By Seth G. Jones,Keith Crane,Daniel Byman,John G. McGinn,Rollie Lal,Ian O. Lesser

Coercion--the use of threatened strength to urge an adversary to alter its behavior--is a severe functionality of the U.S. army. U.S. forces have lately fought within the Balkans, the Persian Gulf, and the Horn of Africa to compel recalcitrant regimes and warlords to forestall repression, abandon guns courses, let humanitarian reduction, and differently regulate their activities. but regardless of its overwhelming army may perhaps, the USA usually fails to coerce effectively. This file examines the phenomenon of coercion and the way air strength can give a contribution to its luck. 3 elements elevate the possibility of profitable coercion: (1) the coercer's skill to elevate the prices it imposes whereas denying the adversary the opportunity to reply (escalation dominance); (2) a capability to dam an adversary's army procedure for victory; and (3) a capability to exaggerate third-party threats, akin to inner instability or the chance posed via one other enemy. household political matters (such as casualty sensitivity) and coalition dynamics frequently constrain coercive operations and impair the fulfillment of those stipulations. Air strength can bring effective and credible threats that foster the above components whereas neutralizing adversary countercoercive strikes. whilst the favorable components are absent, notwithstanding, air power--or the other army instrument--will most likely fail to coerce. Policymakers' use of coercive air energy below inauspicious stipulations diminishes the possibilities of utilizing it somewhere else while the clients of good fortune will be greater.

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