Air Occupation: Asking the Right Questions
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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What do we mean by the term air occupation The term air occupation can be very perplexing. Unfortunately, neither the term air occupation, nor the word occupation, is defined in Joint or Air Force doctrine. Of the many historic occupation objectives, air occupation most likely applies to less intrusive scenarios that attempt to coerce, enforce sanctions, or create buffer zones. Probable air occupation tasks to achieve these objectives would include a combination of presence, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, psychological operations, humanitarian airdrops and airlift, and punitive strikes. The U.S. Air Force could reduce some of the intellectual resistance to air occupation by using the term air intervention instead. This would unload the parochial and legal baggage associated with the word occupation and link it to the extensive discourse on intervention theory.
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