Strategic Airpower as Operational Fires

Strategic Airpower as Operational Fires : Integrating Long-Range Bombers Into Campaign Design

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Description

This study seeks to determine under what conditions an operational commander might employ strategic airpower in his campaign design. This journey begins first by exploring the linkage between strategy, operations, and tactics. Next, U.S. Army and Air Force doctrines are compared for terminology and conceptual similarities, with particular emphasis on indivisible airpower and long-range bombers in the role of operational fires. Finally, four historical case studies - Operations Overlord, Cobra, Niagara (Khe Sanh), and Desert Storm - are analyzed for conditions in which previous commanders have used barbers to facilitate operational maneuver or set battlefield conditions favorable for campaign success. After a careful review of concepts, doctrine, and history, this monograph concludes with six conditions which have fostered integrating bombers into campaign design. These include: 1) A commanders awareness of bomber strengths and weaknesses; 2) A blending of surprise and overwhelming firepower within minimum time and space; 3) Little reaction or response time; 4) Economy of force conditions; 5) Numerical superiority favors the enemy; and 6) bomber impunity to enemy threat. Consequently, this monograph concludes that educating both current and future military leaders is a key element of integrating bombers into campaign design. The most fertile ground for planting this seed of knowledge rests within senior and intermediate service schools, only to be nourished to full growth during joint training exercises. Furthermore, as the U.S. military force structure continues to shrink, and our national military strategy shifts from forward deployed to a forward presence, the challenge of being able to respond in a timely manner with sufficient firepower to deter a potential adversary is certain to increase. Such a future clearly suggests a greater role for the barber.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 40 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 2mm | 118g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514326167
  • 9781514326169