Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Hey West Point, here’s an airpower reading list from an expert

By Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF, ret.) Best Defense department of airborne victory –Winged Defense: The Development and Possibilities of Modern Air Power Economic and Military, William Mitchell, 1925 — The Air Campaign: Planning for Combat, John Warden, 1988 —The Transformation of American Air Power, Benjamin S. Lambeth, 2000 —The Influence of Air Power upon History, ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

By Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF, ret.)

Best Defense department of airborne victory

--Winged Defense: The Development and Possibilities of Modern Air Power Economic and Military, William Mitchell, 1925

By Lt. Gen. David Deptula (USAF, ret.)

Best Defense department of airborne victory

–Winged Defense: The Development and Possibilities of Modern Air Power Economic and Military, William Mitchell, 1925

— The Air Campaign: Planning for Combat, John Warden, 1988

The Transformation of American Air Power, Benjamin S. Lambeth, 2000

The Influence of Air Power upon History, Walter J. Boyne, 2003

Airpower Advantage: Planning the Gulf War Air Campaign, 1989-1991, Diane T. Putney, 2004

The Art of Airpower: Sun Tzu Revisited, Sanu Kainikara, 2009

Learning Large Lessons: The Evolving Roles of Ground Power and Air Power in the Post-Cold War Era, David E. Johnson, 2007

The Foundations of US Air Doctrine: The Problem of Friction in War, Barry D. Watts, 1984.

A History of Air Warfare, John Olsen, 2010

Global Air Power, John Olsen, 2011

Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force, Frank Futrell, 1989

The Icarus Syndrome, Carl Builder, 1993.

I would replace Douhet on the USMA History Department’s top 10 classics with “Winged Defense.”

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.