Airpower Strategy for the 21st Century

Airpower Strategy for the 21st Century
U.S. Air Force Photo/TSgt Fernando Serna
Airpower Strategy for the 21st Century
U.S. Air Force Photo/TSgt Fernando Serna

Earlier this year, The Strategy Bridge asked university and professional military education students to participate in our first annual writing contest by sending us their thoughts on strategy.

Now, we are pleased to present one of the essays selected for honorable mention, from Tyson Westzel of the Unites States Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

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United States Air Force (USAF) airpower strategy is in a period of stasis and badly in need of reinvigoration. The post-Vietnam era brought about a renaissance in airpower thinking, as combat veterans returned from their wartime experiences determined to avoid making the same mistakes they saw repeated in the Vietnam air campaign. Colonel John Boyd developed a theory of military conflict that emphasized speed and tempo to create havoc inside the mind of the enemy. Colonel John Warden built on Boyd’s theories and applied airpower to the Clausewitzian concept of centers of gravity to design his Five Rings Theory. Warden’s intellectual successor was Lieutenant General David Deptula, who worked closely with Warden in the development of the Operation DESERT STORM (ODS) air campaign. After the war, Deptula developed a theory of air operations he called Effects-Based Operations (EBO), which advocated viewing the adversary as a system, and directing effects on critical links and nodes within that system. EBO was the last overarching airpower strategy embraced by the USAF, but its influence has waned over the last decade, and no airpower theory has taken its place. This has had very real consequences; Airmen have come to believe airpower exists simply to support ground operations, as opposed to a mechanism to deter, shape, and win conflicts. The USAF is desperately in need of an overarching airpower strategy to explain to itself, and the joint and coalition community, what airpower is capable of, and how it will be employed in current and future conflicts across the realm of military operations.

Lt Gen (ret) David A. Deptula (U.S. Air Force Photo)

EBO was the natural outgrowth of U.S. technological innovation and superiority over adversaries in ODS, Operation ALLIED FORCE (OAF), and the opening phases of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). Stealth aircraft and weapons could penetrate adversary defenses, precision-guided munitions allowed for the successful targeting of key links and nodes, and parallel attacks on these nodes, magnifying the strategic effect of air operations. As its name implies, effects of air operations were the focus of EBO as an airpower strategy. Effects-based thinking remains a valid method of employment, whether talking about targeting a terror network, systematically dismantling an integrated air defense system, executing a cyber attack, or finding and killing a mobile target like a surface-to-surface missile launcher. That said, the focus of current and future wars will be less on technology or weapons and their associated effects, but rather than information that will enable those effects to be directed at the right target, at the right time, and place. The next overarching airpower strategy should recognize the importance of information dominance.

Current and future conflicts are likely to be won by the side that dominates the information realm. The winning side must be able to collect, fuse, analyze, and act on timely and accurate information, while denying the adversary the ability to do the same. EBO need not go away, but the focus of airpower strategy now must shift from an effects-based model to an information-based model. Thus, this paper will propose a new strategy for the employment of airpower, Information-Centric Operations (ICO), and advocate for a transition in strategic airpower thinking from EBO to ICO. Though ICO has applicability in all domains and to each service, I will scope this paper to Air Force airpower strategy and employment.

This is not to say the Air Force lacks a strategic vision or doctrine to guide Airmen. There are a multitude of documents that espouse the future of USAF airpower employment, including the Air Force Strategic Master Plan, Air Force Future Operating Concept, and Air Force Doctrine, Vol. 1, Basic Doctrine. Unfortunately, few Airmen have read these documents, and fewer still understand what they mean for Air Force employment and how they fit into the future of airpower employment. What is missing is an overarching strategy that all Airmen, regardless of combat specialty, can understand and know the role they play in Air Force operations. EBO gave Airmen that understanding, even without reading the source documentation it was relatively easy to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the strategy; the adversary should be looked at as a system with links and nodes that were susceptible to attack or denial (effects). ICO provides a similar guiding strategic principle to all Airmen; current and future wars are likely to be won by the side that can most effectively dominate the informational realm. Air, space, and cyberspace forces have a unique capability to collect information in multiple domains, rapidly fuze, analyze, and disseminate that information and allow an effect to be delivered. This information dominance will allow the Air Force to deter, shape, and ultimately win future wars.


