Friedrich W. Korkisch

 

Until 1945 wars were made. Since then, this term has been avoided, and „police raids“, „UN-missions“ and „multinational interventions“ take place instead, but these are likewise acts of war. As there is no mobilization any longer, no consent is required for such wars from a mostly lackadaisical population, and no persuasion work is needed, neither. For this very reason, potentials capable of aerial interventions (if available) are particularly popular at the moment, because they reduce the political inhibition threshold for participation, and lower both war expenses and the number of own casualties. The fact that so far aerial warfare has not been regulated in terms of public international law is peculiar. That is why all constraints are of a political nature. Thus, nuclear weapons are not prohibited, and the efforts made to ban cluster bombs and napalm have certainly not been implemented everywhere. There is, therefore, currently a debate on aerial warfare: Either air power can be used massively as a decisive weapon (also as a replacement for land warfare or in the framework of „air-sea“), or - according to the respective situation - politicians use the option of air power selectively or together with other instruments. Here, a „coalition of the willing“ is important: If the politicians hesitate, they will gamble away advantages, and will program problems, sometimes military defeat. In the future, technologically superior and excellently trained forces will be victorious in aerial wars. „Coalition of the Able“ not only includes proficiency in modern aerial warfare, but also mental preparedness for risk. Classical military strategy has shifted to the former operational level, and the classical operation with its operational art now takes place on the tactical level. Aerial warfare doctrines must be controlled, as they have replaced the typical theories on strategy, operational art and tactics. A massive air raid always has to overcome the air defence of the adversary. Today „parallel aerial warfare“ (synchronism of air defence and air raid) is the norm; sequentiel aerial warfare mostly takes place during its first phase when air dominance is the objective. In every aerial warfare scenario, attaining air dominance is and will remain the first phase, and it is only after this has happened that the priority of the remainder of a war will shift to air-to-ground missions. Surprise attacks are the key to rapid success. There are several domains: air, land, sea, space, cyber, strategic attack und tactical attack; only the combination of such capabilities in the form of „improved cross domains“ is really something new, and it requires a high degree of interoperabiliy in the framework of „jointness“, corresponding quantities, as well as a high level of training in command, control and performance. Air targets detected by armed-/in-flight-reconnaissance, followed by autonomous air attacks with the pilot identifying and attacking the target himself, or getting transmitted the target data by other air vehicles like UAVs by means of data link, will take place more often in future, and will require well-trained pilots for detecting hostile weapon systems - just like in the Second World War. Things are repeating ...