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Slow airpower assessment: a cause for concern?

Editorial Abstract: To achieve timely airpower assessment, one might think it mandatory to speed up "assessment tempo" to match "operations tempo," but reality is more complex. Colonel Berg first surveys how assessment speed evolved over time and then analyzes how emerging doctrinal concepts such as effects-based operations and predictive battlespace awareness relate to the pace at which we assess air operations.


STRATEGIC ATTACK AND interdiction can produce effects quickly during major combat operations, but assessing those effects takes time. Battle damage assessment (BDA) provides a quick estimate of damage on specific targets, but determining an ongoing campaign's operational- and strategic-level effects takes longer. (1) The terms operations tempo and assessment tempo reflect the scale and pace of military activity and efforts to evaluate the effects of military operations, respectively. The two processes display a close relationship. As recently as the Vietnam War, strategic bombing and interdiction campaigns lasted months or even years. The relatively slow pace of air operations resulted in assessment techniques that provided ample time for methodical analyses. These analytical techniques categorized past bombing results more than they anticipated the progress of an ongoing campaign. Operation Desert Storm represented a turning point for assessment requirements. Parallel attack with precision-guided munitions (PGM) dramatically accelerated aerial operations tempo; however, assessment tempo did not keep pace.

Not all airpower roles are equally prone to disparities between operations and assessment tempos. For example, success or failure of airlift, air refueling, and close air support (CAS) quickly becomes apparent. Evaluating the overall effects of strategic attack and interdiction takes more time. Historically, the time required for the cumulative effects of attacks to become manifest determined strategic attack and interdiction assessment times. Slow assessment processes were acceptable when campaigns proceeded at a corresponding pace, but increased operational tempo shortened the available assessment time.

The following discussion examines the time dimension of strategic attack and interdiction assessment, the reason that an apparent gap exists, and the ways this poses both challenges and opportunities to emerging doctrinal concepts such as effects-based operations (EBO) and predictive battlespace awareness (PBA).

Origins of the Tempo Disparity

Tracing the past relationship between operations and assessment tempos reveals the current correlation between these activities. During World War I, observers realized that aerial bombing inflicted only limited physical damage; therefore, they emphasized effects on intangible factors such as morale. The war's protracted nature assured that any operational or strategic effects attributable to bombing would slowly accumulate. Wartime bombing assessments provided little more than speculation; however, British and American Airmen performed relatively ambitious postwar bombing surveys. From March to May 1919, the US Army Air Service dispatched 12 three-man teams of military members to places previously bombed by US planes. The teams evaluated the financial costs of repairs, number of casualties, lost war production at factories, and morale effects attributable to bombing. They devoted little attention to analyses of strategic effects. Survey results came too late to influence the war; instead, the survey provided an early benchmark for postwar airpower assessments. (2)

The idea of performing methodical assessment of ongoing strategic bombing campaigns gained prominence during World War II, but the methods used were slow and emphasized economic trends. In late 1942, the Committee of Operations Analysts (COA) and the Enemy Objectives Unit (EOU) began work. The COA consisted mostly of civilian experts who sought to improve target selection and estimate when the bombing would weaken the German war machine enough to permit a successful Allied invasion. (3) The EOU, a part of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), performed similar long-term studies. In late 1944, the Joint Target Group (J-TG) superseded the COA. It operated in the Pacific theater much as the COA had done in Europe. Each bomber command headquarters established an operations analysis section that examined bombing accuracy, aircraft loss rates, and other parameters. Analysts accepted the fact that bombing effects accrued, and trends would often take months to become apparent.

Army Air Corps leaders envisioned a postwar strategic attack assessment analogous to but more extensive than the post-World War I survey. They requested an independent body led by civilian experts. Their vision culminated in the establishment of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) in 1944. Consisting of about 300 civilians and 950 military members, the survey field teams collected data during the latter stages of fighting in Europe. (4) Like the COA and EOU, the USSBS investigated economic and industrial conditions as central factors in its analyses. The Army Air Forces tried to apply European survey findings to bombing campaigns against Japan, but differences between the theaters and the time required to interpret European theater data hampered that effort. Findings of survey teams who entered Japan after the war contributed to vigorous disputes between Army Air Corps and Navy officials about the relationship between strategic bombing and Japan's surrender. Evaluating the strategic effects of the atomic bombings proved especially controversial. (5) New data required time to collect and interpret; consequently, the USSBS did not publish all of its Pacific theater reports until almost a year after the war.

