10 Propositions Regarding Air Power Author:Phillip S. Meilinger About six years ago when Air Force Manual 1-1, "Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the U.S. Air Force," was being re-written, then-Lt Gen Michael Dugan, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, proposed an unusual idea. Doctrine manuals were fine, but he wanted something brief and succinct, something that encapsulated the essence of airpower... more ». His ultimate goal: to produce a list of principles or rules of airpower so succinct they would fit on a wallet-size card that airmen could carry in their pocket. My first reaction was one of skepticism. As a historian I had been taught to eschew simple solutions, formulas, models, and similar gimmicks that attempted to deal with complex problems. Yet, as one observer phrased it: "The consistency of the principles of war indicates that despite the doubts expressed by military theoreticians concerning their validity, they satisfy a deep need in military thinking."2 These "needs" are a psychological search for guidelines when in chaos, the tendency to apply scientific concepts of cause and effect to daily activities, and the desire for an understandable belief system to use as an educational tool for young officers.
TEN PROPOSITIONS REGARDING AIRPOWER
Whoever controls the air generally controls the surface.
Airpower is an inherently strategic force.
Airpower is primarily an offensive weapon.
In essence, airpower is targeting, targeting is intelligence, and intelligence is analyzing the effects of air operations.
Airpower produces physical and psychological shock by dominating the fourth dimension--time.
Airpower can conduct parallel operations at all levels of war, simultaneously.
Precision air weapons have redefined the meaning of mass.
Airpower's unique characteristics necessitate that it be centrally controlled by airmen.
Technology and airpower are integrally and synergistically related.
Airpower includes not only military assets, but an aerospace industry and commercial aviation.« less