Sizing Up the Soviet Air Force

A Review

by Benjamin S. Lambeth

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This paper reviews Measuring Military Power: The Soviet Air Threat to Europe, by Joshua M. Epstein (Princeton University Press, 1984). It agrees with the book's premise that the U.S. defense debate is overly concerned with peacetime inputs (e.g., static inventories of men and machines) at the expense of wartime outputs. It also finds merit in the book's objective, namely to consider whether the Soviet Air Force actually has what is needed to destroy NATO's nuclear response capability by means of a conventional attack. However, it faults the book for drawing generalizations that are unsupported by the limited amount of empirical data presented.

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