From the thesis abstract: "The United States has a habit of being chronically unprepared for war. The American historian Allan Millett describes this phenomenon as choosing security through internal development in lieu of a large standing army. A strong industrial base provides the resources for large-scale mobilization in times of crisis. When the crisis passes, the nation demobilizes and returns to business as usual. The post-World War II settlement has somewhat negated this trend as the United States has assumed more of a global leadership role. America spends more on its military than the next eight highest spending countries combined and theoretically should be more prepared for war than at any other time in its history. Add to this fact the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which left the United States without an existential threat. However, in this era of comparatively limited peril, it is not out of the realm of possibility that an adversary could place the United States at a strategic disadvantage before the nation could respond. It is also possible that the shock of the surprising situation could prohibit a coherent reaction altogether. [...] This paper evaluates airpower as an aid to surprising situations."
Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/