EBO gained influence in the U.S., and later the Israeli Air Forces in the late 1990s and early 2000s. General Deptula eloquently and passionately advocated for effects-based thinking to drive military operations. The overwhelming success of the ODS air campaign, and the critical role that then-Lieutenant Colonel Deptula had in the development of that campaign bolstered the theory and it caught hold in the U.S. military. According to aerospace historian Dr. Richard Hallion, “The success of the Desert Storm air campaign encouraged the widespread adaptation of effects-based operations (EBO), despite an undercurrent of persistent reluctance and even outright opposition from traditionalists who rejected EBO’s implications that combat operations could be executed rationally by treating an opponent as a system of networks and nodes that could be precisely targeted.”[1] As Hallion points out, even at its peak of influence, there were EBO opponents who doubted the fundamental premise of the strategy. However, the success of ODS, OAF, and the early phases of OIF and OEF seemed to prove the efficacy of the theory.

EBO began to lose favor in the Department of Defense (DOD) in the late 2000s, for at least three major reasons. First, there was a widespread perception among influential DOD personnel that an overreliance on EBO was a primary cause of the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF’s) underperforming and disappointing results in the Second Lebanon War. This belief was perpetuated by an influential Combat Studies Institute (CSI) report on the conflict that concluded EBO was a major cause of the IDF’s failures: “The Effects-Based Operations (EBO) and Systemic Operational Design (SOD)-inspired doctrine that vigorously embraced air power at the expense of a classic ground maneuver campaign was certainly a major factor in the IDF’s disappointing performance.”[2] The second major critique against EBO was based on the burgeoning insurgency in Iraq during this period (2006-2008), and the belief among many DOD personnel that airpower and EBO had failed to deliver on its promise in winning low-intensity conflicts because it could not effectively cope with non-linear systems like insurgent and terrorist groups.[3] The death knell for EBO was its total repudiation in 2008 by U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis, then the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). General Mattis believed EBO, and its offshoot theories, Operational Net Assessment (ONA) and System-of-System Analysis (SoSA), were oversold and had produced few benefits to the warfighter. “After a thorough evaluation, it is my assessment that the ideas reflected in EBO, ONA, and SoSA have not delivered on their advertised benefits and that a clear understanding of these concepts have proven problematic and elusive for US and multinational personnel…This has resulted in an overall negative impact on joint warfighting.”[4] General Mattis barred the use of EBO and its associated terms in JFCOM.

Despite its fall from grace, the intellectual underpinnings of EBO were not effectively disproven and EBO remains a valid concept for the employment of airpower. There are a myriad of reasons for the IDF’s struggles in the Second Lebanon War, including an inadequate national strategy to destroy Hezbollah, a campaign planned exclusively as an air war, intellectual hubris and an associated decline in readiness in training from overwhelming IDF successes in wars with Arab neighbors, and poor teaching and understanding of EBO. Perceived airpower failures in the counter-insurgency (COIN) fights of Iraq and Afghanistan, and now the campaign against ISIS, have more to do with a lack of national strategy and artificial constraints applied to airpower employment than the failure of EBO. Even General Mattis’ critique of EBO was more an indictment of the understanding of the concept than the strategy itself. The theory of EBO as explained by General Deptula remains valid: “By imposing very specific effects on an adversary through means employed from air and space, airpower can effectively exercise strategic control over the outcome of a conflict.”[5] When properly applied, EBO has been phenomenally successful. The Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya regimes fell within a matter of weeks, and airpower played a major role in each of these conflicts. Failures in national strategy to fight insurgencies in these nations should not be blamed on EBO. Thus, EBO should remain the method of airpower employment, but a new strategic vision that focuses more on the information required to execute an EBO campaign is needed to prepare the USAF to effectively fight and win current and future conflicts.


In 2016, the USAF released the Air Superiority 2030 (AS 2030) Flight Plan, which looked at the ability of the service to establish air superiority in high intensity conflicts in the near future. The report presents a sobering conclusion: “The Air Force’s projected force structure in 2030 is not capable of fighting and winning against this array of potential adversary capabilities.” According to the AS 2030 Flight Plan, “Developing and delivering air superiority for the highly contested environment in 2030 requires a multi-domain focus on capabilities and capacity.”[6] Unfortunately, the AS 2030 Flight Plan focuses on acquisition and development of capabilities, and provides no strategy that Airmen can learn and employ to fight and win in these highly contested conflicts of the near future.

