Curtis Lemay
Curtis Lemay; drawing by David Levine

One of General Curtis LeMay’s earliest memories—he thinks it must have been at four or five in the winter of 1910-11 or the next—was the sight of his first plane. He ran as fast as he could to try to catch it. He felt when it vanished that “I had lost something unique and in a way Divine.” At least this is the recollection, after a lifetime of bomber command, as he told it to the writer of his story, MacKinlay Kantor. The General is not a religious man; this early feeling for the plane is the one note of piety in the account he helped prepare of his life. Nor is he a man ordinarily moved by beauty. It is the memory of the first plane he saw close-up on the ground that evokes the one moment of aesthetic enthusiasm in the book; what he remembers is “the appealing gush of its engine—the energy and beauty of the brute.” He went from Ohio State with an engineering degree to the old Army Air Corps in 1928. In 1937 at Langley Field, he met the plane which was to be linked with the most heroic episodes of his life—the B-17. There he saw “seven of the Flying Fortresses squatting on the ramp.” Of these he writes. “I fell in love with the 17 at first sight.” Six years later he led an entire Air Division of these bombers over the European continent. It was not until 1944, when he began the first fire raids over Japan, that he switched to the bigger B-29. He can remember the smell of the B-17 as different from the smell of any other plane. This ability to differentiate these mighty metallic monsters by his animal sense of smell is even more impressive than the love and worship that so closely linked this man to his machines. He emerges in this story as much their instrument as they were his. LeMay’s later, long and stubborn rear-guard action to keep the bombers flying in the age of the missile begins to seem touching, like any attempt to maintain the vanishing familiar in a world of change without pity. So, unexpectedly, on the bomber, too, Vergil’s lacrimae rerum fall.

Unlike Mao Tse-tung and Ho Chi Minh, the targets of whom LeMay has dreamed voluptuously in recent years, our bomber General was of impeccably proletarian origin. His father began as a railroad worker but was soon reduced to all kinds of handyman jobs to support his family of seven children, a task at which he never fully succeeded. LeMay as the eldest began selling papers during high school to help the family budget, and sent money home while he worked his way through college. Poverty and insecurity no more led him to question the economic system than the weather. Indeed he speaks of his father’s struggles as if they were a meteorological phenomenon. “Like many men in his category [not—let us notice—class] and time, he was subject,” LeMay relates, “to whims and pressures of regional and national economy.” The Depression years, when he was a fledgling aviator, were hard for him and his family, but his only reference to them is “Depression or no depression, they were opening up airports all over the country.” Neither these early struggles nor his later experience in military service with plane manufacturers notorious for overcharges, led him to take a critical view of free enterprise. His nearest approach to an unfriendly remark about the capitalist system is an angry comment in his account of how the Air Corps flew the mails in 1934 under Roosevelt. “The public bought the idea (and still retains it),” he comments sourly, “that scores of Air Corps pilots lost their lives in an heroic but absurd attempt to emulate the superb performance of the commercial airlines.” It is only in the bitterness of his feud with McNamara, that he allows himself to reflect by implication on the Business Man. “I hadn’t spent the bulk of the years since World War II,” he says, “in reorganizing any vast business for the purpose of pulling it from the red side of the ledger to the black…I had reorganized and built up a vast business, the Strategic Air Command, but its mission was not to make a profit for stockholders…I had not been in the financial and organizational side of the automobile business…Thus it may be believed that Secretary McNamara and I would hold different views on the matter of manned aircraft.”

This might be described as a non sequitur de profundis, since it is difficult to see why McNamara’s experience in the (manned) automobile business should predispose him against the manned plane. LeMay’s record otherwise is spotless. Though he did a tour of duty in Research and Development, the experience did not lead him (as it did General Gavin) to protest big business practices in dealing with the armed services, nor (like Admiral Rickover) to acid comment on performance and profits. The military-industrial complex never had an officer more loyally blinkered.


His reflexes were already exemplary when he joined the ROTC his first week at Ohio State. He recounts with relish being part of an ROTC mob on its way to “clean out” a bunch of campus pacifists until stopped by a First Lieutenant with more sense. He reveals that in those days on the same campus Milt Caniff, whose Steve Canyon is the Air Force’s pride and joy, was then painting anti-military posters. No such ideological wild oats were sown by LeMay. Even in his youth he was no deviator.

