ABSTRACT

Weapons of Mass Protection: Nonlethality, Information Warfare, and Airpower in the Age of Chaos   [open pdf - 66KB]

The age of chaos has created new demands on policymakers and war planners alike. Wars of divestiture, which may occur far below the previous threshold of war, provide a new challenge to the United States. Weapons of mass protection can be developed that will allow the United States to assert its leadership while holding a moral high ground internationally. Airpower holds the key to timely delivery of weapons of mass protection in ways that will create new supports to diplomacy, a new deterrent below the level of massive conventional force projection, and enhanced, politically useable conventional force with which to meet the challenges of the chaotically destabilized, media-scrutinized environment. The basic values inherent in airpower deep penetration, broad reach, precision delivery, early entry must be augmented with the ability to carry payloads whose results enforce policy throughout the operational continuum in ways suitable to the needs of decision makers in this age of chaos. Wars of divestiture have at their core the aim of restoring order with minimum destruction. Weapons of mass protection have a political utility that encompasses the changed environment for warfare and allows the United States to enforce its policies when necessary, thereby exercising its role as world leader. Airpower, demonstrably the first choice for early action by US decision makers, can project non-lethal, anti-lethal, and information warfare while conserving lives, limiting destruction, and deterring by denial, thus helping to chart the course of US military power in this new and evolving action area.

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