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Command in Air War

Centralized versus Decentralized Control of Combat Airpower

Lt Col Michael W. Kometer, USAF
2007, 345 pages
ISBN: 1-58566-164-3
Cost: $18, AU Press Code: B-107

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This work examines whether “centralized control and decentralized execution” is a valid doctrinal tenet, given the technological advances in the information age. Fascinating scenarios from recent operations, set in the context of a “complex air operations system,” show the dilemmas presented by participants’ increased access to information—and the resulting consequences of their decisions. With the uncertainty of war and the blending of diverse organizations, the author illustrates that commanders must balance empowerment with accountability by developing depth in command relationships among their subordinates.

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