Air Power and the Ground War in Vietnam : Ideas and Actions by Donald J. Mrozek

By Donald J. Mrozek

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A unified command and control system over all of Southeast Asia made a good deal of sense from a military perspective . But because the war crossed political boundaries, State Department officials also took interest in the matter; and they often sided with the Southeast Asian leaders who wanted command and control systems that respected their borders. And no matter how one defined the boundaries of a given theater, the services could still disagree over what form of control was needed within it.

25 For practical purposes, de Seversky simply assumed the functional improbability-or perhaps unimportance-of war between nations unequal in power and industrial level . 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 .

And the Truman administration made budgetary concessions to them to ensure enactment of the so-called unification legislation; but it nonetheless favored a strategic nuclear deterrent comprised primarily of a longrange bomber force . For this reason, and because of the president's close cooperation with Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington and other promoters of the Air Force, the Navy and (to a lesser extent) the Army regarded Truman with suspicion . And Truman viewed small or limited wars as incidents within a general confrontation between the great powers .

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