Groups like the COA and USSBS lacked incentives to perform rapid analyses. World War II involved a lengthy struggle between opposing mass-production economies whose wartime systems proved resistant to the sequential mass attacks bomber fleets performed. The COA looked at the cumulative effects of repeated strikes and accepted delays of weeks or longer while evaluating operational- and strategic-level results. Wartime analysts, hoping to improve future bombing effectiveness, looked to the past for ideas. As a predominantly postwar effort, the USSBS studied previous strategic bombing and faced only limited pressure to complete its work quickly. Apart from an incentive to apply lessons learned in Europe to the Pacific, a primary motivation for USSBS members to complete their work involved the desire to return to normal civilian life after the war.

World War II interdiction campaigns received less attention than strategic bombing, but their assessment continued to take considerable time. Groups such as the COA concentrated on strategic bombing, leaving interdiction assessment mostly to theater-level commanders. For example, Operation Strangle in Italy proposed cutting supplies to enemy forces, a process that would presumably take time. Commanders hoped the operation would starve German forces and force them to withdraw from a fortified defensive line. Ground forces attacked the German lines after nine weeks of air interdiction failed to dislodge them. The Germans retreated when attacked, but the reasons for the retreat were unclear at the time. The campaign's more modest results did not become apparent until decades later when analyses showed the Germans held adequate supplies; however, the air attacks destroyed their motorized vehicles, thereby crippling their tactical mobility. (6)

Nuclear weapons strongly influenced bombing assessment during the Cold War. Strategic attack assessment became associated with nuclear war planning and proceeded at a deliberate pace as analysts scrutinized potential targets for annual editions of plans such as the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). If war broke out, leaders wanted to quickly determine which targets were hit. Comprehensive analyses seemed unnecessary because nuclear weapons would presumably obliterate wide areas, precluding further inquiry; however, meticulous bombing analyses remained important for conflicts using conventional weapons.

As in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars seldom demanded quick strategic attack or interdiction assessments. Campaigns lasted months or years, and assessment was correspondingly slow. Both Korea and Vietnam included strategic attacks, but interdiction was the prevalent airpower role.

Eager to demonstrate its prowess in Korea, the newly independent USAF established groups such as the Barcus Board and the Tactical Air Power Evaluation (TAPE) group (later replaced by the Tactical Air Research [TAR] group) to assess ongoing air operations. These groups emphasized tactical- over strategic-level results. (7) After a stalemate developed in Korea, the United States conducted lengthy interdiction efforts such as Operation Strangle, namesake of the World War II campaign. Operation Strangle in Korea and Operation Saturate, which followed it, sought to deprive frontline enemy forces of supplies, and lasted a total of about one year. Analysts devoted considerable effort to evaluating both campaigns, even though ground forces did not test their effectiveness by attempting a breakthrough, as in Italy. Air leaders, initially optimistic about interdiction's prospects, gradually concluded that neither campaign succeeded. The United States conducted no USSBS-style evaluation after Korea.

The Vietnam War revealed a mixed influence on assessment tempo. Assessment reflected the war's deliberately protracted operations tempo. The USAF and other agencies measured almost every conceivable parameter; undertook broad, ongoing appraisals of campaigns; and produced a constant stream of reports and analyses. In 1962 the USAF began the Current Historical Evaluation of Counterinsurgency Operations (CHECO) program, whose reports on diverse topics sought to acquire airpower lessons as rapidly as possible. (8) It launched a second ongoing program, Project Corona Harvest, in 1967. Both programs analyzed events with an eye toward improving future performance. Corona Harvest continued into the postwar years and became the "most ambitious effort ever undertaken by Air University to study and develop lessons learned from a conflict in progress." (9) The RAND Corporation published studies related to airpower assessment that reexamined some World War II and Korean War interdiction campaigns. (10) The CIA and the recently formed Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) played prominent assessment roles, often in competition with the USAF. The Air Force remained optimistic that strategic bombing and interdiction would ultimately succeed in Vietnam. It developed the capability to interpret extensive BDA data in ways that suggested effectiveness, but the war's disappointing outcome discredited the assessment methods used. The capability to process large quantities of data in a timely manner declined after Vietnam. The USAF did not perform a postwar Vietnam bombing survey.

