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Air University (U.S.). School of Advanced Airpower Studies

Works: 123 works in 214 publications in 1 language and 21,520 library holdings
Genres: History  Military history  Inventories 
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Air University (U.S.).
The paths of heaven : the evolution of airpower theory( )

6 editions published between 1997 and 2000 in English and held by 563 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Even though Airpower has come to play an increasingly important role in both peace and war, the basic concepts that define and govern airpower remain obscure even to professional military officers. It is important for airmen to understand the theory of airpower. Airpower may not always provide the only solution to a problem, but the advantages of speed, range, flexibility and vantage point offered through the air and space environment make airpower a powerful instrument for meeting the needs of the nation. War has been fundamentally transformed by the advent of the airplane. This book is a valuable means of increasing our expertise in the employment of airpower. It offers an outstanding overview of airpower theories and will serve as the basic text on this vital subject. It will serve as a primer and an analytical treatment of airpower theory for students of modern war. The contributors, all from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies ₁ the descendant of the Air Corps Tactical School ₁ at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, USA, are highly qualified experts to tackle this subject
Time-critical targeting : predictive versus reactionary methods : an analysis for the future by Gregory S Marzolf( )

3 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 287 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Recent experiences in Operations Desert Storm and Allied Force have highlighted a significant weakness in the USAF's ability to engage time-critical targets. The weakness stems from air power's inability to quickly employ force and kill an emerging target before it disappears back into hiding. In essence, the USAF's engagement sequence, called the kill chain, is not fast enough to detect, locate, identify, and then engage the target. Experience has shown that the enemy has used this method of emerging, engaging, and then dispersing since the beginning of time, and because it is still effective, the enemy has little reason to change. To help solve this difficulty, this thesis introduces and investigates two different approaches (reactive and preemptive methods) and determines% how they might solve the problem in 2010, Evidence suggests that the USAF is attempting to solve the problem by using the reactive approach, which first detects a target (with an ISR platform) and then tasks a loitering strike platform to kill it, While this approach is cost effective from a weapons employment perspective, it is not efficient for weapons delivery aircraft. In addition, the reactive approach has two significant problems: 1) one must possess enough persistent ISR platforms to detect targets deep within enemy territory, and 2) one must devise a weapon that can quickly engage targets before they hide. The study found that while this approach has long-term advantages, it will not likely be ready for implementation until around 2020, ten years too late. Because of this fact, the USAF needs a "gap-filler" that will help solve the problem in the meantime. Analysis shows that the preemptive approach might be a viable option
Preventive attack in the 1990s? by Steven R Prebeck( )

2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 270 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The decline of the Soviet Union upset the world's balance of power and opened the door to third world proliferation since the superpowers no longer have tight control over their client-states. This increase in proliferation raised the issue of how the United States (U.S.) should respond to a third world nation that is acquiring nuclear weapons. Should the United States depend on preventive attacks to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons? This is not a new issue. Proliferation and preventive war have both been issues since the end of World War II. The United States considered a preventive attack against the Soviet Union in the postwar years. The Soviet Union considered preventive attacks against the People's Republic of China in 1969. Israel conducted a preventive attack in 1981 against the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Iraq. Preventive attacks are politically untenable and are not militarily possible. Without perfect political conditions, It is unacceptable for the only remaining superpower to attack a second-rate power. It is militarily impossible for the United States to guarantee the removal of all nuclear weapons in a single preventive attack. This study concludes that the United States should not depend on preventive attacks to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons
The air refueling receiver that does not complain by Jeffrey L Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 270 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This study focuses on the development of aerial refueling methods and procedures for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The author begins this work by stating the need for UAVs, lists some assumptions, and then gives a brief background on UAVs. The author then begins a thorough discussion of the three current Air Force UAV Systems (Predator, DarkStar, and Global Hawk) followed by some proposed methods and procedures for rendezvous and aerial refueling of these UAV platforms. The author rounds out his discussion by comparing and analyzing both the current UAV systems and the methods of air refueling. After proposing the UAV system best suited for air refueling, the most effective type of rendezvous for this UAV system, and the best method for controlling the UAV during the air refueling, the author concludes with a brief review of the implications for the Air Force and airpower enthusiasts
Fighting with a conscience : the effects of an American sense of morality on the evolution of strategic bombing campaigns by Edward C Holland( )

