National Geographic : 1946 Feb
Air Power for Peace covering their entire political, social, indus trial, scientific, and mil itary life, is necessary to provide warning of impending danger. Strategic air warfare can be neither soundly planned nor efficiently executed without a con tinuous flow of detailed information of this kind. In the future it will be suicidally dan gerous to depend upon pre-World War II re ports of military at taches and routine or casual sources of infor mation regarding for eign states. Only through specialized channels can we keep a constant check on the technological de velopments of potential enemies. There is a great need for a permanent na tional organization which not only deals with broad questions of policy but also collects, evaluates, and dissemi nates a continuous stream of intelligence data available alike to Army, Navy, Air, and State Department officials. In addition, we must have a competent and active air intelligence organization within the Air Forces working U. S. Army Air Forces, Official How a Gun Camera Is Placed in a Fighter Plane's Nose Just above the mechanic's hand is the 16-millimeter motion picture camera which most fighters carry. When the pilot fires his machine guns, shown at top, the camera automatically photographs the result through a porthole in the nose cap, which here is open. Dirt is kept out of guns by muzzle caps which are shot away when the pilot opens fire. with such a national organization in times of peace and war. The targets of the future may be very large or extremely small-such as sites for launching guided missiles-requiring exact intelligence information as well as bombing accuracy to destroy them. Today's Weapons Are Tomorrow's Museum Pieces The spectacular innovations in technological warfare which appeared with ever-increasing momentum in World War II and culminated in the atomic bomb emphasize that continu ous scientific research is imperative to ensure our national security and world peace. No war will be started unless the aggressor considers that he has sufficient superiority in weapons to leave his adversaries in a state of ineffective war-making capacity. In the past, the United States has shown a dangerous willingness to be caught in a posi tion of having to start a war with equipment and doctrines used at the end of a preceding war. We have paid heavily for this error. A repetition of this error in the future could mean annihilation. Possession of large stocks of war equipment at the end of a war affords a serious tempta tion to continue to use that equipment in train ing peacetime forces.