Brigadier General Alex Grynkewich, who directed the USAF AS 2030 Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team that developed the AS 2030 Flight Plan, conceded that innovative new technologies will provide capabilities to future warfighters, but those technologies must be linked with what he calls a concept of operation, but could more accurately be called an overarching airpower strategy. General Grynkewich argued technologies such as hypersonic weapons and swarming tactics need a unifying idea for employment: “Such innovations must be paired with valid concepts of operation to make them effective in the expected operational environment. A concept based on tactics or technology is interesting, but only when paired with a concept of operations can it become compelling.”[7] Critical to these emerging technologies is the voracious need for information, and more accurately, timely and actionable intelligence. Hypersonic weapons and swarms of mini-drones are only effective if the shooter knows where the target and its defenses are. Cyber weapons are only effective if one understands an adversary’s network(s). These types of capabilities require decision-quality intelligence, which is derived from the rapid collection, fusion, analysis, and delivery of information. Thus, airpower strategy must move from effects-centric to information-centric to make it clear to Airmen that timely and accurate information dissemination is the key to a successful air operation or campaign.

ICO is the strategy that can act as the connective tissue between new platforms, sensors, and weapons described in the AS 2030 Flight Plan. General Deptula, the author of EBO, explained how war is changing, the criticality of information to military operations, and the role of aerospace forces in this new type of twenty-first century warfare:

Leading-edge computing and network capabilities have empowered the emergence of information as the dominant factor in warfare. As a result, today we are in the midst of an ‘information in war revolution’—one in which the speed of information, advances in technology, and the design of organizations are merging to change the way we conduct warfare. As we move further into the twenty-first century, new aerospace capabilities will create a paradigm shift in the role that aircraft play in warfare (emphasis added).[8]

ICO focuses on the importance of not only collected information, but also the speed required to fuse, analyze, and deliver intelligence derived from that raw information. Air, space, and cyberspace forces play a critical role in the collection, fusing, analysis, and propagation of this information to the joint force, the command and control (C2) of operations using this finished intelligence, and the weapons, both operational and developmental, that will allow the application of kinetic and non-kinetic effects at the right time and place to dominate the adversary. These functions; the rapid collection, fusing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence; C2 of operations across multiple domains; and the execution of kinetic and/or non-kinetic effects are the critical components of the ICO strategy. ICO should not drive USAF or joint forces away from traditional methods of employment such as maneuver warfare, rather it is designed to provide context to this new type of conflict.


ICO is made up of three fundamental pillars: Information Dominance, C2, and Effects on the Battlespace. Each of these pillars has been the recent subject of intense discussion among airpower theorists and practitioners. Unfortunately, few have attempted to link these vital functions into an overarching airpower strategy. Information dominance has both a positive component, collecting and accurately analyzing information on the adversary, and a negative component, denying the adversary the ability to do the same. For brevity’s sake I will only discuss the collecting and analyzing of data from multiple sources, and avoid the denial of this capability to the adversary, which truly deserves its own detailed analysis. C2 has always been a core competency of the Air Force, and is central to ensuring operations are synchronized, coordinated, and executed safely and effectively. Of late, Air Force officials have begun to stress the need to conduct C2 in the multiple dimensions of conflict, to include space and cyberspace. This effort is known as Multi-Domain Command and Control (MDC2), and is one of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General David Goldfein’s three major focus areas. Finally, the Air Force plays a vital role in rapidly employing overwhelming kinetic and/or non-kinetic effects on the enemy. EBO is still a valid methodology for airpower employment, but effects must be delivered in an ever-shortening timeline. In an era of mobile targets, intelligence is perishable and targets are fleeting. Once a target is identified, an effect must be deployed quickly or the intelligence is useless.