2 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 270 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the 1930s air leaders and theorists at the Air Corps Tactical School developed a new concept for strategic bombing that sought victory through attacks on an enemy's war-making potential instead of its deployed forces. School officials believed such attacks directed against a country's economic "vital centers" or "industrial web" would destroy not only the ability to wage war but the will to fight as well. The concept also reflected a uniquely American sense of morality, as it included the notion that capability and will could be destroyed without directly attacking civilians. Those ideas coalesced into the doctrine for the strategic bombing campaigns of World War II. That doctrine influenced both strategy and tactics and in the process made the American air effort predictable. The bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan were remarkably similar, although conducted in different areas of the world under unique circumstances. Air leaders in both theaters initially relied on high-altitude, daylight precision attacks directed at the enemy 5 industrial web. When faced with similar problems of poor weather, inaccurate bombing, deadly defenses, and surprisingly resilient enemies, they resorted to less precise bombing methods. Even then air commanders refused to abandon their humanitarian principles. The attacks continued against industrial web targets, but with more indiscriminate methods that were nonetheless motivated by the desire to shorten the war and save lives on both sides. The emphasis on morality remained part of America's strategic bombing doctrine after the war. Air leaders directing bombing campaigns against North Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq faithfully ascribed to the industrial web theory, attacking similar targets in each conflict in predictable fashion-with bombing methods designed to avoid civilian casualties
Adaptive command and control of theater airpower by David J Gerber( )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 267 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Air Force doctrinally advocates centralized command and control (C2) with decentralized execution as the best means to concentrate force on any facet of an enemy's power. Although there are historical examples of effective command and control that have been less centralized, the USAF views decentralization as the cause of inefficient and suboptimal use of airpower. Trends in modern business, government, economics, science, and computer and communications systems suggest that it is appropriate to develop predominantly decentralized C2 methods to enhance the current doctrine. Two broad-based tools assist the development of the expanded spectrum of C2 options. First, this study develops a conceptual framework and describes eight interconnected subject areas to consider in describing a C2 system. Second, the author also describes the new science of complexity theory that provides interdisciplinary viewpoints to assess and enhance the adaptability and responsiveness of command and control. Juxtaposing the conceptual framework and complexity theory shows numerous intuitive connections between the two tools. By using the conceptual framework, this study describes the current archetype of centralized command and control through an organization built around a theater air operations center. Then, using complexity theory and other related sources, the study constructs a predominantly decentralized C2 system characterized by a networked hierarchical organization. Other aspects of the decentralized system include the use of mission orders and requests, unified lines of combat command below the theater air component commander, different approaches to training, doctrine, and education, and decentralized planning, execution, and combat assessment networks. Using complexity theory, this study combines the adaptability and responsiveness of complex systems with the directed purpose of a theater campaign
Warden and the Air Corps Tactical School : deja vu? by Scott D West( )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 265 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this study Major West answers the following questions: Is John Warden's "The Enemy as a System" analogous to the Air Corps Tactical School's (ACTS) industrial web theory of airpower employment? If so, why (given the 50 plus years between development of these theories)? If not, what are the prime sources of divergence? The author first describes both theories using an outline from which they are compared on an "apples to apples" basis. From this analysis, similarities and differences are presented. Next, the author discusses contextual factors affecting development of both theories. A baseline is developed from which factors from both eras are compared. After linking relevant contextual factors of the 1920s₆1930s and 1980s₆1990s, the author explains why the theories of ACTS and Warden are more similar than different. Finally, implications are drawn from the preceding analysis to address the issue of how airpower theory should be developed
Charting the nation's course : strategic planning processes in the 1952-53 "New Look" and the 1996-97 Quadrennial Defense Review by Patrick M Condray( )

2 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 262 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This study analyzes how the processes used in the national security planning influence the results. It begins by discussing the nature of strategic planning for national security, eventually defining it as a disciplined effort involving the allocation of resources to programmed activities aimed at achieving a set of objectives by integrating major goals, policies, and action sequences into a cohesive whole. Two examples (the New Look of 1953 and the Quadrennial Defense Review QDR of 1997) are selected for comparison due to the many parallels of their respective historical situations. The next step in this study defines several alternative methods for conducting strategic planning, including how using those methods could influence the outcome. These differences are used to analyze both the New Look and the QDR. The New Look provides an example of a primarily sequential, top-down process while the QDR demonstrated the advantages and drawbacks of a primarily parallel process which had both top-down and bottom-up aspects. The final section discusses the implications of the different approaches, including the recommendation that any review contemplating major changes in national security policy follow a more sequential and top-down process with clear guidance given to participants. " -- Abstract
Air control : strategy for a smaller United States Air Force by George R Gagnon( )

