Political and military components of Air Force doctrine in the Federal Republic of Germany and their implications for NATO defense policy analysis

by Michael E. Thompson

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This study examines the doctrine and force structure of the Luftwaffe in the context of German defense policy considerations. It analyzes several of the propositions of Luftwaffe doctrine using U.S. quantitative models of air-land combat in NATO's central region. This analysis provides an assessment of both the doctrine and the models, which are shown to be structurally incapable of representing some phenomena the Germans consider crucial. The author also examines the two sources of variation in force structure and doctrine evident among NATO air forces: (1) differences in national situation, history, interests, and policies; and (2) differences in "purely military" judgments of how best to perform the functions of tactical air forces within the framework of NATO and national policy.

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