Upon review, assessment reflected a more forward-looking orientation in Vietnam than in previous wars. Analysts tried to develop interdiction assessment into a discipline that could predict the results of alternative strategies and measure the effects of ongoing operations. Mathematical modeling of enemy transportation networks--combined with state-of-the-art computer technology--promised to reveal in advance which key targets might yield dramatic results if attacked. Presumably, assessments could then quickly show whether the anticipated effects had occurred. In fact, the results of Rolling Thunder, Commando Hunt, and other campaigns proved disappointing. Rolling Thunder lasted three and one-half years and signified that assessments would be exceedingly slow. Computer simulations offered quick predictions, but analysts ignored the fact that campaigns were falling short of expectations. An assortment of air and ground sensors monitored enemy road networks, yet analysts failed to integrate sensor data well enough to maintain awareness of enemy actions. Computer models proved unable to predict the consequences of likely countermeasures. (11) Vietnam War efforts to achieve battlespace awareness demonstrated the difficulties of such an undertaking, at least when using the technologies available at that time.

Desert Storm marked an assessment turning point. Strategic attack and interdiction operations tempos accelerated dramatically, although assessment tempo did not increase proportionally. The war moved at too fast a pace for traditional assessment techniques. Intelligence agencies simply could not process data quickly enough. Basic tasks like target-status determination proved questionable and time consuming, as competing intelligence agencies produced divergent findings. Air Force analysts offered optimistic bombing appraisals, but CIA skepticism prompted Gen Norman Schwarzkopf, the combatant commander, to write, "If we'd waited to convince the CIA, we'd still be in Saudi Arabia." (12) Once the ground offensive commenced, the Iraqi forces rapidly collapsed, as air operations exceeded analysts' predictions. For the first time since the USSBS, the United States conducted a postwar airpower investigation, the Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS). The GWAPS noted that "few assertions about the Gulf War could command as much agreement as the inadequacy of BDA, but the survey found no such agreement about the causes of inadequacy." (13) The complicated BDA problems spurred efforts to revamp assessment methods, but the war's spectacular success may have dampened the motivation to perform a major overhaul.

Despite eight years of effort following Desert Storm to improve analytical methods, assessment tempo remained unable to match operations tempo. During Allied Force, the 78-day campaign designed to coerce Serbian president Slobadan Milosevic to comply with UN resolutions, strategic attack and interdiction operations featured strikes against Serbian military and economic targets. The campaign's anticipated short duration affected planners' capability to assess ongoing operations. Only after the operation expanded beyond the capacity of the few operations analysts deployed did additional assessment personnel arrive. Analysts scrambled to get organized and catch up with their assessment tasks before the war ended. (14) Determining the role of air operations in Milosevic's eventual capitulation proved difficult despite the availability of a large amount of data. Real-time video feeds from UAVs and plentiful data from other sources yielded unlimited feedback about operations, but interpreting all that data promptly exceeded capability. During the war, analysts hesitated to predict the relative effectiveness of strikes against fielded forces and other target sets, and then seemed surprised when Milosevic acceded to coalition demands. Later studies suggest that strikes against fielded forces were less damaging than initially believed. As in Desert Storm, analysts experienced considerable difficulty assessing Allied Force while it was in progress, yet the campaign achieved its objectives. The USAF conducted a postwar study called Air War over Serbia (AWOS). (15)

In comparison to Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom's strategic attack and interdiction happened on a smaller scale and was of relatively short duration. The primary strategic attacks took place against time-sensitive targets (TST) such as enemy leaders. Determining the success of these hits became the key assessment issue. Interdiction focused not so much on cutting supply lines to frontline troops as in World War II and Korea, but on destroying enemy forces trying to approach or flee the battlefield. Interdiction results were quickly apparent. In contrast to Allied Force, Afghanistan air operations were part of a joint effort to seize territory; as a result, how quickly ground forces occupied key areas became a primary indicator of airpower's effectiveness.

In Afghanistan, assessment tempo was a key factor. Analysts received a great deal of BDA information, much of which concerned CAS operations. They needed more dine to consider operational- and strategic-level results because events unfolded quickly. The cumulative effects of successive tactical engagements led to the desired operational and strategic effects. Rather than trying to account for all the rapid-fire tactical engagements, analysts concentrated on assessing TST strikes and deciding where to position intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets to observe planned attacks. Although actively pursued, strikes against TSTs proved difficult to assess, even in retrospect. Fast-moving and successful major combat operations complicated wartime efforts to determine exactly how strategic attack and interdiction contributed to victory.

