The On The Korean And Vietnam War Essay

The On The Korean And Vietnam War Essay

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“I believe that operational-level commanders must first master the basic philosophy and principles of warfare. Only then can they make current or new technologies their servant.” Since 1947, airpower theory had the greatest impact on the employment of American airpower, because the promise of strategic bombing would deliver decisive effects and achieve a swift victory continued throughout the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Although strategies, doctrines and technology changed over time, the application of US airpower revealed the dependence on the traditional air power theory in the second half of the twentieth century. In the first part, this paper will present the main prophecies and predictions of two of the most relevant airpower theorists. The second part focusses on the impact of these theories on the Korean and Vietnam war and will provide evidence for the main thesis. Finally, this paper will present Col Wardens theory´s application during the air campaign of operation Desert Storm in 1991. In the late 1940s, the Cold War with the Soviet Union gave the 1947 founded US Air Force (USAF) a preeminent role in deterrence the communist threat. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) with its strategic nuclear bombing capability dominated the USAF leadership and consumed almost 50% of the Department of Defense budget. Understanding this US air power environment is key to harness the use of US air power for strategic affects in the upcoming two decades.
Airpower advocates like Douhet and Mitchell developed various theories on how airpower should be best applied for a short war and decisive victory. The Italian General Douhet viewed airpower as an offensive mean of warfare with a strategic mission. When the command of the air was on...


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...This was a case where the theory existed before the fact and the facts validated the theory.” There is little to say about the overwhelming success of operation Desert Storm and its strategic air campaign. The preparation of the battlefield through coalition air forces was so successful, that the ground campaign took only four days.
In conclusion, air power theory had the greatest impact on the application of USAF air power throughout the Korean and Vietnam War. The notion of strategic bombing targeting vital or industrial centers, centers of gravity or - according to Warden – leadership of an adversary promised to deliver quick results and great victories. Theory basically is to model what might be possible. Conclusively, political constraints in limited wars set boundaries for the proper use of American airpower throughout the second half of the twentieth century.

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The On The Korean And Vietnam War Essay

- “I believe that operational-level commanders must first master the basic philosophy and principles of warfare. Only then can they make current or new technologies their servant.” Since 1947, airpower theory had the greatest impact on the employment of American airpower, because the promise of strategic bombing would deliver decisive effects and achieve a swift victory continued throughout the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Although strategies, doctrines and technology changed over time, the application of US airpower revealed the dependence on the traditional air power theory in the second half of the twentieth century....   [tags: Vietnam War, Cold War, World War II, Korean War]

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