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Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II$
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Phil Haun

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813176789

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813176789.001.0001

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What to Target

What to Target

The Economy or Military Forces?

(p.180) 6 What to Target
Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II
Phil Haun
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter presents the final lecture of the Air Force Course, “Primary Strategic Objectives of Air Forces” by Muir Fairchild. In this lecture Fairchild concludes that the fundamental decision in air warfare is whether to attack an enemy’s national economic structure or its military forces. Attacking the economic structure is a purely offensive action, while attacking enemy forces has both offensive and defensive objectives. In modern war, technologically sophisticated weapons play an increasingly important role, and destroying the means of producing such weapons prevents the arming of the enemy’s military. The targeting of the enemy nation’s economic structure thus denies the opponent the hope of victory and increases the costs of continued resistance.

Keywords:   Muir Fairchild, Air Corps Tactical School, HADPB, strategic wartime objectives, air forces, offensive actions in war, defensive actions in war

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