire and pose a threat to American security. The new president believes that time has come to remake America. He understands the essentiality of tempering characteristics of humbleness and restraint.

   

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