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Barren SEAD: USAF Suppression of Enemy Air Defense Doctrine, 1953-1972 Paperback – March 22, 2015
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Since 1972, the United States Air Force has argued that its operations against North Vietnam were unsuccessful primarily through a combination of civilian interference and poor strategic choices. Often citing the “success” of Operation Linebacker II as an example of what might have been had its leaders been given free rein, for almost fifty years the Air Force has maintained that its proper employment is the key to winning America’s wars.
In Barren SEAD, award winning historian James L. Young Jr. propagates a different theory: Instead of being a sign of what the Air Force was capable of, Linebacker II was a bitter failure that starkly outlined the USAF’s limitations. Furthermore, instead of the meddling of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations, this defeat was brought about by Air Force leaders’ refusal to develop a Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) doctrine from 1953-1972. Relying primarily on Air Force archival documents, memoirs, and contemporary doctrinal publications, Dr. Young illustrates just how dangerous the Air Force’s failure to nurture its SEAD capability was during this period of the Cold War.
James L. Young Jr. holds a doctorate in U.S. History from Kansas State University and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. He is the winner of the United States Naval Institute's 2016 Cyberwarfare Essay Contest and a runner up in the 2011 James Adams Cold War Essay Contest, with other articles published in Armor, The Journal of Military History, and Proceedings. In addition to Barren SEAD, which is his first non-fiction book, Dr. Young also writes alternate history (Usurper's War series and Phases of Mars anthologies) and military science fiction (Vergassy Universe).
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- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (March 22, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 275 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1508998175
- ISBN-13 : 978-1508998174
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.62 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book seems like a summary of what could have been a much longer and more detailed work, which could have expanded on Young’s analysis. It is very short, nominally 273 pages, of which over 100 pages consists of Appendixes, Bibliography, and Endnotes. There is no Index. Its layout further reduces its actual content. Large type, double spacing, and excessive white space gives the impression that a long essay was stretched into book format. Despite these concerns, Barren SEAD serves as a valuable refutation of Air Force claims that all of Air Power failings in the Vietnam war were the fault of micromanagement by civilian leaders.
I will absolutely be seeking out more by this author!
I was provided with a free copy of this book by the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.