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Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment. Francis Bacon wrote of command of the sea that he who has it "is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the Warre as he will," and a similar belief accounts for air power's attractiveness to those who favor modest uses of force overseas.
Statesmen may think that they can use air attacks to engage in hostilities by increments, something ground combat does not permit. Furthermore, it appears that the imminent arrival of so-called nonlethal or disabling technologies may offer an even more appealing prospect: war without casualties. This rise in air power's stock comes from its success in the Persian Gulf War. In the view of some, that conflict represented the opening shot of a fundamental transformation in the nature of warfare, a "military-technical revolution" as the Russians have termed it for more than a decade.
Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney agreed: "This war demonstrated dramatically the new possibilities of what has been called the 'military-technological revolution in warfare. The lopsided struggle with Iraq has already affected the way Americans understand modern war, inducing the ornithological miracle of doves becoming hawks. More than one distinguished commentator who had reservations about aerial bombardment in the Persian Gulf expressed a newfound belief in its utility as a tool of American foreign policy in the Balkans.
Thus, Anthony Lewis of The New York Times wrote during the Persian Gulf War in disgust at the ruin wrought by aerial bombardment, "We should never again tolerate anyone who talks about 'surgical strikes. There is a "straightforward way to apply force" in Bosnia that involves "minimum risk" and provides a course that is not merely right but "clear and doable"--precision air attacks. Many of these individuals came away from the Persian Gulf War with a far healthier respect for air power, believing it had made all the difference.
Indeed it had. To what effect? Of its aircraft, the Iraqi air force lost 33 in the air; approximately perished in hardened aircraft shelters and more than were flown to Iran. The Iraqi air defense system succumbed within days--really, hours--to an extremely sophisticated attack, and it managed to shoot down only a tiny fraction of the attacking aircraft.
The Iraqi electrical grid, oil refineries and most of the telephone and communications system stopped functioning. The Iraqi ground forces in the Kuwait theater attracted the most attention from coalition air forces. Before the ground war began on February 24, the Republican Guard located in the northern part of the theater had lost nearly a quarter of its armor to air attacks, and frontline units had suffered even heavier losses.
Moreover, air power had completely disrupted Iraqi logistics and immobilized the Iraqi army. Aircraft operating around the clock crushed the one attempt by the Iraqis to launch a large-scale operation--the two-division thrust southward that barely got over the Saudi border at the town of Khafji. Although ground action necessarily consummated the final victory for coalition forces, air power had made the final assault as effortless as a wartime operation can be.
The Persian Gulf War has an importance that goes beyond its immediate and considerable effects on politics there. If the claims of air power advocates are correct, the United States has acquired a military edge over conventional opponents comparable to that exercised in by the soldiers of Lord Kitchener against the sword-wielding dervishes of the Sudan. The way would lie open to a reorientation of the defense budget toward an air-dominated force structure.
Was, then, the Persian Gulf War a major departure in the history of warfare, and does it point the way to unshakable American military preeminence? The war saw the first extensive use of some new technologies. The F stealth fighter penetrated the Iraqi radar system safely and secretly. The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, still undergoing testing, detected Iraqi trucks and tanks along highways in Kuwait, and an array of satellites provided unparalleled support to military commanders for intelligence gathering, map-making, communication, navigation, meteorology and missile-launch detection.
Still, the bulk of the work came from much older systems and mundane technologies such as air refueling which was required for three fifths of all combat missions. Most of the weapons used in the Persian Gulf dated back two decades or more.
The airframes of Air Force B and Navy A-6 bombers had seen at least 20 years of active service, although they employed newer electronics. Guided bombs first appeared in the Vietnam War, when American aircraft dropped 4, or so on the Vietnamese communists.
Even modern, first-line aircraft such as the F have been in use for almost a decade. The "military-technical revolution" sparkled in the new systems, but it drew as much on considerably more mature technologies.
The most profound change in military technology, however, was the vast increase in usable and communicable information. This war saw, for example, the first combat use of the Global Positioning System, which allows units to locate their position in three dimensions by a mere press of a button. The Gulf War was the last war in which only one side will have this knowledge. The technology for tapping into the GPS is widespread, easy to use and relatively low cost.
And even if American operators were to attempt limiting access by degrading the GPS satellite signals, a clever enemy could largely circumvent such spoofing. Space-based information gathering systems also churn out vast quantities of information, and even a Third World country, for example, can tap into international weather satellites or buy militarily useful commercial imagery from the French satellite imaging system, commonly known as SPOT.
Conventional warfare depends increasingly on the skillful manipulation of electronically transmitted information. The advantage goes overwhelmingly to combatants who can bring together information from many sources, updating old databases e. Countries such as the United States or, to a lesser extent, Israel have enormous and growing advantages in these areas. In the future, the struggle for information may take the place that the contest for geographic position took in the past.
But the information explosion does not mean, as a casual observer might think, that war will become more transparent to those who conduct it. Clausewitz's "fog of war" may now descend on the battlefield not so much from a paucity of good information as from a plethora of half-knowledge. A fog it remains, however, and it lay heavily over the Persian Gulf War.
Any editor knows that the advent of the personal computer and facsimile machine has prompted authors to fiddle with articles constantly and to submit them at the very last moment. Similarly, the flood of combat information prompts commanders to change targets or tactics at the last moment. In the Gulf War commanders changed one fifth of all missions during the few hours between the time staffs printed the centralized air tasking order and the time aircraft took off.
They made many more changes before the ATO was officially issued and still more after aircraft had left their bases. Sometimes these decisions made sense; other times they did not. In all cases they created great uncertainty among the pilots flying the missions.
Despite the wisdom of proverbs, pictures sometimes lie, or at least deceive. Coalition air planners in Riyadh tried to do their own bomb damage assessment by looking at videotape footage of laser-guided bomb strikes.
Lacking time and, in some cases, experience in photo interpretation , they sometimes misinterpreted what they saw--mistaking an exploding fuel truck or decoy for a mobile missile launcher, for example, or thinking that a bomb bursting on a concrete roof meant that the contents of the building had been destroyed. The short decision times created by modern weapons can also force quick decisions on the basis of electronically gathered information whose ambiguity may not be readily apparent.
The shooting down of an Iranian airliner in by an American naval cruiser is a case in point. Time pressure created by an abundance of data breeds longer-term problems as well. The constant pressure of the data stream, together with the growth of nighttime operations, means that leaders try to keep on top of events at the cost of sleep and acuity.
Combat information increasingly takes the form of abstract representations of reality compiled from multiple sources. It becomes harder to discriminate between different types of information when a distant, anonymous expert or even a machine has done the sifting.
Since the Vietnam War, American generals have decried civilian micro-management of military operations, an indictment only partly warranted but accepted uncritically by politicians as well as soldiers. Today, however, the danger of military micro-management looms much larger. A general in Washington, an admiral in a command ship or a theater commander in rear headquarters may have access to almost the same information as a forward commander, and in some cases more.
Those distant commanders will often succumb to the temptation to manipulate individual units in combat accordingly. Dependence on vast quantities of electronic information, of course, poses certain risks. During the war, pilots complained of having to fly missions without the kind of target graphics they had used in training. In the future, soldiers may become overly dependent on detailed, well-presented and accurate information that simply may not exist in wartime. And as the verisimilitude of computer simulators and war games increases, future warriors may paradoxically find themselves all the more at a loss when the real world differs sharply from a familiar cyberworld.
Furthermore, the more sophisticated and expensive the information gathering system, the greater the premium opponents will put on disabling it with anything from electronic attack to homing missiles.
The payoff for shooting down a state-of-the-art radar surveillance aircraft, for example, will surely attract intense efforts to do so. The Persian Gulf War also demonstrated a trend toward what one might call the speciation--that is, the evolution of distinct families--of munitions. The new munitions can, in theory and often in practice, achieve effects unimaginable with the conventional, high-explosive bomb.
Anti-radiation missiles, for example, not only destroyed Iraqi radars, but intimidated air defense crews from turning them on in the first place. Specially tipped laser-guided bombs punctured hardened aircraft shelters immune to regular high explosives. But as air-delivered munitions have become increasingly specialized in their effects, they have become susceptible to unintentional misuse.
Air campaign planners expected extremely high kill rates against Iraqi armor, for example, based on the use of a scatterable mine, CBU But the projected lethality of CBU relied on calculations made for a war in Europe, fought against Soviet tank armies on the move.
Against static, dug-in Iraqi tanks, CBU had much less to offer. The speciation of munitions brings unusual capabilities, but it also poses the risk of creating forces so specialized that they lack flexibility, and weapons so expensive that commanders will have only slender inventories to use when a war starts. Moreover, "dumb" or at least relatively unintelligent weapons will keep a place. Massive raids by Bs raining down conventional bombs helped crush the morale of Iraqi soldiers and smash the large military-industrial facilities that figured so prominently in Saddam Hussein's aspirations for power.
The successes of the air campaign in the gulf rested almost as much on organizational innovations as on technology. To speak of a revolution in warfare as a purely technological affair is to miss half the significance of the war.
In this respect he embodied a doctrine dear to airmen for half a century: "Control of available air power must be centralized and command must be exercised through the Air Force commander if this inherent flexibility and ability to deliver a decisive blow are to be fully exploited.
In practice, though, Horner's authority had its limits. The Navy controlled maritime air operations, the Marines determined the assignments of their short take-off and landing aircraft plus at least half of their fighter-bombers, while the allies exercised discretion regarding which targets they would attack. Special operations forces--which in effect constitute a fifth armed service--continued to struggle for control of their own air operations.
Horner, directing 1, combat aircraft, had a staggering fleet at his command. Nonetheless, even his gently wielded centralized control elicited suspicion and hostility from officers in other services who feared an Air Force attempt to dominate all aerial warfare. Grudgingly conceding the necessity of a single command center, they argued that in theory it could dilute the synergy of, for example, Marine air and ground forces, and that in practice it proved cumbersome and slow.
The centralized control of air power made for a much more coherent campaign than would otherwise have occurred. But, as officers from the other three services bitterly observed, the centralized control rested overwhelmingly in the hands of Air Force officers. Although the core planning staff, the so-called "Black Hole," included representatives from the Navy, Army and Marine Corps, as well as the British and Saudi air forces, its membership came predominantly from the Air Force.
In theory a joint targeting board should have selected targets; in practice it did very little. Furthermore, much of the inspiration for the Black Hole's targeting decisions came from an Air Force staff in the Pentagon, an organization known as "Checkmate" led by Colonel John Warden, a fervent believer in air power.
Thus, an Air Force staff nominally under Joint Staff auspices dominated the flow of targeting information and proposals to the theater.
To probe beyond these descriptions of Pakistan, Cohen has two purposes in mind. Second, he wants to narrate how the state of Pakistan has evolved into a military-dominated entity that has nuclear capabilities, hostile relations with its neighbours and is characterized by weak economic institutions and socio-political strife. He argues that to make such an accusation one needs a nuanced definition of failure. But Cohen pushes the line that it is not a failed state as the possibility of resurrection is not out of reach. In subsequent chapters Cohen surveys the role played by the army, Islamists, political parties and regional elites in shaping the polity.
Bernard Cecil Cohen. Many of our ebooks are available for purchase from these online vendors:. Many of our ebooks are available through library electronic resources including these platforms:. The relationship between the Washington correspondents of major news-gathering media and representatives of the foreign policy sections of the United States government has long been assumed, but its nature has never been analyzed. In a pioneering study of this relationship, Professor Cohen has used the observable results of contact, the printed and spoken words of the correspondents, as well as data from two sets of structured interviews with members of the press and government in Washington in and again in
Warren I. New York: Columbia University Press, Reviewed by Michael F. Never was there a greater need for an accessible historical guide to US foreign policy that allows its readers to view current developments in the broader context of the whole history of American foreign relations. Only in its brief final chapter does it devote much space to larger questions.
Foreign Policy. By Bernard C. Cohen. Pp. ix, $). The Press and Foreign Policy. By. Cohen. Bernard C. This content is only available as a PDF.
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Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment. Francis Bacon wrote of command of the sea that he who has it "is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the Warre as he will," and a similar belief accounts for air power's attractiveness to those who favor modest uses of force overseas. Statesmen may think that they can use air attacks to engage in hostilities by increments, something ground combat does not permit. Furthermore, it appears that the imminent arrival of so-called nonlethal or disabling technologies may offer an even more appealing prospect: war without casualties. This rise in air power's stock comes from its success in the Persian Gulf War. In the view of some, that conflict represented the opening shot of a fundamental transformation in the nature of warfare, a "military-technical revolution" as the Russians have termed it for more than a decade.
While we are building a new and improved webshop, please click below to purchase this content via our partner CCC and their Rightfind service. You will need to register with a RightFind account to finalise the purchase. The relationship between the Washington correspondents of major news-gathering media and representatives of the foreign policy sections of the United States government has long been assumed, but its nature has never been analyzed. In a pioneering study of this relationship, Professor Cohen has used the observable results of contact, the printed and spoken words of the correspondents, as well as data from two sets of structured interviews with members of the press and government in Washington in and again in Because the treatment is placed in the general context of a theory of the foreign-policy making process, many of its insights should be applicable to government-press relationships in other fields and in other countries. The degree and kind of influence of the press on American foreign policy will come as a surprise to many readers. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press.
Сердце у Сьюзан бешено забилось. Правильно ли она поняла. Все сказанное было вполне в духе Грега Хейла.
- На этих таблицах есть числа. Количество протонов. Период полураспада. Что-нибудь, что можно было бы вычесть одно из другого. - Три минуты! - послышался крик.
Наверху лениво раскачивалась курильница, описывая широкую дугу. Прекрасное место для смерти, - подумал Халохот. - Надеюсь, удача не оставит. Беккер опустился на колени на холодный каменный пол и низко наклонил голову. Человек, сидевший рядом, посмотрел на него в недоумении: так не принято было вести себя в храме Божьем.
Сьюзан, - услышал он собственный голос, - Стратмор - убийца. Ты в опасности. Казалось, она его не слышала.
Пожав плечами, он подошел к раковине. Раковина была очень грязной, но вода оказалась холодной, и это было приятно.
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