By Michael W. Kometer
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In fact, the military is constantly striving for technological development that changes the character of some of the arguments. 24 HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS The Levels of War The “levels” of war, as just noted, are abstractions that prescribe different functions in conflict based on different hierarchical levels. In his classic, On War, Clausewitz spends considerable effort separating war into three levels—policy, strategy, and tactics. 9 Today, we recognize these three levels as the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war.
Fifth Air Force had to improvise to get air controllers out with the ground troops and set up a communications net. 54 After Korea, the Air Force did not incorporate the lessons into doctrine and initially ran into some of the same problems in Vietnam. In the beginning, cumbersome C2 procedures kept CAS from being responsive to the ground commanders’ requests. By the end of the war, Army veterans of WWII and Korea considered CAS in South Vietnam the best they had ever experienced. The Air Force had to relearn to decentralize the target-picking and trafficcontrol functions of CAS.
Despite coming to a solution near the end of the Korean War, the services encountered the same problem in Vietnam. Neither the Air Force nor the Navy would relinquish control of its resources to the other, so there could be no overall commander. Instead, Admiral Sharp designated Maj Gen Joseph Moore, commander of the 2d Air Division of the Pacific Air Forces, the “coordinating authority” for Operation Rolling Thunder attacks. He could not communicate well enough with the Navy to exchange information on a mission-by-mission basis, so he worked with the Navy’s Task Force 77 to come up with an arrangement that would allow the two services to stay out of each other’s way.
Command in Air War: Centralized Versus Decentralized Control of Combat Airpower by Michael W. Kometer