Iraqi Freedom's strategic attack and interdiction happened on a much larger scale than in Enduring Freedom. An assessment of the two campaigns provides little data to accurately compare their levels of success. Strategic attacks sought to minimize lasting economic damage, while producing a "shock and awe" morale effect on opposing forces. Whether these attacks produced the desired psychological effect and deterred Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could not be ascertained during the war. As in Afghanistan, strikes against TSTs were prominent, yet hard to assess quickly. The time required to determine the status of efforts to hit Saddam Hussein provides a notable example. (16) Interdiction focused on destroying enemy forces in place and hindering their movement, instead of stopping supply flows. Whatever specific effects strategic attack and interdiction produced, the Iraqi military's rapid collapse suggests their effectiveness, even if analysts did not understand them at the time. Furthermore, attributing strategic-level results to air operations as opposed to the combined action of air and surface operations proves difficult for both the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns. The rapid success of Iraqi Freedom's major combat operations did not rely upon a full and timely understanding of how strategic attack and interdiction contributed to the outcome.

If we are to find solutions to this dilemma, new methods must evolve to provide data that optimizes our combat efforts. The following questions would be relevant: should Airmen care if assessments do not reveal whether air operations were successful at the time they occurred? Should operations tempo and assessment tempo be synchronized? Would this be too difficult? If airpower assessment should provide relevant feedback about ongoing operations and the pace of operations cannot slow down, then speeding up assessment appears to be the only possible course of action. Emerging doctrinal ideas might provide some answers to accomplish the synchronization of operations and assessment.

Current Doctrine and Assessment Tempo

Demands for prompt airpower assessment increased significantly in recent years. Unlike World War II, recent wars were not protracted contests between mass-production economies. Aerial attacks proceeded simultaneously rather than sequentially. Advanced sensors and computer technology collected and processed vast amounts of data, but interpretation lagged far behind. Some effects, especially at the strategic level, take time to manifest themselves. After those effects become apparent, analysts need time to collect and interpret the data before reporting findings to decision makers. Merely collecting data faster did not hide the fact that rapidly acquiring great amounts of data does not necessarily assure better assessment. In fact, the opposite may occur. An excess of data may swamp analysts and reduce the assessment process to what happened during the Vietnam War. Joint Vision 2020 notes that "advances in information capabilities are proceeding so rapidly that there is a risk of outstripping our ability to capture ideas, formulate operational concepts, and develop the capacity to assess results." (17)

When a military function needs improvement, one approach involves reviewing applicable doctrine. Current doctrine offers guidance for assessing strategic attack and interdiction. The concept of combat assessment (CA) becomes a logical starting point. Joint doctrine divides CA into three elements: BDA, munitions effectiveness assessment (MEA), and reattack recommendation (RR). (18) Some USAF manuals replace RR with mission assessment (MA), which "evaluates the effectiveness of a ... mission on the adversary's warfighting and sustaining capabilities." (19) Regardless of these differences, BDA provides "a timely and accurate estimate of damage or effect resulting from the application of military force ... against a predetermined objective" and continues to be the CA element most closely related to the current discussion. (20) Joint doctrine describes BDA as a recurring process conducted in three time-related phases: phase 1, physical damage assessment, which consists of "an estimate of the quantitative extent of physical damage ... to a target element based on observed or interpreted damage," and "released one to two ... hours after receipt of source data, in order to facilitate the tactical and operational commander's battlespace awareness and rapid reattack or reallocation decisions within the current ATO or similar plan"; phase 2, functional damage assessment, which provides "an estimate of the effect of military force to degrade or destroy the functional/operational capability of a target to perform its intended mission," due "within four to six ... hours after information receipt," and "cumulative in reporting BDA information from previous attacks"; and phase 3, target system assessment, which gives "a broad assessment of the overall impact and effective ness of military force applied against an adversary target system relative to the operational objectives established" (normally, commanders should "release a single Phase 3 report each day"). (21) All three BDA phases evaluate previous events, and even the fastest phase requires at least an hour.

