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Five Precepts for the Air Component Commander When Air Power is Used in Coercive Diplomacy.

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Final rept.,

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Unquestionably, air power brings to bear some unique capabilities that no other military force can, particularly when used as a coercive diplomacy tool. To be used effectively though, a rational calculus needs to take place that considers air powers strengths as well as its weaknesses. Consideration of both sides of this equation is essential for the success of any air operation. With air powers increased use in this way, it is essential that the air component commander be as well versed as possible in this new mission. Too often, in todays age of crisis management, the operational commander has had to wing it in his attempt to use air power effectively and correctly in this, very dynamic, political context. An examination of a few recent case studies to determine what works, as well as to identify those possible instances where air power might not have been the correct military choice or was employed incorrectly, has produced a list of five precepts--principles that prescribe a particular course of action or conduct--that attempt to give the air component commander a baseline for planning. It is equally important that the air component commander advise the leadership of the possible risks where air power might not be the appropriate tool to use. These precepts are by no means all inclusive nor are they meant to be a definitive answer as additional lessons are being written right now in air operations abroad.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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