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  • Coming soon
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: November 2023
  • Print publication year: 2023
  • Online ISBN: 9781009364201
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Book description

This book introduces a much-needed theory of tactical air power to explain air power effectiveness in modern warfare with a particular focus on the Vietnam War as the first and largest modern air war. Phil Haun shows how in the Rolling Thunder, Commando Hunt, and Linebacker air campaigns, independently air power repeatedly failed to achieve US military and political objectives. In contrast, air forces in combined arms operations succeeded more often than not. In addition to predicting how armies will react to a lethal air threat, he identifies operational factors of air superiority, air-to-ground capabilities, and friendly ground force capabilities, along with environmental factors of weather, lighting, geography and terrain, and cover and concealment in order to explain air power effectiveness. The book concludes with analysis of modern air warfare since Vietnam along with an assessment of tactical air power relevance now and for the future.


‘Airpower history and theory tends to focus on “strategic” bombardment at the expense of operational and tactical airpower. Phil Haun’s book provides a welcome reprieve from that tendency given his important focus on airpower in support of the battlefield.’Heather Venable, author of How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874–1918

‘A thoroughly researched, hard-hitting analysis of tactical air power in Vietnam, complete with a solid discussion of air power theory and an intriguing look at how the Southeast Asia experience has affected subsequent tactical air power applications.’Mark Clodfelter, author of The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam

‘Phil Haun has made a major contribution to our understanding of the Vietnam War. Air Power may not have won the Vietnam War, but the fact that there were no Dienbien Phus was clearly the result of massive American air power. Anyone interested in the war needs to read this book.’Williamson Murray, author of A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War


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