Downloading Deterrence: The Logic and Logistics of Coercive Deployment on U.S. Strategy
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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This study proceeds in two parts. The first section is a theoretical and historical review of the role of logistics-enabled military presence as a part of coercive strategies. Operation NICKEL GRASSthe United States logistical support to Israel during the Yom Kippur Wardemonstrates how even permanently based forces may fail to deter aggression, while showing the successes and challenges of one of the first modern aerial logistics efforts. The deployment of United States forces as a part of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was one of the largest military logistics operations of all time. Despite its coercive success, the ports of debarkation struggled to handle the tremendous flow of frontline forces, equipment, and sustainment. The time offered to the United States to deploy massive forces and overcome logistical hurdles may not be offered by future adversaries. Finally, the deployment of Task Force Hawk as a part of the conflict in Kosovo shows how even small force deployments face logistical hurdles as constraints at ports of debarkation slow the establishment of forward military presence. In sum, the theoretical review and historical cases suggest coercive strategies should employ forward presence, but that limits on throughput degrade the United States current capacity to employ rapid mobility to its full potential. The second section of the work examines the United States current aerial port technologies and concepts of operations. Part of this analysis rests on a recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA-commissioned project to model the United States logistics enterprise. The DARPA project infused potential technologies, like fast sealift and heavy vertical airlift, to examine investment strategies for research and development.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics