Concepts of Operations and USAF Planning for Southwest Asia

by Christopher J. Bowie

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This report illustrates the application of a framework that could lend greater coherence to U.S. security planning. It also attempts to provide policymakers with a broad overview of the contribution the U.S. Air Force could make in protecting U.S. and Western interests in Southwest Asia. This study concerns itself with the most demanding military problem — the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Iran aimed at securing control over the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. Section II discusses American national objectives in Southwest Asia and the broad national strategy the U.S. government has formulated to achieve these objectives. Section III examines the nature of the Soviet threat and provides some background on strategic considerations that influenced the development of U.S. military strategy. Section IV discusses U.S. military strategy for possible contingencies, the forces being considered for operations in this theater, and the programs initiated to support this strategy. Section V attempts to identify what specific military capabilities the Air Force should enhance or develop to better support U.S. strategies and national objectives. Section VI lays out in some detail a concept of operations for one of these capabilities, strategic mobility for tactical aircraft.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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