Airpower Applied

U.S., NATO, and Israeli Combat Experience

  • Subject: Aviation
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Published:
    May 15, 2017
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9.25 × 6.125 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    27 oz
Hardcover $49.95
Member Price $39.96 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


Airpower Applied reviews the evolution of airpower and its impact upon the history of warfare. Through a critical examination of twenty-nine case studies in which various U.S. coalitions and Israel played significant roles, this book offers perspectives on the political purpose, strategic meaning, and military importance of airpower. The authors demystify some of airpower’s strategic history by extracting the most useful teachings to help military professionals and political leaders understand what airpower has to offer as a “continuation of politics by other means.”

This volume explores how warfare has changed over the last few decades and why airpower has become a dominant factor in war. The case studies emphasize the importance of connecting policy and airpower: operational effectiveness cannot substitute for poor statecraft. As the United States, its allies, and Israel have seen in their most recent applications of airpower, even the most robust and capable air weapon can never be more effective than the strategy and policy it is intended to support. By analyzing the operational history of the world’s most battle-tested air forces, the accounts in this book can give military professionals insight into the political context in which air operations must be assessed, build their appreciation of the strategic value of airpower, and serve as a practical guide to the best uses of this potentially decisive tool.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"A great book of quality, which offers an exciting perspective on the political, strategic rose, and aerial operational power."—Politique Etrangere
"... A good overall view of important portions of both the 20th century's and the early 21st century's records of aerial warfare."—Naval Historical Foundation
"Most aviation books focus on one aircraft, a battle or a war but few cover the long-term air power trends from the wide to the narrow details. This is a major reason I enjoyed reading Airpower Applied, as the text covers insights from WWI to the near present and focuses on the air power lessons of the past three decades." —Tailhook (future printing)
"Airpower Applied is a fascinating and discriminating look into air combat experience involving the United States, NATO, and Israel in a series of conflicts beginning in 1941 and ending in this century."—Air Power History
" the evolution of military air forces in the US and Israel and how operational airpower has been used to secure international strategic and political objectives." —Aerospace
"Airpower Applied [is] a well-researched book offering a different angle of reporting how three different groups--the United States, NATO, and Israel--have conducted several very important aviation campaigns in the last 100 years.... A good overall view of important portions of both the twentieth century's and the early twenty-first century's records of aerial warfare."—Marine Corps University Journal
"This comprehensive and thoughtful account of recent campaigns can help military professionals and interested general readers to understand how airpower has become an increasingly more important and at times decisive political tool for conflict resolution--but only when appropriately exercised as part of a carefully crafted policy. I highly recommend Airpower Applied to officers of all services and civilians interested in defense and security, international relations, and military history." —Air and Space Power Journal
"This volume has an impressive scope with contributions by high-caliber authors who shed new light on the use and importance of airpower to the United States, its NATO allies, and Israel. This is a must-read for theorists, practitioners, and strategists alike." —GEN. PHILIP M. BREEDLOVE, 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe
"This new work analyzes a number of separate air campaigns from World War II to present. For each campaign, the author gives a concise summary of the event and the factors that contributed to it. He also analyzes the effectiveness of each air campaign in achieving its desired goals. Last but not least, the work examines how airpower can be used in a way that is consistent with political objectives." —Military Heritage
"John Andreas Olsen and his team of first-class experts provide a rich, persuasive, and lucid study of the major air warfare experiences from World War II to the present. Airpower Applied is an important work that offers exceptional insight into airpower as a political instrument in a series of different scenarios with plenty of lessons on the utility of military force. I recommend this timely and illuminating survey as essential reading for all military professionals and political decision makers, aspiring, serving, and retired." —GEN. T. MICHAEL MOSELEY, 18th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
"In this very well targeted book, the expert contributors adhered firmly to the wise guidance provided by the editor, Col. John Andreas Olsen, who observes that 'even the most robust and capable air weapon can never be more effective than the strategy and policy it is intended to support.' This excellent work demonstrates the critical interdependencies among policy and its politics, strategy, and the operational air weapon itself." —PROF. COLIN. S. GRAY, University of Reading
"Any disagreements this author might have over omissions or discrepancies with this work are relatively minor to the overall importance and continued relevance of this well-written, eloquently argued, and nuanced study of air power operations."—Balloons to Drones
"Having case studies of the application of airpower from the two best air forces in the world offers the reader an outstanding opportunity to learn or review the value of airpower in modern warfare. In the case of the United States, the effective application of air and space power requires the complex orchestration of many aircraft and systems. This complexity and the advantages of devolved decision making become clear as the reader moves through the book." —HON. JAMES G. ROCHE, DBA, 20th Secretary of the U.S. Air Force
"John Andreas Olsen analyzes with a comprehensive, historical perspective the conduct of airpower as used by the world's leading air forces. Airpower today is as relevant, if not more than ever, for a vast range of conflicts. Looking back at its historical role and taking into consideration its continual exponential improvements, airpower will continue to play a leading and essential role in military power." —MAJ. GEN. AMIR ESHEL, Commander of the Israeli Air Force
Airpower Applied is one of the most important recent additions to the literature on aerial warfare. It excels not only in providing readers with up-to-date information, but also in the study of the operational, organizational, and administrative significance of air operations.” —Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
“A preeminent historian in his own right, John Andreas Olsen has assembled six established scholars to examine American, European, and Israeli air campaigns from the 1960s to the second decade of the twenty-first century. Their essays make several contributions to the history of air operations—addressing the character of war; the relationships between air weapons, strategy, and policy goals; air warfare and culture; and priorities air forces should establish when educating their officers. Collectively they succeed in the book’s goal of equipping leaders with thoughtful, up-to-date examinations of air warfare.” —H-War
“This book is a must for the historian, researcher, military engineer, hobbyist, even astronomer – who require access to what seems to be a complete picture of the development of the V2, the people, the human cost and the contribution to science that the period and the project represents. It is well written, accurate, interesting and contains some fascinating details. Some books of equal weight I have only dipped into; this one seemed to delight when going from cover to cover.” —Aerospace