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SAASS Theses

These SAASS theses were selected for publication from among those submitted to the faculty of SAASS, as one of the requirements for completion of a master’s degree in air and space power art and science. AU Press no longer publishes this series, but award-winning SAASS theses are now published in the Drew Papers series.

  •  Assessing Airpower's Effects

    Assessing Airpower's Effects

    Lt Col John T. Rauch Jr., USAF
    Lieutenant Colonel Rauch analyzes how real-time damage assessment (BDA) contributes to airpower strategy and execution. He provides a historical review of BDA during World War II, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War and examines the current BDA doctrine, capabilities, and procedures to illustrate contemporary strengths and shortcomings. [Lt Col John T. Rauch Jr., USAF / 2004 / 65 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-16]
  •  Attacking the Mobile Ballistic Missile Threat in the Post-Cold War Environment

    Attacking the Mobile Ballistic Missile Threat in the Post-Cold War Environment

    Maj Robert W. Stanley II, USAF
    Using interviews with former Soviet Union missile engineers, Russian language sources documenting the Soviet need to develop mobile missiles, top Air Force commanders, and recently declassified CIA documents regarding the US reconnaissance program and National Intelligence Estimates, the author has shown the threat to US national security from mobile ballistic missiles is at least as great today as at any time in history to include the heights of the Cold War. [Maj Robert W. Stanley II, USAF / 2006 / 72 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-19]
  •  Attacking the Theater Mobile Ballistic-Missile Threat

    Attacking the Theater Mobile Ballistic-Missile Threat

    Maj David E. Snodgrass, USAF
    Major Snodgrass reviews the performance of US offensive and defensive systems against Iraq's Scuds during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and examines current US efforts to defeat these potentially destabilizing weapons. The danger of third world countries employing theater ballistic missiles has increased. Reflecting the realities of the new world order, theater missile defense is the first priority, and national missile defense is the second priority. Major Snodgrass covers the pros and cons of competing concepts to accomplish missile defense and evaluates the most promising technical solutions to the mobile ballistic-missile threat. This paper addresses how best to accomplish attack operations against the mobile ballistic missiles before they are launched. Using five basic criteria in his evaluation, he concludes that a multilayered approach, consisting of attack operations, active defense, passive defense, and a robust C4I network, forms the framework for the most effective mobile missile defense. [Maj David E. Snodgrass, USAF / 1993 / 90 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-54]
  •  AWPD-42 to Instant Thunder

    AWPD-42 to Instant Thunder

    James R. Cody
    Major Cody analyzes the air war plans in World War II and the Persian Gulf War. His goal is to ascertain whether there is a continuity of thought reflected in American air planning over the years. He assesses Air War Plans Division-1/42 and Instant Thunder as to their importance to contemporary airpower theory. Major Cody concludes that there is a continuity of thought reflected in major air plans, particularly in the issues of strategic bombing, precision attack, and command and control. [James R. Cody / 2003 / 68 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-38]
  •  Balancing the Trinity

    Balancing the Trinity

    Maj Susan E. Strednansky, USAF
    This study analyzes the role of the military commander in termination planning during operations other than war. First, the author assesses past and present political guidance, such as the Weinberger doctrine and the presidential directive on peace operations, as well as conditions that affect exit strategy planning. The conclusion is that most of the guidance is vague and that internal and external influences make the process of transforming political goals into viable military objectives very difficult . Next, the writer evaluates actual end-state development and the subsequent exit strategies in Somalia and Haiti operations. The results of the Somalia case study indicate that the military commander was not provided specific end-state conditions and had to determine a termination strategy as he was prosecuting the conflict. Although this approach worked for a brief period of time, political events eventually overcame military planning and US forces were withdrawn without accomplishing the political goals . Having learned from the Somalia operation, the Haiti planning was more thorough and looked specifically for concrete end-state conditions. Consequently, the military mission was more successful, though it is questionable what the political results of this intervention will be in the future. The final chapter states three conclusions: (1) if the political leaders do not provide a specific end state, the military commander will have to develop one and pass it up the chain of command for consideration and approval, (2) much better results can be expected from a military mission which is given an end state that was developed in coordination with both the political and the military establishments prior to commencement of hostilities, and (3) in all cases, the planning process will be difficult and fluid. [Maj Susan E. Strednansky, USAF / 1996 / 58 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Bedding Down with C-O-T-S

    Bedding Down with C-O-T-S

    Christopher J. Bence
    Major Bence examines the feasibility for the United States Air Force (USAF) to obtain and field a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) cargo aircraft in order to meet the current and future airlift requirements of the United States. He discusses the current capacity, the three types of cargo, and the total force structure of the USAF. Major Bence offers five alternatives, including COTS—each embraces benefits and drawbacks—to increase airlift capacity. [Christopher J. Bence / 2000 / 80 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-7]
  •  Benign Weather Modification

