Document created: 6 February 03
Air University Review, March-April 1977

Correlation of Forces

 Revolutionary Legacy

Major Richard E. Porter

The correlation of world forces has changed fundamentally in favor of socialism and to the detriment of capitalism. 1

General Yevdokim Yeogovich Mal`Tsev

AN examination of the contemporary Soviet press indicates that the old revolutionary concept of "correlation of forces" (COF) is back in fashion. One Soviet author has gone to the extreme of calling it the center of the current ideological struggle.2 Certainly COF has been in vogue before, signaling some new departure or setback in Soviet policy. This time, however, the connotations are different, and a fresh look at the COF concept is warranted.

COF is a Soviet approximation of our concept of "balance of power"--an approximation because there is no Russian equivalent to our rather inclusive meaning of "power."3 The Russians use the words sootnoshenie sil to relate this concept. These two words can be correctly translated as "correlation of forces," "relation of forces," or "relationship of forces"--all convey the idea of a relationship or distribution of power.4

The Russian meaning of COF has an ideological flavor that makes it unique as a "balance of power" concept. The purpose of this article is to determine the Soviet meaning of COF, discover its philosophical and historical origins, and survey its significance in contemporary Soviet defense and foreign policy decision-making.

Several dilemmas defy resolution and cast a shadow of speculation over the entire endeavor in undertaking this task. First, there is a paucity of factual information about Soviet decision-making; second, there is no way of separating the COF concept from the total Marxist-Leninist package; and third, it is never possible to distinguish a boundary between the ideological motivations and the pragmatic motivations of Soviet decision-making.

concept defined

. . . who is to calculate and ultimately judge the correctness of calculation, and by what specific criteria is the relation of forces to be deter mined precisely enough to be "scientific". . . ?


The meaning of COF in an ideological sense is straightforward: " . . . the calculation of the relation of class forces is the basic scientific analysis which guides policy making."6 That it is based on class forces fulfills the ideological requirements but does little to explain COF's practical application. Truthfully, there is no criterion for applying the COF concept to contemporary decision-making, nor do the Soviets seriously suggest that one exists. We do know that theoretically the concept entails a "totality" of considerations that far exceed our own more narrow view of "balance of power." But vagueness still remains because these considerations are themselves defined generally as political, economic, military, social, and psychological factors.

Raymond Garthoff, a prominent American observer of Soviet policy, summarized the COF concept in 1951 in terms that are still valid:

The calculation of the relation of forces is a most convenient means for internally and externally rationalizing the interpretation of Marxian ideology in pure power terms. 7

Because of the ideological corollaries attached to it, the COF concept has utility as well as expediency. Because it deals with the relations of forces in Marxist-Leninist terms, it is "scientific." Therefore, the concept represents the only correct calculation at a given point in historical time. The theory is infallible, so the burden of correctness rests with the calculators. The Soviets are very sensitive about miscalculating. An underestimation of the enemy's true strength can lead to "adventurism" or actions incurring unwarranted risks; an overestimation of the enemy's strength can lead to "opportunism" or a failure to seize a gain, which a correct calculation of the COF would have permitted.8 Accurately perceiving the correct COF is the first fundamental concern of Soviet decision-makers.

The COF concept is dynamic because history is dynamic. While the long-term progression of revolutionary forces favors socialism, the short-term progression toward that goal can be "tidal." To use the tidal ebbs and flows effectively; the Soviet decisionmaker must continually assess the COF.

Once the COF is correctly calculated, there is a requirement for some appropriate action. If the calculation is favorable, then the appropriate tactical action is that which will advance the Soviet cause without generating undue strategic risk. 9 Strategic risks are those that endanger the Soviet state or the party's rule. If the calculation is unfavorable, then retreat or defensive action is appropriate. 10 This is a temporary condition to gain time so the offensive can be reassumed when the revolutionary tide changes.

