Power Projection - Types of Power Projection Missions

Types of Power Projection Missions

Scholars have disaggregated military power projection into nine different aspects based on the political goals being sought and the level of force employed: Four of these relate to the employment of "soft" military power (securing sea lanes of communication, non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian response, and peacekeeping) and five are primarily concerned with "hard" military power (showing the flag, compellence/deterrence, punishment, armed intervention and conquest.)

Soft power projection

  • Securing sea lanes of communication: the protection of shipping lanes from attack by hostile states or irregular threats.
  • Non-combatant evacuation operations: the evacuation of citizens or friendly third country civilians from a foreign country when they are endangered by war or civil unrest.
  • Humanitarian response: the use of military forces abroad to assist in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
  • Peace-keeping: military operations designed to support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement to an on-going dispute.

Hard power projection

  • Showing the flag: the symbolic deployment of military forces to a region for the purposes of demonstrating political interest, resolve, or willingness to take more forceful military action.
  • Compulsion/deterrence: the use of the threat of military force against another state to either induce it into or dissuade it from pursuing a given policy. In this form, power projection acts as a diplomatic tool, attempting to influence the decision-making process of foreign actors.
  • Punishment: the punitive use of force against another state in response to their pursuit of a given policy.
  • Armed intervention: the movement of military forces into another nation’s territory for the purposes of influencing the internal affairs of the target country short of outright conquest.
  • Conquest: the offensive use of military assets to forcibly occupy territory controlled or claimed by another state.

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