LeMay’s own story, as told by himself and prettied up by MacKinlay Kantor, is hardly a candid portrait. It reads like the glossy fiction at which Kantor is so adept. To separate the truth from the treacle is a sticky task. But the ferocious prejudices which brought LeMay and Goldwater together in a mutual admiration society break through: “…in a day when labor unions howl for a 24-hour week, and God knows what fringe benefits besides”…”some newly emergent so-called Republic in darkest Africa”…”the Whiz Kid liberal of today”…”the intellectuals, the inveterate pacifists, the dreamers and idealists…who believed firmly that the soft answer turned away wrath.” In recalling the San Francisco Fair of 1915 to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, the prose turns apoplectic at the thought that if any man had said then that some day we would agree not to fly the U. S. flag over the Canal “unless the Panamanian flag floated beside it, on the same level” we would have “suspected that man to be a traitor.” Since it was LBJ who agreed to this traitorous concession, it is not hard to believe that the President was glad to “press the flesh” with LeMay in farewell last January 31 after the shortest extension of service ever given a Chief of Staff—ten months from the previous April, or just long enough to keep LeMay from campaigning for Goldwater.

LeMay’s attitude toward his bomber command exploits are of a piece with these ripe reflections. He says defensively in his Foreword that his bombings were of “military targets” on which attack was “justified morally.” But he can’t resist adding a sneer, “I’ve tried to stay away from hospitals, prison camps, orphan asylums, nunneries and dog kennels.” He says, “I have sought to slaughter as few civilians as possible.” But a few pages later he is boasting that in the great fire raids on Japan, “We burned up nearly sixteen square miles of Tokyo.” He quotes with relish General Power, who led that raid and later succeeded him as head of the Strategic Air Command, as saying that this one attack on Tokyo produced “more casualties than in any other military action in the history of the world,” greater than those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together.

These were civilian casualties. For all his business-like attitude toward bombings, a touch of unseemly zest colors LeMay’s jubilant description. “Enemy cities were pulverized or fried to a crisp.” Secretary of War Stimson, we now know, was horrified by these fire raids, and called in General Arnold to protest that the Air Force had promised there would be only precision bombing in Japan. In the autobiography Stimson wrote after the war with McGeorge Bundy, he admitted that “in the conflagration bombings by massed B-29s” he had found himself permitting “the kind of war he had always hated.” Stimson later told Robert Oppenheimer1 he was appalled by the lack of public protest and thought “there was something wrong with a country where no one questioned” such raids. Even more appalling is the inability of men in the highest offices to control their instruments once war breaks out. This is a lesson to be ignored at our peril.

The excuse General Arnold gave Secretary Stimson is the same excuse LeMay offers at a later point in his story, that the wide dispersion of Japanese industry made the fire raids necessary. He claimed with what seems obvious and characteristic exaggeration that in the ruins one could see “a drill press sticking up through the wreckage of every home.” “We knew we were going to kill a lot of women and kids when we burned that town,” he now says. “Had to be done.” But there were other reasons for indiscriminate urban bombing. As so often happens, the Air Force changed doctrine to suit its weapons. The B-29s, as Giovannitti and Freed explain, “had been designed for daylight precision bombing” but the effects had proven disappointing. The Air Force then decided that incendiary bombing against the cities of Japan, with their crowded quarters and wooden construction “would be more effective.” LeMay in a message to Norstad, then Chief of Staff of the 20th Air Force, felt the air war against Japan presented “the AAF for the first time with an opportunity of proving the power of the strategic air arm” (Giovannitti-Freed). The fire raids were the greatest advertisement yet for strategic air power. But they were only made possible because naval blockade had strangled the Japanese economy. The Japanese air force in the homeland had become almost non-existent so that low-level fire raids could be staged with little resistance and few losses. These raids were dramatic but were they necessary? A passage in the U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey study of the effects on Japan’s war economy (p. 38) indicates that LeMay does not tell the whole story when he claims that widespread killing of women and children was unavoidable. “Although an effort was made,” this report says of the fire raids, “to direct these attacks toward targets the destruction of which would do damage to industrial production, the preponderant purpose appears to have been to secure the heaviest possible morale and shock effect by widespread attack upon the Japanese civilian population.”


