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Airpower the future of conflict The United States entered the 21st Century as the lone world superpower having won the 45 year long Cold War with the USSR that marked the latter half of the previous century Our nations military was the largest and most powerful it had been in the history of the United States prior to the defeat of Soviet Union With the fall of such a powerful enemy it was inevitable that all branches of our military would undergo restructuring Our nations military and political leaders will be faced with unique challenges in the future when deploying forces to protect and sustain US interests They will need to closely examine several questions regarding warfare in the future to determine how best to fight it Introduction What is the nature of future military engagements Our future enemies will indeed be different We are no longer preparing for an unlimited engagement that would have undoubtedly brought about immense casualties on both sides The enemies of the future will be many and unpredictable Our armed forces will be required to prepare for numerous conflicts of a smaller nature The attacking force that can respond quickly and powerfully will prevail in the future The commitment of our troops has and will continue to change Our nation fears another Vietnam-style commitment of ground forces therefore a new emphasis will be placed upon airpower because it seems safer to the American public The nature of future combat will be such that ground forces will never again be committed without extensive aerial bombardment preceding troop insertion In certain combat situations airpower can and will serve as the only offensive force What are the capabilities of our nations air forces The basis of United States airpower lies within powerful land based forces of the United States Air Force The strength of the USAF is such that its use prior to ground troop insertion will result in annihilation
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