Airpower & the Cult of the Offensive by John R. Carter

By John R. Carter

Significant Carter explores 3 case reports that experience vital similarities: the doctrine of significant Britain's Royal Air strength from 1918 to 1938, the Israeli Air Force's method from 1967 to 1973, and the U.S. Air Force's technique from 1953 to 1965. He starts by means of developing the theoretical history important for case examine research. He dissects the connection among offense and safety to find that airpower security enjoys neither a bonus of place nor of time. He examines the character of offense and security as they practice to airpower and gives purposes army association may well want offensive doctrines. significant Carter identifies the weather and implications of the cult of the offensive.

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90 *Employed as a planning and budgeting device by successive British governments during the interwar period, the Ten-Year Rule assumed that Great Britain would not be engaged in a major war for the next 10 years, thus obviating the need for any sizable defense expenditures. 41 CADRE PAPER A Cult of the Offensive? To attribute the RAF’s 1938 offensive doctrine to a cult of the offensive, it is necessary to show that the RAF’s leaders permitted faith in the offensive to so distort their judgment that their offensive doctrine appears irrational.

Observed “during this period the doctrine of the offensive hardened into the dogma . . that the bomber would always get through. . ”129 The idea that an offensive ideology gripped RAF planners might help to explain why they did not question the efficacy of their planned offensive operations or account for the myriad employment details. If one truly believed the contemporary rhetoric that the power of the bomber offensive was irresistible, then matters such as precise target location, navigation techniques, or development of improved munitions 48 CARTER might begin to lose their relevance.

Thus, two elements of the simplification bias tend to promote offense, while the other two tend to exaggerate any existing bias. In Snyder’s model, the choice between an offensive or defensive strategy arises from the interaction of these three forces: rational calculation, motivational bias, and simplification bias. When these variables lead to conflicting doctrinal choices, the one with the strongest case dominates. If the organizational ethos is at stake, motivational bias dominates. If the military has powerful, centralized institutions, simplification bias dominates.

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