Finally, to some undefined degree, COF is manipulable. The manipulable limits themselves are dependent on the current COF, particularly in regard to the strength of the opposing forces. But the main mover is history; measurable changes due to the deeds of men are only achieved with great sacrifice.11

From these corollaries, it is evident that the components of the COF concept are the Soviet planner's perception and appropriate action. The utility of the concept is that it embroiders decision-making with ideological legitimacy without in any way restricting or confining it. Perception is blessed with ideological correctness, and action is tempered by pragmatic necessity. Consequently, Soviet decision-making within the COF context is not a synthesis of perception and action but a resolution of two fundamentally different historical experiences--one from the revolutionary period and the other from the two decades immediately after. The true nature of this hybrid is more apparent when we examine its philosophical and historical origins.

philosophical and historical origins

We must not wait! We may lose everything! . . . History will not forgive delay by revolutionists who could be victorious today (and will surely be victorious today), while they risk losing much tomorrow, they risk losing all. (Lenin's message initiating the Russian Revolution of Nov. 6, 1917.) 12

The origins of the COF concept trace back to Marxian philosophy and the revolutionary experience. Communists believe that history progresses in accordance with certain scientific laws. Marxian philosophy gives them a "scientific" key that when applied to history allows them to see its ultimate destiny: the collapse of capitalism and the eventual triumph of Communism.13 History is a dynamic phenomenon based on a continual dialectic synthesis of a host of contradicting phenomena (matter), which quantitatively build toward revolutionary intensity accompanied by violent leap to a qualitatively new stage of economic and social organization.14 Marx highlighted economic contradictions as the key motivators of social change, but the theory is inclusive of all historical phenomena.

Marx left to the revolutionary agitator the essential tools for his work. In the "predetermined end," he constituted the "revolutionary myth," so essential if a revolutionary believer is to become a revolutionary actor. In the dynamic view of history and in the onerous burden of correctly perceiving it, he left to an enlightened vanguard the legitimate right to seize power.

The early revolutionaries had a propensity to meddle with the predetermined course of history, but the emphasis was more on perceiving the revolutionary moment. Among the early socialists there developed a deep historical consciousness, which characterizes the perceptive outlook of these movements even today. Except for Mao Tse-tung, no one has had a greater role in shaping revolutionary doctrine than Lenin. One of the great tactical geniuses of history, he turned Marx's philosophy into a guide for action. Because Lenin was the first of many subsequent Soviet leaders who were both Marxist and Russian, it is with him that the boundary between ideological commitment and Russian pragmatism in Soviet decision-making is eternally blurred.

In contrast to most Marxists, Lenin saw revolution not so much as a spontaneous "happening" but an orchestrated event. There was a momentum to revolution that could be only sustained by continuous appropriate action. If men in a hurry could not alter history's fate, they could at least accelerate it. Indeed, for the sake of the world proletariat, they say they are committed to do so. It is in this light that Lenin made two very important innovations in revolutionary thought-one of tactical objective and one of organization.

Lenin emphasized the class struggle at the national more than at the international level, the idea being that to seize power in one nation at a time is more practical and expedient than relying totally on the revolutionary tide. He saw Russia as the country most pregnant with revolution, not because she was in an advanced state of capitalistic contradiction but because she was the weakest link of the imperial system.15 Thus, by narrowing the tactical objective, Lenin made revolution more manageable for a properly organized elite.

In orchestrating revolution, Lenin considered a centralized and disciplined organization essential. A movement of squabbling intellectuals and college professors was incapable of keeping abreast of and properly exploiting a fast-moving revolutionary situation. There was too much debate with too few decisions. If the chaos of revolution was to be increased and yet channeled into the seizure of power, instantaneous evaluations of the rapidly changing historical situation had to be made and exploited.

Appropriate action one day might be totally inappropriate the next. Under the title of Bolsheviks, Lenin centralized his revolutionary organization and manned it with a highly dedicated and disciplined elite. The elite as the vanguard of the proletariat could legitimately assess the changing situation and then act accordingly with minimum delay or reservation. It is here that the COF concept of a composite of perception and appropriate action took shape.

SINCE MEN could only hasten the fate of history, appropriate action was tactical action. Here was the strength of Lenin's revolutionary doctrine; it could exploit the strategic weakness of the state without having to defend any of its own. Revolutionary action was purely offensive and continually sought the "weakest link" In his article "Guerrilla Warfare," Lenin defined appropriate action as any action, including lying, cheating, murder, and robbery.16 All were ethical and moral if they accelerated the end of capitalism.

