“Air Power is the most difficult of military force to measure or even to express in precise terms. The problem is compounded by the fact that aviation tends to attract adventurous souls, physically adept, mentally alert and pragmatically rather than philosophically inclined.”
Sir Winston Churchill – 1948.
When we declared ‘Open Season’ for this edition of the Journal, I was mindful that the words above might come back to haunt us. Indeed, the wide range of articles in this 8th Edition of the JAPCC Journal clearly emphasises that the optimal exploitation of Air (and Space) Power continues to be a profound challenge. That said, there has been no shortage of Air-minded colleagues, who are willing to pick up the gauntlet and describe how the future of our environment might unfurl. In the event, we have received more articles than ever and, even after expanding the size of the Journal, we have had to push some submissions back to the next edition.
So on this occasion, Sir Winston was only half right!
Interestingly, ISTAR continues to be at the forefront of Air Power thinking and has resulted in 3 different, but complementary, articles on a subject where the way forward in a network enabled world is still emerging. Elsewhere, we are pleased to include Special Ops, Maritime and Logistical perspectives, as well as an intriguing insight into the potential that Stratospheric Air Platforms might offer. I would also make especial mention of Lt Gen Watt’s candid interview on the future of the Canadian Air Force, which once again adds to our understanding of the Air Chief perspective.
Since the last edition, we have also been busy at the JAPCC and have taken this opportunity to provide you with abridged versions of some of our products, specifically: NATO Future Joint Air & Space Power, Air Power and Countering Irregular Warfare and the JAPCC NATO Space Operations Assessment. All these papers represent our view rather than an Alliance position and are intentionally geared to foster debate. To that end, we would genuinely welcome your comments in helping us take our thoughts forward.
Finally, I would commend to you the ‘Out of the Box’ article on Cyberspace Warfare. You may, or may not, agree that the activity belongs within the Air & Space Power domain, but either way I’m sure you will agree that it is an important topic, which will increasingly demand a place at the Warfighter’s table! It also nicely heralds our theme for the coming year, including the next Journal and our 2009 Conference: NATO at 60 – Future Challenges for Air and Space Power.
Air Commodore, UK AF
Assistant Director Transformation, JAPCC