Year of Publication
In modern war, and even more
important, in wars that countries like ours may be faced with,
application of military power must seek to achieve maximum effect,
where the ends must receive the highest priority, and where the means
must remain just that: means, and not as symbols or substance of
importance in isolation to the effects and ends required. The challenge
for theory and practice is how to ensure that application of the
military power of the nation is employed in such a way so as to
maximise the effects, and minimise the cost incurred in the process.
This naturally places a premium on joint planning and operations.
Technology, now reaching the levels of a
Revolution in Military Affairs, complex military organisation, and even
more complex political goals in the employment of military power in the
modern world, often with severe limitations imposed by the existence of
nuclear weapons, have not only raised the premium of military power,
but have required synergies between different elements and components
of military power, and between military power and the
political-diplomatic endeavours of the state to ensure a favourable
outcome if not an outright victory. It is in this context that air
power has been assuming an all-pervasive role in maximising the effects
of military power. By the same logic, it constitutes the core component
of deterrence. It not only enhances the capabilities of land and naval
forces, but by itself also has an autonomous capability to dominate
hostile military power in a broad range of scenarios and capabilities.
Consequently, weakness in airpower capabilities, or in its employment,
which does not maximise the effects of military power could also become
the nation's Achilles' heel.
It is not surprising, therefore, that
joint operations have become the norm rather than the exception in
modern warfare and air power the lynchpin of military operations.
Empirical evidence of all recent wars only re-emphasises the importance
of joint operations and the role that air power performs in them. Its
various dimensions and parameters keep evolving with changes in
technology, operational environment and strategies in use. Preparing
for the future has become a critical factor in ensuring success. And
this demands continuing examination, assessment, and understanding of
the relationship between air power and other elements of military power
in successful joint operations.
This volume contain papers by experts in
various fields to look at the issues related to air power and joint
operations, both historically as well as in doctrinal terms, to explore
various dimensions that would help understand a dynamic subject of
crucial importance to our national defence. A new chapter at the end
has been added to the first edition published in 2003 and focuses on
where our thinking about joint operations in future.