Precision and Purpose: Airpower in the Libyan Civil War

By Gregory Alegi; Christian F. Anrig et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

From March 19 to October 31, 2011, the United States and a coalition of fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and partner states waged a remarkable air war in Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Unified Protector were designed to protect Libya’s civilian populace under a United Nations mandate, and in conjunction with the country’s new opposition movement, they led to the defeat and removal of the dictatorial regime of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. The campaign, in which the coalition suffered no casualties and which cost a relatively inexpensive few billion dollars, is now being proffered as a model for future U.S. and NATO expeditionary operations.

This report, written by a team of U.S. and international experts, examines the origins, planning, execution, and results of the air campaign, with the goal of drawing lessons from it that will help prepare the U.S. Air Force and its allies and partners for future operations in which such a strategy of aerial intervention could be a promising policy option.

The research reported here was sponsored by General Philip M. Breedlove, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.


RAND Project AIR FORCE

RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF), a division of the RAND Corporation, is the U.S. Air Force’s federally funded research and development center for studies and analyses. PAF provides the Air Force with independent analyses of policy alternatives affecting the development, employment, combat readiness, and support of current and future air, space, and cyber forces. Research is conducted in four programs: Force Modernization and Employment; Manpower, Personnel, and Training; Resource Management; and Strategy and Doctrine. The research reported here was prepared under contract FA7014-06-C-0001.

Additional information about PAF is available on our website:
http://www.rand.org/paf/

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