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1. Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century, a Basic Primer, has being written by Dr. Claton K.S. Chun who was an Air Force Officer and he has served as the Deputy Group Commander of the 34th Education Group and the Commander of the 34th Education Squadron at the United States Air Force Academy. He is a processer of Economics at the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he was an instructor for the Department of National Security and Strategy, teaching "War, National Policy and Strategy" and courses on national security economics.
2. Dr. Chun has focused on the readers with the interests on overview of both Air Power and Space Power in a single book simultaneously and the author has defined the Aerospace Power and the evaluation of Aerospace power in systematical manner with doctrinally recognized missions and Dr. Chun has further emphasized on the importance of aerospace power and its ability to conduct modern warfare.
the book gives . in searching for a single-volume overview of air and space power and he has systematically presents definitions of that power, the evolution of air-power theory, and doctrinally recognized missions. Overall, the book admirably meets its author's intention of providing the reader with the basics of air and space power.
Dr. Chun's Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century: A Basic Primer is a great start towards
Aerospace Power in the Twenty-first Century will appeal to readers searching for a single-volume overview of air and space power. Within its pages, Dr. Clayton K. S. Chun systematically presents definitions of that power, the evolution of air-power theory, and doctrinally recognized missions. The book concludes with chapters that demonstrate how different theories and missions have been successfully combined in actual application and that challenge the reader with areas not yet developed. Overall, the book admirably meets its author's intention of providing the reader with the basics of air and space power. Exceptionally well qualified to author such a primer, Dr. Chun holds the General Hoyt Vandenberg Chair of Aerospace Studies at the US Army War College and currently serves as chair of the Department of Distance Learning. He also completed a successful career as a US Air Force officer.
A particular strength of Aerospace Power is its building-block approach to the topic. Dr. Chun begins by reviewing widely recognized principles of war, highlighting what he calls "specific missions that aircraft and spacecraft can accomplish or support"-specifically, "deterrence, compellence, denial, coercion, decapitation, and humanitarian missions" (p. 23). Not doctrinally recognized, these terms represent a thought-provoking departure in that the bulk of the book's material matches nicely with US joint and Air Force doctrine in particular. Chun continues by establishing basic definitions and characteristics of air and space forces as well as the mediums in which they operate. From these foundations, he advances the reader's knowledge by presenting airpower theorists from Giulio Douhet through John Warden. Aerospace Power benefits from the author's inclusion of both non-US theorists such as John Slessor and non-Air Force thinkers such as William A. Moffett. He includes a limited discussion of emerging space-power theory; however, very little unclassified, published information exists from which Dr. Chun can draw, and there is no recognized advocate of a particular brand of space-power theory.
Chun uses the next four chapters to walk readers through the "Functions and Capabilities of Aerospace Power," focusing each one on more doctrinally familiar topics such as air superiority, interdiction, and mobility. A particular strength of the author's approach is his use of a case-study methodology to support the chapters' conclusions, carefully including in each a notable failure of air and space power contrasted with two successful examples, thus highlighting his conclusions and bolstering the reader's interest. Notably, he employs a number of examples outside the United States' experience with air and space power-one of the most appealing aspects of the book. He also does an excellent job of referring back to the theorists and doctrinal ideas presented earlier, linking them to the case studies in each chapter. Doing so serves not only to reinforce the theorists and their ideas but also to demonstrate how those theories fared and evolved in practice.
More comprehensive than many similar works, Aerospace Power includes a chapter focused on the often-overlooked area of "Planning for Aerospace Operations." Chun demonstrates an instructive approach to building an air and space campaign that supports a combatant commander's campaign and integrates with other components.
The book suffers from some notable omissions, however. Chun mentions rotary-wing aviation only in passing, as is the case with some vital mission areas such as combat search and rescue. Indeed, the author himself points out that the efficacy of a number of the theoretical underpinnings of his book has not been evaluated against enemies employing guerrilla tactics. Nevertheless, readers familiar with current Air Force doctrine will find themselves very much at home with Aerospace Power, which admirably fulfills the author's intention of writing a primer on current practice. That said, events since 9/11 as well as air and space power's role in the global war on terrorism underscore the need for a second edition.
Dr. Chun's Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century: A Basic Primer is a great start towards understanding the importance of aerospace power and its ability to conduct modern warfare. Aerospace power is continually changing because of new technology, threats, and air and space theories. However, many basic principles about aerospace power have stood the test of time and warfare. This book provides the reader with many of these time-tested ideas for consideration and reflection. Although Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century was written for future officers, individuals desiring a broad overview of aerospace power are invited to read, share, and discuss many of the ideas and thoughts presented here. Officers from other services will find that this introduction to air and space forces will give them a good grasp of aerospace power. More experienced aerospace leaders can use this book to revisit many of the issues that have affected air and space forces in the past and that might affect them in the future. Air Force officers will discover that Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century is a very timely and reflective resource for their professional libraries.
Aerospace Power in the Twenty-first Century: A Basic Primer by Clayton K. S. Chun. Air University Press (http://aupress.maxwell.af.mil), 131 West Shumacher Avenue, Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112-5962, 2001, 356 pages, $29.00 (softcover). Available free from http://aupress.maxwell.af.mil/Books/Chun/Chun.pdf.
This well-written and very informative book is a good introduction to air and space power for those not familiar with its genesis, evolution, or functions and capabilities. The author, Dr. Clayton K. S. Chun, currently works at the US Army War College where he serves as chair of the Department of Distance Education. Dr. Chun retired as a colonel from the US Air Force after a military career that culminated with his serving as commander of the 34th Education Squadron at the US Air Force Academy.
The author begins the book with basic definitions and concepts of air and space power. This vital background provides a necessary foundation for the rest of the book. He then launches into the theory of air and space power so the reader can understand its beginnings and ever-changing nature. Chun begins with theories by Italian army general Giulio Douhet and continues with various concepts from different countrymen and services, an approach that provides a very good background on how the use of air and space power came to be and how it is understood today.
Over the next several chapters, Dr. Chun covers different functions and capabilities, including close air support, strategic attack, interdiction, air and space superiority, rapid mobility, and space and information. He does a good job of explaining the functions of each mission while providing historical examples from different military operations, such as those that occurred in Britain during World War II, Israel in the 1960s and 1970s, and the United States in Kosovo. These succinct, well-shaped examples illustrate the importance of air and space power and its capabilities.
The last two chapters predict the future of air and space power and the ways that military commanders may use this asset. The author covers topics from the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to the future of space operations, discussing whether it needs to be an altogether separate branch of the military. This information allows the layman to understand the importance of using air and space power correctly and appropriately in the future.
The book's only blemish is the fact that a few map legends are difficult to read, which makes it hard to follow some of the author's examples (unless the reader is familiar with the subject matter). An increase in font size would solve this problem and ease the strain on the reader's eyes.
The title and subtitle of Dr. Chun's book are quite apropos for the material he presents and the method of presentation. Aerospace Power in the Twenty-first Century: A Basic Primer provides a solid introduction to this topic for readers unfamiliar with its capabilities, limitations, and evolution.
Maj Cary N. Culbertson, USAF
Nellis AFB, Nevada