Elevating Irregular Warfare

The Air Force needs to raise Irregular Warfare and Counterinsurgency operations from an ad-hoc mission, often evolved on-the-fly, to a marquee capability on a par with things like major regional operations, nuclear operations, and airlift, Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Tuesday. IW and COIN need to be considered “at a higher doctrinal level” than they currently enjoy, Donley said in a meeting with reporters, and the Air Force’s role in these missions needs to be more formally fleshed out. Donley mentioned this briefly in his address to the AFA Air & Space Conference Monday, as a way of calling attention to the issue. “I’d like to see a broader strategic consensus in the Air Force about our role at the lower end of conflict,” he said.