The Dawn of Cruise Missile Diplomacy
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
Pagination or Media Count:
The Tomahawk cruise missile has become the weapon of choice for the U.S. National Command Authority NCA in the years following the Persian Gulf War. It appears that the Tomahawk cruise missile has supplanted more traditional military methods of gunboat diplomacy, such as attack aircraft and naval gunfire, as the primary means of delivering a military punch to achieve political gain. Since their first use in Operation Desert Storm, more than one hundred Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired in battle in four separate instances the January and June 1993 strikes in Iraq, the September 1995 strikes in Bosnia, and the September 1996 strikes in Iraq. This thesis traces the evolution of the Tomahawk cruise missile since its debut in the 1991 Gulf War as an instrument in the execution of U.S. foreign policy and examines the reasons for the increased U.S. reliance on the Tomahawk. This research describes this unique weapon system, examines why Tomahawk has become the U.S. weapon of choice, and examines the likely political and military repercussions of the future employment of Tomahawk cruise missiles.
- Air- and Space-Launched Guided Missiles