Precision-strike Warfare and International Intervention: Strategic, Ethico-legal and Decisional Implications

Tom Dyson, Mike Aaronson, Wali Aslam, Regina Rauxloh

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book explores whether the new capabilities made possible by precision-strike technologies are reshaping approaches to international intervention.

Since the end of the Cold War, US technological superiority has led to a more proactive and, some would argue, high risk approach to international military intervention. New technologies including the capacity to mount precision military strikes from high-level bombing campaigns and, more recently, the selective targeting of individuals from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have facilitated air campaigns, supported by Special Forces, without the commitment of large numbers of troops on the ground.

Such campaigns include, for example, NATO’s high-level aerial bombardment of Milosevic’s forces in Kosovo in 1999 and of Gaddafi’s in Libya in 2011, and the US operation involving Special Forces against Osama Bin Laden. The development of UAVs and electronic data intercept technologies has further expanded the potential scope of interventions, for example against Islamic militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

This volume examines three key and interrelated dimensions of these new precision-strike capabilities: (1) the strategic and foreign policy drivers and consequences; (2) the legal and moral implications of the new capabilities; and (3), the implications for decision-making at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.

This book will be of much interest to students of war and technology, air power, international intervention, security studies and IR.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages264
ISBN (Print)0415730201
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Publication series

NameRoutledge Global Security Studies

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