109684260

Uber liberal Tom Engelhardt recounts the history of American air power. His suggestion that airforce pilots are "in staggeringly less danger than any American who gets into a car" is absurd, but these basic facts are worth repeating:

American “air superiority” in any war the U.S. now fights is total.  In fact, the last time American jets met enemy planes of any sort in any skies was in the First Gulf War in 1991, and since Saddam Hussein’s once powerful air force didn’t offer much opposition most of its planes fled to Iran that was brief.  The last time U.S. pilots faced anything like a serious challenge in the skies was in North Vietnam in the early 1970s.  Before that, you have to go back to the Korean War in the early 1950s.

(Image: Members of the US Air Force wash an F-16 fighter before a performance on the opening day of the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Expo in Melbourne on March 1, 2011. By Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.