This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. This monograph examines whether or not the current U.S. Army Operational Design methodology could increase the effectiveness of airpower. Analysis of existing design literature provides a common understanding of the U.S. Army's design methodology for the application to two historical case studies. The studies selected for analysis resulted from the similarity of key components. Both involved operations in North Vietnam where major combatants shared the common political goal of trying to extricate themselves from the conflict. Although in each study major combatants could not have used the current conception of operational design, leveraging the framework provided by the U.S. Army reveals some interesting conclusions. The first study analyzed Operation CASTOR and the subsequent battle for Dien Bien Phu. CASTOR demonstrates that airpower's effectiveness could have increased had the French used the U.S. Army's Operational Design methodology. The lack of systems thinking, reflective thinking, environmental framing and the inability to reframe all reduced the effectiveness of airpower and ultimately led to CASTOR's failure. The second study, Operation LINEBACKER II, suggests that using the U.S. Army's Operational Design methodology has a positive impact on airpower. The presence of systems thinking and reflective thinking by Strategic Air Command planners, the development of a mature environmental frame, the establishment of reframing criteria and the ability to reframe when required all increased airpower's effectiveness. This monograph demonstrates the value of operational design to air campaign planners and the potential for inclusion into existing Air Force doctrine.
Introduction * Methodology * What Is Operational Design? * Operational Design Foundations * Environmental Frame * Problem Frame * Design Concept * Reframing * Operation CASTOR and the Battle for Dien Bien Phu * History * Design Foundations * Framing * Operation Linebacker II * History * Design Foundations * Framing * Conclusions and Recommendations * Conclusion * Recommendations * BIBLIOGRAPHY
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