Airlifts in Time (Strategy) - Air Power History

Airlifts in Time (Strategy)

By Air Power History

  • Release Date - Published: 2005-09-22
  • Book Genre: Engineering
  • Author: Air Power History
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Airlifts in Time (Strategy) Air Power History read online review & book description:

History repeats itself," is a common refrain among many casual and even some more formal observers of history. For the policymaker however, such thinking is surely a trap. No two crises are exactly the same--whether in terms of circumstance, appropriate response or corresponding outcomes. On the other hand, a policy--or decision-maker who does not examine the past in order to gain insight into the present is surely handicapped. This article examines two historically unique strategic airlifts and the crises and decisions that led to them in the context of these assertions. The first operation considered below is the Berlin Airlift the successful United States-led effort to supply the western sectors of Berlin after ground access to the city was cut off by the Soviet Union in June 1948. Codenamed Operation Vittles, the airlift emerged as an enormous operational and strategic success for the U.S. and its western Allies--demonstrating the impressive capacity of the newly created U.S. Air Force, saving West Berlin from envelopment by the Soviet Union, and demonstrating America's resolve against Soviet aggression; all the while avoiding an outbreak of war in Europe. The second operation, Nickel Grass, involved the unilateral U.S. resupply of Israel during the 1973 Yore Kippur War. That airlift, though a significant success operationally, was at best only a partial success strategically. The resupply very likely saved Israel from defeat and by doing so prevented a Soviet proxy victory in the Middle East. However, Operation Nickel Grass also helped prompt the devastating Arab oil embargo from October 1973 to March 1974, the effects of which burdened the economies of the U.S. and its allies for years to come.

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