The successful seizure of power in Russia by the Communists canonized the COF concept. Although the Bolsheviks concede that their triumph occurred during a period of great revolutionary flow, they attribute much to their correct assessments of the historical situation and subsequent appropriate actions. During the Revolution, the COF concept functioned as an electrical switch that allowed decision-making current to flow from the ideological reservoir directly into revolutionary action. The true hybrid nature of COF emerged from the Bolsheviks' new role as defenders of the state and the accommodations necessary to defend, maintain, and consolidate their power. Unlike the Chinese, who seized power from expanding secure bases, the Bolsheviks' doctrine was purely tactical and devoid of any considerations of defending territory or of functioning as a government. As in all victorious revolutions, the initial reaction was to regard professional armies as bourgeoisie and unnecessary.17 But Lenin and his cohorts were too astute to be totally swept away by revolutionary enthusiasm. Seizing power did not necessarily mean holding it. Holding power required a professional army and time to establish it. These considerations called for some fundamental changes in revolutionary decision-making.

In order to gain time, the Bolsheviks emphasized the concept of tactical retreat as a result of an unfavorable calculation of COF. The idea was not to abandon the revolutionary commitment to the offensive but to bridle it with newly acquired strategic interests. The regime had to go on the defensive temporarily to consolidate its power if it was to survive and fight another day. The Brest Litovsk treaty, which gave much of the productive part of Russia to the Germans, was sold to the party leftists as the appropriate action in light of the current unfavorable COF.18 Ideology consequently blessed and obscured the true expediency of the decision.

The establishment of the Red Army vividly demonstrated how expeditiously the decision-making model could be altered without affecting its ideological purity. A party debate arose over the question of accepting extsarist officers (class enemies of the proletariat) into the new Red Army. The rhetoric was heated, but the officers were eventually brought in. Lenin and Trotsky came to realize that traditional war had its own set of rules and expertise.19 While the party stripped the army of its tsarist trappings and strengthened its overall control, it left the army's doctrine essentially in tact.20 The army continued to look to Clausewitz, Russian geography, and historical experience for its strategic outlook--an outlook that was and remains defensive, cautious, and insecure rather than offensive, reckless, and optimistic.

To the army, unbridled revolutionary action generated unacceptable anxiety and had to be confined. Since the army was the basis of Soviet power, its wishes were never seriously challenged. The true hybrid nature of the COF concept as a composite is now apparent: an inclusive assessment to determine the weakest links and then take appropriate actions to exploit them. Actions based on a favorable calculation of COF are confined within specific strategic limits, limits, which allow for temporary tactical gains at a minimum strategic risk. If the calculation is unfavorable, then tactical action requires even greater caution with the major emphasis (as described earlier) on retreat, consolidation, and further preparation.

In summary the COF concept was shaped in the Revolutionary period and the years shortly after. From the revolutionary experience, there are commitments to the offensive, continuous struggle, the totality of struggle, and continuous assessment of the historical situation. Of special note, from this period comes the rationalization that MarxismLeninism "scientifically develops" or can be reinterpreted to fit the changing historical situation.21 From the post-Revolutionary period comes the pragmatic reshaping of decision-making in accordance with new-found strategic considerations. The survival of the COF concept as a useful decision-making tool stems directly from its adaptability to the new strategic situation. But more than an adaptation, COF became a link, a two-way switch that allowed decision-making current to seek resolution between fundamentally different interests before manifesting itself in appropriate action.

contemporary Soviet defense and foreign policy decision-making

Therefore, insufficient attention to military technology, to its study and mastery, any underestimation whatsoever of its significance, is tantamount to a total misunderstanding of the character of future war.


From the post-Revolutionary period or at least from World War II onward, it is no easier to draw substantive conclusions about the impact of ideology on Soviet decision-making. The paucity of information remains, but we know enough now, largely through our own greater efforts, to make some astute guesses. For example, we know that today the Soviet bureaucracy is not the Stalinist monolith that it used to be. We even suspect that it contains many of the competitive processes of decision-making that characterize our own.23 This is not to suggest that the Soviet bureaucracy functions in the same way.

In this section we will survey Soviet defense posture and foreign policy in the years since World War II to see if ideology, with emphasis on the COF concept, has had a significant impact on decision-making. In discussing defense posture, one often finds it convenient to break it into strategic thought and force posture.

Except for defining the overall goal, it appears that ideology has played only a small, direct role in shaping current Soviet strategic thought. Garthoff suggests a possible exception for the period immediately after World War II. He feels that Stalin was preoccupied at this time with capitalist encirclement and the ideological conviction that the "inevitable clash" between socialism and capitalism was about to take place. He uses this interpretation to explain Soviet postwar moves to consolidate their wartime territorial and economic gains, seize Czechoslovakia, and aggravate Western alliances and relations.24 Garthoff makes a good case for this interpretation, but so does Geoffrey Jukes for the interpretation that Soviet strategic thought through this period reflected a very logical and pragmatic response to the changing strategic situation. 25 Jukes sees the development of Soviet strategic thought motivated by a lack of "global reach" brought about by the new found superiority of the United States in nuclear weapons and bombers. The Soviets found themselves a regional power confronted by a global one. The United States could strike them, but they could not strike back. The Soviets emphasized the role of the army and downgraded the significance of the atom bomb, not because they had ideological "hangups" but because the army was their only means of defense. The calculation of COF was very unfavorable, so the appropriate action was to camouflage weakness and buy time until the technological gap could be closed. Consequently, the Soviets' strategic thought since World War II simply reflected their perceived strategic weakness and their efforts to integrate new weapons properly into their defense posture.

The exponential increase in firepower, range, and speed that has characterized this entire period has been the creative force of Soviet strategic thought. Today nuclear weapons and their carriers are central to Soviet military power. Their proper construction and use have influenced decision-making processes in the areas of strategy, force posture, economic organization, and foreign policy. 26

Strategic equivalence has not been achieved at the expense of the traditional forces but is a supplement to them. Despite some setbacks under Khrushchev and some notable reductions in manpower, the ground force's prestige remains traditionally high. Clausewitz is still the guiding light, and belief in the Soviet Army as the final arbiter of war still persists.

If the COF concept had any specific part to play in the postwar development of strategic thought, it was in assessing the overall strategic relationship in favor of the United States and providing the Soviets with an overriding goal: the immediate rectification of their strategic weakness. The response like the required assessment has been inclusive. More than just an effort to match hardware, the Soviets have sought to exploit any weakness that would either impair further development of American strategic forces or undermine our will to employ them.

In surveying the COF role in force posture, we appropriately focus on hardware because it is here that the Soviets are doing some of their most critical decision-making. To the Soviets the key to "peaceful" struggle is in technology and the weapons it can produce. The means of rectifying the strategic imbalance in this area is achieved only by shrewd judgments and correct decisions.

What we know of this decision-making is perhaps too much a reflection of our own experiences. Some Soviet scholars suggest that such a reflective approach leads to gross misjudgments. 27 While this consideration warrants caution, it does not necessarily invalidate such an approach. Despite its uniqueness, the Soviet bureaucracy (like our own) is still required to solve some very complicated technological problems. The answers to these problems lie in careful study and staffing rather than ideology.

Ultimately major decision-making in this area falls to the Communist Party oligarchy. It firmly exercises its responsibility through personal relationships, the party apparatus, and government agencies. Today the party is putting a high premium on technical expertise. Sophisticated weapons demand sophisticated management and leadership. Today's party leaders, unlike those of the early Stalinist era, are appointing military generals who are professionally and technically competent as well as politically reliable. 28 Fifty percent of the members of the Politburo have technical backgrounds; in the Central Committee the figure rises to seventy-five percent. 29

At present no defined science of military management has been identified, but it is apparent that the Soviets are experimenting with and using operational research techniques similar to our own. 30 Because of developmental lead times, they have dropped the Five-Year Plan criteria and have extended their planning to as much as fifteen years. Under such conditions, ideology appears to play little role in determining Soviet force posture. Recent intelligence suggests that many of the new "technocrats" (both in and out of the military) who occupy the lower levels of the bureaucratic hierarchy even consider ideology a nuisance and detrimental to sound decision-making. 31

In the development of weapon systems, the role of COF appears comparable to our own efforts to make the best choice. It is logical that COF, with its revolutionary origins, would not be a significant aid in choosing missile X over missile Y. The considerations here are not so much of exploiting short-term weaknesses but of achieving long-term strengths. Because of resource investment required and the time involved, something more empirically scientific than Marxism Leninism is required.

