Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century: A Basic Primer by Clayton K. S. Chun

By Clayton K. S. Chun

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NATO a i r f o r c e s a l s o a t t a c k e d a n u m b e r o f o t h e r targets that affected the living conditions of the Serbian popu lace. This action may have added internal pressure on the Serbian leaders to accede to NATO’s demands by creating public dissension among the Serbian populace and reducing the c o u ntry’s war-making capacity. Another mission that aerospace forces can readily accomplish is decapitation . , its military and population). A single jet bomber might destroy a telecommunications center, thus preventing the enemy leader from transmitting vital commands to his forces and his nation’s citizens.

Aerospace theories may include a complete theory on all aspects of aerospace operations or a single segment, like strategic-bombardment theory. Regardless of the level of theory, a discussion of how the element of aerospace power is defined in terms of its role in military operations, its basic propositions, and its effects on the battlefield is paramount. A complete aerospace power theory should address what a i r c r a f t a n d s p a c e s y s t e m s c a n c o n t r i b u t e t o m i l i t a r y o p e r a37 AEROSPACE POWER IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY tions and how a commander should employ those forces in combat.

The United States built its land-based air forces around the long-range strategic bomber. 2 Other nations, like Germany, followed a different path by develop ing an air force designed to support ground forces. After the war, the United States geared much of its air force to support nuclear operations. Airpower theory had an influential grip on the development and capabilities of fighting forces. In the fu ture, revolutionary ideas and theories about space power may result in new organizations, methods of fighting, and relations 38 AEROSPACE POWER THEORY among services, as well as determine the n u m b e r o f r e s o u r c e s available to apply in the next war.

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