Disadvantages Of Small War

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14 June 1943 remains a pivotal moment in the history of airpower, one that resonates with influential air theorist Giulio Douhet - "aircraft are instruments of offense of incompatible potentialities, against which no effective defense is foreseen”1. Codenamed Operation Pointblank, it was the brainchild of Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower who recognised that one of the keys to achieving victory on D-Day was by having overwhelming air superiority over Normandy skies2. Over the next few months, General Eisenhower's plan of widespread aerial attacks had effectively cripple the Nazi air forces and destroyed their transportation system, thus aiding the amphibious assault over Normandy on D-Day. Such victories accentuate the undeniable…show more content…
Nonetheless, as doctrinated to the United States Marine Corps, small wars are defined as – operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation10. Otherwise known as “terrorism”, “intrastate wars”, “ethnic wars”, "counterterrorism", guerrilla warfare", and "counterinsurgency", small wars are essentially an unconventional violent conflict between a formal military force against an ill-equipped and unsupported, but determined opponent11. Historically, small wars are fast becoming one of the most prevalent forms of armed conflict and it is likely to remain common in the foreseeable future12. In fact these small wars are by no means new on the international political landscape and have increasingly become an integral part of modern warfare with some evolving to a larger military repertoire encompassing a huge arsenal that has led to conflict escalating to the levels of a conventional war, involving artillery, air strikes, and bitter urban…show more content…
One such inhibition is the fact that small wars fighters often avoid traditional symmetrical confrontations. Insurgents and terrorists have since mastered methods to undermine the effectiveness of the capability of airpower preferring to employ asymmetric tactics instead. As mentioned previously and without question, the "Stinger Effect" during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is one such example. While the kill rate and number of targets destroyed are still disputed, the missiles unquestionably shot down Soviet and Afghan aircraft at an unprecedented rate in its first few months of use22. The Stinger's effectiveness was due to multiple technological advantages, as it could attack fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from any angle, unlike the relatively primitive SA-7 and Redeye. But more importantly, the Soviet Air Force were unprepared for the type of conflict they were forced to fight in. Unfortunately their technological superiority did not aid them to win this asymmetric war, as there were pitted up against an inferior, yet unpredictable adversary whom avoided the firepower of a superior air power by maximising the advantages offered by their local knowledge of terrain, climatic conditions and the weather23. As aptly mentioned by military scholar Scott McMichael: "During the first two years of

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