By Michael Durao
April 14th, 2011

Recent incidents of fratricide by NATO aircraft in Libya demonstrate a pervasive issue with the application of airpower that has severely undermined US credibility in the War on Terror and has most recently manifested itself in Libya’s civil war; namely, failure to adequately coordinate with ground assets.  Forward air control (FAC) cannot be limited solely to close air support where friendly assets are known to be in dangerous proximity or ground-based precision targeting is required.  Instead, better contextual identification of targets by ground assets rather than grainy video on a fighter’s cockpit display or a drone’s monitor is essential to diminish the threat of both friendly fire and collateral damage.