EXAMINING AIR POWER

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dentifying critical issues and finding optimum solutions to them is a fundamental task of politicians and soldiers at the start of the 21st Century. Methodologies for this include modelling techniques and intensive computer use.

Nevertheless, the road to pinpointing the major problems of today remains thorny. A major job for experts is to clarify the meaning of words and to apply terms rationally and correctly. Anyone who has tackled any significant issue knows the process well.

One may apply a variety of techniques for such purposes. One possibility is to take commercial procedures and modify them as needed. ‘Commercial procedures’ implies Stanford L. Optner’s ideas in Systems Analysis for Business and Industrial Problem Solving. This looks at industry and government, including the military. Is­sues may involve national security and military capacity: particularly tough topics of considerable consequence, and ones comprising a multitude of quantitative and qualitative components. Yet, exactly this sort of elaborate and intractable issue is so fundamental today.

Scientists and researchers are particularly involved in medium and large-scale issues, including air power. Resolving such issues entails creating new hierarchies or modifying existing ones, and adopting policies that may obtain over a long period. The longer the period, the greater the risk of failure. (Moreover, risk here may imply that a policy line initially makes things worse, improving them over a longer term.)

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