Strategy, Coercion and the Effectiveness of Airstrikes in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

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Title: Strategy, Coercion and the Effectiveness of Airstrikes in Counterinsurgency Campaigns
Authors: Ritchie, Robert Matthew
Date: 2016-10-14
Abstract: Air power has played a major role in unconventional and counterinsurgency campaigns since the advent of the military airplane. How effective is it in these types of campaigns? I use Pape’s typology of coercive strategic models in conventional war and apply it to six counterinsurgency campaigns since the Second World War. I then assess each strategy’s effectiveness in the conflict. Two trends emerge: strategies have shifted over time from those targeting supporting elements (logistics, mobility) to strategies directly targeting insurgents in combat; at the same time, air power has become less strategically effective. I examine three drivers for these trends: new technology making close air support missions technically feasible, doctrinal changes providing a military logic supporting these missions, and societal factors encouraging the replacement of ground forces with air strikes.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35287
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers
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