    Benign Weather Modification

    Maj Barry B. Coble, USAF
    Weather modification is a technology once embraced by the United States (US) military as a tool to help both wartime and peacetime missions. However, interest in the ability to modify weather has waned over recent years and is now nearly nonexistent. This study examines one aspect of weather modification, benign weather modification (BWM), for possible use in assisting military operations. After briefly reviewing the history and science of weather modification, this thesis bounds the aspects of weather modification being addressed. It then describes barriers to BWM, showing how they affect current weather modification policy in the military. Examples are shown of current civilian BWM techniques, their possible use by the military, and some military-unique needs for weather modification. After examining current weather modification and projected future BWM technology, the author concludes that military BWM use deserves another look. Increased reliance on precision guided munitions makes BWM a possible new tool in ensuring accurate targeting with minimal collateral damage. In addition, BWM offers the war planner a means to dictate battle space elements at a critical point in a conflict. At a minimum, the US military should conduct a more in-depth review of weather modification to see if technological advances offer opportunities for more “bang for the buck.” [Maj Barry B. Coble, USAF / 1997 / 45 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Beyond Gunboat Diplomacy

    Beyond Gunboat Diplomacy

    Maj James O. Tubbs, USAF
    Military intervention short of full scale war is not a new phenomenon as a means of pursuing national interests. With the end of the cold war, military intervention has taken a new twist in the form of peace operations. The United States Air Force (USAF) in particular is being used as a tool of national policy in peace enforcement operations with increasing regularity. The USAF was involved in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and maintained an air presence in both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to control the Iraqi repression of its civilian population. This involvement raised a fundamental question about when and how airpower should be used as an effective coercive force in peace enforcement operations. Peace enforcement is a military intervention in an ongoing conflict that uses military force to coerce one or more belligerents to comply with mandated restrictions. The purpose of this intervention is to create the proper security conditions such that other peace efforts such as humanitarian relief and diplomatic peacemaking can help the belligerents resolve the conflict without the use of force. This study uses Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq and the Unified Taskforce/United Nations Operations in Somalia II (UNITAF/UNOSOM II) as case studies to examine how airpower influenced these peace enforcement operations. [Maj James O. Tubbs, USAF / 1997 / 63 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Beyond the Battle Line

    Beyond the Battle Line

    Maj Gary C. Cox, USAF
    This study examines the development and usefulness of US air attack theory and doctrine during the interwar period, 1919–1941. This period represents more than 20 years of development in US Air Corps attack theory and doctrine. It was the first peacetime period of such development. Attack aviation during this time was a branch of aviation used to provide direct and indirect combat support to ground forces in the form of machine-gun strafing, light bombing, and chemical attacks. [Maj Gary C. Cox, USAF / 1996 / 54 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Beyond the Industrial Web

    Beyond the Industrial Web

    Maj Steven M. Rinaldi, USAF
    Economies are complex systems composed of a number of infrastructure elements. These elements, such as electrical grids, petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) distribution networks, and telecommunications systems, are interconnected in a myriad of ways. As a result of this connectivity, an attack on one infrastructure element influences the others to varying degrees. When targeting an economy, an air planner must account for this connectivity and the downstream effects that naturally occur. Historically, however, air planners have overlooked the interrelated nature of a nation’s infrastructure and employed reductionist targeting techniques. Typically, they split an economy into individual target sets. Then, they select targets in each set in isolation from other targets, without anticipating the holistic effect of air bombardment. This is an inappropriate technique for targeting, as it overlooks the complex behaviors and characteristics of economies. In this thesis, we propose a new manner of targeting economies—a holistic approach that accounts for the linkages between infrastructure elements and their resultant synergies. We first establish a theoretical foundation for targeting based on complexity science. This discipline examines the nature of complex, interconnected systems such as economies. Next, we demonstrate that economies are indeed highly interconnected systems. These linkages cannot be ignored in the targeting process. Finally, we tentatively propose a computer algorithm capable of targeting multiple, interacting infrastructure elements. The technique employs a genetic algorithm coupled to standard industrial analysis programs. When implemented, this computer technique should dramatically improve the effectiveness of economic targeting. [Maj Steven M. Rinaldi, USAF / 1995 / 89 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Bombing to Surrender

    Bombing to Surrender

    Maj Philip A. Smith, USAF
    Major Smith examines the contribution of airpower to the 1943 collapse of Italy. His study is largely about competing airpower strategies during World War II. He presents his own view of this 50-year-old debate. Major Smith does not offer another absolute ruling, nor does he represent a bias toward one form of employing airpower over another, but his study attempts to document an important exception to the most current panacea target. He cites several broad works—Robert A. Pape's Bombing to Win: Airpower and Coercion in War, the United States Bombing Survey Reports, Ernest R. May's "Lessons" of the Past: The Use and Misuse of History in American Foreign Policy, and Frederick William Deakin's The Brutal Friendship: Mussolini, Hitler, and the Fall of Italian Fascism—to identify examples where the psychological effects of airpower outweighed the physical damage caused by bombing. [Maj Philip A. Smith, USAF / 1998 / 88 pages / AU Press Code: T-51]
  •  Bombs over Bosnia

    Bombs over Bosnia

    Michael O. Beale
    Major Beale examines the role operations Deny Flight and Deliberate Force played in achieving a peaceful settlement to ethnic conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s. To help the reader understand the role Deny Flight and Deliberate Force played in getting a peace agreement signed, the author explains the political and historical context of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. While Deny Flight was generally ineffective in its mission, Deliberate Force was, in the words of US Secretary of Defense William Perry, "the absolutely crucial step in bringing the warring parties to the negotiating table at Dayton, leading to the peace agreement." [Michael O. Beale / 1997 / 71 pages / ISBN / AU Press Code: T-13]
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