Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

The Age of Airpower

The Age of Airpower
by Martin van CreveldVan Creveld - Age of Airpower

A very easy to read and provocative romp through the way air power (defined widely to include missiles, space and some discussion of cyber) has shaped conflict and discussion of conflict. Van Creveld’s two big take aways are that strategic bombing almost never has the effect its supporters claim (esp psychological – he argues we’ve almost never seen an opponent bombed into submission), and secondly that dogfight -of the sort we’ve just bought $12b worth of F-35’s to carry out- are probably also a thing of the past.

No surprise the least supportive blurb on the back cover is from an airforce journal. Normally I’m not a huge fan of books about military hardware (weapon’s don’t make war in my view), but books about particular aspects of war like this can be fascinating reading. As much for the way people have thought about various arenas and environments and how to master them, as much as the actual technology and stories of conquest and defeat.

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