There is no denying that 2011 has been a banner year for taxpayer-funded assassinations — Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, five senior Pakistani Taliban commanders in October and many more. Given the crucial U.S. backup role in Libya, and the ringing exhortation for the Libyan leader’s death issued by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just before the event itself, we can probably take a lot of credit for Moammar Kadafi’s messy end too.
Once upon a time, U.S. officials used to claim that we were merely targeting “command and control centers,” rather than specific individuals, as in the hunt for Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Persian Gulf War or the raid on Kadafi in 1986.… Seguir leyendo »
No one following the record of air power as an instrument of national whim should be surprised that Moammar Kadafi’s army remains apparently uncowed, even driving Libyan rebels back in headlong retreat despite an onslaught of NATO bombs and missiles. In fact, history is repeating itself in more ways than one.
The very first bombing raid ever occurred almost 100 years ago on Nov. 1, 1911, when an Italian airman hand-dropped four 4.5-pound bombs on forces defending Tripoli against Italian invaders. This momentous event went down well with the press: “Italian Military Aviator Outside Tripoli Proves War Value of Aeroplane,” headlined the New York Times.… Seguir leyendo »
The world may be in turmoil, but in the defense business there are signs of a return to normalcy. After dreary decades in which the U.S. military had to live without a presentable threat with which to justify its spending on high-technology weapons, the Chinese stepped up to the plate. With ominous talk gaining currency in Washington of actual cuts in the U.S. defense budget, our Asian friends have suddenly offered a titillating peek from an airfield in Chengdu at their newest warplane, described as a radar-evading “stealth” fighter like our own F-22.
The reaction from some quarters has been predictably enthusiastic.… Seguir leyendo »