2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 259 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In 1921 as England faced severe financial pressures resulting from the economic strain of World War I, the British government sought a military strategy for policing its newly acquired Middle East mandates. After a successful demonstration of airpower's effectiveness in Somaliland, the British adopted and implemented an air control strategy in Mesopotamia, Transjordan, Palestine, and Aden. Until 1936 air control was the military strategy for those areas. Air control changed the central notion of military strategy in that theater from a surface-based to an aerial-based scheme. The Royal Air Force (RAF) enjoyed success and encountered failure when it employed the air control strategy under various conditions. After World War II, almost 20 years after the RAF abandoned air control, the United States Air Force (USAF) explored the control concept as a potential deterrent strategy. Dubbed Project Control, the USAF ultimately declined the study's main tenets but implemented elements of its proposals. Thereafter, air control remained a dormant design until the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. There elements of the control strategy reemerged as a common thread in the conduct of the air war. This analysis of air control examines all three conceptual frameworks. By assessing the validity of the RAF and USAF models, this study finds that air control provides political and military leaders a military strategy for a smaller defense establishment. It also identifies shortcomings advises caution when choosing the escalatory pattern of the control model
Projecting American airpower : should we buy bombers, carriers, or fighters? by Roy Michael Mattson( )

2 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 259 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The purpose of this thesis is to determine which form of airpower will best serve American power projection requirements as we approach the turn of the century. It examines three forms of airpower: carrier air, long-range combat air (B-2), and theater air (i.e., F-15, F-16, and EF-111). The author concludes that theater aircraft are the mainstay of US airpower. Theater airpower was the decisive form of airpower in our three major conflicts since World War II and will be in the regional conflicts of the future. It is superior in the broadest sense of the word economically, militarily, and politically. This analysis starts by assuming an equal monetary investment in each military instrument and then compares each instrument's ability to project airpower. The cost-effectiveness analysis is based on spending $36.3 billion on each to procure and operate (for 30 years) a carrier battle group, a package of 312 theater aircraft, and 38 B-2s. Power projection means that the instrument will enable American forces to defeat the military strategy of an adversary after crossing territory not owned or occupied by the United States. Each instrument is evaluated for power (ordnance load, ordnance flexibility, and mission flexibility), and is then evaluated for its ability to project (speed and autonomy). Each receives a relative ranking on each criterion. The criteria themselves are of differing importance. Mission flexibility and the attributes that yield power are most important. Theater aircraft are most powerful and least able to project. Long-range combat air craft project best, are powerful, but have limited mission flexibility. Carrier aircraft project very well, have mission flexibility, but are least powerful. Historically, the projection liabilities of theater aircraft have been irrelevant. Given the nature of future conflicts, theater aircraft will continue to dominate power projection. Long-range bombers and carrier air have a subsidiary role to play
From theater missile defense to antimissile offensive actions : a near-term strategic approach for the USAF by Merrick E Krause( )

3 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 258 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This study examines the question: What strategic approach should the USAF take toward Theater Missile Defense (TMD) and Anti-Missile Offensive Actions in the near-term? The thesis begins with an introductory chapter asking the stated question in context, presenting the methodology used, and summarizing the proposals given at the end of the treatment. The methodological approach to this thesis involves historical and literature reviews, interviews, and a qualitative comparison of current and proposed weapons systems, capabilities, and doctrine. Broad strategic options, not specific tactical systems, are the focus of this study. The second chapter reviews milestones of missile and anti-missile, diplomatic, and political history to establish a basis for how we arrived at the present situation. Next, the third chapter reviews the current theater ballistic missile (TBM) and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat situation. Also, an overview of contemporary political and military reasoning is presented to provide a baseline of support for the critical need of an integrated joint and multi-layered TMD. The fourth chapter compares current and near-term Anti-Missile systems and programs, identifies a near-term Anti-Missile Capabilities Gap, and distills the plethora of situational information to four succinct implications. Finally, the last chapter provides and analyzes four proposals for possible actions that the USAF can take to answer the thesis question while taking into account the implications of the current and near-term TBM situation. Overall, this thesis recommends a philosophical shift to one in which USAF near-term Attack Operations (AO) and BMC4I integration are considered as part of an air and space power Anti-Missile Offensive Counterair effort, not simply an adjunct to a ground-force driven TMD paradigm
A historical view of air policing doctrine : lessons from the British experience between the wars, 1919-1939 by Michael A Longoria( )

