Accession Number:

ADA291634

Title:

Coercive Air Strategy: Forcing a Bureaucratic Shift.

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis,

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1995-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

37.0

Abstract:

The purpose of this work is to provide the air planner with an air strategy that may, under certain defined conditions, be more likely to yield success than current air power theories. Our current stock of strategic ideas tend to rely on a unitary, rational actor assumption to describe the decision making environments of our potential adversaries. We believe reliance on this simplistic assumption may skew the counter strategy development process. We propose an alternate decision framework that identifies the importance of consensus decision making and the central role organizations often play in this complex process. This characteristically divisive environment presents many new opportunities to apply military force selectively in a compellent situation. To take advantage of the vulnerabilities created by these internal divisions, we propose a strategy that uses air power to surprise policy advocates in an opponents domestic coalition and force a bureaucratic shift. By targeting key organizations during windows of coercive opportunity, air power may be able to shape a new consensus and produce a policy change that furthers our interests. Central to our effort is the use of the Czechoslovakian crisis that gripped Europe in the summer and fall of 1938 for it highlights many of the same situational characteristics we see today and can expect to see in the future. Britains failure to know their opponent resulted in a missed opportunity to take advantage of a split in the German internal consensus that left them vulnerable to a coercive effort.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Intelligence
  • Target Direction, Range and Position Finding

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE