HomeAU PressSAASS Theses
Air University Press Banner

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.

  •  Effects-Based Targeting

    Effects-Based Targeting

    Maj T. W. Beagle Jr., USAF
    What is effects-based targeting and from where did this concept come? Is it based on a coherent theory; and, if so, has the USAF incorporated it into its doctrine and operations? Is there more yet to do? These questions form both the focus and format of this study, which examines the evolution of effects-based targeting. Specifically, this study asks how effectively has the USAF incorporated the concept of effects-based operations into its procedures for targeting and combat assessment. To answer this question, the study defines effects-based targeting, asserting that commanders should direct airpower against targets in ways that produce specific, predetermined, military, and political effects. This study explores the historical development of effects-based targeting theory and then conducts a focused comparison of four major air operations—Pointblank, Linebacker II, Desert Storm, and Allied Force—in order to survey US airpower’s actual combat experience with regard to effects-based operations. This study determines that senior decision makers have always been interested in creating specific effects rather than simply destroying targets; however, as a whole, the USAF has been inconsistent in employing effects-based operations across the spectrum of conflict. American airpower has accomplished its most significant improvements at the tactical level of war but is less reliable in creating operational and strategic effects. In a similar vein, airpower has become very effective at producing direct physical effects; and it is becoming increasingly capable of creating certain widespread systemic effects. Generally, though, the ability to even predict—much less generate—specific psychological effects remains yet a hope and may, in fact, act as a virtual ceiling on the potential of effects-based operations. [Maj T. W. Beagle Jr., USAF / 2001 / 99 pages / ISBN: AU Press Code: T-27]
  •  Eliminating the Rhetoric

    Eliminating the Rhetoric

    Maj Mark C. Nowland, USAF
    Major Nowland identifies criteria that will provide objective analysis of a halt-phase strategy. He examines air combat in three operations: the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, the 1973 Golan Heights battles of the Yom Kippur War, and the Iraqi Republican Guard escape from Basra. His study consists of three sections: assessment of prehostility preparation, examination of actual combat operations, and analysis of the results of the operation. Major Nowland concludes with three major lessons. [Maj Mark C. Nowland, USAF / 2000 / 88 pages ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-12]
  •  Enhancement of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet

    Enhancement of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet

    Maj William G. Palmby, USAF
    US military airlift policy strives to maximize the available wartime reserve of airlift for a given investment. Unfortunately, the capacity of America's strategic airlift system has consistently fallen short of the proposed wartime requirements and remains so today. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Military Airlift Command's attempts to reduce the airlift deficit included a CRAF Enhancement Program that subsidized the conversion of CRAF jumbo aircraft into cargoconvertibles. Although several aircraft were modified, the program was allowed to die during the 1980s. However, this option needs to be re-examined since Air Mobility Command's efforts to close the contemporary airlift gap—such as C-17 procurement, the C-141 Service Life Extension Program, and the outright purchase and operation of a fleet of commercial cargo aircraft—are expensive and problem-ridden. This study determines if a revival of the CRAF Enhancement Program is feasible and if it could be developed into a viable program for addressing AMC's airlift shortfall problem. To achieve this goal, the study analyzes the failure of the first CRAF Enhancement Program to determine if the barriers to its success were surmountable and if these same barriers might impede the success of a future program. The study determines that the first Enhancement Program failed because MAC was unable to develop an incentive plan that was attractive enough to ensure airline participation, yet be persuasive enough to elicit the required support and funding from Congress. [Maj William G. Palmby, USAF / 1995 / 74 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Expendable Remotely Piloted Vehicles for Strategic Offensive Airpower Roles

    Expendable Remotely Piloted Vehicles for Strategic Offensive Airpower Roles

    Maj Dennis Larm, USAF
    Major Larm examines the feasibility of developing expendable remotely piloted vehicles (RPV) and explores future concepts of conventional US offensive airpower roles. He outlines the historical base of the larger category of unmanned aerial vehicles. Major Larm does not propose to take the pilot out of the cockpit, but he examines the concept of taking the cockpit out of the aircraft. By incorporating the added dimension of employing one-use vehicles to this concept, he attempts to reveal representative—though not all-encompassing—innovative airpower ideas. Major Larm’s conclusion is that the use of expendable RPVs for strategic offensive airpower roles is a viable concept. [Maj Dennis Larm, USAF / 2001 / 88 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-28]
  •  Falcons against the Jihad

