Airpower Essay

Superior Essays
When it comes to the employment of the military instrument of national power, the ability of airpower to influence the strategic environment has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history. Since 1991, the US has turned to airpower to achieve strategic objectives in a variety of ways. While there are numerous examples, we will examine how airpower has been utilized in two general categories: containment and humanitarian rights. The first category will discuss how the US has utilized airpower to contain bad actors in support of our economic, social, and political interests. The second category demonstrates airpower utilization for regime influence and/or removal, specifically as it pertains to violations of human rights. Lastly, we will discuss how airpower is currently being employed in the fight against ISIL. These examples will show the far-reaching strategic impact of airpower on shaping the environment in support of US national objectives.
The first category where airpower has played a vital strategic role is in the realm of containment. The concept of
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Operations ODYSSEY DAWN and UNIFIED PROTECTOR were launched in order to protect civilians from the corrupt Gaddafi regime, enforce UN arms embargos, and establish as AEZ over Libya. The AEZ enabled the flow of humanitarian supplies into the country and assisted in containing the violence in the same manner as previously discussed with containment. The threat of a humanitarian crisis, similar to the one in Kosovo, drove the need for an air campaign. This campaign selected specific strategic targets, just as in the previous examples listed, in order to support the UN Security Council resolution and the anti-Gaddafi forces on the ground. The air campaign played a vital role in the ultimate victory of the rebel forces and the end of the Gaddafi regime

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