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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