    Falcons against the Jihad

    LtCol Kenneth C. Schow, Jr., USAF
    The analysis of this subject begins by demonstrating that Israeli air strikes in Lebanon supported a strategy of coercive diplomacy—an approach adopted when Israeli ground efforts proved unable to reduce the number of guerrilla attacks. In the course of this effort, the Israeli Air Force executed 28 air raids, all of which would have little effect on the decision calculus of the Palestinians and Shi’ite organizations in southern Lebanon. The most interesting aspect of this strategy is the fact that 90percent of the Israeli air strikes were directed against the Palestinian organizations while the evidence shows that the Shi’ites in southern Lebanon were responsible for many of the guerrilla attacks against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ground troops. This study concludes that the decision to minimize air attacks against the Shi’ites was an effort on the part of senior Israeli leaders to gain long-term security on their northern border by “signaling” their willingness to work with Nabih Berri and other Amal leaders. In addition to this, Israeli leaders were concerned that massive raids on organizations like Hizbollah would have little impact on their willingness to attack the IDF, or worse yet, would inspire them to even greater violence. In light of these political realities, the Israelis focused the air attacks on the radical Palestinian groups. Although the Israelis had an extensive intelligence base built up on the Palestinian organizations to assist them in developing their attack plans, the Israeli air strikes failed to affect the PLO. As a result, they combined with an increasingly angry Shi’ite population to execute a succession of guerrilla attacks against the IDF, which eroded the will of the Israeli leadership to stay in Lebanon. [LtCol Kenneth C. Schow, Jr., USAF / 1995 / 45 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-40]
  •  Fifth Air Force Light and Medium Bomber Operations during 1942 and 1943

    Fifth Air Force Light and Medium Bomber Operations during 1942 and 1943

    Maj Timothy D. Gann, USAF
    When Generals George C. Kenney and Ennis C. Whitehead became the two senior commanders of the US Fifth Air Force in July 1942 their work was cut out for them. The previous January, the Japanese secured the port of Rabaul in eastern New Britain. They immediately began the drive down the east coast of New Guinea with the objective of driving the Allies from Port Moresby. For the next year and a half, in some the harshest climate of World War II, the Fifth Air Force helped to reverse the tide and drive the Japanese from eastern New Guinea. This was accomplished despite the Europe-first policy and an inappropriate doctrine based on high altitude, daylight, precision bombing. [Maj Timothy D. Gann, USAF / 1992 / 60 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Fighting with a Conscience

    Fighting with a Conscience

    Lt Col Edward C. Holland III, USAF
    In the 1930s air leaders and theorists at the Air Corps Tactical School developed a new concept for strategic bombing that sought victory through attacks on an enemy’s war-making potential instead of its deployed forces. School officials believed such attacks directed against a country’s economic “vital centers” or “industrial web” would destroy not only the ability to wage war but the will to fight as well. The concept also reflected a uniquely American sense of morality, as it included the notion that capability and will could be destroyed without directly attacking civilians. Those ideas coalesced into the doctrine for the strategic bombing campaigns of World War II. That doctrine influenced both strategy and tactics and in the process made the American air effort predictable. The bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan were remarkably similar, although conducted in different areas of the world under unique circumstances. Air leaders in both theaters initially relied on high-altitude, daylight precision attacks directed at the enemy’s industrial web. When faced with similar problems of poor weather, inaccurate bombing, deadly defenses, and surprisingly resilient enemies, they resorted to less precise bombing methods. Even then air commanders refused to abandon their humanitarian principles. The attacks continued against industrial web targets, but with more indiscriminate methods that were nonetheless motivated by the desire to shorten the war and save lives on both sides. The emphasis on morality remained part of America’s strategic bombing doctrine after the war. The predictable nature of American strategic bombing may make it vulnerable to a perceptive enemy. By offering him the opportunity to design, test, and employ countermeasures, American air commanders may have inadvertently limited their ability to achieve success.[Lt Col Edward C. Holland III, USAF / 1992 / 44 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Force-Application Planning

