Synopses & Reviews
Can air bombardment break the morale of an enemy and force it to capitulate or does it strengthen the enemy's determination to resist? In the first major book since the Vietnam War on the theory and practice of airpower and its political effects, Robert A. Pape helps policy makers judge the purpose of various air strategies, and helps general readers understand the policy debates. Pape examines the air raids on Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq as well as those of Israel versus Egypt, providing details of bombing operations and governmental decision making. His detailed narratives of the strategic effectiveness of bombing range from the classical cases of World War II to an extraordinary reconstruction of airpower use in the Gulf War, based on recently declassified documents. Pape argues convincingly that airpower is no "magic bullet" nor a way to win inexpensively. His conclusions will provoke debate from the highest military circles to the armchair generals in academia and Congress and have ramifications for questions from defense budget cuts to international policy in Bosnia. The wealth of systematically collected evidence should be a source of scholarly debates for years to come.