Later this year the Air Force will put out a formal request for proposals in its most talked-about “black” program — the new stealth bomber. America has a bomber gap. Only 20 B-2s are capable of handling enemy missile and fighter threats. yet commanders around the world count on bombers in contingency plans for everything from theater war plans to demonstrations like the flight of B-2s over South Korea during a crisis with North Korea. Ten years ago, the Air Force took a hard look at the bomber fleet and concluded that it would be a much less effective force by the 2020s as advanced surface-to-air missiles compromised the non-stealthy B-52s and B-1s. The new Washington Security Forum publication Closing The Bomber Gap details why a new bomber for the 2020s is a top national priority.