Current doctrine supports other assessment concepts. Some USAF doctrine manuals use operational assessment (OA), a term not included in joint doctrine. This new concept "occupies a higher level than combat assessment and includes the overall analysis of enemy operations, their reaction to friendly operations, and recommendations for changes or adjustments to friendly strategy based on overall observations." (22) OA seeks a broader understanding of how airpower results relate to operational and strategic objectives and builds upon the objective analysis of the BDA. (23) As a result, it turns out to be more than a protracted type of phase-three BDA. For example, to halt an enemy advance, "operational assessment would also monitor suspected enemy intentions and what changes to their operational plan might result from a successful halt." (24) A doctrine document on strategic attack notes that "operational and campaign assessment ... must go beyond assessments of battle damage or weapons effectiveness to anticipatory judgments about what effects strategic attack may have." (25) Taking into consideration ongoing air operations and their effect on future enemy actions signals an important shift in emphasis from most previous assessment thought.

Assessment Tempo and Emerging Doctrinal Concepts

Emerging concepts such as EBO and PBA depend on the time dimension of airpower assessment. The EBO concept corresponds to both phase-three BDA and OA in that it draws linkages between target damage and the achievement of overall military objectives. Although not an official joint-doctrine term, EBO provides an important component of timely assessment. Air Force doctrine defines EBO as "actions taken against enemy systems designed to achieve specific effects that contribute directly to desired military and political outcomes." (26) An Air Force publication acknowledges the assessment challenges of EBO:
 What's lacking is sophisticated analysis predicting
 the results of many tactical actions to determine
 their cumulative impact at the operational
 and strategic levels of war. The USAF is
 seeking to develop the course of action and
 predictive campaign-model decision support
 tools needed to conduct this type of analysis.
 These effects-based support tools will enable
 the new concept of predictive battlespace
 awareness (PBA) that seeks to help commanders
 and staffs anticipate a conflict's critical
 events. (27)

Gen John Jumper, Air Force chief of staff, credits PBA as allowing for "targeting those events that our predictive power leads us to anticipate. We are aiming for a forensic-level understanding of the battle space in all four dimensions. PBA will allow us to anticipate the right move rather than simply react to enemy moves." (28) PBA seems to require an even more comprehensive understanding of the battlespace than EBO and to require it even faster. How can these requirements be met?

Col John Boyd, USAF, retired, developed the concept of the observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) loop. (29) Assessment occurs in the "observe" and "orient" parts of the OODA loop. If analysts know what to observe, they may be better able to orient themselves by interpreting the operational and strategic results of ongoing operations. Generally, faster OODA-loop cycles provide better results than slow ones. Ideas like OA, EBO, and PBA seek to alter the time dimension of airpower assessment. Traditionally, assessment sought to comprehend the significance of past events, but recent trends, since the Vietnam War, try to shift the assessment time frame closer to the present. PBA tries to pull the assessment time frame through the present and push it into the future. It attempts to transcend the OODA loop by altering the orient part of the loop. "Orient" would then become "anticipate."

The find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess (F2T2EA) cycle (also called the "kill chain") emerges as a concept related to the OODA loop. The kill chain clearly links operations and assessment tempos, and, like the OODA loop, speed remains a central theme. Compressing events into a few minutes holds significant implications for assessing TST strikes of the type encountered in recent operations. "Assess," the last link in the chain with its priority on speed, assures that such assessments would probably resemble a "hit or miss" phase-one BDA rather than broader evaluations.

Applying the OODA loop and F2T2EA-cycle concepts to airpower assessment implies that faster assessment will be better. In some cases that will be true. The time dimension of assessment imparts an important conceptual link between EBO and PBA. EBO produces effects; assessment then examines these effects and determines if they exist or not. PBA can be perceived as EBO projected into the future. Assessment needs to be oriented towards the future to support PBA. If assessment stays locked in a backward-looking perspective, then PBA may be unachievable. Concepts like OA already try to predict future battlespace conditions and enemy activities.

EBO may offer a way to streamline data requirements and accelerate assessment tempo to support PBA. Planners could then decide which targets merited priority BDA attention. Among priority targets, EBO- and PBA-type data-sampling techniques might offer an alternative to the necessity of processing vast quantities of BDA data in a short time. Instead of trying to track every event, EBO and PBA would establish assessment priorities in advance. Computer models tempered with human judgment could help analysts accurately forecast the results of planned operations. Ideally, assessment would amount to comparing actual results with predictions. A complete description of the battlespace might not be required. Knowing key effects allows analysts to anticipate and focus on relevant pieces of data and acquire the information needed to complete their analyses.

However, all inputs to EBO and PBA do not require rapid assessment tempo. Detailed operational- and strategic-level assessments may not be available until a war has been in progress for a while. For example, the USSBS did not start until 1944, and Corona Harvest did not begin until 1967, fully two years after Rolling Thunder began. The Air Force did not commission the GWAPS until almost six months after Desert Storm ended. (30) The AWOS report did not appear until over a year after Allied Force ended. Postwar assessments do not contribute to the current war but may still prove important to employing EBO and PBA in future wars. Correctly anticipating enemy responses and the ways airpower can best be used to exploit them might be based on modeling. One way to calibrate predictive models would be to understand how adversaries responded to previous airpower applications. Uncertainty will always exist, as every war differs, but thorough retrospective evaluations of airpower's operational and strategic results would be one way to reduce uncertainty. The Vietnam War experience discredited the computer modeling used but not the value of the idea.

Conclusions and Cautions

Operations tempo proceeds faster than assessment tempo, but emerging concepts such as EBO and PBA offer a conceptual template for narrowing the gap by showing how to assess strategic attack and interdiction quicker by assessing them smarter. However, caution should be in order. Strategic attack and interdiction assessment may never be impartial scientific inquiries because of institutional pressures to interpret bombing results in certain ways. Like any organization, the Air Force prefers to publicize successes rather than failures. The Army Air Corps supported the USSBS, and the USAF endorsed the GWAPS and AWOS but never published comprehensive postwar appraisals of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Furthermore, interservice rivalry influenced appraisals such as the USSBS. If analyses of past campaigns would be useful for PBA, then both successful and unsuccessful campaigns need to be included, and interservice disputes should not be allowed to distort assessments.

Another caution involves the duration and intensity of wars. The EBO and PBA concepts may work for short, high-intensity wars in which adversaries lack time to adapt to strategic attack and interdiction. If US forces gain enough battlespace awareness to anticipate and thwart enemy responses, then assessment concepts geared towards comparing actual results to projected results might support PBA. Intelligent choices must be made when numerous concurrent air activities occur. The highest assessment priority would allow analysts to concentrate on the operational and strategic events that provide the greatest return. Such "predictive assessments" would focus more on tracking progress towards the creation of desired future effects than on cataloguing the results of previous attacks.

Unfortunately, rapidly victorious campaigns may weaken the desire for thorough assessment. Recent wars pitted US airpower against opponents who possessed few viable options other than to endure air attacks as long as possible. A feeling of certainty in future campaigns could lull leaders into a sense of false security and lead them to abandon the search for an understanding of the effects of air operations. Combat against an opponent capable of inflicting serious reverses on US military forces would likely bring about demands for more rigorous assessment. The possibility of assessment problems increases if air operations become protracted or confined to a slow operations tempo. These types of campaigns allow enemies more time to adapt and devise unexpected courses of action. This could cause the breakdown of airpower assessment plans based on PBA. Strategic attack and interdiction appear suited to EBO and PBA assessment methods, but neither plays a prominent role in counterinsurgency operations like those currently happening in Afghanistan and Iraq. A rapid campaign limits the possible scope of data analysis, but a protracted one might lead to excessive and unnecessary analysis. Campaigns like Rolling Thunder saw too many details being assessed instead of a precise focus on strategic results. Today's analysts, armed with advanced computer technology could attempt to interpret every available bit of data in order to gain more insight into a campaign. The successful exploitation of emerging doctrinal concepts might synchronize operations and assessment tempos and alleviate many potential problems.

Doctrine highlights the issue, but the difficult task of achieving the promise of EBO and PBA in airpower assessment requires the procurement of trained people and development of the hardware, software, and procedures to accomplish the mission.


(1.) Federation of American Scientists, "Military Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations," http://www. BDA initially stood for "bomb damage assessment." The recent terminology change reflects the recognition that means other than bombs can exert military effects on targets.

(2.) Maurer Maurer, ed., U.S. Air Service in World War I, vol. 4, Postwar Review (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1978), 363-505.

