ABOUT MITCHELL INSTITUTE
May 30, 2013 — AFA's Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies today hosted a presentation by Barry Watts, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, who said that while US policy is pushing towards nuclear disarmament, the rest of the world is taking a different tack. According to Air Force Magazine's Marc Schanz, Watts reported that unlike during the Cold War when the US and USSR were the dominant nuclear powers, today countries from Pakistan to North Korea to Iran are either declared nuclear powers or seeking to expand into the realm. Watts cited North Korea and Iran, in particular, as countries that learned lessons from the US invasion of Iraq—and see nuclear weapons as a protective measure against "conventional regime change," as he put it. For example, he said, Russian military doctrine has a very different view about limited nuclear use in a theater context, and Pakistan, for one, appears to entertain similar thoughts. The danger is that the limited use of nuclear weapons could be seen as a "new normal" by some nations, Watts asserted. (Also see Schanz's follow-up coverage in The Other Side of the Nuclear Coin.) (Find an audio file of his Mitchell presentation on the Mitchell Institute website.) (And see Watts' April CSBA study Nuclear-Conventional Firebreaks and the Nuclear Taboo.)
UPCOMING MITCHELL EVENTS
June 25, 2013
Topic:Operationalizing Mission Command: Leveraging Theory to Achieve Capability
Presenter: Kathleen Conley, IDA
ABOUT MITCHELL INSTITUTE
Overview: The Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies is an independent, non-profit research, studies, and analysis organization founded by the Air Force Association. It takes its name from America’s most famous and arguably greatest airman, Brig. Gen. William Mitchell. The Institute seeks to carry on, in the modern day, General Mitchell’s tireless and dedicated effort to expand airpower thinking and increase public awareness of the need for this unique military instrument. The Institute is based in the Washington, D.C. area.
To carry out its educational mission, the Mitchell Institute:
- ► Hosts defense seminars that focus on the potential for airpower to meet the nation’s security needs in the world today and tomorrow.
- ► Organizes small, expert-based discussions among the nation's more creative and well-respected airpower thinkers, some of whom are serving on active duty.
- ► Publishes special reports on important defense and aerospace issues, as well as papers from emerging aerospace thinkers.
Mitchell Institute Press
The Editor of the Mitchell Institute Press is Suzann Chapman. She is the Editor of AIR FORCE Magazine Special Projects, including the USAF Almanac. She is a journalism graduate of Memphis State University and served as an Air Force public affairs officer for 21 years, retiring in 1994. Chapman joined the staff of AIR FORCE Magazine in January 1995, holding a succession of posts from Associate Editor through Managing Editor and, in 2002, Editor of the magazine. In 2005, she led creation and development of the magazine's online Daily Report. In 2008, she spearheaded development of an expanded online presence, combining the digital version of the print magazine and the Daily Report into a new website airforce-magazine.com. In 2010, she turned over principal online editorial and management duties to Executive Editor Michael C. Sirak to focus mainly on Special Projects and the expanding Mitchell Institute Press.
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About General Mitchell
On Sept. 12, 1918, Col. William Mitchell, US Army Air Service, led a major force of some 1,100 Allied aircraft in a combined arms operation of air and ground forces during the American Expeditionary Force’s attack on the St. Mihiel salient in France under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. This battle was the debut of the American army fighting as a single unit on European soil. Mitchell was promoted to Brigadier General by order of Pershing in recognition of his command accomplishments during the St. Mihiel offensive and the Meuse Argonne offensive.
After World War I, General Mitchell served in Washington and then became Commander, First Provisional Air Brigade, in 1921. That summer, he led joint Army and Navy demonstration attacks as bombs delivered from aircraft sank several captured German vessels, including the SS Ostfriesland.
His dedication to speaking the truth about airpower led to a court martial trial in 1925. Mitchell was convicted and resigned from the service in February 1926. Before retirement, through personal association and through his writing, he had inspired and encouraged a cadre of younger airmen including future General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold, Gen. Carl Spaatz, and Lt. Gen. Ira Eaker, who led the two million man Army Air Forces in World War II.
General Mitchell died in 1936, before he could see his conception of airpower vindicated in World War II. One of the pallbearers attending Mitchell’s funeral in Wisconsin was the then-unknown Col. George Catlett Marshall, who had been the Army’s chief ground-force planner of the St. Mihiel offensive.
The Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies seeks to honor the leadership of General William Mitchell through research and writing on airpower and its role in the security of America.