The View from the Cockpit

The Last Ace by Mark Bowden
The Atlantic, March 2009

"American pilots haven't shot down many enemy jets in modern times, because few nations have dared rise to the challenge of trying to fight them. That complete dominance is eroding. Some foreign-built fighters can now match or best the F‑15 in aerial combat, and given the changing nature of the threats our country is facing and the dizzying costs of maintaining our advantage, America is choosing to give up some of the edge we've long enjoyed, rather than pay the price to preserve it."

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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