By Donald J. Mrozek
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Additional info for Air Power and the Ground War in Vietnam : Ideas and Actions
For one thing, the relatively low level of conflict early in the war (1959 through 1963) made it seem a sideshow, especially when compared with US involvement in the Bay of Pigs landing, the US-USSR confrontation over Berlin, and the Cuban missile crisis . These dramatic events strengthened the view that the relationship between the great powers remained the dominant military and political concern . In addition, Southeast Asia was only one of several third world trouble spots . Attention went to Africa, especially the Congo; and Kennedy's proposal of an Alliance for Progress showed concern over Latin America.
In the context of World War 11, this may not have been hard to understand . But after the war was won, this view became increasingly inadequate . The most immediate postwar problems were well below the level of general or world war-in Poland and Czechoslovakia, in Greece and Iran, in Berlin, in China, and ultimately in Korea. De Seversky-an emigre from the Czarist air forces and a politically conservative industrialist-surely needed little prompting to view the wide range of problems in the world as directed centrally from Moscow .
He believed that formal doctrine is tied to the past and to historical experience rather than to ongoing technological development : "The Air Force is not bound to any fixed doctrine or concept . "" And Maj Gen Lloyd P . Hopwood, former commandant of the Air Command and Staff College, argued that we try to make our doctrine and strategy conform to glamorous hardware . He believed we should be studying modern conflict instead . The beliefs of early air power advocates persisted into the 1950s, but those advocates tended to confuse the principles of air power with the instruments of air power.