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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dominating the Skies -- and Losing the Wars Air Supremacy Isn’t What It Used to Be

Dominating the Skies -- and Losing the Wars
Air Supremacy Isn’t What It Used to Be
By William J. Astore
In the era of the long war on terror, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, was a tough day for the U.S. military.  Two modern jet fighters, a Navy F-18 Hornet and an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, flown by two of America’s most capable pilots, went down, with one pilot killed.  In a war that has featured total dominance of the skies by America’s intrepid aviators and robotic drones, the loss of two finely tuned fighter jets was a remarkable occurrence.
As it happened, though, those planes weren’t lost in combat.  Enemy ground fire or missiles never touched them nor were they taken out in a dogfight with enemy planes (of which, of course, the Islamic State, the Taliban, and similar U.S. enemies have none).  Each was part of an elite aerial demonstration team, the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds, respectively. Both were lost to the cause of morale-boosting air shows.
Each briefly grabbed the headlines, only to be quickly forgotten.  Americans moved on, content in the knowledge that accidents happen in risky pursuits.
Click here to read more of this dispatch.http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176155/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_the_end_of_air_power/#more

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