A Note on Tactical Vs. Strategic Air Interdiction
Battle relevance rather than battlefield proximity should be the useful criterion in distinguishing between tactical and strategic interdiction. Tactical interdiction has to do with target systems having payoffs directly and immediately related to the success of friendly ground forces, whereas strategic interdiction has to do with target systems having payoffs that are only indirectly and in the long term related to ground force success. This distinction is contrasted with the close-versus-deep dichotomy and seems a more sensible way of looking at target systems. What is important is the probable effect of an air strike, not its distance from the battlefield. For tactical interdiction, payoffs are extremely sensitive to the nature of the war, to the character of the battlefield, and to what is happening on the ground, currently and in the near future. Strike effectiveness depends not only on what is done to the target, but on when this is done.
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Air Force air mission air strikes airpower area attacks armored attacks against tactical autonomous air battle relevance battle situation battlefield causality close air support criterion deep Delivery vehicle dichotomy diction direct and immediate distinction distinguishing between tactical enemy homeland enemy's FEBA fighter-bombers force-structure Germany ground battle ground force success guerrillas heavies and mediums Heavy bombers highly mobile immediate effects inter interdiction campaign interdiction mission interdiction operations interdiction strikes Interdiction Target LOCs logistics tail long term related marshalling yards medium bombers Memorandum miles modern mechanized nature North Vietnam NOTE ON TACTICAL organic vehicles OVERLORD particular battle payoffs directly point attack Rand regarded as tactical related to ground Rhine Semantic Problem shallow sorties Southeast Asia Specific Operational Setting speed of movement STRATEGIC AIR INTERDICTION strategic interdiction systems having payoffs systems with payoffs tactical air tactical and strategic tactical interdiction Target location target systems theater transportation targets USAF World War II zone