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By Clayton K. S. Chun

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Unlike a tank or ship, an aircraft’s fuselage might be manufactured with aluminum or other materials that provide sufficient structural strength for flight but do little to protect it against a missile or shell. Damage from enemy attacks or even a bird hitting the Plexiglas canopy might force the aircraft to abandon its mission or even destroy the vehicle. Aircraft and spacecraft might not be able to sustain operations under significant air or space defenses. These strengths and limitations should allow one to assess, in a general manner, where the use of aerospace forces is appropriate.

S o m e o f 43 AEROSPACE POWER IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Destruction of a German city in World War II breaks the will of the people. Douhet’s hypothesis is tested. his ideas would be proven in combat during World War II; others resulted in tragic consequences for opposing forces and enemy populations during the war. D o u h e t ’s theory on airpower had several limitations. Aside from the use of poison gas and incendiary weapons, Douhet advocated a war against civilians to break the will of a popula tion.

25 AEROSPACE POWER IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ground-transportation targets such as roads, bridges, and railroads helped slow down Iraqi ground-force movements and reduced the enemy’s ability to fight because the flow of supplies and troop reinforcements was reduced to a trickle. O n c e c o m b a t o p e r a t i o n s s t a r t , a e r o s p a c e f o r c e s c a n coerce an offending nation or party to take a certain course of action. Coercion involves the use of force to punish the transgressions of a foe in hopes of altering a nation’s will.

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