The primary purpose of air superiority is to control airspace for or against bombers. When air-to-air fighting was done in short-range dogfights with machine guns and small cannon, speed and agility were the principal determiners of air superiority by fighter planes. Today, air-to-air fighting occurs with long-range guided missiles, so agility and speed count for little. The bombers can launch their own air-to-air guided missiles against enemy fighters. Therefore, fighter planes are now obsolete.
For greater air superiority, further protection is needed from guided missiles launched from the air and ground, and from radar-directed cannon fired from the ground. This is where our military budgets should be directed, rather than at quick-maneuvering airplanes.
Bomber protection technology has a head start with decoys, "window" radar reflectors, radar absorption coatings, radar spoofers and jammers, anti-radar guided bombs, Gatling guns, anti-missile missiles, and laser weapons. With guided-missile and cannon-fire protection, our bombers can safely fly lower than they did over Kosovo and become even more effective. Meanwhile, the attack effectiveness of bombers has been radically increased by the advent of electronically guided bombs.
The aircraft carrier can only carry fighters, which are now obsolete, and fighter-bombers with small bomb loads. It can't carry the heavy bombers, which are the real military power. At the same time, the carrier is the most tempting target for enemy guided missiles. It presents the opportunity to kill several thousand people with a single missile, and it must be protected by a large fleet of anti-missile ships.
The carrier is defended because it can reach any scene of action in a few days. But heavy bombers can fly thousands of miles to attack in only a few hours. Just six distributed airports are needed for a bomber fleet, which is able to attack anywhere in the world on short notice, so the forward attack capability of the carrier is antique. Aircraft carriers remain primarily expensive show pieces, but an overflight of a fleet of heavy bombers is a far greater show. Furthermore, a single ship-borne nuclear bomb from a rogue state, detonated in San Diego Harbor, would wipe out most of our carriers. Aircraft carriers are obsolete too.
Our third and fourth military white elephants are the tank and the attack helicopter. Both are increasingly vulnerable to electronically guided missiles carried by infantry. Heavy bombers, infantry, and the electronically guided bombs and missiles that they deliver are what's left. The days of fighter planes and aircraft carriers with their defending fleets, tanks, and attack helicopters are over.
The financial implications of this new technology-based strategy are tremendous. The enormous sum of money that's currently spent on R&D, manufacturing, and manning of fighter planes and carriers with their defensive fleets, tanks, and attack helicopters should be applied to electronically guided unmanned missiles—jet engine, rocket, and gravity propelled—and additional bomber defenses.
The emotional effects on military officers and their careers are severe. We now have fighter-plane generals and carrier admirals where we once had artillery and tank generals and battleship admirals. Instead of developing improved weapons and tactics for the last war, as is the military custom throughout history, they are faced with new technology, making their branches obsolete. Their portions of the military/industrial complex will fight an impassioned rear-guard defense of their jobs and contracts.