    Force-Application Planning

    Maj Jay M. Kreighbaum, USAF
    Major Kreighbaum explores the following question: How can current force-application (FA) planning methodologies be changed or supplemented to provide better linkage between objectives, effects, and targets in order to achieve more effective applications of military force? The USAF has not articulated a clear theory of effects. Yet, in all FA analyses, planning, executions, and assessments, effects are used explicitly and implicitly. Due to this imprecise understanding of where effects fit into FA, the overall planning process for selective FA to achieve objectives suffers a like imprecision. Airpower’s efficiency and effectiveness can be enhanced by a clear articulation of a systems-and-effects-based approach to FA that will supplement the existing planning frameworks. Major Kreighbaum develops general propositions regarding the nature of FA effects. [Maj Jay M. Kreighbaum, USAF / 2004 / 132 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-56]
  •  From Theater Missile Defense to Antimissile Offensive Actions

    From Theater Missile Defense to Antimissile Offensive Actions

    Maj Merrick E. Krause, USAF
    This study examines the question: What strategic approach should the United States Air Force take toward theater missile defense and antimissile offensive actions in the near term? This study begins with an introductory chapter asking the stated question in context, presenting the methodology used, and summarizing the proposals given at the end of the treatment. The methodological approach to this study involves historical and literature reviews, inter-views, and a qualitative comparison of current and proposed weapons systems, capabilities, and doctrine. Broad strategic options, not specific tactical systems, are the focus of this study. [Maj Merrick E. Krause, USAF / 1999 / 70 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Gen Otto P. Weyland, USAF

    Gen Otto P. Weyland, USAF

    Lt Col Michael J. Chandler, USAF
    In this study the author traces the history of air-ground support from its infancy to the Korean War, discusses the effectiveness of close air support throughout the conflict, and addresses why this mission was controversial for the Army and Air Force. He then highlights General Weyland’s perspective on airpower and his role in the close-air-support “controversy.” [Lt Col Michael J. Chandler, USAF / 2007 / 94 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-48]
  •  Global Reach—Global Power

    Global Reach—Global Power

    Maj Barbara J. Faulkenberry, USAF
    The analysis presented in this thesis evaluates the contents of past Air Force strategic vision documents and studies the process used to create such documents. The thesis argument is that strategic vision documents can fulfill important functions for an organization, and that greater attention to the process of creating these documents can result in a more effective final product. [Maj Barbara J. Faulkenberry, USAF / 1996 / 52 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: ]
  •  Globalness


    Lt Col Brian E. Fredriksson, USAF
    The purpose of this thesis is to take the first steps toward a military space power theory. It begins by answering the question: Why does the US military need space power theory? The United States or any military space-faring nation needs theory because space power is more than simply a force enhancer but is a separate and unique form of military power with the capacity to deter and compel. An analysis of the fundamental attributes of military power—identified here as presence, perspective, response, and destructive capability—demonstrates the unique advantages and disadvantages of space vis-à-vis land, sea, and airpower. A unifying principle of "globalness" links the laws, rules, and precepts of a prototype theory based on space power's unique capabilities. The space power theory provides a common vision that allows a space-faring nation to take full advantage of these unique capabilities. [Lt Col Brian E. Fredriksson, USAF / 2008 / 84 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: T-22]
Page 4 of 10

Orders and Copyright Notice

AU Press publications are available at no cost to active duty, total force, and retired military and to Department of Defense personnel and organizations. Publications can be ordered by e-mail at AirUniversityPress@au.af.edu or by calling 334-953-2773 (DSN 493). Please note some of our publications are only available online.

Copyright Notice:
Authors may retain copyright on this material. For more information contact AU Press at AirUniversityPress@au.af.edu