Air and Space Power Today. The Global War on Terrorism.
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The Global War on Terrorism
“Almost every captain in the Air Force who flies airplanes has combat experience… virtually every engineer, security forces troop and medic in the Air Force has deployed…This is a veteran, hardened combat force…They have been shot at. They know what it’s like. When we go, wherever we go, we’re going to be at the peak of our game.”
Gen. John P. Jumper
CSAF, 2001 - 2005
OEF marked the beginning of a broader US and international global war on terrorism, but our enemies actually declared war on us through acts and words years earlier.
Osama bin Laden
The 1983 suicide bomb attack against US Marines in Lebanon was our first introduction to this war—220 Marines were killed in the attack.
The first World Trade Center bombing
in Feb 1993 killed six and injured over 1,000 people.
In 1996, Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa: a “Declaration of WarAgainst the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”
In 1996, the USAF facility at Khobar Towers was attacked with a truck bomb. That attack killed 19 USAF Airmen.
US Embassy Nairobi
Damaged USS Cole
“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”
“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”
After approximately two weeks of bombing, application shifted from air supremacy to supporting surface forces.
Airpower used across the entire spectrum, in conjunction with ground forces, enabled the Taliban to be removed from power and forced al Qaeda to flee.
Operation Anaconda: The Battle of Roberts Ridge
The United States must not make the mistake of believing that terrorism is the only threat of the twenty-first century. Terrorism is a deadly asymmetric threat but not the only possible one.
Chinese Forces on parade