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Airpower!!!

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My WPR column this week is an extension of this post from last week:

What has been absent thus far, however, has been the strategic use of airpower: airstrikes designed to induce the regime to concede or collapse without reliance on ground forces. The absence of a strategic airpower element to the Libya campaign is odd, given that most recent air campaigns have included strategically oriented targeting and operations. Air planners in the Vietnam War, Gulf War I and the Kosovo War all hoped that the enemy would concede without the deployment of ground troops. This idea still animates much thinking in the United States Air Force (.pdf).

Incidentally, John Andreas Olsen’s biography of John Warden is really quite good. I particularly recommend the chapters on Warden’s participation in air campaign planning during the Gulf War, and his tenure as Commandant of the Air Command and Staff College. Review when I get a chance…

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