It wasn't surprising that these firepower-centric views were especially strong in the U.S. and in Russia/the Soviet Union. Both had armies with a tradition of emphasizing firepower.
The Russian tradition dates back to at least 1943. The losses of the war in 1941-1943 had wasted their pre-war junior officer corps and a shortage of young and well-trained infantrymen limited their options. Their solution was a strong emphasis on indirect fires in breakthrough battles.
The U.S. Army tradition (of emphasizing support fires) is older; it dates back to WWI when the inexperienced and quickly inflated U.S.Army arrived in France and accepted the French army (itself relatively short of quality infantry and heavily emphasizing artillery) as its teacher for the trench war (the U.S. Navy looked at the Royal Navy as its mentor in WWI).
RMA applied the precision fires idea to the offence and defence, with an emphasis on hitting targets (forces and their supplies) that are not in ground combat at the time.
That feature had been emphasized a lot in the early 80's AirLand Battle doctrine which in itself was based on the expectation that Soviet reserves would arrive at a WW3 Central Front in waves.
Earlier (WW2 air war) examples of such battlefield interdiction (like the bombing campaign of the Normandy invasion) had similar intents, but often with an emphasis on operational effects (like slowing down reserves or deception - especially over France). The interdiction bombing effects on a division in WW2 was often as much about affecting its movements as it was about inflicting damage.
RMA critics considered the fog of war still as a valid problem that reduced the effectiveness of interdiction and standoff fires in general and they don't believe that brigades could reliably be ruined before close combat.
An U.S. Army unit was completely surprised by an Iraqi counter-attack in force in 2003 despite quite easily observable terrain. This practical experience eroded the RMA fashion. The Anaconda battle in Afghanistan and the last Lebanon War had similarly disappointing lessons learned; even a very high concentration of sensors and time for preparations revealed only about 50% of the actual enemy fighting positions before they opened fire.
The assumption that the enemy would need to be defeated in actual battles - not so much by interdiction and standoff fires - has been fashionable again in the last few years.
That's not the whole story, though. Warfare is complex and defies most easy answers.
The golden mean is probably a neither/nor. Stand-off fires work surprisingly fine in a tactical defence and surprisingly poor in the tactical offence. They're no 100% reliable option, though.
Look at this quote from a German 50's book about WW2 Eastern Front experiences:
Der Wert der neuzeitlichen Verteidigung liegt in erster Linie in der abstoßenden Feuerwirkung aller Waffen. Sie ist aber nur dann von kampfentscheidender Wirkung, wenn sie zeitlich und örtlich zusammengefasst wird und den Feind in einem Schwächemoment trifft.
Ein Charakteristikum der meisten abgeschlagenen Angriffe des vergangenen Krieges ist es, daß sie bereits 200 bis 400 m vor den vordersten Verteidigungsanlagen abgeschlagen wurden.
A character of most defeated assaults of the past war is that they were defeated already 200 to 400 m in front of the most forward defensive positions." The emphasis is original.)
Major soviet assaults were defeated - if enough resources were available at all - more by very competent and military intelligence + flexible artillery leadership and observers (quite the same; battery commanders were often up front as forward observers) than by anything else. The infantry controlled the terrain and was capable of defeating small attacks, but large ones were smashed by focusing several artillery battalions on one target area for a very short time (like two minutes). The German army developed this as its model defence against infantry attacks because its infantry had been reduced to a shadow of its former self by years of extreme warfare.
The same author (Middeldorf) also wrote that German fires on Russian marshalling-areas often did more harm to the Red Army than battle itself:
Das Bekämpfen feindlicher Bereitstellungen durch "Gegenfeuerschläge" hatte bei der russischen Eigenart, die Angriffstruppen dicht geballt in den Angriffsvornächten vorzuführen, eine außergewöhnliche Wirkung in allen Großkämpfen im Osten der Jahre 1943 bis 1945. Der Munitionseinsatz hierfür übertraf sehr oft den des eigentlichen feindlichen Angriffstages; wie Gefangene häufig bestätigt haben, waren die Verluste hierbei wesentlich höher, als bei dem Angriff selbst. Zahlreiche Angriffe sind durch diese "Gegenfeuerschläge" bereits in der Bereitstellung zerschlagen worden.
The original syntax is already quite intricate itself.)
The combination of RMA theory and WW2 experiences suggests that indirect fires were and are indeed able to defeat* enemy offensives before any close combat. We don't and didn't even need air power or electronics to achieve this.
The WW2 precondition for such a success was an orderly (not 'fluid') situation. Those defensive successes were achieved at a (poorly manned) defensive line, after all.
Defensive success in mobile warfare looks different; it's usually a combination of delay actions and counterattacks. The missing factor was the order and surveillance by an infantry picket line. The observation capability of a front line can today be emulated in large areas with the right organization, tactics and technology.
Many modern NATO generals hold the belief that today's artillery needs much less ammunition than in previous years (opposite to the trend) because of precision weapons. Precision weapons should probably be regarded as a niche application due to their cost and info requirements. Many promises can be kept with old-fashioned artillery as well.
Even well-hidden defensive positions can be exposed by modern sensors, but that's still a slow, laborious and unreliable process. It will likely not become much better against competent enemies anytime soon because of a predictable race between sensors and ECM+C C D**.
Finally, mobile warfare (usually very fluid) requires neither silver bullets nor is the enemy in strong positions; the full exploitation of such an opportunity-rich situation requires very agile leadership and agile units with good endurance (sleep, consumables consumption and reserve, low maintenance requirements).
Deliberate defence, deliberate offence and the exploitation of fluid situations (movement to contact doesn't describe it well enough) place the emphasis on very different virtues.
This is no news for hundreds of thousands of active and former soldiers, but as an insight it's strangely absent in military fashions.
It's really disappointing that one-size-fits-it-all receipts with supposed silver bullets keep attracting so much attention. Meanwhile, important strengths like battlefield agility, quantity indirect fires and unit endurance remain well below the potential because they don't receive the well-deserved attention.
*: "to defeat" doesn't mean that "to end" here - it just means that the attack is already destined to be a failure.
**: CCD = camouflage, concealment & deception. Countermeasures to enemy vision and sensors.
edit: On the U.S.Army unit that got surprised by an Iraqi attack in 2003:
A quote from the paper "Trading the Saber for Stealth":
.The largest conventional tank battle of the war occurred on the morning of 3 April 2003 when elements of three Iraqi brigades consisting of no fewer than 100 armored vehicles and up to 10,000 soldiers converged on 3d Battalion, 69th Armor, as they guarded a critical bridge crossing the Euphrates River at Objective Peach. This type of large conventional force is the ideal formation that the extensive surveillance network operating in Iraq should have been able to detect. Lieutenant Colonel Earnest "Rock" Marcone, commander of 3-69 Armor, claims that the Iraqi Republican Guard did nothing special to conceal their intentions or their movements. They attacked en masse using tactics that are more recognizable with the Soviet army of World War II. LTC Marcone reported that, despite the large conventional force moving against him, we got nothing until they slammed into us. In fact, the battalion did not receive a single piece of intelligence from their higher headquarters to indicate that such a large attack was imminent. The commander had terrible situational awareness that night in spite of the large array of airborne reconnaissance platforms that were supposedly watching his front.