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"America's First Air Battles: Lessons Learned or Lessons Lost?" provides a successful evaluation of Michael Howard's construct that current doctrine is probably wrong, but what matters is the capability of the military to get it right when a particular conflict begins. In the course of this evaluation, Lt. Col. Aldon E. Purdham, Jr. examines several important airpower factors to include familiarity with the nature and geography of the conflict; parity with the adversary, especially in terms of air superiority; command and control of air assets, especially in interdiction and close air support missions; and the confluence of airpower weapons with doctrine and training. Colonel Purdham filters these airpower factors through three conflicts of the last half-century - Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm - looking as much as possible at the early air operations stages of the conflict. HE concludes that Professor Howard's construct has some validity, but the real world offers alternative conclusions. The reasons the military doctrine seems out of alignment in the early stages of conflict is not because of poorly developed doctrine, but rather quick changes made in national strategy that cannot be perfectly anticipated in doctrinal writing and conferred in training regimes. Ultimately, the greatest lesson seems to be that airpower leadership and doctrinal focus need to have the flexibility to adapt to changing national direction. It helps immensely that our air forces go to war well trained in the way they will fight. The effectiveness of Desert Storm validates this concept. Perhaps the lessons of Operation Iraqi Freedom provide even greater proof.