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The high cost of survival in an air war with China

To gain the upper hand in air combat, it is often better to focus on the ground. That was the opinion of one early air power theorist; as General Giulio Douhet of the Italian army noted in 1921: "It is easier and more effective to destroy the enemy's aerial power by destroying his nests and eggs on the ground than to hunt his flying birds in the air." And for the better part of the past century, Douhet's maxim has shaped US Air Force (USAF) strategy, as its commanders have sought to make their air bases fortified and resilient against attack.

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