In 1994, after directing the U.S. Air Force’s official study of the Persian Gulf War, I concluded that “air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment.” That observation stands. It explains the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for a massive, drone-led assassination campaign against Al-Qaida terrorists. And it applies with particular force to a prospective, U.S.-led attack on the Syrian government in response to its use of chemical weapons against a civilian population.
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