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PostSubject: Lessons learned   Lessons learned I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 08, 2011 6:56 pm

First, air superiority is essential for air interdiction because it permits a more thorough identification and attack of enemy forces and supplies while also exposing the attacking aircraft to less risk.
Second, intelligence regarding enemy dispositions, movements, stockpiles, and intentions is crucial. In the North African campaign during World War II, for example, intelligence sources gave the Allies a clear picture of Axis shipping in the Mediterranean. In contrast, in Vietnam the United States had a very poor understanding of Vietcong and North Vietnamese activities.
Third, weather and terrain will have a major impact on air interdiction’s success or failure. One factor included here is the ability to conduct air interdiction at night or in marginal weather; conditions that assist the clandestine movement of forces and supplies.
Fourth, air interdiction operations must be persistent. If an enemy is allowed a respite, it will resupply and stockpile, making the air interdiction effort ineffective.
Fifth, air planners must have realistic objectives. It is virtually impossible to totally isolate the battle area. Something will always get through, and that amount may be enough to sustain the enemy. For example, even if 95 percent of all supplies to Axis forces in Italy during World War II had been stopped, there would still have been enough material getting through for Axis forces to conduct effective defensive operations.
The sixth factor is related and is perhaps the most important: there is a symbiotic relationship between air and surface forces in a successful air interdiction campaign. An enemy that is quiescent and stationary consumes few resources while also presenting few targets. If, by contrast, enemy forces are attacked and flushed from their defensive positions by friendly surface forces, they will consume far more resources, especially fuel and ammunition, while also exposing themselves to air attack.

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