This paper is part of the project Military Thinking in the 21st Century and more precisely the seminar arranged by the Royal Academy of War Sciences on 14 – 16 May, 2014. Regarding the subjects of naval and air power, the Academy asked the following questions:
“What purposes will sea power serve in the 21st Century? Will naval presence and power projection remain pre-eminent, or will access-denial anti-access make power projection increasingly difficult? Is even a new contest between major fleets on the horizon?
Has airpower finally come of age, fulfilling the prophecies of Douhet and others? Or are conflicts still decided on the ground, albeit with assistance from the air? »