No matter how you choose to disguise it, the essence of the victory-by-airpower thesis is victory by terror against the civilian population. The ideas of the Italian Douhet and of the American Billy Mitchell grew out of the doctrine of the Prussian military writers of the nineteenth century. “The moment a national war breaks out,” General Julius von Hartman wrote in 1877, “terrorism becomes a necessary military principle.” This was the origin of Schrecklichkeit, the doctrine of frightfulness applied by the Germans in the First World War. Military airpower, as Douhet and Mitchell envisaged it, was to give the doctrine a new dimension. The rationalization they offered is that all-out bombardment would shorten the war and be more humane in the long run.

Hindenburg once wrote in the same spirit during World War I while he was commander in Poland, “Lodz is starving. That is deplorable, but it ought to be so. The more pitiless the conduct of the war the more humane it is in reality, for it will run its course all the sooner.” The date of the utterance is enough to demonstrate the fallacy of the proposition. It was November 20, 1914, and the war was to last four years more despite these frightful beginnings.2 Yet men like LeMay, Nixon, and Goldwater peddle the same fallacies when they urge us to “save lives” and “shorten the war” by mass bombing of North Vietnam and if necessary of China.

Just as the First World War proved that frightfulness would not bring victory, so the Second World War proved that Douhet and Mitchell were wrong about aerial bombardment. “The result of warfare by air,” Mitchell wrote in 1930 (Skyways, p. 256), “will be to bring about quick decisions. Superior air power will cause such havoc, or the threat of such havoc, in the opposing country that a long drawn-out campaign will be impossible.” But the Second World War lasted two years longer than the First despite aerial bombardment of unparalleled weight and horror. Strategic bombing failed to break Britain’s will to resist. Germany’s war production rose steadily until the summer of 1944; the Nazis did not capitulate until Allied and Russian ground armies met on the Elbe. Japan was defeated by blockade. “World War II proved in every instance,” Marshall Andrews wrote in his incisive little book, Disaster Through Airpower, a decade ago, “that strategic bombing was costly all out of proportion to whatever results it obtained.”

LeMay regards terror from the skies as the one sure remedy for all political ills. He reveals that for three years—that is since 1962—he had been urging in the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the way to end the war in Vietnam was to let them know that “we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” This is one of his favorite phrases; in World War II he boasted that the Japanese air raids “were driving them back to the Stone Age.”3 The Stone Age is a metaphor for the days when brute force reigned supreme; instinctively LeMay harks back to it. He is as simple minded in prescribing strategic bombing for small wars with underdeveloped peoples as in big wars with industrialized societies. He reminds us that in the Korean war his “immediate suggestion” was to “go up north and burn the principal cities.” But he does not frankly admit how ineffective airpower proved in the Korean war. One has only to compare his account with that in the Air Force’s own official history of the Korean war,4 to see how dubious his advice was. Strategic bombing, aerial reconnaissance, and interdiction bombing all failed in the Korean war. LeMay does not tell us how quickly his advice about going north and burning down its cities was taken. Between August 10, 1950, one month after the war began, and September 25, the Far East Air Forces Bomber Command leveled every urban and industrial target above the 38th parallel except some naval oil storage tanks too close to the Russian border to be bombed without risk. But the war went on for three more years. Aerial reconnaissance also failed to detect the Chinese intervention that followed this massive devastation on their border. “According to Chinese Communist records captured much later,” the official AF history reveals (p. 16), “the Chinese had begun to slip troops across the Yalu as early as 14 October” or just four days before MacArthur announced that the Korean war was “definitely” coming to an end. By then major portions of the Chinese Fourth Field Army were in North Korea. Interdiction was no more successful. Though “Operation Strangle” and “Operation Saturate” made sensational headlines in the U.S. press, as do current “interdiction raids” on North Vietnam, they no more succeeded then than now in interdicting supply lines. Our troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. Despite bombardment so lavish that one Air Force officer said “we were trading B-62s for trucks,” the Communists were able to fire 102,000 rounds against Allied positions in May, 1952 as compared with 8000 the previous July and they soon built up enough anti-aircraft, as the official Air Force history admits, “to take an unacceptable toll” of our bomber planes.

