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Word Count: 3,190
The very nature and instrument of war was forever transformed with mans first flight in 1903 Since that time early theorists like Mitchell and Douhet offered their approach to the employment of airpower They focused on strategic bombing as a means for airpower to win wars independently of land or naval forces World War II Korea and Vietnam showed that effective employment of airpower must go beyond strategic bombing developing the missions of superiority interdiction and close air support Military analysts soon began studying war at its three different levels strategic operational and tactical This breakdown allowed analysts to better understand the cause and effect relationships of war Airpower is primarily an operational level tool of war that must be tailored to meet the requirements of given mission There are many factors the air commander must consider in developing his game plan for the employment of airpower Generally the interpretation of these factors is as Analysis of Mission Campaign Integration Enemy Combat Capability Geography Time to Influence Space for Operations and Logistics Basing These factors can not be taken sequentially but rather each must be viewed constantly with the overall big picture in mind OPERATIONAL AIRPOWER Here I will give a brief account on the employment of the air power in todays world scenario which can help in using the air power effectively This will help air commanders in determining the most effective use of airpower at the operational level of war In the following paragraphs I will discuss some of the salient features for the effective employment of the air forces for any nation Some Historical Realities As the instrument of war was forever changed with mans first flight in 1903 Early theorists such as Giulio Douhet and William Billy Mitchell argued that airpower would become the most decisive element of war They thought that by applying airpower directly at an enemys war making capability rather than its deployed forces airpower could destroy
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