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>From: firstname.lastname@example.org >Subject: Re: QUERY: Military Over-diversification >Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 14:16:26 +0000 To be dangerous, I'll suggest: every air force that has adopted Douhet's hypotheses about independent strategic air power, as distinct from tactical air power operating in coordination with ground maneuver forces and naval forces. Under the influence of individuals like Douhet whose formative years coincided with the rise of science fiction in popular literature, air forces arose simultaneously with the movie industry. At significant national cost in economics and in environmental damage, strategic air force agencies have diversified across all sorts of specialties and operate gigantic airplanes and rockets. These agencies function as siege artillery and as flying battleships. While bombers can certainly endanger ships at sea, in a century of war all the world's heavy bombers scored a combined cumulative total of one bomb hit on a large enemy warship at sea, and that against a crippled target, the Japanese battleship _Hiei_ following severe damage by naval action in November 1942. Among all the world's smaller warships at most only a few were hit. Operational independence is the definitive characteristic of strategic air power. I'll offer that the failure in their diversification is that these agencies cannot independently accomplish either of Clausewitz's conditions for succeeding in war: "War can be of two kinds, in the sense that either the objective is to overthrow the enemy--to render him politically helpless or militarily impotent, thus forcing him to sign whatever peace we please; or merely to occupy some of his frontier districts so that we can annex them or use them for bargaining at the peace negotiations."  Carl von Clausewitz, _On War_, edited and translated By Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ, US: Princeton University Press 1976), 2nd preface. Michael C. Potter, MSc. ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----