On a day-to-day basis, the ideological aspect of the COF concept has been most visible in the area of foreign policy decision-making. It is here that the revolutionary commitment to action and continuous struggle is most clearly perceived. Soviet foreign policy operates on two levels: in the tactical sense it supports the world socialist movement; in the strategic sense it operates directly in support and within the boundaries of state interests. 32 Again, this is but a reflection of the COF concept: inclusive assessment to determine the weakest links and taking appropriate actions to exploit them.

That the interests of the world revolution and the Soviet state have not always been compatible became immediately apparent to the Soviets when their first diplomatic mission to Germany was sent home for combining subversion with diplomacy. To deal with this contradiction, the Soviets attempted a "fix" by establishing the Comintern, later followed by the Cominform. These organizations were tasked with the responsibility of looking after the world revolution while the Soviet diplomats tended to state interests. As an independent body representing the world proletariat, the Comintern would have total tactical freedom to advance the socialist revolution by whatever action the current historical situation dictated. To the Soviet's dismay, the capitalist countries never viewed this as anything but deceit. Both the Comintern and the Cominform (abolished in 1956) were a continuous irritant to Soviet diplomatic efforts. 33 That they substantially advanced world revolution is a matter of debate.

While Soviet foreign policy was tasked to act on behalf of world revolution, it could do so only at some strategic risk. The calculation of the COF since 1945 has remained unfavorable due to American nuclear superiority. Foreign policy initiatives have thus been undertaken in the context that perceived tactical gains must not incur unacceptable strategic risks. Studies of the Soviets' willingness to take risks in the post-World War II period indicate that overall they have been quite conservative.34 The more serious the crisis the more cautious they become. When they have made serious misjudgments (the Cuban crisis being a memorable example), they have ultimately backed away when their strategic interests demanded it.

Ideology has never given Soviet foreign policy any problem of flexibility whether the current fashion was inevitable war, peaceful coexistence, or dtente. But how does one resolve the question of where Ideological considerations end and those of realpolitik begin in Soviet decision-making? Professional diplomacy based on realpolitik is clearly visible in Soviet foreign policy, and a case can be made that ideology is but a carapace of self-righteousness. 35 But the difference here is one of intent and means. The intent of Soviet foreign policy is not to sustain the international order but to upset it. The means are not only diplomacy but any tool--espionage, deceit, negotiation, assassination, propaganda--which will sustain the momentum and advance either the world revolution or the state's interests.

Peaceful coexistence, penetration of the Middle East, SALT I and II, and detente are all attempts to exploit the weakest links--to alter the overall strategic balance by a host of seemingly minor tactical actions. That this revolutionary approach of assessment and appropriate action has quickened the pace of history toward its rendezvous with socialism is unknown, but it has yielded the Soviets great benefits over the last six decades. Today "backward" Russia's influence extends throughout the world to a degree undreamed of by even the most visionary tsars.

The Marxist-Leninist theory must not be regarded as a collection of dogmas, as a catechism, as a symbol of faith, and the Marxists themselves as pedants and dogmatists . . . as a science it does not stand still, but develops and perfects itself. 36

Eventually one must ask the question: If the COF appears to play no major role in the decision-makers' daily attempt to determine appropriate action, why do the Soviets continue to imply that it does? The answer is that the COF concept is both useful and necessary. Within the concept there is inherent optimism: in the end socialism will triumph. National setbacks or seemingly divergent actions are not deviations from historical course but temporary tactical actions based on the current COF. In this sense, the Soviets always win and never lose. For those who have contested the validity of a particular decision, the attachment of the term "COF" is the signal that debate is over. The decision is now the "scientifically" correct one.

The COF concept is one of the Soviets' few remaining revolutionary standards. The Soviets are sensitive to charges by the New Left that they are no longer "revolutionary" and by the Chinese that they are massive revisionists. The COF commitment to appropriate action, not the status quo, is essential to the Soviets' "revolutionary" image. That the COF concept is dynamic gives credence to the claim that Marxism-Leninism is also dynamic. Soviet ideology, consequently, is not revisionist; it is only more "scientifically developed" than its Chinese counterpart.

The COF concept allows for complete freedom of decision-making within an ideological context. There is no public criticism, no public debate, no real ethical restraint, and no outside accountability. 37 In this sense the COF concept is a necessity. Despite their preoccupation with state interests, the legitimacy of the Soviet regime and its right to monopolize power is in its ideology. The COF concept is an electrical grid in which a myriad of functionally conceived and independently constructed circuits are instantaneously connected to the ideological power source.

