Research and development is waning in a field responsible for advanced naval firepower. We allow this decline to continue at our peril.
In March 2003, a Marine Cobra helicopter hit an Iraqi outpost with a thermobaric Hellfire missile. President George W. Bush later stated: "We used a new Hellfire missile for the first time, which can take out enemy fighters hiding on one floor of a building, without destroying the floors above and below. . . . In the coming years, there are going to be some awfully surprised terrorists when the thermobaric Hellfire comes knocking." 1