Airpower Applied

U.S., NATO, and Israeli Combat Experience
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Published:May 15, 2017
By John Andreas Olsen (Editor)

Selected as part of the Chief of the Royal Air Force’s Reading List 2017

Selected for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s 2018 Reading List

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.

List Price: $49.95
Member Price: $39.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Aviation
  • Hardback : 432 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (May 15, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 168247075X
  • ISBN-13: 9781682470756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.12 X 9.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 29.76 oz
  • “… 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
  • 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
  • " 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
  • “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
  • 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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “...for those working in the fields of doctrine development, regardless of the colour of one’s uniform, this is a useful study, not only of airpower, but of strategy generally and is recommended.” —Canadian Naval Review
  • "A great book of quality, which offers an exciting perspective on the political, strategic rose, and aerial operational power." —Politique Etrangere
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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

JOHN ANDREAS OLSEN is a colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force and a visiting professor at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm. He has published many books, including, most recently, Airpower Reborn.

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