The 31 Initiatives

The 31 Initiatives : A Study in Air Force - Army Cooperation

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For the past eighty years the US military establishment has worked to integrate air power into its doctrine, strategy, force structure, and tactics in order to maximize the nation's security. This study by Dr. Richard Davis highlights one aspect of this process, that of providing the most potent mix of army and air forces to prosecute ground warfare. It also illustrates the impediments to joint action created by the services' separate organizations and distinctive doctrine. In addition, this monograph suggests that changes to improve interservice cooperation are often either forced by combat or imposed from the top down by the highest levels of the service or defense hierarchies. In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam the services developed weapons and systems that brought air power to bear on the battlefield in a relatively quick and overwhelmingly powerful manner. Without the impetus of war, however, the services seem often to fall back on their broader agenda of preparation for future war. In the case of the 1980s, intervention by the Chiefs of the Air Force and Army Staffs forced increased cooperation for battlefield synchronization and integration. In this instance the two Chiefs recognized the need and acted. Generals Gabriel and Wickham, aided by their deputies for plans and operations, Lieutenant Generals John T. Chain, Jr., and Fred K. Mahaffey, set up a small ad hoc group, bypassing their own services' formal staff structure, to fabricate a new method of mutual force development, including cross-service budgeting and programming procedures. The Chiefs adopted the group's recommendations as the foundation of a continuing joint force development process.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 178 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 10.41mm | 408.23g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507732023
  • 9781507732021