It's true enough, though, that one of the reasons why many countries that could expect to face us on a battlefield do not focus too heavily on air assets
USSR focused heavily on air assets, and both the Mig-29 and Su-27 were very impressive planes. With the exception of the few F-22 ; most of our fighter aircraft are 1980's tech with some updates. Mash stolen Mig-29 & Su-27 designs (soviets feared China too) with 30 years of computer tech and China is test flying the Chinese designed/built J-20 stealth fighter already.
But there is a very short list of countries that expect to face us on the battlefield, countries equip themselves with air forces to defend against the countries that they DO expect to face on the battlefield. Isreal vs Arab nations, India vs Pakistan, etc. Unless you hit that tipping point of US/NATO involvement, you need to be able to stand on your own and there's plenty of evidence that air power is a significant force multiplier, whether its just piper cubs for scouting or the latest supersonic aircraft from the US/Russia/Europe. Witness the Falklands conflict, the US stayed out while the UK could only bring 30-odd Harrier's to the party to defend their far flung island outpost against Argentia's 120-odd aircraft. During this fight, the US never committed its airforce to one of its oldest allies.
In other words, count on the US to defend you at your own peril, but bury them if they do show up against you unless you are China/Russia.
It would also we wise to negotiate your way to settlement quickly. Before the 1st Gulf war, Saddam was a US ally, recieving lots of aid from the US in their war on Iran. There is evidence he may have thought he had the US's nod to invade Kuwait, and if he had agreed to pull out before the first bombs dropped, he'd likely still have one of the largest militaries in that region.