An Alternative NATO Air Strategy of Defensive Operations.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This paper deals with the future role of the United States in the defense of Western Europe. A program for Europeanizing NATO by 1980 is proposed. This proposal is designed to attract France back into unified defense efforts, encourage the Europeans to assume the burden of their own defense and comply with the growing desire of the US Congress and the American public to reduce US forces in Europe. Europeanization requires a reassessment of NATOs strategy. The reassessment involves a consideration of recent technological developments in warfare, the capabilities of the Warsaw Pact and the lessons learned in Vietnam. These considerations suggest a new strategy of defensive air operations. A defensive air strategy is contrary to current air warfare doctrine in that NATO fighter and attack air sorties would no longer rely upon air strikes into Warsaw Pact territories to achieve air superiority and battlefield interdiction. Instead, defensive operations would seek to maintain area air superiority over NATO airfields, friendly surface forces and the aggressor spearhead. Air-to-ground attacks would be concentrated against invader forces. The advantages of such a strategy are set forth but the basic motivation for a purely defensive NATO strategy is that it matches NATOs strategy with its capabilities and is, at the same time, consistent with the goals and purposes of the North Atlantic Treaty. Author
- Defense Systems