[Skip to Content | Skip to Navigation | Skip to Lesson Index]
[ASPC Main Menu | Help | Back | Next]
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: Rolling Thunder—Restrictions
Voice: Fearing escalation to a nuclear confrontation with China, President Johnson took personal control of the ROLLING THUNDER bombing campaign from 1965 to 1968. He not only selected targets for bombing, he also dictated timing, ordnance loads, sorties, and alternate targets. In addition, most of the strategic targets inside of North Vietnam were off limits to bombing. The result of ROLLING THUNDER was a bombing campaign that was not only unresponsive to local conditions but also lacking in both operational and tactical flexibility. This lack of flexibility precluded airpower from attaining decisive results. ROLLING THUNDER amounted to a tactical, rather than a strategic, action aimed at sending signals of political will, rather than achieving decisive military objectives.
Action: Screen begins with a picture of President Johnson in upper left corner of screen. The first of the following bullets is shown high right, beside the picture of President Johnson. The second third and fourth of the major bullets are shown one-third of the way through the narration. The rest of the text is shown midway through the narration:
[Back: Rolling Thunder—Objectives | Next: Rolling Thunder—Outcome]