by Jonathan Magill and Tobias Bernard Switzer
The United States failed in its attempts to build air forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for numerous reasons. Chief among these was policymakers’ excessive ambition: they failed to consider what the US military services could plausibly deliver and what Iraqi and Afghan air forces could realistically absorb. The provision of ill-suited F-16s to the Iraqis, for example, and UH-60s to the Afghans led to a loss of lives, time, and money. And the US military utilized aviation advisors in an ineffective ad hoc approach that we can best describe as an amateur pickup game—random, inexperienced personnel working together briefly before rotating out.
This Irregular Warfare Initiative article was originally posted through our partner organization, the Modern War Institute at West Point. Continue reading the full article here.
Image credit: Tech. Sgt. Ashley Hyatt, US Air Force
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