This article explores the potential effectiveness of airpower in winning the Vietnam War, analyzing strategic, joint, and tactical aspects.


Key Points:
  1. Airpower was believed by some to have the potential to win or limit the extent of the Vietnam War.
  2. The Rolling Thunder strategic bombing campaign failed to undermine North Vietnamese commitment.
  3. Strategic bombing campaigns, even on a large scale, proved ineffective in changing the course of the war.
  4. Air mobility played a significant role in making ground forces more effective in tactical operations.
  5. The US Army achieved success with airborne forces, but this success was limited to the tactical and operational levels.
  6. Inter-service conflicts between the Army and Air Force hindered the full utilization of mobility advantages.
  7. Linebacker I operation in 1972 demonstrated the effectiveness of airpower in countering North Vietnamese offensives.
  8. Sustained air commitment might have helped maintain South Vietnam, but it required a long-term US engagement.
  9. Airpower alone could not resolve the political problems or change the North Vietnamese commitment to unification.
  10. The ultimate victory of North Vietnam was inevitable due to the underlying factors and limitations of airpower.



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