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Predictable Anti-Airpower Screed….

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The airpower advocates are crawling out of the woodwork:

The lessons we take from Libya matter, because they will inform military procurement and intervention decisions for years to come. In the United States, the Army is battling budget hawks who will no doubt take solace in the perceived effectiveness of airpower in Libya. In the United Kingdom, the RAF and the Royal Navy will continue their nearly century-long struggle for both funding and control of air assets. To be sure, none of the major powers had an interest in launching a major ground campaign in Libya, much less a prolonged occupation. Still, policymakers should be hesitant in the face of claims that airpower has displaced ground power or sea power, just as they should resist arguments that future interventions will be cheap and bloodless. The war in Libya surely does carry many lessons for military action, but they should be drawn and analyzed only with the greatest care. And if the principle lesson learned from Libya is that “airpower can win wars cheaply and bloodlessly,” rather than “the combined naval and air assets of the NATO alliance, in close coordination with an extensive rebel army, took six months to topple a weak, unpopular regime without a professional army,” then we have a problem.

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