This volume seeks to understand the technological changes that did – and did not – occur in the US military during the second interwar period. A major contention of several authors is that while technological change was rapid and impressive during the 1990s, doctrinal and especially organizational change was lacking. Advances in technologies were grafted onto the services’ traditional missions, enhancing the combat power of existing platforms and ways of doing business. Before proceeding to a discussion of individual service histories, however, some background on the technologies that are said to present the opportunity for a revolution in military affairs is needed. Only by having a firm sense of the technologies involved is it possible to recognize some of their practical limitations, to analyze the manner in which the services actually employed them, and to evaluate their suitability to the current strategic environment. Although there are many ways of describing the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), commonly noted technological components of the RMA include advances in information, stealth, and precision. Early visionaries of the revolution, both in the United States and in the Soviet Union, predicted not just new technologies, but new ways of using information to link together platforms to heighten combat capability. In the late 1970s, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering William Perry famously summarized this vision of warfare, noting that he wanted the United States

to be able to see all high value targets on the battlefield at any time; to be able to make a direct hit on any targets we can see; and to be able to destroy any target we can hit.1