Airpower & the Cult of the Offensive by John R. Carter

By John R. Carter

Significant Carter explores 3 case stories that experience vital similarities: the doctrine of significant Britain's Royal Air strength from 1918 to 1938, the Israeli Air Force's procedure from 1967 to 1973, and the us Air Force's process from 1953 to 1965. He starts off through constructing the theoretical history beneficial for case learn research. He dissects the connection among offense and protection to find that airpower safeguard enjoys neither a bonus of place nor of time. He examines the character of offense and safeguard as they practice to airpower and gives purposes army association may well favor offensive doctrines. significant Carter identifies the weather and implications of the cult of the offensive.

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Scott D. Sagan argues that the consequences of the cult of the offensive were “necessary, but not sufficient” to have caused the war. 51 He offers the political objectives of the belligerents and the nature of their alliance commitments as rational explanations for their militaries’ offensive doctrines. 52 Whether the cult of the offensive substantially accounts for the occurrence of World War I, there is potentially great explanatory power in the idea that an offensive bias can so grip military organizations that apparently irrational strategy results.

Existing literature does not enforce a rigorous definitional separation of strategy and doctrine. The difference between strategy and doctrine is certainly important in some contexts. For instance, current US joint doctrine is authoritative but allows the military commander’s strategy to deviate from doctrine should unusual circumstances warrant. This study focuses on the principles that guide military decisions, the sources of those principles, and the likely implications of choosing offensive principles over defensive ones.

During the early 1920s, various boards considered the matter of British air defense, postulating France as a potential enemy. Some speakers testified that fighter aircraft could possibly provide a defense against daylight bombers, but such aircraft could not defend at night, and so would prove worthless. Nevertheless, a result of this process was the creation, in 1925, of the Air Defence of Great Britain Command, which built on an earlier plan integrating fighters, warning systems, and AAA in a joint structure.

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