Pillars of Information-Centric Operations (Graphic designed by the author)

Information Dominance

Central to ICO is the ability to turn collected information into actionable intelligence. To win future conflicts, General Goldfein argues we need to “rapidly identify, synthesize, and present timely, decision-quality information to the right leader in the most useful format possible (emphasis added).”[9] Information dominance, which I define as the rapid and accurate collection, fusion, analysis, and production of timely, decision-quality intelligence, and the ability to deny the adversary the ability to do the same. Advances in USAF and DOD collection capabilities in multiple domains are making the aspiration of Information Dominance more achievable. According to Lieutenant General VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson and Colonel Maurizio “Mo” Calabrese, both Air Force intelligence officers, current and emerging intelligence capabilities, such as improved collection assets and their distributed processing, exploitation, and dissemination nodes, improved space- and cyber-based intelligence, and even non-traditional source of intelligence will improve decision quality analysis, but the most significant benefit comes from the fusing of these disparate sources of data. “Each of these capabilities can individually deliver vital information to the warfighter, but a true capability leap lies in the ability to fuse the information together in a time and space of our choosing to deliver actionable intelligence to decision makers[10].” General Jamieson and Colonel Calabrese call this capability Fusion Warfare, and the delivering of decision-quality intelligence is the heart of Information Dominance, and is a critical aspect of ICO.[11]

Speed and tempo play a key role in Information Dominance. Dr. Hallion noted current and future wars will be decided more by the timely distribution of intelligence than the actual collection of that intelligence. “The critical challenge—one encountered notably in the Gulf War and in conflicts since—is less the acquisition of ISR and more its timely processing and distribution—the turning of raw ISR feed into actionable intelligence that is then returned to deployed forces in time for incorporation into operational plans and combat execution.”[12] Dr. Hallion focuses on the speed component of Information Dominance, the ability to rapidly build and disseminate an accurate picture of the operational environment.

The force of the near future needs to be sensor agnostic and target-centric. According to General Grynkewich, the future force “must be able to take data from the array of available sources and sensors and rapidly turn it into decision-quality information. Such a decision might be at the operational level, allowing a commander to apportion forces for desired effects, or it might be at the tactical level, providing operators with multi-domain situational awareness and targeting solutions.”[13] General Deptula described the force of tomorrow, and how the capabilities of traditional ISR assets, space- and cyber-based collection, and non-traditional collection sources such as fifth-generation fighters will be integrated and the resulting information synthesized in a combat cloud:

[N]ew aerospace capabilities will create a paradigm shift in the role that aircraft play in warfare. Fifth-generation aircraft and those that will succeed them will become sensor-shooter ‘nodes’ in every domain—air, space, land, and sea—these assets will coalesce into a ‘combat cloud’: a self-forming, self-healing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR)-strike-maneuver-sustainment complex that has the potential to usher in a new era of warfare. Instead of relying on traditional approaches that mass fighters, bombers, and supporting aircraft into strike packages to attack particular targets, a combat cloud will integrate complementary capabilities into a single, combined ‘weapons system’ that can conduct disaggregated, distributed operations over an entire operational area.[14]

It is here where a new airpower strategy that focuses on the importance of information will pay huge dividends. All Air Force operators, whether they are fighter, bomber, ISR aircrew, intelligence, cyber, or space personnel, will understand the role they play in achieving Information Dominance that will be the critical first step to winning future conflicts.

Multi-Domain Command and Control (MDC2)

General Goldfein has made MDC2 a major focus area of his term as CSAF, issuing a paper to the service titled “Enhancing Multi-Domain Command and Control…Tying it All Together.” According to General Goldfein, “multi-domain C2 must enable commanders to leverage this enhanced decision-making capability to direct forces across domains and missions.”[15] The enhanced decision-making that General Goldfein alludes to is the “timely, decision-quality information” that was discussed in the Information Dominance section. Unfortunately, much of the force does not understand how MDC2 is any different than how they employ now, and for many it is simply another catchphrase that lacks meaning. This is another advantage of ICO as an overarching strategy; it provides context to the multi-domain portion of MDC2. Information derived from assets in each domain is fused, analyzed, and disseminated to the air component and the joint force. C2 forces are responsible for the quick and accurate dissemination of this information to the warfighter for prosecution of a target(s).

