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The Air Campaign
Planning for Combat
Col John A. Warden III

National Defense University Press Publication, 1988

Electronic copy prepared by Air War College Nonresident Studies.
Footnote numbers have been renumbered to be continuous for look-up ease.
For book as a single file, see continuous text.

Contents - Quick

Contents - Expanded

by Charles L. Donnelly, Jr.

The Air Campaign in Prospect

    The Levels of War
    Lack of Coherent Operational Doctrine
    Two Levels nearly Merge in Central Europe
    "Center of Gravity" Useful in Planning
    Single Arms Can Prevail
1. Air Superiority--The Concept
    Air Supremacy Allows Operations Anywhere
    Air Superiority Crucial to Success
    The Five Cases of War
    Infrastructure Essential
2. Offense or Defense--The Chess Game
    Emphasize Defense, or Concentrate on Offense
    Two Examples of Air Defenses
    Phasing Important to Defense
    MacArthur Sought Air Superiority
    Kenney Exploited Japanese Doctrine
    Misplaced Contempt Can Lead to Errors
    Indirect Feint Can Be Effective
3. Offensive Operations
    War Can Be Won from the Air
    "Equipment Chain" Must Be Evaluated
    Obvious Choice Often Worst One
    Patience, Persistence Are the Keys
    Flight Crews Are Precious Resource
    Command Is True Center of Gravity
    Ethnocentricity Should Be Avoided
    Hansell Urges Strategic Bombing in Pacific
    Israelis Capitalize on Weaknesses in Syrian Doctrine
4. Defensive Operations
    Doctrine May Influence the Situation
    Mass Must Be Available to the Attacker
    Damage Is Key to Not Losing
    Loss Ratios A Function of Force Ratios
    The More Warning, the Better
5. Limited Options
    Options Depend on the Enemy
    Mobility Can Win the Battle
    Candid Advice Needed
6. Air Interdiction
    In Retreat
    Static Defense Against an Enemy Offensive
    Offensive Operations on Both Sides
    Offensive Operations Against a Static Defense
    Against a Retreating Enemy
    Against Self-Sufficient Forces
7. Close Air Support
    Close Air Versus Interdiction
    Ground Commanders Are in Charge
    Close Air Can Be a Substitute
    Bad Weather Can Limit Close Air Support
8. Reserves
    Reserves May Help Better the Odds
    Shock Value of Reserves Can Be Valuable
    Sortie not Flown Is not a Sortie Lost
    Air Reserves Won the Battle of Britain
    Reserves Can Be Applicable to Air Operations
    War Efforts Come in Surges
9. The Orchestration of War
    Political, Military Objectives Are Related
    Theater Commander's Position Is Unique
    "Liberators instead of Destroyers"
    "Radical" Ideas May Be Opposed
    Center of Gravity Must Be Identified
    Air Seen as Supporting Arm
    Broad Front, or Indirect Approach
    Sea Forces Easiest to Choose or Reject
    Air May Be Key Force
10. Planning the Air Campaign
    Enemy's Plans May Be Anticipated
    Statistics Favor the Side that Moves First
    Center of Gravity May not Be Reachable
    "Throw Everything at the Ground"
    Three Categories of Interdiction
    "Mystify, Mislead, Surprise"
    Reserves--To Have or Have Not
The Air Campaign in Retrospect
    Two Ends of the Scale
    Numbers Are Important
    Reserves a New Subject
    War Is Baffling, Intriguing

Selected Bibliography

Index [not available electronically]

The Author