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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Foundations of Doctrine | Air Corps Tactical School | WWII—Europe | WWII—Japan | WWII—Nuclear Weapons | Cold War Doctrine | Massive Retaliation | Cold War Technology | Flexible Response | The SIOP | Korea | Korean Command Structure | Korean War Aftermath | Prelude to Vietnam | Objectives in Vietnam | Vietnam War 1965–1973 | Rolling Thunder—Objectives | Rolling Thunder—Restrictions | Rolling Thunder—Outcome | Command Arrangements | Route Package System | Khe Sanh | Airpower at Khe Sanh | LINEBACKER II | Post-Vietnam Assessment | AirLand Battle | Impact of AirLand Battle | Operation EAGLE CLAW | Operation URGENT FURY | Goldwater-Nichols Act 1986 | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Introduction

Action: Screen begins with publications FM 100-20 and AFM 1-4 flying and fading into center screen and flying and fading out, one at a time. Slowly fade in pictures of the following, one at a time, at various positions on screen: Gen MacArthur, Gen Lemay, Pres. John F. Kennedy, Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, a minute-man ICBM, a B-52, an XB70, and a mushroom cloud. About halfway through the narration, fade all images out at one time to reveal FM 100-20 and AFM 1-4 centered on the left and right screen, respectively. Fade out publications and fade in collages of joint services operations, mushroom cloud, and B-52 collage. Fade in title of lesson, Excursions from Airpower Doctrine, on top of collages.

Voice: The conduct of military operations must be guided by a set of established guidelines or principles. These guidelines or principles are generally referred to as doctrine. Often, doctrine is shaped significantly by factors other than military operations. The truth is that, at times, doctrine has been more a reflection of national policies and the influence of individuals, budgets, and emerging technology, than critical analysis, study, exercises, and experience in the application of airpower. Unfortunately, for numerous reasons, the Air Force drifted away from its doctrinal heritage for a period of time after 1947. This lesson provides insight into some of the areas where the Air Force strayed from established principles and examines the impact of those excursions on the development of Air Force doctrine. It is important to learn from these historical lessons in order to provide an air and space perspective for the joint force operations of the future.

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