Military Unity and National Policy: Some Past Effects and Future Implications
Special series rept.
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST
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Since World War II, senior commanders have been at the forefront of movements to unify the preparation and employment of land, sea, and air forces in support to national policy. Differing views on ways and means for unifying national defense, however, have imposed compromises on parent legislation, nurtured redundancy in roles and missions, and fed interservice rivalry. One consequence is that national policy sometimes asked more from the armed forces than joint doctrine was prepared to give. The fragmented application of air power during the Korean and Vietnam wars are but two examples. Beneficially, however, the past 40 years of sharing in national defense have been building blocks toward greater unity. The coalition victory in Operation Desert Storm- coming in the wake of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986-proves that unified military power wins wars, that superior US military force can achieve limited political objectives when the strategy, the arms, and the doctrines are in harmony. That historical precedent commits future military campaigns to combined arms and places a high premium on doctrinal commonality. For maximum effect on the outcome of battle, air power must be planned and executed according to a single integrated campaign plan, under the direction of a supreme commander. Air powers lethality demands early victory over the enemys air forces.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Nuclear Weapons