Accession Number:

ADA243327

Title:

In Search of Quick Decision: The Myth of the Independent Air Campaign

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1991-05-15

Pagination or Media Count:

59.0

Abstract:

This monograph examines under what circumstances, if at all, an air campaign can achieve decisive results independent of other forces. The recent war in the Persian Gulf has given the research question its immediate significance. Given the unprecedented nature of the allied aerial campaign against Iraq, was it reasonable to expect that the air war could force a politically acceptable decision without the need to commit US forces to a potentially costly and unneeded ground campaign The problem is also relevant to future US doctrinal development. AirLand Battle Future is the operational concept that is expected to evolve into US Army doctrine for the 31st century. A key portion of this concept is the targeting and the destruction of the enemy by long-range air forces. Ground maneuver is conceived as a mopping-up phase. This study sought to answer the research question through the use of historical examples analyzed by an appropriate criterion. The criterion, selected from FM 100-5, gave a doctrinal and theoretical framework for the historical analysis. A synthesis of the analysis led to conclusions concerning the role of selecting the appropriate campaign and state, the sequencing of actions over space and time, and the allocation and synchronization of force types, in the creation of circumstances conducive to decisive air operations. These conclusions are applied to a tentative analysis of the Persian Gulf War and the AirLand Battle Future operational concept.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE