Warplanes: May 13, 2001


The US had intended to send a unit of Predator unmanned recon drones to Kuwait to relieve the unit that is there. That unit provided the key targeting systems for the last large-scale raid on Iraq. The problem, however, is that there are only so many Predators and units to operate them, and the developing crisis in Kosovo meant that the unit scheduled for Kuwait had to be sent to the Balkans. This illustrates the continuing problem with the two-war scenario. There are simply not enough key units to operate two indefinite wars at the same time, and the peacekeeping mission in the Balkans and the blockade mission for Iraq don't count as either of the two nominal regional wars. The two-war theory is that if one war starts because of a mad dictator, no sane dictator would start a second war knowing that the US had enough combat power to deal with them as well as the first war. In a continuing turf battle, Air Combat Command and Materiel Command are fighting for control over the purchase of new Predators. Materiel Command seems to be winning, since Air Combat Command is not accustomed to the rapid purchase of replacement aircraft. Predators have a high loss rate and constant supplies of new aircraft are needed.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close