By Clayton K. S. Chun
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Additional resources for Aerospace Power in the Twenty-First Century: A Basic Primer
If combat should occur, then aerospace forces c a n deny an armed force or nation the ability to conduct those actions. Deterrence actions involve changing the mind-set of a potential adversary. Denial actions include physical attacks upon the adversary’s military or other appropriate targets to stop or reverse an action. For example, during Desert Storm, coalition air forces a t t a c k e d I r a q i t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , s u p p l y , i n dustrial, and other targets that supported enemy forces to reduce their military capabilities.
Enemy ground forces can attack aircraft on the ground, where they are vulnerable to small-arms fire. Carefully planned air attacks may be displaced if a foe is tipped off about any impending actions. Military forces require security to protect their a s s e t s a n d a v o i d g i v i n g t h e e n e m y a n y u n i n t e n d e d a d v a ntages. Airfield protection has been an important prerequisite to make airpower available for action and to give a com m a n d e r maximum support to conduct operations.
A single jet bomber might destroy a telecommunications center, thus preventing the enemy leader from transmitting vital commands to his forces and his nation’s citizens. The objective of decapitation is to separate the “brain” (national leader) from the “body” (nation) so that the body is paralyzed and cannot take effective action. Because the body might not be able to function sufficiently to exist, it may no longer remain a threat. Finally, aerospace power is not always involved in conflict b u t m a y t a k e humanitarian actions .