A critique of the Norwegian Air Power Doctrine
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This paper suggests that there is a considerable gap between the air power roles defined in the Norwegian Air Power doctrine and the current capabilities of the RNoAF. While such a gap can be explained in terms of limited budgets, this paper argues that there are conceptual flaws that are just as important. The celebrated manoeuverist approach does not provide for a comprehensive air power theory, which is required in order to optimise the application of air power, and herein there seems to be a misconception of the term “command and control”. Moreover, the doctrine does not seem to account for historical and personal experiences, which are essential in keeping up the momentum on doctrinal issues. The consequence of an inadequate conceptual framework is lack of focus, which in turn results in the doctrine not being sufficiently authoritative. Thus, the discussions on international- and joint operations do not provide officers with the guidance and advice needed to improve operational acumen. The paper argues that these issues have to be dealt with in the next edition, and in that process there should be a stronger interaction between air power theory and air power history when presenting the significance of the different air roles needed to meet declared political objectives.