Bigger, Better, Faster, More: Jet Fighter Development and Grand Strategy in the United States Air Force, 1947-1953
Linden, Jeremy Ryan
Sumida, Jon T.
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United States Air Force jet fighter development and strategy in the post-World War II period is illustrative of the beginning stages of the strategy of annihilation that the United States has adopted in the late-20th and 21st centuries. Development and procurement of fighters is a complex process that must take into account the potential mission and purpose of the aircraft in overall strategy, the impact of that technology upon existing forces and missions, and the continuum of costs versus performance. The Air Force chose a developmental path for jet fighters which concentrated on the assurance that qualitatively superior aircraft could outperform greater numbers of technologically comparable enemy aircraft. The first section of this thesis provides documentary and secondary evidence concerning the transformation of air warfare due to jet technology. Section two argues the strategic significance of jet fighter development as a precursor of a strategy of annihilation.