Ten years ago, taking out Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi with F-16s would have been an impossible task. Air strikes were planned days or even weeks in advance. Pilots weren't trained to change missions mid-stream. Sensors and weapons weren't accurate and flexible enough to spot and hit fleeting targets.
But during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Air Force pioneered the prosecution of what it calls Time Sensitive Targets, or TSTs. Since then, the Navy and Marine Corps have gotten in on the game too, and these days, over Iraq, it's typical for jets to launch with only the vaguest idea of what's out there. New sensors and weapons, high-tech surveillance drones and better training have resulted in a minor revolution of which the Zarqawi attack is just one result.