Warplanes: January 24, 2000


The US Air Force has decided that the Kosovo War is the model for future Major Theater Wars, and will use it to calculate what it needs for future conflicts. This is both good and bad. While it is dubious to assume that future wars can be won by air power alone, the Air Force has at least learned that the Cold War model of a short intense war is not going to suffice for the future. The Kosovo campaign lasted longer than the Air Force expected the NATO-PACT war in Europe to last, and consequently took more spare parts and maintenance than the Air Force had expected. That one relatively minor conflict burned up most of the available spares and some categories of precision-guided weapons, and any future conflict must allow for more of these supplies.--Stephen V Cole


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