Airpower in Hybrid War: Ethical Implications for the Joint Force Commander
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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In the foreseeable future, the United States US will likely find itself engaged in hybrid warfare. Such conflicts will involve state and non-state adversaries utilizing a fusion of conventional and unconventional weapons, tactics, and behaviors. Moreover, political risk aversion, coupled with the perceived sanitary use of technologically advanced weapons systems, makes US airpower an ever enticing means to achieve the nation s political objectives. Applying airpower to hybrid war raises unique ethical considerations for the Joint Force Commander JFC. In this essay, the author introduces the nuances of hybrid war, the technologically superior capabilities of US airpower, and the ethical concerns distinct to each. The research analyzes the JFC s ethical responsibilities in applying airpower to hybrid war, as well as thoughts regarding proportionality and the military advantage of tactical air strikes as they link to theater and national strategic goals. The author concludes that JFCs must ethically bridge airpower s effects with hybrid war s strategic objectives by tailoring rules of engagement to focus the joint targeting process. Finally, the research calls for the development of hybrid war doctrine and the advancement of joint targeting guidance, and also offers the JFC pertinent recommendations in the realm of operational art.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Unconventional Warfare