Let’s Not Ignore “Inconvenient Facts”

Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap Jr., deciding to take on publicly the latest “policy wonk” to belittle airpower, wrote a letter which appeared in Thursday’s Washington Post in response to a July 25 op-ed penned by Philip Gordon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Gordon claimed that Israel had fallen victim to the “strategic bombing fallacy.” Dunlap reminds us of strategic airpower’s invaluable contributions in World War II, Vietnam, and more recently in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and even Iraq. He writes, “Legitimate debates about the use of force are not helped by ignoring inconvenient facts.” The airpower issue just seems to keep rearing its ugly head; read Editor in Chief Robert Dudney’s March 2005 editorial, “Airpower and Optical Illusions.”