Well I finished the LeMay book a week ago, or so. Pretty good read, I had very little knowledge of the man prior to this.
As you might guess, war is a central theme of the book. I don't believe there is an official 'LeMay Doctrine,' but if there were, it would be something like, Do not go lightly into a war. Think long and hard. Once in, WIN! And that means doing whatever it takes.
"Whatever it takes" might sound a bit harsh but in LeMay's view the men in charge of prosecuting the war owe it to the people of both sides (but especially his side, of course) to bring about a swift end to hostilities and get back to normal. If this meant bombing cities then so be it. In WWII, especially the last six months of the war against Japan, it meant exactly that.
What it would NOT mean would be 'anything goes.' What's the difference between 'whatever it takes' and 'anything goes'? Efficacy. You might do some pretty horrible things, but you only do them for the positive end of shortening the war. If it takes dropping an Atomic Bomb, or two, you do it. (This is LeMay talking yet.) You do NOT do things that don't promote that end, such as abusing prisoners or allowing your soldiers to 'take liberties' with the other sides' civilians or property. LeMay wasn't actually on the policy side, he was a strategist, but he would NOT have agreed with the Bush/Cheney 'enhanced interrogation' program. Unless he would have been convinced that the program would produce valuable information. Which it never did, nor would he have been so deluded, in my opinion.
The Vietnam War frustrated LeMay in a big way. He could not see any sense in fighting a 'limited war.' Either fight it or don't, he thought, and if you're going to fight it, go all in. There were reasons why the U.S. wouldn't/couldn't do that, in Vietnam and that drove LeMay crazy. Similarly I believe he would be appalled at our Afghanistan policy, or lack thereof. 'Figure out want you want to accomplish, then go about it in the most efficient manner possible.' Anybody think we're doing that?
Next up (already on page 70): Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. See you in a month. ; )