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March 15, 2014

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I'm very sleepy right now, but I think the grip of the article is wrong. What the article *desires* is to reclaim the sense of initiative, hence, the morale being boosted is on the part of the Ukrainians, and not suppressing the morale of the Russians.

In general, in the modern post WWII era, isn't the point of most of these things, blockades, bombings (particularly stuff like Operation Menu), pretty much about demonstrating that you're the boss to the exclusion (and maybe willfully and perversely profitably so) of actual military or geopolitical aims?

Get mad at someone, toss a cruise missile at 'em, feel better. Whether the other guy feels bad or good is entirely besides the point.

Have you read Baldoli and Knapp's work on France and Italy? shorter: strategic bombing (along with lots of other things, but sometimes on its own) did work on Italy.

"In general, in the modern post WWII era, isn't the point of most of these things, blockades, bombings (particularly stuff like Operation Menu), pretty much about demonstrating that you're the boss to the exclusion (and maybe willfully and perversely profitably so) of actual military or geopolitical aims?

"Get mad at someone, toss a cruise missile at 'em, feel better. Whether the other guy feels bad or good is entirely besides the point."

Couple months ago, I spent several posts trying to say something like this. Shah8 just nailed it in two 'graphs.

Hi, Chris! I have not: I am going to now.

It strikes me that the relevant literature is on blockades, not strategic bombing. And for that the go-to work is Naval Blockades in Peace and War, by Lance Davis and Stan Engerman. It's sitting on my shelf at home: I'm going to read it and probably write a blog post as soon as I get back to Boston.

David, I think you're extrapolating too much from a relatively small number of examples, most of which date from the Clinton Administration. (And the '86 raid on Libya.) I can't disagree with you that punitive raids happen. I can't disagree that they're generally pointless either --- although not always; the recent Colombian raid on FARC sanctuaries in Ecuador appears to have accomplished its strategic aims.

For the readers: Operation Menu was the Nixon Administration's secret bombing of Cambodia. It was intended as operational interdiction of NLF staging areas in neutral territory. It did not accomplish its aims but the fact that neither side publicized the operation is not consistent with the idea that the goals were anything other than operational.

Shah8, I like you, but you owe an apology for an intemperate comment on another post.

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