One explanation lamely offered by LeMay in his autobiography is that bombardment failed because of an “undying Oriental philosophy and fanaticism.” He says, “Human attrition means nothing to such people,” that their lives are so miserable on earth that they look forward with delight to a death which promises them “everything from tea-parties with long dead grandfathers down to their pick of all the golden little dancing girls in Paradise.” Anyone capable of such silliness is a poor guide to Asian military policy. Neither Buddhism nor Confucianism nor Communism offers life after death of any kind, much less “golden little dancing girls in Paradise”—he has them mixed up with Mohammedanism. The notion that poor people care less for their own lives and those of their children belongs to Kipling-era colonialism. Was it Oriental fatalism that maintained London’s spirits during the blitz?

LeMay’s other explanation, of course, is the MacArthurite complaint that the Communists were allowed to have a bomb-free sanctuary in Manchuria. One answer to this is that we had a bombfree sanctuary ourselves in Japan which we used as the Reds did Manchuria for rest and supply. There is also another answer. LeMay concedes the little-known fact that the Communists also allowed us a bomb-free sanctuary in Korea itself. LeMay says we learned later that the Migs in Manchuria had the range to reach the front lines in Korea. “If I had been working for the other side,” he writes, “and had all those Migs in Manchuria that the Chinese had, I would have run General MacArthur right out of Korea…With that Mig force, any energetic commander could have cleaned out all the airfields we had in Korea, and mighty soon…then they could have started working on the troops. Why they didn’t do it I’ll never know.” In this revealing conjecture LeMay unwittingly provides his own explanation for the restriction against bombing Manchuria of which he so bitterly complains.

Despite this experience, LeMay nowhere soberly discusses the question of what to do if the Chinese react to the devastation of North Vietnam as they did to that of North Korea. The early predictions of the victory-by-airpower people have proven ludicrously wrong in the Vietnamese war. General Thomas S. Power, retired, who was LeMay’s successor as Chief of the Strategic Air Command, wrote two years ago in his book Design for Survival that an aerial ultimatum and selected bombing of military depots would force the North to surrender “within a few days.” Almost a year has now passed since Johnson adopted the LeMay-Goldwater-Power-Nixon thesis and began to bomb the North, but the only visible result has been increased infiltration. Instead of a slow trickle of Southerners heading home for guerrilla war, full North Vietnamese regiments now appear in the South. Blackmail by bombardment—the new euphemism for it, in the words of our current U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General McConnell, is “strategic persuasion”5—has failed. Instead of giving the President “a heavily flexible tool,” as General McConnell blandly phrases it, “in inducing North Vietnam eventually to accept his offer of unconditional discussions,” strategic bombardment has galvanized North Vietnam into greater and more open aid to the Southern insurgents. Strategic bombing in the South—the use of sledgehammers against gnats—has also proved a failure, as shown by the mounting number and size of Vietcong attacks. Though General McConnell is still calling these B-52 saturation bombings “highly effective” they run counter to anti-guerrilla experience in the Philippines, Malaya, and Algeria. The Air Force’s own most experienced antiguerrilla expert, General Lansdale—reputedly the Quiet American of Graham Greene’s novel about Indochina, and now an advisor to Ambassador Lodge—has protested in vain that indiscriminate area bombing only increases a civilian bitterness which facilitates Vietcong recruitment. The reader of LeMay’s story would never guess such vital problems are raised by his brutal quickie proposals.

What if our escalating military action against North Vietnam, like invasion of North Korea, is followed by Chinese intervention? Will LeMay, Nixon, and Goldwater then advocate the bombing of China—and of Russia if it aids China—in a giddy logical progression that Herblock, in a recent cartoon, brilliantly called “Total Peace Through Total Victory Through Total World Blowup”? Here again Mission With LeMay is far from candid. No one would guess from it how basic to Air Force thinking is the idea of the first strike and of preventive war. The first explicit though hitherto almost unnoticed formulation of these strategies may be found as early as 1947 in Air Campaigns of the Pacific War, a book the Air Force published because it did not like the U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey with its downgrading of airpower.6 A section of this book is called “Keeping the American Public Informed With Respect to the Danger of Accepting the First Blow in a Future War.” This sets forth a new definition of what constitutes an act of war:

We must recognize [it says] that an overt act of war has been committed by an enemy when that enemy builds a military force intended for our eventual destruction, and that the destruction of that force before it can be launched or employed is defensive action and not aggression…As a nation we must understand that an overt act of war has been committed long before the delivery of that first blow and that the earlier such an overt act is recognized the more effective the defense can be.

Then U.S. Army Infantry Major, now Col., Lawrence J. Legere, Jr., to whose unpublished 1950 Harvard Ph. D. thesis we owe this revealing quotation, comments, “Whatever this unique concept is, it is not international law. It may be an example of the kind of reasoning Hitler used to justify his wars of aggression.” It is also the rationale for the kind of “preventive” blow at China and its nuclear installations LeMay and the Air Force favor. McNamara’s warnings to last December’s meeting of the NATO Council about China’s coming nuclear power may give them new support. McNamara, like Stimson, could find his military instruments running away with him.

The pages in Mission With LeMay which discuss preventive war against Russia verge on self-caricature in their light-minded shallowness. LeMay says that there was a time in the period before the Russians got the Bomb and their achievement of a stockpile, when we could have destroyed all of Russia “without losing a man to their defenses. The only losses incurred would have been the normal accident rate for the number of flying hours which would have been flown to do the job.” This assurance that we would not have lost a single plane begins to sound like something out of Doctor Strangelove. So does LeMay’s idea that America could then have said to Russia, ” ‘Here’s a blueprint for your immediate future. We’ll give you a deadline of five or six months’—something like that—’to pull out of the satellite countries, and effect a complete change of conduct. You will behave your damn selves from this moment forth.’ ” It is hard to believe that this is not satirical fiction: General Turgidson at work and play. All through the years to which LeMay refers, he was sounding the alarms on Capitol Hill; we were in danger of being overrun by Russian hordes; we were woefully short of bombers and later of missiles. He and his supporters were the ultimate source of the imaginary bomber gap and the equally imaginary missile gap. Now he tells us we could have smashed all Russia even before the missile age without losing a single plane. He even says one “might argue whether it would be desirable to present such a challenge to the Russians, even at this [1965] stage.” Obviously he thinks we have enough now to put Russia in the reformatory by ultimatum.

The strangest aspect of LeMay’s story is his detachment. While he is ready to bomb almost anybody, he really seems to hate almost nobody—nobody, that is, among America’s national enemies, past, present, or future. Their destruction is his job, the occasion for demonstrating his abilities. This is no winged warrior, with blood-lust in his veins, as in the ancient Sagas; no young Mussolini thrilling to the red flowers that spring from the Ethiopian earth as the bombs fall from his plane. He even has words of praise for Mao Tse-tung and his ready cooperation in helping U.S. fliers downed over Chinese Communist territory during World War II. If he ever gets his chance to blow Mao to Kingdom Come, it will be with no hard feelings whatsoever.

What LeMay really hates, with an abiding and never slaked passion, is first and above all the U.S. Navy. If war were the product only of hate and not of institutional patterns, it is the Navy the Strategic Air Command would strike some black night in swift preventive action before those “web-footed” (a favorite phrase of LeMay’s) so-and-so’s could get more money out of Congress for contraptions the Air Force regards as useless and competitive. Russia is a necessary anti-hero in the Air Force’s dramaturgy, but the Navy is Enemy No. 1 from of old. This sibling feud began with the bomber vs. battleship controversy; one of its earliest episodes was the trial “bombing” of the battleship Utah three years before World War II. LeMay’s account hints darkly at “perfidious tactics” in the War Department through which enemy spies, naval spies that is, obtained advance information on the Air Force’s plans in that test. Hate and suspicion of the Navy appear and reappear as the darkest thread in his story. This is because, short of abolishing the Navy altogether, it has to have its own aircraft in support of its traditional functions. Planes must protect surface ships, provide them with reconnaissance, supply them with firepower in battles against other ships, hunt out submarines, and lay mines. The Army, too, could use its own tactical air forces; both the Russians and the Germans, in different ways, effectively provided close support planes under the direction of the ground commander. But the U.S. Army gave up its fight to control its own tactical arm long ago and clings only to its helicopters. The Navy, on the other hand, not only refused to throw in the sponge but hit the Air Force an unforgivable blow in developing the carrier, a floating air base with its own planes. This ended the Air Force dream of controlling all military aviation, and made peaceful coexistence between Air Force and Navy unthinkable.

LeMay’s other unforgivable enemy is McNamara. For LeMay no ideological difference could be deeper than their dispute over the manned bomber. But the inexorable logic of industrial society and the airpower it spawned are against LeMay. The rise of airpower has from the beginning injected the idea into warfare that the machine was more important than the man. But the supersonic speed and enormous complexity of modern combat airplanes have reduced the pilot to a relatively minor cog in a machine. As McNamara said in giving the death blow three years ago to LeMay’s last great bomber project, the B-70, the bomber has become a manned missile with “none of the advantages or flexibility generally attributed to manned bombers.” Their flight has to be directed from the ground in “pre-planned attack against previously known targets,” a mission better performed by the swifter and simpler unmanned missile. LeMay, by the strange reversal of events, has come to seem a Don Quixote in his old age, as he has seen more and more of his airmen go underground like moles to tend missiles. Billy Mitchell envisaged pilots as a new chivalric order of the air; they have instead become sitters for panels of pushbuttons. Yet while LeMay despises McNamara as a factory manager, he himself reveals throughout his story the attitudes not so much of a warrior as of a great industrial expert, albeit in demolition. The machine molded him and the machine threatens to replace him—and the machine, like the policies he advocates, lacks mind and heart.

But this tough old troglodyte is not through yet. The whole Air Force drive in Vietnam is to transform the war we can’t win to a war we might; from a war for the loyalties of the Vietnamese people into a war to destroy them; this is giving the obsolete B-52 its last murderous gasp over South Vietnam’s jungles and rice paddies. There is also China, weak and with only a few atom bombs. The Air Force recognizes the mutual stand-off in its relations with the Soviet Union, but its Strategic Air Command hungers for a last chance against China. LeMay in retirement, unmuzzled, could be more dangerous than when he was Air Force Chief of Staff. The delusion of an easy victory-by-airpower may yet bog us down like the Japanese in endless land war with mankind’s most numerous and enduring people. This is the danger.

Including the Manned Bomber

“In theory, as industry through its unique competitive and free enterprise system, quantitatively and qualitatively surpassed the state-controlled industries of a totalitarian nation, a military service would benefit and should expect to be equipped with the latest and best weapons systems…Experience, however, points out real pitfalls, for industry competing for dollars will insist that its products be used long after they become obsolete. Lobbies and pressure groups will insist on a continued investment in those systems, even though the best interests of the country and the service concerned is not being served.”

—Lt. Gen. James M. Gavin in War and Peace in the Space Age (1958)

United They Stood

“Air Force Chief LeMay acknowledged that he would have opposed the [nuclear test ban] treaty had it not already been initialed; and his Strategic Air Command General Thomas Power flatly denounced it…The Air Force Association, composed of military, former military and defense contractors, came out against it.”

Kennedy, by Theodore C. Sorensen

What Our B-52s Accomplish in Vietnam

“When the military opens fire at long range, whether by infantry weapons, artillery or air strikes, on a reported Viet Cong concentration in a hamlet or village full of civilians, the Vietnamese officers who give those orders and the American advisers who let them ‘get away with it’ are helping defeat the cause of freedom. The civilian hatred of the military resulting from such actions is a powerful motive for joining the Viet Cong.”

—Major General Edward G. Lansdale, USAF (ret.) in Foreign
, October, 1964

Advice the Air Force Ignores in Vietnam

Air Commander P.E. Warcup, CBE, RAF commander of the RAF at Kuala Lumpur, 1957-59: “If you let the military—I always use the word ‘military’ in the broadest sense—if you let the military run riot, so to speak, you will probably do more harm than good by getting the local populace against you…It would be no good banging away with bombs, rockets or 20-mm cannons unless you knew exactly what you were doing…not destroying life and property that otherwise might be on your side…”

Brigadier Gen. Russell W. Volckmann USA (ret.) who commanded the U.S. Armed Forces in the Philippines, North Luzon, from 1942 through the liberation in 1945, when our forces were guerrillas being hunted by the Japanese regulars: “Of course, being on the receiving end of these air strikes in the Philippines, I can’t remember ever suffering one casualty in three years from an air strike…As a matter of fact the air strikes put on us helped us more than they did the Japanese. They brought more people to our side because they killed civilians.”

Commodore Warcap: “There you are. I don’t think that can be said too often in this type of war.”

—Symposium in The Role of Airpower in Counterinsurgency and
Unconventional Warfare: The Malayan Emergency
, prepared for US Air Force Project Rand, Memo RM-3651-PR July 1963.

This Issue

January 20, 1966