(3.) Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate, eds., Army Air Forces in World War II, vol. 2, Europe, Torch to Pointblank, August 1942 to December 1943 (1949; repr., Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1983), 353-67.

(4.) USSBS, United States Strategic Bombing Surveys: European War, Pacific War (1945, 1946; repr., Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 1987), 3 and 46.

(5.) David MacIsaac, Strategic Bombing in World War II: The Story of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (New York: Garland Publishing, 1976), 119-35, describes interservice bombing-assessment disputes. Chapters 3 and 4 mention applying European findings to the Pacific theater.

(6.) F. M. Salagar, Operation "Strangle" (Italy, Spring 1944): A Case Study of Tactical Air Interdiction, Rand Report R-851-PR (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1972); and United States Air Force, The Uncertainty of Predicting Results of an Interdiction Campaign: Saber Measures (Alpha) (Washington, DC: Assistant Chief of Staff [Studies and Analysis], 1969).

(7.) Robert Futrell and Albert Simpson, United States Air Force Operations in the Korean Conflict, 25 June-1 November 1950, USAF Historical Study No. 71 (Washington, DC: Department of the Air Force, 1952), 114.

(8.) The meaning of the CHECO acronym changed several times. Originally, it stood for Current Historical Evaluation of Counterinsurgency Operations. In 1965 it became Contemporary Historical Evaluation of Counterinsurgency Operations but changed in 1966 to Contemporary Historical Examination of Combat Operations. In 1968 it became Contemporary Historical Examination of Current Operations.

(9.) United States Air Force, Air University History: The Vietnam War Era (Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of History, Headquarters Air University, 1995).

(10.) Salagar, Operation "Strangle" (Italy, Spring 1944).

(11.) J. W. Higgins, Concepts, Data Requirements, and Uses of the LOC Interdiction Model as Applied to North Vietnam, RAND Report RM-6065-PR (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1970), exemplifies computer modeling of transportation networks; and Eduard M. Mark, Aerial Interdiction: Air Power and the Land Battle in Three American Wars, Special Studies Series (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1994), chap. 10, describes sensor usage in interdiction campaigns.

(12.) H. Norman Schwarzkopf, It Doesn't Take a Hero (New York: Bantam Books, 1992), 501.

(13.) Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, Gulf War Air Power Survey, Summary Report (Washington, DC: Department of the Air Force, 1993), 138.

(14.) Richard F. Bird, "Operations Research Support to the Combined Air Operations Center during the Air War over Serbia," Phalanx 34, no. 2 (June 2001): 10-16.

(15.) United States Air Force, Air War over Serbia (foreword by Gen Michael E. Ryan, chief of staff) (Ramstein AFB, Germany: US Air Forces in Europe, [Studies and Analysis Directorate], April 2000).

(16.) "Saddam: Dead Or Alive?" CBS, 9 April 2000, iraq/main548585.shtml.

(17.) Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Vision 2020 (Washington, DC: Director for Strategic Plans and Policy [J5; Strategy Division], GPO, June 2000), 8.

(18.) Joint Publication (JP) 2-01.1, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Intelligence Support to Targeting, 9 January 2003, VI-1.

(19.) Air Force Doctrine Document (AFDD) 2-5.2, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operations, 21 April 1999, 44.

(20.) JP 2-01.1, Joint Tactics, GL 6.

(21.) Ibid., VI-2-3, E-2-3.

(22.) AFDD 2-1.3, Counterland, 27 August 1999, 79.

(23.) AFDD 2-1.2, Strategic Attack, 30 September 2003, 26-27.

(24.) AFDD 2-1.3, Counterland, 80.

(25.) AFDD 2-1.2, Strategic Attack, 24.

(26.) Ibid., 46.

(27.) Doctrine Watch no. 13: Effects-Based Operations (EBO), (Maxwell AFB, AL: USAF Doctrine Center, 30 November 2000), DoctrineWatch.asp?Article=13.

(28.) Gen John P. Jumper, USAF, "Global Strike Task Force: A Transforming Concept, Forged by Experience," Aerospace Power Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 30.

(29.) Keith H. Hammonds, "Strategy of the Fighter Pilot," Fast Company 1, no. 59 (June 2002): 98, http://pf.

(30.) GWAPS, Summary Report, ix.

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Title Annotation:Doctrine NOTAM
Author:Berg, Paul D.
Publication:Air & Space Power Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
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