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Airpower's crucial role in irregular warfare.

I read with great interest Gen Allen G. Peck's article "Airpower's Crucial Role in Irregular Warfare" (Summer 2007). With his experience and strategic vision, General Peck has crafted a well-considered response and line of thought adapted to the latest questions about how airpower should meet asymmetric challenges. General Peck's article also made me realize there is a shortage of historiography on his topic. While reading the article, i was reminded that aviation employment in asymmetric warfare is nothing new. The Ottoman Turks used it with a certain degree of success in World War I against Lawrence of Arabia's Arab tribes. Additionally, the French victory in the 1925 Riff Rebellion in Morocco cannot entirely be explained without the considerable contribution, in all facets of that war against Abdel-Krim, of the 39th Aviation Regiment of Colonel Armengaud, who wrote about the subject. One could also talk about the 37th Aviation Regiment's operations against the Druze in the Syrian mountains during the early 1930s. However, to my knowledge, few studies have been written about the employment of aviation in these modern, asymmetric wars. One thing is certain, and it shows up clearly in General Peck's article: aviation is an arm distinguished by the global nature of its action, and modern conflicts--most notably World War II and the Cold War--have tended to confine high-altitude air superiority and the clashes of air forces to a remote and almost abstract role. We need to rediscover close-combat aviation and perhaps also complete the range of aerial means with slower, long-endurance aircraft in order to more completely "occupy" the sky during asymmetric conflicts.

Lt Tim Larribau, French Air Force Reserve

Bordeaux, France
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Title Annotation:Ricochets and Replies
Author:Larribau, Tim
Publication:Air & Space Power Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 22, 2007
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