Accession Number:



Through the Glass - Darker

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Quarterly Report]

Corporate Author:

Air Command and Staff

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



In 2007 we argued against what many scholars incorrectly and dangerously assumed was the end of great power wars in the future. Their arguments centered on the power of technology, economics, democracy, or ethical norms to prevent war. However, none of these concepts make great power war unthinkable. While all of these arguments might remain appealing in theory, in practice they are at best optimistic and at their worst dangerous. Should the United States find itself in another great power conflict, capabilities taken for granted todaylike air superiority or control of sea-lanesmight not exist tomorrow. The US must think seriously about how a great power conflict could occur, how it could be prevented, and how it would be fought and won. Technology, economics, democracy, and norms play a role in preventing great power war, but they do not make it unthinkable. Thus, great power war has a bright future, however tragic that might seem.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]