Col Dr. John Andreas Olsen

Norwegian Defence Attaché London & Aviation Security Expert


Time: March 3, 2020
Location: Serena Hotel, Islamabad
Event Type: Conference
Organized By: Team CASS

About Speaker

John Andreas Olsen is a colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, currently the defence attaché to the United Kingdom. His previous assignments include tours as director of security analyses in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence; deputy commander and chief of the NATO Advisory Team at NATO Headquarters, Sarajevo; dean of the Norwegian Defence University College; and head of the college’s division for strategic studies. He was a visiting professor at the Swedish National Defence University from 2008 to 2019. Olsen is a graduate of the German Command and Staff College and has a doctorate in history and international relations from De Montfort University, a master’s degree in contemporary literature from the University of Warwick, and a master’s degree in English from the University of Trondheim. Dr. Olsen has lectured worldwide, received several awards and published many books, including Strategic Air Power in Desert Storm (2003); John Warden and the Renaissance of American Air Power (2007); A History of Air Warfare (2010); Global Air Power (2011); Air Commanders (2012); European Air Power (2014); Airpower Reborn (2015); Airpower Applied (2017); and The Routledge Handbook of Air Power (2018).

TOPIC OF SPEECH: The Future of Military Aviation

Despite its significance in international relations and statecraft, the phenomenon of air power remains controversial and little understood beyond its tactical and technological manifestations. This presentation examines 24 themes that scholars and practitioners must study to attain an in-depth, broad-ranging and contextual understanding of air power. While all the themes are important, in combination they offer a comprehensive insight into air power as a political instrument of war and peace. This should help military professionals to develop an understanding of the entirety of air power rather than merely concentrate on its components.
Air power is an inherently strategic weapon in ways that surface forces are not, because it can operate effectively and simultaneously at all three levels of war from the outset. Although defence may be the strongest form of war on land, this principle does not apply to air power because of its ability to strike quickly, virtually anywhere, and often with little or no warning. The speed, range and flexibility of air power grant it ubiquity, which in turn imbues it with an offensive capability; when used wisely, air power offers the advantage of operating at the strategic level of war while forcing the enemy to fight at the tactical level.