Omissi, Air Power and Colonial Control

by Vinay Lal
published in MER176

David Omissi, Air Power and Colonial Control: The Royal Air Force, 1919-1939 (Manchester, 1990).

In the recent war with Iraq, US air superiority was crucial in minimizing the US (and other allied) casualties, preparing the ground for a swift advance by land forces. The Middle East, and particularly Iraq, has often been a principal hunting ground for the air forces of Western powers. The recent bombing of Iraq is a species of what David Omissi aptly terms the “frightfulness” with which the colonial powers in the first half of the twentieth century sought to retain their mastery over Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

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