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Helicopters and Counterinsurgency: A Delicate Pairing

Robert J. Kodosky, West Chester University

May 13, 2019

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0075-2019-14621

Abstract:
U.S. Army officials utilized helicopters in Vietnam according to doctrine developed over the previous decade that had little to do with either Vietnam or counterinsurgency. They failed to reconcile their ideas about the war they anticipated, the one they preferred, with the one in which they engaged. Regarding helicopters, they confused revolutionary technology with revolutionizing tactics and strategy. The evidence suggests, however, that in contrast to the Army, in its consideration to arm helicopters, the Marine Corps proved both flexible and thoughtful. Marines came to advocate arming helicopters for their ability to deliver discriminate, as opposed to, indiscriminate firepower. This incorporated rotary wing aircraft in ways that aligned new technologies, tactics and strategy and affords lessons for today. While helicopters remain essential tools for counterinsurgency, their use continues to generate debate.


Helicopters and Counterinsurgency: A Delicate Pairing

  • Presented at Forum 75
  • 9 pages
  • SKU # : F-0075-2019-14621
  • History

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Helicopters and Counterinsurgency: A Delicate Pairing

Authors / Details:
Robert J. Kodosky, West Chester University