National Geographic : 1943 May
WE SUBMIT THIS CONCEPTION OF OUR CHANGED WORLD AS THE BASIS FOR OUR WAR THINKING We exist upon one globe, and inside another globe. Our planet-earth is the center of a larger air-globe . . . It is like a small spherical kernel within a large spherical shell. Both globes, as one unit, follow the same orbit. We take our air with us-and always have. The new factor that changes our world is the use of air as the only universal realm for transportation. In ratio as we do use it, we change the proximity and accessibility of all places, and effectively we make the world smaller. * * * With this conception as the basis for our war-thinking the world could make Peace permanent. Not that human nature will change that much, that quickly, but because, after cen turies of recurring wars, the human race now does possess the physical means of enforcing Peace. * * * Consider the protective possibilities of air: Since air is everywhere, it is not possi ble for any person, clique or nation to hide anywhere upon the earth from air surveillance. If we have mastery of the air, we can reach the spawning grounds of the war plotters and prevent their prepa rations for war. Consider the productive possibilities of air: Today, all world markets are much closer neighbors than cities of the United States used to be. Air transportation makes possible a quicker post-war rehabili tation and a better world economic system. * * * World War I was a localized war. It was won by surface strategy. World War II is a universal war where there are no safety zones, because every inch of the earth's surface is a potential target for bombs from the air. The world geography of 1918 is as ob solete as that of the ancient flat-world. That is why the post-war world will present problems as great as does this war world-and why we will need aviation more after this war than during it. After the Peace Conference we will have a much more vulnerable nation, because it is no longer an isolated piece-of-land, but an integral, inseparable and indivisi ble part of today's air-world. The waters of our two oceans could no more prevent air attack than did the cement of the Maginot Line. ** * The pre-air conception of the world was one of nations protected by vast oceans. All world economic, political and mili- tary thinking was predicated upon that surface-conception. Aviation has turned the page on that era ! Of course nations will continue to have boundary lines and will use land and water methods of transportation. But aviation changes all relative values; it nul lifies the buffer nations, and makes possi ble that which has, for all man's prior history, been impossible. * * * Since it is primarily the use of air that makes this a Global War, it must follow inevitably that a dominant use of air can maintain Global Peace. * * * The United States has the beginning of the aviation machinery necessary to im plement its democratic ideals and prevent a repetition of the war-crime by any nation. Attain the most powerful position in the air and automatically we will become the greatest Power for Peace. A. N. KEMP President, AMERICAN AIRLINES, Inc.