Critics of counterinsurgency say it represents the triumph of tactics over strategy. Looking at the Air Force’s mooted OA-X and A-X2 procurement programs, and the A-10 retirement debate, one can see exactly the same issues in play. For close air support (CAS), there is no denying that a dedicated platform such as the A-10, or its proposed replacement, the AX-2, is best. Best in battlefield terms, that is. If a ground force is taking heavy fire from an enemy (one that has no air cover ...

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