Accession Number:



Strategic Competition: The Paradox Between the Bomber Force We Have and the Force We Need

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

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This monograph in military studies investigates the paradox between the bomber force we have, and the force we need. The US Air Forces fleet of convention and nuclear bombers provides Combatant Commanders with strategic firepower in times of war, and a visible deterrent in times of peace. Bomber aircraft numbers are at the lowest in the services existence, creating a low-density high-demand asset that must be carefully managed. The research question asks can the US Air Force better manage these limited assets to ultimately provide COCOMs with the resources required to achieve their comprehensive strategy. The hypothesis of this paper is that the US Air Force has three options to restore Americas bomber fleet to levels capable of competing with a peer adversary repurpose the current fleet, build additional aircraft, and manage or change the command relationships that currently exist. This paper is organized to guide the reader through where we have been, where we are as of 2019, and where we are going in the future of the bomber force. The first section offers a historic narrative to illuminate the rise of the bomber force to crushing prominence in World War II and its subsequent decline in the modern force. Next, we will identify problems associated with low-density high-demand platforms and their unique management and strategic use. Following that will be a recommendation for a way forward. Finally, the conclusion summarizes lessons learned throughout this research about the force we have and the force we need.


Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Bombers

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]