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Examines how U.S national security strategy and the USAF might change to better confront new challenges presented by future major regional conflicts and counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and nation-assistance operations. The report proposes a new “division of labor” among the services to better adapt them to the varied demands that they will face in the future and identifies important new priorities for the USAF, including: helping defeat adversary ballistic and cruise missiles: helping build and operate the joint and interagency “inform and act” intelligence infrastructure that will be needed to deal with the difficult security challenges confronting the nation; and rebalancing the force to better enable prompt operations from bases far away from the battlefield. New or accelerated initiatives are needed to identify, track, and engage small, mobile, or concealed targets; defeat advanced air defenses; neutralize adversary nuclear weapons; and provide assistance to friendly governments threatened by insurgencies or terrorist groups.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Future Challenges: Major Combat Operations

  • Chapter Three

    Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency, and Nation Assistance

  • Chapter Four

    Implications for the Nation and the USAF

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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