(8) In the CAPTF, we have observed that the capabilities afforded by tactical airlift are vital to the elected leaders of Afghanistan, giving these officials their only opportunity to forge meaningful cooperation and trust in the federal government across the disparate regions of the country.
Next, the CAPTF takes to heart the lesson that "aerial campaigns that target insurgents and terrorists located in or very near population centers are generally counterproductive." (9) They are doubly so when the enemy's most effective information-operations tactic involves drawing attention to the national government's reliance on "occupiers and infidels." (10) Even with the United States' ability to conduct so-called surgical strikes, the best-intentioned ground commanders have exhibited an ability to anger civilian populations and give public-relations victories to insurgents.
The CAPTF is assisting with the challenges of instituting close-coordination procedures that will work on the Afghan battlefield and that will eventually include fixed-wing attack platforms.
In building up capability to employ these airframes, the CAPTF and the ANAAC are pursuing ends that will prove sustainable after outside advisors depart.
Fifth, we understand that "joint operations are essential for the effective use of air power." (15) The CAPTF's position within NATO's training and mentoring forces affords us the chance to shape the ANAAC in a way that complements the development of the larger ANA it supports, because we interact with the individuals who mentor the leaders and future leaders of the ground army.
The CAPTF, in addition to its mentoring efforts, strives to break down barriers so that coalition involvement with Afghan security forces can expand even further.
Finally, it is evident in the CAPTF that airpower "provides the flexibility and initiative" that insurgents normally enjoy in the COIN battle.
First, the CAPTF increased the availability of technical training courses for the Afghans in a variety of sub-among them communications, electronics, and maintenance.
In June 2009, the chief of both the 438th and CAPTF, Brigadier General Givhan, observed that probably the closest the USAF has come to the current Afghan air power mission was the one in Southeast Asia, forty years ago, involving South Vietnamese and Cambodian airmen.
29-30, notes maintained at AFHRA/OH; CAPTF mission statement, Hq, CAPTF/438 AEW, Kabul; Slides, "Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC), Combined Air Power Transition Force (CAPTF), 438th Air Expeditionary Wing (438 AEW), March 2009," informally referred to as the "air campaign brief/slides," in 438 AEW/HO files, Kabul, Afghanistan, and at AFCENT/HO, Shaw AFB, S.C..
(23.) Miller discussion; Slides, ANAAC, CAPTF, 438 AEW, Mar.
In 2009, he deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, as Special Historian to the Commanding General, Combined Air Power Transition Force (CAPTF), from which service this article originated.