Academic journal article Military Review

The Linebacker Raids: The Bombing of North Vietnam, 1972

Academic journal article Military Review

The Linebacker Raids: The Bombing of North Vietnam, 1972

Article excerpt

THE LINEBACKER RAIDS: The Bombing of North Vietnam,1972, John T. Smith, Arms & Armour Press, London. Distributed by Sterling Publishing, NY, 1998, 224 pages, $24.95.

The relationship between air power and achieving political objectives is controversial. Politicians often hope that airpower alone can force an unwilling opponent to the negotiation table. The theory is that such damage will convince an opponent that it is in his nation's best interest to cease whatever actions have led to the bombing campaign.

The Linebacker Raids, by John T. Smith, begins with a short history of airpower theory, reviews air operations in Vietnam before 1972, then gives a month-by-month and sometimes day-by-day narrative of the raids. Smith uses the experiences of pilots and crews to convey the intensity of the raids and the air-to-air combat that occurred between US fighters and North Vietnamese MiGs.

Public opposition to the war, Watergate, congressional unwillingness to continue funding South Vietnamese armed forces and the demand for the return of US prisoners of war made the results of the raids a hollow victory. …

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