Airpower and the emerging U.S. security framework for the Persian Gulf
Wallace, Charles J.
Russell, James A.
Dombroski, Kenneth R.
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The role of airpower in the Persian Gulf security framework is approaching an important crossroads as old missions end, strategic assumptions change, and uncertain requirements emerge. Future requirements will be defined in a strategic environment where regional threats, relevant actors,and U.S. interests have all evolved. For over a decade, airpower has contributed important capabilities to persistent missions to coerce and contain Iraq, but with these missions ending new posture requirements must be defined. The effects based methodology framework presented here provides a useful system level model for thinking in terms of optimizing effects as strategy is operationalized. Airpower will continue to support U.S. interests to preserve stable oil flows, diminish terrorism, promote regional stability, and deter weapons of mass destruction proliferation from a new global posture construct emphasizing agile, expeditionary forces. Extremist sub-state actors, Iranian nuclear ambitions, and uncertain political, economic and social trends increasingly challenge these interests. The regional military strategy for U.S. Central Command focuses on three broad goals of warfighting, engagement, and development. Airpower's precision, global reach and strike, and network centric advances offer decision-makers useful capabilities to support these making continued access to regional basing a strategic imperative.
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