Accession Number:



Shifting the Military Paradigm: Refining Strategy through Airpower Theory

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Jun 2017,31 May 2018

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The advent of airpower in the early twentieth century forced changes to military strategy. Technological growth introduced aviation to the battlefield and mandated changes in warfare theory to account for airpower capabilities. Aviation innovations did not transform the character of warfare instead, various military leaders envisioned this new domains potential and shaped technology through airpower theory to improve military strategy. The monographs research question is how did airpower theorists Brigadier General William Billy Mitchell, General Henry H. Hap Arnold, Colonel John Boyd, and Colonel John Warden influence military strategy The monograph structure presents the four theorists different backgrounds then analyzes how each individual affected military strategy through means, ways, and ends development. Analyzing trends across the four case studies clarifies the relationship between organizations, technology, and leadership as well as the steps necessary to integrate airpower into the US military. These theorists influenced military strategy by leading technological transformation to expand capabilities and conditions to gain military advantages through airpower. Shifting military strategy required comprehensive means, ways, and ends development by each airpower theorist. These developments included organizational changes in the military, expanded technological capabilities to exploit asymmetric advantages, and leadership practices to embrace disruptive innovations in the emerging domain. The monograph recommends organizational change, doctrinal reframing, and end state expansion as necessary elements for shifting military strategy with the advent of a new domain.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: