Accession Number : ADA424996
Title : The Role of Non-Lethal Airpower in Future Peace Operations: Beyond Bombs On Target
Descriptive Note : Research rept.
Corporate Author : AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
Personal Author(s) : Elder, R W
Report Date : Apr 2003
Pagination or Media Count : 39
Abstract : Due to a variety of forces, the interest in supplying U.S. ground forces in support of U.N. peacekeeping operations is at its lowest point since the end of the Cold War. The ignominious withdrawal of U.S. ground forces from Somalia in 1994 coupled with the relative success of U.S. airpower in recent conflicts such as ALLIED FORCE leaves a situation whereby the U.S. public views airpower as an acceptable panacea for solving these situations. Despite the limited validity of this belief, airpower might realistically be the only contribution that Congress is willing to authorize in a time when the military is stretched fighting terrorism and possibly sustaining a long-term commitment in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite the fact that U.S. airpower will be involved in peace operations, the nature of intrastate conflict in the Post-Cold War era where peace operations are likely to occur is vastly different than the symmetrical threats the U.S. Air Force is most suited to fight. Based on this, several authors have questioned whether airpower is still relevant in these situations where it is difficult to distinguish combatants from non-combatants. More important for airpower strategists is how to effectively use airpower when political restraints limit the application of lethal force. Given that airpower is the only contribution the U.S. might be willing to make, how can airpower be used effectively in peace operations? What are its strengths and limitations? Is there anything the U.S. Air Force can do to prepare for these types of operations? To answer these questions, this essay examines the non-lethal use of airpower in peace operations. In addition to the traditional roles of airpower in peace operations such as reconnaissance and airlift, this essay examines airpower's role in operations such as psychological operations, air superiority and airborne communication.
Descriptors : *PEACETIME , *AIR POWER , *AIR FORCE OPERATIONS , CONGRESS , IRAQ , POLITICAL SCIENCE , VALIDATION , THREATS , INFANTRY , AIRBORNE , TARGETS , LIMITATIONS , SYMMETRY , AIR SPACE , COLD WAR , RESTRAINT , COMMUNICATION AND RADIO SYSTEMS , LETHALITY , SOMALIA , RECONNAISSANCE , AIRLIFT OPERATIONS , BOMBS , PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS , AFGHANISTAN , PEACEKEEPING
Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE