Date of this Version
King, Brett A. Coercive Airpower in the Precision Age. 2014
Prior scholarship on the duration of coercive air campaigns has often focused on regime type, the adversary’s vulnerability (of both military forces and civilian population), and the involvement of additional forces (ground/naval). Strong findings emerged that emphasized the significance of democratic attackers and the target state’s vulnerability to their political and military strategies. These findings, however, do not address the role of the technological capabilities of the attacking states’ air forces. A more detailed explanation of military capabilities may help to fill in this hole in the research, particularly how military capabilities affect the coercing state’s ability to coerce an adversary. This paper evaluates the role of precision guided munitions in the duration of air campaigns. I find that the introduction of precision munitions increases the likelihood that a successful air campaign will terminate sooner than those that lack such technological capability.
Advisor: Ross A. Miller