Guideposts for the United States Military in the Twenty-First Century
Arguably, the rise of air power has been the most significant change in warfare during the twentieth century. While World War II demonstrated the tremendous effect and potential of air power, its proper application was misplaced during the Vietnam War. There, instead of adhering to the basic tenet of air poweremploying it as an indivisible weapon-political and military leaders parceled out air power among various loosely connected campaigns. The indivisibility of air power theory also fell victim to doctrinal battles among the services. Fortunately, the United States military relearned the proper applications of air power during the Persian Gulf War and more recently confirmed it in Operation Allied Force, the American-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) campaign over Kosovo. Kosovo demonstrated that the services had bridged the doctrinal divide and progressed toward doctrinal cohesion. Over the past thirty years, the application of air power has received greater emphasis with respect to its purpose, execution, and lower cost. The results have been most beneficial to the security and freedom of the United States and its friends.. Superior technology has enabled the United States to emphasize quality over quantity, talent over mass, firepower over manpower, and innovation over tradition. We have learned that the complacency of our successes threatens our technological superiority. We have also seen our weapons systems acquisition suffer from a ponderous, nonproductive process that emphasizes cost over value, administration over output, and the separation of operators from engineers. To defeat complacency and regain superiority in acquisition, the Department of Defense implemented a series of management reforms that supported continuous competition, concentrated research and development on high-leverage militarily unique technologies, and broke down the barriers between operators and engineers. The accelerating hardware and software revolutions of the 1990s greatly impact the operational aspects of information management and information warfare. To make them integral elements of the same overall system will require cultural and structural changes as well as significant technology development. The new technology contributes knowledge and speed to the problems of warfare. It answers the basic questions: Where am I? Where are my subordinates? Where is the enemy? Our major difficulties are with information overload and information processing. In addition, because American business and commerce are so heavily dependent on computerized information processing, the nation is highly vulnerable to information warfare. Fortunately, our younger generation is fully up to these demands.
- Paperback | 122 pages
- 177.8 x 254 x 7.11mm | 294.83g
- 20 Feb 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations