The Politics of Strategic Aircraft Modernization

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Overview

This study examines three major bomber aircraft acquisition programs: the B-36, the B-52, and the B-2. The central question for each of these programs is whether they were chosen to fit national strategic objectives or to meet the more narrow political and economic needs of the so-called military-industrial complex. The book concludes that U.S. Air Force senior leadership acquired better bombers than did civilian defense leaders. The extensive use of original documents in this book reveals that Air Force generals were less concerned about defending their own interests than previous research has implied.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Sorenson (national securities studies, Air War College) details how three heavy bombers got approved and built for the US Air Force since World War II despite the fierce opposition of many of the decision makers involved. He assesses the possible role of strategic doctrine, technology, politics, and the imperative to acquire a design similar to earlier ones, the arms race, and the administrative control over weapons acquisition. The fates of the B-36, B-52, and B-2 are taken as case studies of how the system actually rather than officially operates. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275952587
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/1995
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID S. SORENSON is Professor of National Security Studies at the Air War College.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Ch. 1 The Politics of Bomber Choice 1
Ch. 2 Explaining Military Weapons Modernization 23
Ch. 3 The B-36 75
Ch. 4 The B-52 119
Ch. 5 The B-2 157
Ch. 6 Conclusions 211
Bibliography 219
Index 231
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