Air Power: The New Gunboat Diplomacy?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI DEPT OF OPERATIONS
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Air power may replace naval power as the United States weapon of choice in international conflicts short of war. The U.S. Navy has a long tradition of using sea power, or gunboat diplomacy, for coercive diplomacy. This is because navies are mobile and self-contained. They incur little political commitment because they can be withdrawn as easily as they are inserted. Air power diplomacy is not yet as well defined as gunboat diplomacy. As the principle suppliers of Americas air power, the Air Force and Navy need to jointly develop doctrine for air power diplomacy. Modern air power is uniquely suited for use in coercive diplomacy. Air power is a very credible threat because potential adversaries realize the impact of our air power. They know American air power can strike at long range through the most formidable air defenses and hit targets with pin-point accuracy. Adversaries realize the U.S. is more inclined to actually use air power because there is little risk of U.S. casualties. They also know that American airlifters can move significant American forces into an area in a matter of days. Air power diplomacy is not appropriate in all circumstances. When used, it should be part of an integrated strategy of coercive diplomacy and under the direction of a joint Force Commander. Framework for analysis, Definitive force, Presence, Diplomacy.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics