Demand the Advantage. When Is Airpower Central to a Campaign?.
Howard, Ernest G.
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The purpose of this study is to provide joint planners with a means to determine when airpower should be the central element of a campaign. Additionally, this study can help planners understand not only when airpower should support surface forces but also when the roles of joint forces may be expected to change as the campaign progresses. To accomplish its purpose, this study provides an analysis of two island campaigns in which air, land, and sea forces were employed; the Guadalcanal Campaign of 1942 and the South Atlantic War of 1982. This study documents and analyzes how the role of airpower evolved and changed in relative significance to other forces during course of each campaign. Finally, this study may provide a useful framework for campaign analysis, in general, or for the study of the historical practice of operational art. Future students, who wish to research the tensions and complementary effects associated with planning joint operations and employing joint forces, may capitalize on the framework used in this study to pursue their studies.
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