Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting Theory

In this work, the author examine historical targeting theories for airpower and their effects on the organizational, training, and equipping functions of the US Air Force. This analysis is intended to develop lessons learned in order to focus on the USAF cyber power organizational, training, and equipping functions. Just as early theorists conceptualized the use of airpower, so must contemporary USAF theorists develop a cyber-power targeting theory to apply in future wars. Following World War I, airmen at the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) developed an 'industrial web theory' for targeting to achieve victory through airpower. This theory informed senior-leadership decisions regarding organizational, training, and equipping functions for the USAF throughout its use. The targeting theory was employed with mixed results from World War II through the Vietnam War. In the late twentieth century, Col John Warden conceptualized and validated an airpower targeting theory based upon a concept of the enemy as a system. This model earned its success in Operation Desert Storm and is continually used in doctrine, education and training, and planning today. Although the Air Force went to war with the force it had in the early 1990s, Colonel Warden's theory informs organizational, training, and equipping decisions for senior leaders today. A USAF cyber-power targeting theory should consider lessons learned by early airpower theorists and practitioners. Just as Airmen attempted to influence the third war-fighting domain during airpower's infancy and maturation, Airmen are attempting to influence the fifth war-fighting domain of cyberspace today.

Alpha Editions
  • Pages: 170
  • 9789386780669 • HARDBACK • Jul-17 • Rs.950
  • Subjects:
  • Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting Theory
author details