Incidences Where Airpower Interventions have been used Globally to Bring an End to the War and Stabilize the Process

Airpower is one of the important elements of the military that many countries have used to terminate the war for the purposes of promoting national interest. Airpower became more vital in the 21st century due to rapid development attributed to technological advancement. Many studies have argued that airpower has more contemporary flexibilities as compared to naval and ground powers (Bosilca, et al., 2013). As a result, it has sufficient condition to terminate the war and this was supported by the NATO intervention in Libya 2011, where airpower was the key military intervention employed to stabilize the process and terminate the war. This is because airpower is perceived to be less offensive and intrusive intervention as compared to ground intervention. It is also characterized by fluidity and advantages of speed which is important for peace operations.

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            Putting into consideration all these factors, the purpose of this paper is to describe how airpower cam most effectively contribute to ensuring that war termination coincides with national interests. The focus is to analyze incidences where airpower interventions have been used globally to bring an end to the war and stabilize the process. One of the analysis is the intervention by NATO in Libya 2011 where airpower was main military action. The justification of using NATO intervention in Libya was based on the fact that intervention relied almost entirely on airpower. In order to clearly understand the concept of airpower in relation to termination of war, the focus is to describe airpower as an instrument in contemporary warfare and its contributions in the realization of peace. All these factors are evaluated taking into consideration the definition of war, the initial aim of the war, the public face of war and termination of war.

The concepts of airpower

            Based on British Air and Space Power Doctrine, airpower is defined as “ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behavior of people or the course of event” (UK, 2009). Although many studies have defined airpower differently, the above definition was chosen because of its conceptual clarity and reliability. Nonetheless, some studies have indicated that the concept of airpower is yet to be widely understood because the basic concepts that govern and define airpower remain obscure to many studies even on the studies done by the professional military officers. This means that airpower theory has not entirely explore in systematic and clear way the concept of airpower (Creveld, 2011). For many years, there has been a wrong perception that strong airpower will renders other military units impotent. However, after deploying airpower intervention for various missions such operation desert storm and Libya, this perception has slowly disappeared.

Understanding the concept of airpower

            There are three aspects that clarify the concept of airpower from the perspective air and space power. The first aspect is that the description of airpower should not be limited to combat aircraft and air arms. It is important to understand that airpower is amalgamation of less tangible ingredients which are equally important such as practical experience, adaptability, leadership, proficiency, tactics and training, concepts of operations and employment doctrines and hardware equities (Bosilca, et al., 2013). These factors makes the airpower intervention vary significantly in terms of air arms around the globe. This explain the reasons why it is important to determine the correct hardware and ‘soft’ factors that delivers the desired results.

            The second aspect is the fact that the functionality of the airpower is inseparable from battle-space intelligence and information. From 1980s, airpower has evolved and experienced significant growth in terms of combat and lethality effectiveness. As a result, airpower currently can hit anything that detects, engages and identify (Bosilca, et al., 2013). This is attributed to the technological advance that facilitate the process of gathering accurate intelligence information. This means the intelligence and airpower are thus opposite sides of the same coin. This means if the latter fails, the mission is likely to fail too.

            The third aspect is the understanding that airpower is not limited to sensors, munitions, Air Force aircrafts and other capabilities. It should be expanded to include battlefield missiles of land forces, attack helicopters and naval aviation. This is clear indication that airpower requires support elements from combat which include information warfare and creativity.

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The analysis of airpower in the context of 2011 NATO intervention in Libya and Iraq demonstrated the aspect of cosmopolitan action from a legal perspective. It is cosmopolitan in the sense that international community deployed range of military forces to protect the interest of Libyan people as well as the interest of international community. This is clear indication that airpower play crucial role in ensuring that humanitarian crisis is avoided in a country. In most cases, United States have assisted several countries to fight insurgency by providing military with the intelligence information. This is because US have air capability to gather intelligence information event from areas that are perceived to be very hostile such as Afghanistan.

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