Though MDC2 is a new term, it is actually a concept that is nested in the warfare theory presented by John Boyd, specifically his Observe—Orient—Decide—Act (OODA) loop. The OODA loop describes how individuals, units, and nations make decisions. Central to Boyd’s theory was that understanding the OODA loop allowed one to take more accurate and decisive actions more rapidly than the enemy. According to Boyd, one should “[o]perate inside [the] adversary’s observation-orientation-decision-action loops to enmesh [the] adversary in a world of uncertainty, doubt, mistrust, confusion, disorder, fear, panic, chaos, and/or fold [the] adversary back inside himself so that he cannot cope with events/efforts as they unfold.”[16]

General Goldfein’s conception of MDC2 is nearly identical to Boyd’s OODA loop. “The changing national security environment also requires us to examine how we sense, decide, and act rapidly and in concert across all domains—or put it another way, master command and control of the multi-domain battle (emphasis added).”[17] The sense that General Goldfein describes is just the combination of Boyd’s observe and orient stages of the loop, while both Goldfein and Boyd emphasize the need to decide and act rapidly. General Goldfein also focuses on tempo, a major point that Boyd stressed, as he argues for a “multi-dimensional attack that not only keeps the defense off balance…but also plays at an increased tempo so they will not have time to adjust. We must be able to overwhelm the enemy.”[18] MDC2 is not new or revolutionary; it is simply the updating of Boyd’s OODA Loop to include domains that were not prevalent in the time of his theory development, specifically space and cyberspace. The concept of MDC2 is easier to comprehended when put into the context of Information Dominance. MDC2 takes the fused and analyzed operational picture developed from information acquired in all the dimensions of war, and ensures its distribution to the forces that can use the finished intelligence.

John Boyd’s OODA Loop compared to General Goldfein’s description of Multi-Domain Command and Control. (Graphic designed by the author using Boyd’s OODA Loop graphic presented in “The Essence of Winning and Losing”)

Effects on the Battlespace

The final pillar of ICO is the application of kinetic and/or non-kinetic effects on the battlefield. As previously described, EBO presents a theory of airpower employment that maximizes the effect of U.S. and coalition actions against the adversary. Central to any future near-peer conflict is the method US forces will use to find and eliminate mobile targets, known colloquially as the kill chain. The US Air Force adopted the Find—Fix—Track—Target—Engage—Assess (F2T2EA) kill chain in the late 1990s, and it has since been codified in joint doctrine, specifically Joint Publication (JP) 3-60, Joint Targeting. Simply put, find is the detection of a target, fix is the development of locational data on that target (according to JP 3-60, positive identification of the target is a task within the fix stage), track is the monitoring of the target, target is the decision to engage the target, engage is the action taken against the target, and assess is the evaluation of the action that was taken.[19]

F2T2EA Kill Chain (Graphic designed by the author)

The F2T2EA kill chain is a valuable tool to apply effects to a mobile target, but it is often employed in an overly regimented manner. Air Force and joint practitioners have frequently used the F2T2EA kill chain as a linear process that must be executed in a sequential pattern. This linear mindset is outdated; often the steps will occur out of order, or multiple steps can be accomplished at once. For instance, a Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) crew exploiting a full-motion video (FMV) asset such as an MQ-9 REAPER could track an unidentified target, and only later be informed signals intelligence assets have confirmed the track is a hostile, high-value target. In this case the track occurs before the find. Additionally, advanced platforms can execute multiple steps simultaneously, and even complete the entire F2T2EA kill chain independently. According to Northrup Grumman, its AN/APG-81 radar on the F-35 has the ability to find and identify targets and track them via ground moving target indicator, allowing the F-35 to execute the find, fix, and track steps near-simultaneously.[20] Were the aircraft delegated engagement authority, one could envision a single F-35 executing the entire F2T2EA kill chain. JP 3-60 fails to provide this context to the kill chain, and one could easily see an inexperienced operator treating the F2T2EA kill chain as a checklist that must be executed sequentially to destroy a target.

A proper understanding of the current kill chain provides the agility needed to account for developing sensors and weapons that will continue to shrink the kill chain timeline, such as hypersonic weapons, and weapons that are re-targetable in flight. An agile understanding of the F2T2EA kill chain would alleviate concerns about the process being overly regimented and ineffective against non-linear systems. An agile understanding of the F2T2EA kill chain will maintain EBO’s relevance in future conflicts, and is critical to the effectiveness of ICO as an overarching airpower strategy.

