Air Force Role in Five Crises, 1958-1965: Lebanon, Taiwan, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic [excised]   [open pdf - 4MB]

"The year 1968 saw aircraft dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean in support of the landing of U.S. troops in Lebanon and then across the Pacific during the Taiwan crisis. Two years later USAF transports deployed to assist a United Nations (U.N) force which undertook to restore order in the Congo. The discovery in 1962 that Soviet missiles were emplaced in Cuba triggered a major crisis during which the Air Force initiated an extensive force deployment within the United States and ordered its worldwide tactical and strategic units on war alert. Finally, in 1965 the Air Force supported deployment of an airborne force that had the mission of preventing the Dominican Republic from becoming another Cuba. In each crisis, the Air Force role differed somewhat. The 1958 Lebanon episode drew upon the service's fighter and transport strength, as did the Taiwan crisis that year, which challenged certain USAF assumptions regarding the use of nuclear weapons to halt aggression. During the Congo operation […] the Air Force role was limited to providing air transportation. In contrast, the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba led to a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia, which called into play USAF tactical and strategic forces […]. Strategic power, however, had little direct influence during the Dominican turmoil, where once again the Air Force made its contribution by transporting men and supplies. Despite these differences, there are some generalizations that can be drawn from the five separate crises. These are discussed in the final chapter."

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