IPOL-356 Airpower Theory and Practice
Spring for 2017-2018
Airpower is an integral part of the military instrument of power and is widely used as a means of strategic influence. This course serves as an introduction to airpower theory, examines the evolution of airpower from its infancy to the present day, discusses historical attempts to mold theory into a successful strategy, explores the future of airpower as it transitions from the industrial age to the information age and evaluates airpower’s ability to support U.S. national security and foreign policy goals.
The course begins by studying the ideas of early airpower theorists as they grappled with rapid technological advances in aviation and its transformative potential on war fighting. Next, the course analyzes attempts to put these theories into practice by studying airpower actions during World War II, Vietnam, and Operation DESERT STORM. The course also examines the rise of the nuclear force as a means of deterrence, the emergence of new airpower theorists and theories, and the expansion into space. Finally, the course will investigate the future of airpower to include the use of drones, the manned versus unmanned debate and the transition to the information age. Throughout the course, students will critique airpower as a means of achieving national security objectives.
Previous experience or knowledge of the employment of airpower are not required for this course. The instructor is an active duty Air Force Lt. Colonel, F-15 pilot, and fighter squadron commander currently serving as an associate at the School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
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