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The Rules of Defeat

The Impact of Aerial Rules of Engagement on USAF Operations in North Vietnam, 1965-1968

Maj Ricky J. Drake, USAF
1992, 56 pages
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During the Vietnam War, many American air commanders were convinced that rigid Rules of Engagement (ROEs) prevented an American aerial victory over North Vietnam during the Rolling Thunder air campaign from 1965-1968. ROEs were directives issued by civilian authority to guide the conduct of all US aerial operations in Southeast Asia. To the men "in the field" these rules provided detailed guidance to be followed by all commanders, air planners, control personnel, and combat crew members in the actual planning and flying of combat missions.

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