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Asymmetric Air War: Ethical Implications

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Chapter Summary

In the past thirty years, the United States Air Force (USAF) has used its overwhelming technological superiority and the skill of its crews to quickly establish air superiority in virtually every conflict in which it has been employed. In both the Persian Gulf and the Balkans, the USAF and its allies faced well-designed and robust integrated air defenses. Italian airpower theorist of the 1930s Douhet argued for direct attack on civilian populations as the effective use of airpower on the theory that such attacks would undermine the will of adversaries to continue fighting. During the last decade of the twentieth century, American leaders turned to air power to solve the security challenges they faced in the post-Cold War, post-DESERT STORM world. The theories and doctrines developed during the interwar period at the US Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) directly influenced and even molded the air strategy employed during the war.

Keywords: Balkans; United States Air Force (USAF); US Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS)



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