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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Doctrine | Three Levels of Doctrine | Basic Doctrine | Operational Level Doctrine | Tactical Level Doctrine | Strategy | Strategy Hierarchy | National Security Strategy | National Military Strategy | Joint Force Operations | Joint Vision 2020 | Full Spectrum Dominance | Air Force Vision | Doctrine-Strategy Link | Rolling Thunder | Linebacker II | Operation Eldorado Canyon | Effective Linkage | Forces of Change | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Rolling Thunder

Action: The background is an aerial view of a bombing. The following bullet points are shown when mentioned in the narration:

Voice: For an example of the important relationship between doctrine and strategy, consider the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign of the Vietnam conflict. The overall national objective in Vietnam was to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the war. Rolling Thunder was executed as one of the military strategies to reach that objective. It called for a gradually escalating aerial bombardment of North Vietnamese targets to demonstrate U.S. resolve and convince the North of the futility of continuing the war. The actual military objectives were poorly defined, but it was hoped that striking military targets would reduce the North’s war-making capabilities. The tactical implementation of the campaign was dependent upon weekly policy decisions delivered from Washington. Doctrine of the time was based almost entirely on deterrence and nuclear warfighting, and provided little guidance for decisions in a limited conventional war. This lack of doctrine handicapped the military leadership in influencing the chosen strategy. Hence the bombing campaign was executed to reflect changing policy decisions rather than in pursuit of defined military objectives to achieve political end states.

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