Having had a lot of professional military education in the Air Force, I have long been imbued with a sense that air power would have to one day make tanks obsolete.

Air power advocates have been insisting on that since before the A-10 Warthog failed to make the prediction come true. Close air support never really panned out as the game changer it was supposed to be.

To think that the paradigm shift would finally come with cheap drones. There’s a lesson here for American military thinkers. When our ties with profit-driven defense contractors flavor our thinking, we can make big conceptual mistakes.

Stirrups were relatively inexpensive. So were Japanese Zeros. Historically, revolutionary military paradigms don’t come from huge spending campaigns.

We forget that at the peril of innovation.