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Airpower's Response to Fundamental Surprise

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2017,31 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The world is a perilous place. The twentieth century was arguably the most destructive epoch in human history and the twenty-first is already proving to be far from benign. In such an environment, states have every incentive to prepare themselves against security threats. However, the complexity of the world and the malignant nature of cognitive blindness both conspire to ensure that a nation will eventually face an unanticipated crisis. Some challenges will be minor, while others have the potential to be fatal. The purpose of this monograph is to explore airpowers response to fundamental surprise. Using John Boyds decision loop as a lens, the following chapters construct a case for airpowers efficacy in surprising situations, and then utilize the 1973 Yom Kippur War to test its application. This is not to say that airpower is a panacea, or that it is solely useful in situations of national astonishment. However, this project postulates that airpower has unique capabilities especially suited for surprising situations. In an uncertain world, this can mean the difference between survival and destruction.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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