Re: Touch screens
Skippybing, it was also due to the fact that the missiles they had were totally unsuited to the situation; a missile capable of flying a long way fast and hitting a big, lumbering bomber is about as much use as glaring out the window and waving your fist when up against small, agile and above all close-in enemy fighters. The AIM-7 Sparrow was known as 'The Great White Hope' for a reason and those pesky VC pilots were rather reluctant to stay at long range.
Information on failure rates is, understandably, hard to come by but even the most optimistic proponent of missile warfare would have to admit that the number of kills recorded/claimed is considerably lower than the number of missiles launched... or maybe 'dropped' might be more accurate. And they didn't need to close to dogfight range either - there were several types of "electro-optical vision enhancement system" (or "camera" to anyone outside Military Procurement) that allowed identification of the 'bad guys' out to almost the range of the missiles but that's no use if the missile falls off the rail or can't pull the G's and make the turns.
But on the whole you're right - letting politicians run military operations is asking for trouble.