In 1971, the United States was still enmeshed in Vietnam, but
that was soon to end. The next decade saw a softening of
Cold War tensions and the down-sizing of the Strategic Air
Command. The 1980's saw the emphasis on air power
gradually change from strategic to tactical. Then came the
Gulf War and the fighter jocks carried the day. Today,
it's their Air Force.
The last two decades were characterized by incredible
advances in electronics, stealth technology, and both offensive
and defensive systems. Development costs and production
costs soared while military budgets were reduced. This
resulted in far less planes than the 1946-1970 period, but ones
with infinite more capabilities. .