COF has never been just fashionable rhetoric. It is not a static label to be carelessly thrown around but a dynamic link between the Soviets and their revolutionary heritage--a link that eternally commits them to monitor the pulse of history and exploit it and a link that must be perceived and understood by the West. Today the Soviets, with their sensitive nose for historical trends, perceive that something significant has happened--something qualitative not quantitative.38 In the narrower language of Bismarck, the "balance of power" has been favorably altered. In the language of Marx, the revolutionary tide, which has ebbed for too long, is at last beginning to flow. What will be the new appropriate action?

Hurlburt Field, Florida


1. Yevdokim Yegorovich Mal'tsev, "Leninist Concepts of the Defense of Socialism," Strategic Review, Winter 1975, p. 99.

2. G. Shakhnazarov, "On the Problem of Correlation of Forces in the World," Strategic Review, Fall 1974, p. 109.

3. Raymond L. Garthoff, "The Concept of the Balance of Power in Soviet Policy Making," World Politics, October 1951, p. 87.

4. Ibid., p. 88.

5. Ibid., p. 93.

6. Ibid., p. 90.

7. Ibid., p. 95.

8. Ibid., p. 92.

9. Raymond L. Garthoff, Soviet Military Doctrine (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1953), p. 91.

10. Garthoff, World Politics, p. 100.

11. Raymond L. Garthoff, Soviet Military Policy (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966), p. 85.

12. Merle Fainsod, "Bolshevik Organization and Strategy Brought Victory," in The Russian Revolution and Bolshevik Victory: Why and How, edited by Arthur E. Adams (Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1972), p. 98.

13. Benjamin W. Tarwater, "Communist Strategy and Tactics," unpublished Master of Arts thesis, Stanford University, 1956, p. 1.

14. Ibid., p. 7.

15. Ibid., p. 20.

16. V. I. Lenin, "Guerrilla Warfare," Guerrilla Warfare and Marxism, edited by William J. Pomeroy (New York: International Publishers, 1973), pp. 84-94.

17. Geoffrey Jukes, The Development of Soviet Strategic Thinking since 1945 (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1972), p. 3.

18. Garthoff, Soviet Military Policy, p. 71.

19. Garthoff, Soviet Military Doctrine, p. 43.

20. Ibid., p. 48.

21. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. "Marxist-Leninist Theory Guided the Party," reprinted from History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (New York, 1939), reprinted in The Russian Revolution and Bolshevik Victory: Why and How, edited by Arthur E. Adams (Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1972), p. 104.

22. Raymond L. Garthoff, The Soviet Image of Future War (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1959), p. 102; (From an article in the Soviet journal, The Military Herald, by Colonel I. Baz, June 1958).

23. Edward L, Warner, "The Military in Contemporary Soviet Politics: An Institution Analysis," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1975, p. 7.

24. Garthoff, Soviet Military Policy, p. 75.

25. Jukes, p. 5.

26. Leon Gour, Foy D. Kohler, and Mose L. Harvey, The Role of Nuclear Forces in Current Soviet Strategy (Miami: University of Miami Press, 1974), p. ix.

27. Ibid., p. x.

28. 439th Military Intelligence Detachment, "Military Decision Making in the Soviet Union," unpublished DOD Report, 1975, p. 6.

29. Ibid., p. 45.

30. Ibid., p. 25.

31. Ibid., p. 7.

32. Garthoff, Soviet Military Policy, p. 66.

33. Ibid.

34. Jan F. Triska, "Pattern and Level of Risk in Soviet Foreign Policy Making, 1945-1963," mimeographed (U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station, California, 1966), p. 49.

35. Garthoff, World Politics, p. 109.

36. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, p. 104.

37. Garthoff, World Politics, p. 105.

38. Shakhnazarov, p. 111.


Major Richard E. Porter (USAFA; M.A., Duke University) is assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida. His flying background encompasses both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He served tours with Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service in both Vietnam and England prior to appointment as an Assistant Professor of History at the Air Force Academy. Major Porter had a short assignment with the Director of Doctrine, Concepts and Objectives, Hq USAF. He is a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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