The Centennial Air Force: The Future of Air Power at the Air Force's 100th Birthday
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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This research is provocative, extreme in nature, and intended to ignite your imagination as well as to open the debate on what the character and role of the Air Force should be at its 100th birthday in the year 2047. me Centennial Air Force structure and culture during this time will be based both on the national power status of the United States relative to the rest of the world as well as the acquisition and procurement decisions made now and in the next 20 years. Historical precedence suggests that all great powers eventually decline relative to other world powers. The key to the future is to look at the proportion of decline the U.S. is in now if it is and what it could be over the next half century and then project the possible challenges that could face Americas own security. The status of America in the world arena and the challenges to her security demand both a credible and visionary Air Force. Over the life of the Air Force there has been an ever-increasing timeline for the development and fielding of our weapon systems. Newer and more sophisticated weapons are being operated for longer periods because we cannot afford the replacement costs. The Air Force has also witnessed the birth of space and information warfare and is leading in its missionization As we move forward, we need to make tradeoffs between air-breathing, space-based platforms and informationknowledge-based systems. The information revolution will bring to the forefront the role of information as a center of gravity for our operations as well as a target for our enemies. This emphasis on information and knowledge will necessitate a new national war-fighting structure, doctrine, and forces.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics