Earl H. Tilford, Jr.
July 23, 1998
The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Interservice rivalry is a part of the modern American military experience. It seems especially intense in periods when technology advances during times of fiscal plenty and, perhaps, even more intense when rapid technological change takes place at a time of fiscal constraint. With the Revolution in Military Affairs coinciding with declining defense budgets, each of the armed services has presented its vision of what its particular mission and structure should be for the 21st century. Army After Next, Sea Dragon, and Air Force Next all make compelling cases for land power, sea power, and air power.

In this monograph, Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr., analyzes the Halt Phase Strategy/Doctrine currently advocated by the Air Force. As a part of his analysis, the author traces the immediate origins of ÔReport of the Quadrennial Defense Review. Dr. Tilford contends, however, that Halt's real origins are more closely identified with intrinsic Air Force strategic bombing doctrine, and are to be found in strategies associated with atomic and nuclear deterrence and warfighting. Thus, he concludes that Halt is really "new wine in old skins" being presented today more aggressively because of rapid technological advances.


Many will disagree with Dr. Tilford's conclusions, and air power enthusiasts are sure to take exception with him. But the tension generated by opposing points of view is part of how we advance through open and honest debate. In that spirit, I commend to you Halt Phase Strategy: New Wine in Old Skins . . . With Powerpoint.

                         LARRY M. WORTZEL
                         Colonel, U.S. Army
                         Director, Strategic Studies Institute


The defense intellectual community is currently engaged in a heated debate over alternative future strategies. The outcome of this debate may well shape the kind of forces with which the United States will maintain its security well beyond the first quarter of the 21st century. The debate has engaged a broad spectrum of the community and, despite being sometimes advanced by the latest in "Powerpoint" slide briefing techniques, really revolves around old issues surrounding the role of air power and is fostered by the even older motivation of a scramble for limited budget resources. At the center of the debate is a concept called the "Halt Phase Strategy/Doctrine," or more simply, "Halt."


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SOURCE: US Army Strategic Studies Institute