Defense: The Longest Jump

When the North Korean armies swept south across the 38th parallel in June, 1950, it was nearly two weeks before the U.S. could bring in a division of reinforcements by sea from Japan. Not until three months later did the U.N. forces succeed in pushing the North Koreans back into their own territory.

Last week, after 19 years, the U.S. showed how far it has developed the ability to rush crack troops to the scene of a crisis. Giant four-jet C-141 StarLifters flew some 700 men of the 82nd Airborne Division—part of a larger airlifted force—8,500 miles from Fort Bragg,...

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