Airpower is credited with success in Afghanistan, Desert Storm, and Serbia, but in Vietnam all of America’s aerial might could not defeat a vastly outnumbered Third World force on bicycles. With a panoramic sweep and shocking frankness unrivaled in the current literature, Ken Werrell, one of today’s most experienced airpower historians, reveals the true extent of the technological evolution that fueled this transformation. Chasing the Silver Bullet traces in unprecedented detail the evolution of the Air Force’s entire inventory since the Korean War, from the ill-fated F-105 fighter-bomber to the F-117 stealth fighter, but one of its chief contributions is its analysis of the strategies and doctrine that fashioned the hardware.
Werrell’s exhaustive research and sage analysis challenge the Air Force’s mantra that precision-guided munitions delivered from long-range, stealthy aircraft are America’s true war heroes. Desert Storm gave us the wrong impression about airpower technology and Werrell corrects that mistake with this landmark study, rendering superficial all other books about Desert Storm and current capabilities.
Objective, even-handed, and unimpressed with the bells and whistles of new technology, Werrell understands how airpower works.