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What was the link between the X-3 and national strategy? What was the reason that we pursued the Atlas and sank the Snark? Why did we stop building the X-20? How did we come to the decision to employ a High-Low strategy in our fighter acquisitions? Why did we choose the cruise missile over the penetrating bomber, and then build the bomber too? The weapons systems are awesome, but strategic context is everything.

Air Power is like oxygen. When you have enough, you don’t have to think about it. When you don’t have enough, it’s all you can think about. -General Frank Gorenc, USAF

The X-Planes are frequently held up in a romantic light. But our understanding of them is mostly scientific. We look at them as individual research projects, rather than a single strategic vision. We focus on the WHAT. When officers study these things during their professional education the lessons stop short of explaining WHY. Where was all the strategic meaning behind these projects in the endless tomes of War College material?

The strategic meaning is here.

This is what we write about at Angle of Attack, a blog of Air Power Strategy. We focus on the WHY. Because the written word has power. Writing is fundamental to the development of strategy. Writing is essential to officer development. If you don’t write about it, it’s just a hobby.

Air Power is essential.