Airpower's Emasculation? -- Non-lethal Weapons in Joint Urban Operations
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Presidential declaration of a Global War on Terror GWOT ensured that the future battlespace will occur in urban environments, in search of terrorist operatives and networks. Advancements in precision weapons have done much to allay concerns over minimizing collateral damage and reducing noncombatant casualties in Joint Urban Operations JUO, however, the consideration in proposing airpowers use of non-lethal weapons NLW is the improvement in capability. This paper considers the efficacy of airpower in JUO with the addition of NLW, given the GWOT and future operations, proposing that overall capability could be enhanced. Considerations include costs, hearts and minds, and stability and support operations SASO. Airpower with NLW capability could stem the tide of rising costs by reducing munitions and rebuilding expenses. Additionally, intelligence gathered from captured vice killed terrorists could lead to operations concluding sooner, thereby indirectly reducing the overall cost for a particular operation. The second consideration looks at how utilizing airpower with NLW could reduce the footprint of U.S. forces, while minimizing noncombatant casualties and collateral damage, and depreciate the negative effects of media coverage. The third position is as the future of likely military intervention points to conducting SASO in urban environments NLW capability would mean a broader application of airpower in these missions.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare