Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

By Natalie W. Crawford | Go to book overview

Chapter Twelve
SUGGESTIONS FOR KOREA'S AIR DEFENSE
MODERNIZATION
Sung-pyo Hong

INTRODUCTION

At the threshold of the new millennium, most countries are keen to build up their air and space power to strengthen their defense capabilities, because military conflicts in modern times usually start with surprise attacks through an air assault. Air power has evolved beyond its role as a supporting arm of surface forces and has matured to achieve many of the capabilities dreamed of by early air power advocates. Although some circumstances might allow its independent use, the true value of air and space power as instruments of national power is their capability to be a leading force, making all of the component forces more effective in a coherent joint campaign. Air and space superiority is a crucial first step in any military operation. It provides freedom from attack, freedom to maneuver and the freedom to attack necessary for success in air, land, sea, or space operations.

Prior to Operation Desert Storm, predictions were made that casualties would be in the tens of thousands and that the war would last more than a year. Neither came true, because the coalition forces fought much of the war with air and space power in a manner that Iraq had not anticipated. Instead of directly confronting and attempting to displace Iraqi troops from their dug-in positions with tanks and troops, coalition forces asymmetrically applied air and

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