Don’t Hold Back Airpower

To be most effective, airpower can’t be hemmed in by unnecessary rules of engagement, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said April 2. “Airpower must not be limited by ROE, policy or practice from achieving its full effect without very careful considerations,” he told attendees at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast. While he acknowledged, “there are times to restrict it” under certain scenarios, “that can’t become the norm,” he asserted. “To avoid limiting it, you have to understand it, which means our Air Force has to educate a whole lot of people: the nation, other services, our allies,” which is “our responsibility, not theirs.” Welsh did not indicate whether he thought airpower was being restricted in the current fight against ISIS or in other recent conflicts.