Air Force

Postwar to 1989

Air Force Magazine. Editors. "Air Force Intelligence Service." An annual feature. 64 (May 1981): 122; 65 (May 1982): 126; 66 (May 1983): 121-122; 67 (May 1984): 135-136; 68 (May 1985): 124-125; 69 (May 1986): 120 ff.; 70 (May 1987): 145; 71 (May 1988): 156-157; 72 (May 1989): 107. [Petersen]

Anthony, Victor B., and Richard R. Sexton. The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The War in Northern Laos, 1954-1973. Washington, DC: Center for Air Force History, United States Air Force, 1993. [Available at:]

From "Foreword": "This book describes the triumphs, frustrations, and failures of the Air Force in northern Laos between January 1955, when the United States Operations Mission began to coordinate military aid, and April 1973, when B-52s and F-111s flew the last bombing sorties over northern Laos."

Aronsen, Lawrence. "Seeing Red: US Air Force Assessments of the Soviet Union, 1945-1949." Intelligence and National Security 16, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 103-132.

Air Force intelligence (A-2) was "more than any other agency ... convinced of the Soviet willingness to wage war." However, even though "A-2 came to be possessed by a rigidly anti-communist ideology, it established a progressive-minded reputation for introducing new ideas, techniques, and technological innovations."

Barber, Charles H. "Some Problems of Air Intelligence." Military Review 26 (Aug. 1946): 76-78. [Petersen]

Beech, Eric. "Deception and Disguise: Passive Defence Measures Now Form an Essential Element of a Modern Air Force's Equipment." Flight International 135 (20 May 1989): 81ff. [Seymour]

Cabell, Charles A., Jr. [BGEN/USAF (Ret.)], ed. A Man of Intelligence: Memoirs of War, Peace, and the CIA. Boulder, CO: Impavide Publications, 1997.

According to Peake, AFIO WIN 42-99 (23 Oct. 1999), Cabell held a succession of important Army Air Force and Air Force staff and intelligence positions before being named as DDCI (1953-1962) under Allen Dulles. Cabell devotes "[m]ore than 100 pages ... to his CIA service, and of particular interest here are his candid comments about the Bay of Pigs operation in which he was directly involved." Cabell's assessment of the reasons for the Bay of Pigs failure is "dispassionate," but he does not mince words either. This book "is a valuable contribution to the history of Air Force intelligence and the early years of the CIA."

Campbell, Kenneth J. "Major General Jack E. Thomas, USAF: Intelligence Leader and Scholar." Intelligencer 13, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 2002): 72-77. American Intelligence Journal 21, nos. 1 & 2 (Spring 2002): 67-72.

Campbell chronicles the extraordinarily lengthy career of General Thomas.

Cornelius, George. "Air Reconnaissance: Great Silent Weapon." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 87, no. 5 (May 1959): 35-42.

Duehring, Craig W. "In Gratitude to the Crews of Air America: A Speech to an Air America Symposium." Studies in Intelligence 53, no. 3 (Sep. 2009): 17-22.

This is text of "a speech Mr. Duehring delivered to participants, including many veterans of Air America service, in a symposium held at the University of Texas at Dallas on 18 April 2009." He flew with the Air Force Ravens in Laos, and has much good to say for the Air America people--as in saving his life.

Futrell, Robert F. The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The Advisory Years to 1965. Office of Air Force History. Washington, DC: GPO, 1981. Available at:

Hopkinson, Harry. "An Idiot System for Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 6, no. 4 (Fall 1962): 17-23.

"Progress report on the creation of an integrated machine file at the Air Force Intelligence Center for all raw data of all types."

Phillips, Thomas D. [COL/USAF (Ret.)] "The Dozier Kidnapping: Confronting the Red Brigades." Chronicles Online Journal (7 Feb. 2002). []

On 17 December 1981, U.S. Brig. Gen. James L. Dozier, "senior American official at a NATO headquarters in Verona, Italy, was abducted by Red Brigades terrorists.... This is the story of the actions taken by one small, isolated unit [Detachment 9, 1141 USAF Special Activities Squadron] to confront the terrorist threat."

[Prados, John.] Fighting the War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 248. []

"Previously secret U.S. Air Force official histories of the Vietnam war published [on 9 April 2008] by the National Security Archive ... include the Air Force's detailed official history of the war in northern Laos.... Also declassified were Air Force historical studies on specific years of the Vietnam War, documenting in great detail the Air Force's role in planning and implementing the air war in North and South Vietnam. Among other significant disclosures in these histories are:

"* Air Force interest in nuclear options during at least two flash points in the Southeast Asian conflict: Laos in 1959 and in 1968 during the battle of Khe Sanh.

"* CIA operational commitments for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion hampered the Agency's ability to carry out Kennedy administration policy in Laos.

"* CIA proprietary Air America directed search and rescue missions in Laos in addition to its role in combat operations.

"* The U.S. ambassador in Laos served as the field commander of the so-called 'secret war' there, a role that has been largely undocumented."

Warner, Michael. "Two Steps Backward: The Collapse of Intelligence Support for Air Power, 1944–52." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 3 (2005).

"[F]rom the closing of World War II through the Korean conflict ... American military intelligence lost, rather than gained, organizational sophistication and analytic proficiency.... The military's wartime progress in command and control ... was not matched by progress in intelligence capabilities. The decline was particularly jarring in air intelligence.... [I]n the very years when strategic airpower was being advocated and recognized as a key component of national security, intelligence to guide strategic bombing campaigns, especially at the operational-level, faced institutional jeopardy and professional stagnation."

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