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Kick the Tires and Light the Fire: Foundations of American Airpower

Kick the Fires and Light the Fires: Foundations of American Airpower introduces American airpower studies and explores the foundations of today’s United States Air Force. It seeks to build Air Force identity through an overview of Air Force heritage and an explanation of the concepts behind current theory and doctrine. The overview hopes to balance brevity with thoroughness and introduce the people, events, technology, and ideas associated with American airpower. It recognizes domestic and international contributions, acknowledging not only the US Army Air Service, Air Corps, Air Forces, and the US Navy’s Aeronautical Bureau but also the influence of British, French, Italian, German, and Soviet air forces and international air theorists. Kick the Tires and Light the Fires stresses the relationship between airpower and strategy. It emphasizes airpower as a strategic tool for policy makers but does not replace the need for sound, comprehensive strategy. Airpower is not a silver bullet that will magically solve problems; it is an instrument of strategy.

PHOTO BY: John T. Farquhar
VIRIN: 230612-F-OX857-001.JPG
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