Measuring Military Power: The Soviet Air Threat to Europe

In This Review

Measuring Military Power: The Soviet Air Threat to Europe

By Joshua M. Epstein
Princeton University Press, 1984
288 pp. $22.50
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Assumptions about the military balance in Europe are usually based upon an enumeration of static peacetime inventories-"bean counting"-rather than an evaluation of wartime effectiveness. This outstanding book takes a single, though important, element of the Soviet threat-tactical air power-and analyzes its effectiveness through dynamic indicators such as combat skill, efficiency in support functions, tactical decision-making and other "acts of war." Epstein's work is not for the general reader, but it should be of immense interest to defense analysts and professionals. In this path-breaking study, they will find an intelligent and rigorous way of measuring military power based on outputs (performance) rather than the conventional inputs (numbers of tanks, planes, etc.).