Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Precision Strike

by Zachary Austin Wednesday, September 16, 2015
A B-2 Spirit flies into position June 11, 2014, during a refueling mission over the North Atlantic Ocean. The B-2 is conducting training flights and regional familiarization in the U.S. European Command area of operations. The B-2 is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. (Sgt. Paul Villanueva/U.S. Air Force Flickr) A B-2 Spirit flies into position June 11, 2014, during a refueling mission over the North Atlantic Ocean. The B-2 is conducting training flights and regional familiarization in the U.S. European Command area of operations. The B-2 is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. (Sgt. Paul Villanueva/U.S. Air Force Flickr)

By Zachary Austin

On average, it took 1,000 sorties of B-17 bombers dropping nearly two-and-a-half million pounds of “dumb” bombs to successfully knock out a significant Nazi target in 1944. By contrast, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a B-2 bomber could reliably achieve the same result with a single 2,000 pound “smart” bomb—and then go on to strike up to fifteen more targets in a single mission.

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How No-Fly Zones Work

by Clint Hinote Tuesday, May 5, 2015
F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing in Tucson fly over an eastern Arizona training range April 8, 2015. (Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen/U.S. Air Force Flickr) F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing in Tucson fly over an eastern Arizona training range April 8, 2015. (Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen/U.S. Air Force Flickr)

When conflict rears its ugly head around the world, there is usually a call for the United States to “do something.” One option that is frequently mentioned is the no-fly zone. The United States and its allies enjoy a significant advantage over most potential adversaries in the air. No-fly zones, therefore, are attractive due to the perceived lower cost and risk when compared to other options. Despite this, setting up a no-fly zone is anything but a “no brainer.” Depending on the circumstances, there may be steep costs and unseen risks. This short primer is intended to introduce readers to the way no-fly zones really work.

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A Thought on Crimea: Remember, Airpower Is Good for More Than Terrorists

by Guest Blogger for Janine Davidson Monday, March 31, 2014
An F-22 Raptor aircraft deploys flares over Kadena Air Base An F-22 Raptor aircraft deploys flares over Kadena Air Base, Japan in this January 2009 photograph. (Clay Lancaster/Courtesy Reuters)

By Robert Spalding III

This week’s guest post comes from Col Spalding, CFR’s own Air Force fellow and a former B-2 wing vice commander. This post is adapted from a larger piece out today in the National Interest.

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Abolish America’s Air Force? Not So Fast.

by Janine Davidson Wednesday, March 26, 2014
A C-17 stands ready at Kandahar air base, Dec 2013 A C-17 Globemaster III sits ready on the tarmac of Kandahar air base, December 2013. (Pool/Courtesy Reuters).