The military’s financial support for scientific research has significantly shaped the way warfare is conducted and the outcomes generated. Science-based technologies have been recognized as crucial components for achieving success in the military. The use of poison gas and the significance of nitrates and advanced high explosives during World War I earned it the moniker “the chemists’ war”.
Physicists played a crucial role in World War II by advancing wireless communication technologies and developing sound-based techniques to detect U-boats. This marked the beginning of the collaboration between academic science and military endeavors. Additionally, significant progress was made in radar technology during the war, greatly impacting the conflict. Radar enabled the identification of enemy ships and aircraft, as well as the invention of radar-based proximity fuses.
The combat strategy in Afghanistan involves employing local allies instead of American ground troops, while still relying on U.S. airpower and a limited number of special operations forces. This recent development is thought to have extensive utility as it allows for a major overhaul of the U.S. military and provides considerable flexibility for American military intervention.
Recent combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq has confirmed the claims made about the model’s applicability, although its effectiveness is somewhat limited. The Afghan model has shown extreme lethality even without conventional ground forces from the U.S., when allies possess comparable skills and motivation as their enemies. However, if U.S. allies lack these necessary skills, they are unable to fully utilize American airpower’s potential. Therefore, while this model can be valuable, its usage depends on specific prerequisites that ultimately restrict its ability to significantly transform U.S. force structure or defense policy.