Agile F2T2EA Kill Chain (Graphic designed by the author)


Since the demise of EBO, the Air Force has lacked an easily understandable guiding airpower employment strategy. Though EBO has not totally been erased from USAF doctrine, it is no longer a strategy that is discussed or debated as it was a decade ago. A result is that many Airmen do not understand airpower strategy, and without a guiding employment strategy they have come to see airpower as simply a supporting arm to ground forces who conduct COIN operations. According to Benjamin Lambeth of the RAND Corporation, airpower’s continued subjugation to the will of ground forces has “had the pernicious effect of inclining many younger Air Force Airmen who have been exposed to no other form of operational commitment during their relatively short time in the ranks to infer from their limited experience that their service’s main purpose is to support land warfare by US Army and Marine Corps combatants.”[21] The Air Force needs a strategy that recognizes the changing character of war, provides a simple to understand theory for airpower employment, and ensures the service’s efficacy into the twenty-first century.

The intellectual vacuum caused by the demise of EBO must be addressed, airpower practitioners need to understand an employment strategy that explains how they will prosecute and win conflicts now and into the future. Information Dominance is the key to winning current and future wars. ICO recognizes the importance of Information Dominance and provides that guidance to airmen of all combat specialties. ICO provides a strategy for integrating emerging intelligence, C2, and weapons capabilities, and explains how each combat capability in the Air Force is part of a larger process that collects information in all warfighting domains, and uses that information to direct effects against the enemy. In short, ICO provides the airpower strategy for winning conflicts in the Information Age.

Tyson Wetzel is an Air Force intelligence officer, a graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School where he was also an instructor, and the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Tyson has deployed multiple times in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, and NOBLE EAGLE. He is currently assigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Air Force.

This article appeared originally at Strategy Bridge.


[1] Richard P. Hallion, “Air and Space Power: Climbing and Accelerating,” in A History of Air Warfare, ed. John Andreas Olsen, Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc., 2010, pp. 385.

[2] Matt M. Matthews, We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute Press Long War Paper 26, 2008), pp. 61.

[3] Hallion, “Air and Space Power: Climbing and Accelerating,” in A History of Air Warfare, pp.

[4] General James N. Mattis, “USJFCOM Commander’s Guidance for Effects-Based Operations,” Parameters, Autumn, 2008, pp. 19-20.

[5] Lieutenant General (retired) David A. Deptula, “Foreward,” in Airpower Applied: U.S., NATO, and Israeli Combat Experience, ed. John Andreas Olsen, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2017, pp. ix.

[6] United States Air Force Air Superiority 2030 (AS 2030) Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT), Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan, May 2016,

[7] Brigadier General Alex Grynkewich, “The Future of Air Superiority Part II: The 2030 Problem,” War on the Rocks, 5 January 2017,

[8] Deptula, “Foreward,” in Airpower Applied, 2017, pp. x.

[9] General David Goldfein, “CSAF Focus Area: Enhancing Multi-Domain Command and Control…Tying it All Together,”

[10] Major General VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson and Lieutenant Colonel Maurizio “Mo” Calabrese, “An ISR Perspective on Fusion Warfare,” The Mitchell Forum, No. 1, October 2015, pp. 3.

[11] The concept of “Fusion Warfare” was first described by then-Major General VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson and then-Lieutenant Colonel Maurizio “Mo” Calabrese, who released a Mitchell Forum paper titled “An ISR Perspective on Fusion Warfare” ( Before his retirement, General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, then Commander of Air Combat Command, began to promote the need for fusion warfare capabilities in conjunction with advanced command and control capabilities ( The term has not made its way into Air Force or joint doctrine.

[12] Hallion, “Air and Space Power: Climbing and Accelerating,” in A History of Air Warfare, pp. 378.

[13] Grynkewich, “The Future of Air Superiority Part II: The 2030 Problem,”

[14] Deptula, “Foreward,” in Airpower Applied, 2017, pp. x.

[15] Goldfein, “CSAF Focus Area: Enhancing Multi-Domain Command and Control,

[16] Colonel John Boyd, Patterns of Conflict, December 1986, slide 177.

[17] Goldfein, “CSAF Focus Area: Enhancing Multi-Domain Command and Control…Tying it All Together,”

[18] Ibid.

[19] Department of Defense, Joint Publication 3-60, Joint Targeting, 31 January 2013, pp. II-21 – II-30.

[20] Northrup Grumaman, “Northrop Grumman's F-35 DAS and Radar Demonstrate Ability to Detect, Track, Target Ballistic Missiles,” 26 June 2012,

[21] Benjamin S. Lambeth, “Foreward,” to Airpower for Strategic Effect, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press. 2012

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