The strategic utility and perceived morality of airpower are what led to its inclusion within the foundations of American warfare after World War I. Proportionate and discriminate targeting of the enemy became the mantra of U.S. officials, many of whom had watched aghast as the “Old World” of Britain and Germany had been embroiled in a disproportionate and indiscriminate war of attrition from 1914 through 1918. World War I had not only resulted in more than 200,000 U.S. casualties, but had seen the mass killing and deliberate targeting of civilian populations. Consequently, in social, political, and strategic dimensions the culture of American warfare began to change. Reducing enemy civilian casualties while mitigating the number of U.S. soldiers killed became the primary goals of the United States. By the time World War II began, airpower and its perceived precision characteristics were deemed the silver bullet to achieve these goals while maintaining...
The American Culture of War: The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom
James I. Rogers; The American Culture of War: The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom. Journal of Cold War Studies 2015; 17 (3): 231–232. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JCWS_r_00568
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