3 editions published between 1992 and 1993 in English and held by 256 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This study reviews the historical accounts of the Royal Air Force (RAF) experiences in air policing during the interwar period, 1919-39. It analyzes the evidence from the view of operational doctrine and applies an in-depth look at the basic tenets of RAF air policing campaigns. It seeks to answer the question: To what doctrine did air commanders subscribe? It further analyzes the development of air policing tactical doctrine throughout the interwar period. It summarizes the conclusions and then offers this insight as it may apply to contemporary operations. This study seeks to provide an insightful view of the British experience and attempts to explain what has never been explained before, namely how air policing worked from the vantage point of those who conducted it. By tracing the RAF operations during the more significant air policing examples and looking at the indigenous response, it describes the actual operational mechanism at work
Green and blue in the wild blue : an examination of the evolution of Army and Air Force airpower thinking and doctrine since the Vietnam War by Robert J Hamilton( )

2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 255 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Major Hamilton examines the nature and degree of the convergence of the United States Army and Air Force airpower thinking and doctrine since the Vietnam War. His study is concerned with airpower and does not incorporate theories or doctrine that deal with the space medium. He excludes Navy and Marine airpower theories. Major Hamilton discusses thinking on airpower in Vietnam, Army airpower thinking from 1972 to 1992, and the USAF thinking on airpower from that same time frame. He concludes that the Army and Air Force have a long track record of cooperation, and that areas of conceptual agreement exist from which to build a comprehensive theory of airpower
Centralized control of space : the use of space forces by a joint force commander by Ricky B Kelly( )

2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 254 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The purpose of this paper is to determine to what extent and how the Joint Force Commander (JFC) should control support from space forces. Current Air Force doctrine, as delineated in Air Force Manual (AFM) 1-1, identifies the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) as being responsible for both air and space for the theater. This statement follows the Air Force notion that air and space are an indivisible medium of warfare. On the other hand, Joint Pub 3-14 states the Operations Directorate, J-3, on the supported commander's (the JFC's) staff functions in this role. To examine this issue of in-theater control of space forces more closely, this study is divided into five chapters. Following the Introduction, Chapter 2 looks into how space forces were planned for and employed during Desert Storm. This chapter discusses who was in-charge and what planning processes were used. In Chapter 3, lessons and initiatives to improve planning and employment of support from space forces are discussed. Chapter 4 explores the possible need to have one individual in-theater clearly identified as being responsible for directing space forces. Centralized control, similar to air, may have beneficial effects that allow joint commanders to take better advantage of space forces' full potential. The study concludes by offering recommendations." -- Abstract
Mission-type orders in joint air operations : the empowerment of air leadership by Michael E Fischer( )

2 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 248 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Air Force's current doctrinal maxims of centralized control and decentralized execution have the potential to produce over-centralized planning at the theater Air Operations Center; the result of this tendency is a cumbersome air tasking order and a campaign vulnerable to lost communications, information overload, and decapitation. One cure for such problems is the decentralization of tactical planning through the use of mission-type orders at the wing or air task force level. Mission-type orders include a clear statement of the superior commander's intent and state each unit's tasks in terms of operational effects to be achieved over several days rather than daily targets and aimpoints
The sum of their fears : the relationship between the joint targeting coordination board and the joint force commander by Michael R Moeller( )

2 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 247 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the past, doctrinal differences between the services over how best to use airpower in joint campaigns have led to disagreements over airpower mission and target priorities. During World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, ground commanders demanded greater influence over airpower employment, while at the same time, the Air Force and the Navy disagreed over the most effective method for command and control of airpower throughout the theater. In all four cases, the Joint Force Commander set up a targeting board or an equivalent to address individual service concerns. This thesis follows the history of joint targeting boards since World War II to illustrate the foundations that have led to today's joint airpower targeting process. Having established the historical
Peace by committee : command and control issues in multinational peace enforcement operations by Harold E Bullock( )

3 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 245 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The United States has been involved in peace enforcement operations for many years. In that time we have learned some lessons. Unfortunately, we continue to repeat many of the same mistakes. Sometimes we have forgotten hard-learned lessons, and sometimes we never learned from our earlier experiences. The Dominican Republic deployment of 1965-66 and recent experiences under the Unified Task Force, Somalia (UNITAF) and United Nations Operations, Somalia II (UNOSOM II) are representative peace enforcement operations. This paper examines which lessons we learned from these operations, which lessons we learned and lost, and which lessons we seemingly ignored. Focusing on command and control, the issues can be loosely grouped into categories of force and command structure, political impacts, and interoperability. In force and command structure, the U.S. has not come to grips with the difficulties of operating in a multinational coalition under international (e.g., United Nations) control. The problems of dual lines of control and Byzantine command structures plagued both the Dominican and Somalia operations. The ability to integrate humanitarian relief and nation-building forces effectively into the overall structure has deteriorated rather than improved. Stand-by, earmarked forces, combined exercises (including nonmilitary agencies), and stronger civil-military integration cells could help mitigate difficulties, but they need to be pursued more vigorously
Effects-based targeting : another empty promise? by T. W Beagle( )

4 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 244 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"What is effects-based targeting, and from where did this concept come? Is it based on a coherent theory and, if so, has the US Air Force incorporated it in its doctrine and operations? Is there more yet to do? These questions from both the focus and format of this study, which examines the evolution of effects-based targeting. Specifically, this paper asks how effectively has the US Air Force incorporated the concept of effects based operations into its procedures for targeting and combat assessment. To answer this question, the study defines effects-based targeting, asserting that commanders should direct airpower against targets in ways that produce specific, predetermined, military and political effects. The study explores the historical development of effects-based targeting theory and then conducts a focused comparison of four major air operations Pointblank, Linebacker II, Desert Storm, and Allied Force in order to survey US airpower's actual combat experience with regard to effects-based operations. This study determines that senior decision makers have always been interested in creating specific effects rather than simply destroying targets; however, as a whole, the USAF has been inconsistent in employing effects-based operations across the spectrum of conflict. Amen can airpower has accomplished its most significant improvements at the tactical level of war, but is less reliable in creating operational and strategic effects. In a similar vein, airpower has become very effective at producing direct, physical effects, and it is becoming increasingly capable of creating certain widespread systemic effects. Generally, though, the ability to even predict, much less generate, specific psychological effects remains yet a hope and may, in fact, act as a virtual ceiling on the potential of effects-based operations."--Abstract
Build-to-shelve prototyping : undercutting doctrinal development by Donald Vazquez( )

2 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 243 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The lag between the fielding of systems and the development of conflict-winning employment tactics and doctrine is a historical fact we dare not neglect. Yet, DOD acquisition strategy appears to be on the path to do just that. Foregoing the expense of producing weapon systems--an understandable expedient in the budget crunch--has been widely criticized because of its effects on the defense industrial base. Former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin's new approach, called rollover plus," recognizes the need for operational testing. What's been missing from the debate about these alternatives is how any approach that severely limits the numbers of end items fielded also adversely impacts our ability to develop conflict-winning employment doctrine. The famous B- 17 Flying Fortress illustrates where too few prototypes, and shorter than expected strategic warning, led to refining doctrine in combat. Although the B-17 prototype flew in 1935, there were never enough B-17 prototypes to "train like you'll fight" simply because the B-17 wasn't fielded in quantity until war broke out. The 13 B-17 prototypes were not used to develop, let alone practice, the "box" formations that were critical to the notion of "self-defending" bomber formations. The B-17 history-- strategic warning, production based upon tested prototypes, and employment in combat-- is much like what policymakers envision for future weapon system production
Oz revisited : Russian military doctrinal reform in light of their analysis of Desert Storm by Edward J Felker( )

2 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 242 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Much occurred to influence Russian military doctrine from the Gulf War's end to the Russians issuing their draft doctrine in May 1992. The Gulf War was a "significant military experience" for the Russians because it highlighted what their General Staff thought was wrong with the military doctrine they inherited from the former Soviet Union. The Gulf War affected their perception of future war, and how they should posture their forces for it. This thesis explores the evolution of Russian military doctrine in light of the lessons they say they learned from the Gulf War. Since the early l980s, such prominent military thinkers as Marshal Ogarkov argued that emerging technologies were generating a new revolution in military affairs. The Russian military doctrinal response to Desert Storm seems to confirm Marshal Ogarkov's predictions. The thesis finds the new military doctrine (1) reverts from the defensive to an offensive preemption, (2) reverts from no nuclear first use to nuclear escalation, (3) guarantees ethnic Russians living in former Soviet states protection, (4) emphasizes the importance of military advancement in C41, smart weapons, and mobility, and (5) emphasizes strategic non-nuclear deterrent forces. Having detailed the Russian's preoccupation with an outward look, it concludes the General Staff neglected to look inward at the contribution the former Soviet military made to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. In forming their military doctrine, like the intrepid travelers to Oz, they seem to pay no attention to the "man behind the curtain." The thesis concludes the Russian Federation's draft military doctrine, in essence, lacks reality and creates a danger of Russian military policy moving divergently from political influence
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The paths of heaven : the evolution of airpower theory
Alternative Names

controlled identityAir University (U.S.). School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

Air University (U.S.). Air Command and Staff College. School of Advanced Airpower Studies


School of Advanced Airpower Studies (U.S.)

English (54)