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Thoughts on War$
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Phillip S. Meilinger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178899

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178899.001.0001

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Analysis, Intelligence, and Targeting in Strategic Air Operations

Analysis, Intelligence, and Targeting in Strategic Air Operations

(p.167) 12 Analysis, Intelligence, and Targeting in Strategic Air Operations
Thoughts on War

Phillip S. Meilinger

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter recounts the history of Operations Research, intelligence, and their effects on the strategic bombing campaigns of World War II and beyond. Airmen use different weapons employed against different targets to achieve different results than do soldiers or sailors. These necessary differences—the result of the mediums in which they operate—are characterized by airmen’s attempts to most effectively and efficiently injure Nazi Germany and Japan. Few situations better illustrate how the services employ different prisms through which to view war, which in turn shapes their strategic thought. Airmen confronted questions on what targets should be struck and how this could be done most effectively. Operations Research was established as a scientific discipline to address these types of questions. Unfortunately, neither the intelligence apparatus nor the technology necessary to measure the effects of air attacks were available, nor was the analytical framework then in place to allow proper measurement. These breakthroughs did not occur until the 1990s.

Keywords:   Operations Research, Ultra intelligence, strategic bombing, Enemy Objectives Unit, Committee of Operations Analysts, air targeting, oil, railroad plan, Operation LINEBACKER II, Strategic Air Command

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