Organizing, Training, and Equipping the Air Force for Crises and Lesser Conflicts

by Carl H. Builder, Theodore W. Karasik


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Operations short of war, one of three basic responsibilities of the U.S. armed services, are increasingly consuming the attention and resources of U.S. military forces around the world, in such places as Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Kuwait. The most stressing of these operations are nonroutine international crises and conflicts, particularly those that might lead to U.S. combat operations short of war. These situations have, at times and for some specialized capabilities, stressed the forces to exhaustion or failure. More generally, they have encroached upon the training and readiness of the forces, leading to a public debate as to whether such assignments are a "proper" use of U.S. military power. This report explores where, why, and how operations short of war are stressing the forces, particularly the aerospace forces, and how those stresses upon USAF capabilities might be relieved by changes in Air Force organization, training, and equipment.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The CALC Dilemma

  • Chapter Three

    Organizing for CALCS

  • Chapter Four

    Training for CALCS

  • Chapter Five

    Equipping for CALCS

  • Chapter Six

    Concluding Observations

  • References

Research conducted by

The research supporting this report was conducted as part of the Crises and Lesser Conflicts (CALCs) project under the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure Program of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.

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