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

By Natalie W. Crawford | Go to book overview

Chapter Thirteen
CURRENT STATUS AND EMERGING TRENDS IN
KOREAN AEROSPACE POWER STRATEGIES
Myong-Sang Choe

INTRODUCTION

As the 21st century looms on the horizon, mankind is witnessing powerful changes in both the characteristics and patterns of warfare. As a result, the very fundamentals of warfare are no longer the same. Until World War II, virtually all wars took the shape of positional warfare, prolonged warfare, or wars of attrition.1 Their similarities lay in their characteristics of absoluteness. As Clausewitz so aptly put it, “War is an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.”2 According to this point of view, victory can be the only objective of any war. This type of warfare involving the direct confrontation of ground forces inevitably led to heavy human and economic losses on both sides.

The Industrial Revolution brought about innovations in scientific technology, introducing flying machines to the battlefield and moving wars into three dimensions. In the early 20th century, pioneers of air power theory, such classical air theorists as Italy's Giulio Douhet,3 Britain's Hugh Trenchard,4 America's William

____________________
1
Karl P. Magyer and Constantine P. Danopoulos, Prolonged War (Air University Press, 1994) p. 15.
2
Carl von Clausewitz, On War (Princeton University Press, 1976) p. 75.
3
Douhet was the first to write a comprehensive theory of air power; his book, The Command of the Air, published in 1921, addressed air warfare in terms theoretically applicable to any industrialized state. “To conquer command of the air means victory…”
4
Andrew Boyle, Trenchard (London, 1962).

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