Search results for: the-foundations-of-us-air-doctrine

The Foundations of U S Air Doctrine

Author : Air University Press
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This study revolves around friction, meaning the ubiquitous uncertainties and inescapable difficulties that form the atmosphere of real war. More specifically, it attempts to utilize the Clausewitzian concept of general friction as a basis for assessing--and, if necessary, reshaping--the foundations of US air doctrine. This critical application of friction gives rise to four primary conclusions: (1) The key assumptions underlying mainstream US doctrine for conventional air warfare have not evolved appreciably since Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) theorists elaborated their theory of precision, industrial bombardment during the 1930s. (2) Judged by their essential premises and logic, post-Hiroshima theories of deterrence are little more than an updating for the nuclear age of ACTS bombardment doctrine. (3) Both ACTS bombardment doctrine and deterrence theory appear fundamentally flawed insofar as they omit the frictional considerations that distinguish real war from war on paper. (4) Reflection upon the extent to which friction pervades the elemental processes of actual combat suggests that the range of situations in which greater numbers or superior weapons guarantee victory is relatively limited; even in the age of thermonuclear weapons, the outcomes of battles still turn, more often than not, on the character and intelligence of a few brave individuals. The first step in giving substance to these claims is to explain what the central beliefs of US airmen traditionally have been. The reader should be warned, however, that I have approached the writings on war of airmen like Major General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., and nuclear strategists like Bernard Brodie--as well as those of Carl von Clausewitz himself--from the perspective of two interrelated questions. What overriding assumptions about war did these individuals embrace? And what image of war as a total phenomenon is bound up in their assumptions? In large part, answering these questions is a matter of historical inquiry and, to be candid, I have been far less concerned with writing history for its own sake than with using the past to illuminate the problems of the present. I, therefore, leave it to the reader to judge whether I have managed to do so without injuring the historical record.Contents: 1 INTRODUCTION * Notes * 2 DOUHET AND MITCHELL * Douhet's Image of War: Unrestrained Offense * Mitchell's "Aerial Knights" * Notes * 3 THE FIRST US STRATEGIC AIR WAR PLAN * Daylight, High Altitude, Precision Bombardment * Doctrine * AWPD-1 * The Image of War in AWPD-1 * Notes * 4 THE POLICY AND STRATEGY OF DETERRENCE * Brodie's Assumptions * Brodie's Image of All-Out War in the Missile Age * A Paradox of Deterrence Theory * Notes * 5 A CLAUSEWITZIAN CRITIQUE * The Core Beliefs of Mainstream US Air Doctrine * Some Ramifications * Friction * Collective Risk * Notes * 6 FRICTION IN 20TH CENTURY WARFARE * Part 1: Friction in the Combined Bomber Offensive, World War II * Weather * October 1943: Information, Doctrinal Rigidity, Enemy Countermeasures * Big Week and the Problem of Industrial Impact Assessments * March and April 1944: Friction as a Weapon * Epilogue in Korea: Railway Interdiction, August 1951-May 1952 * Part 2: Friction in the Missile Age * The Not-So-Delicate Balance of Terror * The Emergence of Friction in Brodie's Thought * The Cuban Missile Crisis * Notes * 7 TOWARD A LESS MECHANISTIC IMAGE OF WAR * US Air Doctrine and Laplacian Determinism * Cartesian Hypotheses, Uncertainty, Undecidability * The Human Cost of War * Combat Psychology as Context * Some Consequences of Embracing a More Organic Image of War * Learning from History * Nurturing Military Genius * Exemplars for Future Wars: Friction as a Weapon and Entropy * Summing Up * Notes * APPENDIX * General Eaker's Presentation of the Combined Bomber Offensive Plan to the Joint Chiefs of Staff * SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Foundations of US Air Doctrine

Author : Barry D. Watts
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This study analyzes airpower doctrine from the viewpoint of Clausewitzian friction. The study concludes that American airpower doctrine has changed very little since the 1930s and that it is fundamentally flawed.

The Foundations of U S Air Doctrine the Problem of Friction in War

Author : Barry Watts
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FROM THE AUTHOR: This study revolves around friction, meaning the ubiquitous uncertainties and inescapable difficulties that form the atmosphere of real war. More specifically, it attempts to utilize the Clausewitzian concept of general friction as a basis for assessing-and, if necessary, reshaping-the foundations of US air doctrine. This critical application of friction gives rise to four primary conclusions: (1) The key assumptions underlying mainstream US doctrine for conventional air warfare have not evolved appreciably since Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) theorists elaborated their theory of precision, industrial bombardment during the 1930s. (2) Judged by their essential premises and logic, post-Hiroshima theories of deterrence are little more than an updating for the nuclear age of ACTS bombardment doctrine. (3) Both ACTS bombardment doctrine and deterrence theory appear fundamentally flawed insofar as they omit the frictional considerations that distinguish real war from war on paper. (4) Reflection upon the extent to which friction pervades the elemental processes of actual combat suggests that the range of situations in which greater numbers or superior weapons guarantee victory is relatively limited; even in the age of thermonuclear weapons, the outcomes of battles still turn, more often than not, on the character and intelligence of a few brave individuals. The first step in giving substance to these claims is to explain what the central beliefs of US airmen traditionally have been. The reader should be warned, however, that I have approached the writings on war of airmen like Major General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., and nuclear strategists like Bernard Brodie-as well as those of Carl von Clausewitz himself-from the perspective of two interrelated questions. What overriding assumptions about war did these individuals embrace? And what image of war as a total phenomenon is bound up in their assumptions? In large part, answering these questions is a matter of historical inquiry and, to be candid, I have been far less concerned with writing history for its own sake than with using the past to illuminate the problems of the present. I, therefore, leave it to the reader to judge whether I have managed to do so without injuring the historical record. Air University Press.

Case Studies in the Achievement of Air Superiority

Author : Benjamin Franklin Cooling (III)
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Air University Review

Author :
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Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications

Author : United States. Superintendent of Documents
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February issue includes Appendix entitled Directory of United States Government periodicals and subscription publications; September issue includes List of depository libraries; June and December issues include semiannual index

AU Press Publications

Author : Air University (U.S.). Press
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Doctrine Matures Through a Storm

Author : Kurt A. Cichowski
File Size : 34.72 MB
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Airpower Journal

Author :
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America s Defense

Author : Michael Mandelbaum
File Size : 64.14 MB
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Military Air Power

Author : United States Govt Printing Office
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Colonel Westenhoff provides a collection of quotations about the utility and potential of airpower. The book is divided into the following sections: Airpower, War Technology, the Principles of War, and Command. This digest is organized to be a handy reference.

CADRE Publications

Author : Air University (U.S.). Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education
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German Military Effectiveness

Author : Williamson Murray
File Size : 53.33 MB
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Operation Frantic

Author : Mark J. Conversino
File Size : 39.94 MB
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Moral Obligation and the Military

Author :
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The Journal of Military History

Author :
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Fighting with the Soviets

Author : Mark J. Conversino
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Using Ukranian air bases, Operation FRANTIC was designed to help deliver the knockout blow to the Nazi war machine while minimizing the severe losses experienced by Allied air forces in the daylight bombing campaigns over Germany. In theory, it allowed American bombers to reach targets deeper in Germany, divert Luftwaffe air support away from Normandy, and provide additional cover for battles on the Soviets' western front. American strategists also hoped that the operation would forge closer ties with the USSR and encourage the ever-wary Stalin to allow access to Siberian air bases for use against Japan. Conversino, however, shows that events did not quite go as planned. His study portrays one of the great "might-have-beens" of the war and illustrates how it fell victim to politics, swift victories on the battlefield, and clashing national visions.

Beyond the Battle Line

Author : Gary C. Cox
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This study examines the development and usefulness of US air attack theory and doctrine during the interwar period, 1919-1941. This period represents more than twenty years of development in US Air Corps attack theory and doctrine. It was the first peacetime period of such development. Attack aviation during this time was a branch of aviation used to provide direct and indirect combat support to ground forces in the form of machine gun strafing, light bombing, and chemical attacks. From the earliest origins, attack theory and doctrine evolved primarily along two paths -- direct and indirect support of ground and air force objectives. The direct support approach was based on fundamental beliefs by the Army that attack aviation was an auxiliary combat arm, to be used directly on the battlefield against ground forces and to further the ground campaign plan. The indirect support approach, or air interdiction, was derived from the fundamental beliefs by the Air Corps that attack aviation was best used beyond the battle line and artillery range, against targets more vulnerable and less heavily defended, to further both the Air Force mission and the ground support mission. The Air Corps Tactical School advocated the indirect support approach and the subsequent evolution and logic in attack doctrine flowed from this approach. Air Corps theory and doctrine called for attack aviation to be used beyond the battle line. Aircraft were less vulnerable to ground fire and could be used to delay and disrupt enemy ground forces. Less cooperation was required with the ground forces while more cooperation was needed with other aviation branches, especially pursuit aviation. As attack doctrine evolved, range and hardened targets became problematic for the single-engine attack plane. The indirect support approach, supporting both the Air Force and Army missions, required an aircraft with increased range and payload. Subsequently, the attack-bomber, or light bomber.

Revolt of the Admirals

Author : Jeffrey G. Barlow
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Chronicles the showdown between the U.S. Airforce and the Navy over the role of carrier aviation in the national security framework.

Organizational Concepts for the Sensor to shooter World

Author : William G. Chapman
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Two terms should be understood from the start: Real-Time Information into the Cockpit and Military Technical Revolution. RTIC involves systems capabilities required to provide aircrews timely and essential off-board information to allow mission adjustments in response to rapidly changing combat conditions. An MTR requires converging technological products which have a demonstrated military utility, and military recognition that the application of these converging technologies will cause a radical change in the character of warfare over a very short period of time. RTIC does not foreshadow a coming MTR although it does employ converging technological products which have a demonstrated military utility. RTIC is not likely to cause radical change to the character of warfare. Nonetheless, it improves a commander's ability to employ operational art-to employ military forces to attain strategic and/or operational objectives through the design, organization, integration, and conduct of strategies, campaigns, major operations, and battles. This thesis assesses the capabilities of RTIC from two perspectives: its impact on the air tasking process, and the command and control flexibility it affords the Joint Force Air Component Commander. It concludes the impact on the air tasking process is evolutionary, not revolutionary-current RTIC capabilities remain largely dependent on human-intensive operations which limit reductions in decision cycle times. It further suggests that RTIC's true impact on targeting is directly attributable to the increased flexibility provided to the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) for prosecuting the execution-day air tasking order (ATO).