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Legitimitet och nekande tvångsmakt i Operation Desert Storm
Swedish National Defence College.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

When are aerial bombing strategies effective in coercing target states? According to the recent research debate there is a consensus that denial strategies may be an effective instrument for coercing states to change their politics. This study is based on Belkin’s theory which argues that the effectiveness of denial strategies may depend in part on the domestic legitimacy of the target states’ regimes. From a political standpoint, aerial denial effectiveness can be considered more likely to coerce when political leaders of target states lack domestic legitimacy rather than when they are legitimate.  


The purpose of this study is to contribute an explanation of a condition where denial strategies are more likely to succeed. The study has a two-sided focus where the first focus lies on Pape’s work on denial strategies in order to investigate how the Allies used their air power during Operation Desert Storm. The second focus is on legitimacy theory which will be used to investigate whether Iraq lacked legitimacy during the time of the war and what consequences that might have had in a denial perspective.


The study concludes that Iraq lacked legitimacy and may therefore have been vulnerable to a sub-category of denial called operational interdiction. Thus, the study provides a possible development of Belkins theory into: Operational interdiction may be an effective instrument for coercing states to charge their policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [sv]
Luftmakt, legitimitet, nekande strategi
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5454OAI: diva2:825319
Subject / course
War Studies Thesis
Educational program
Officersprogrammet (OP)
Available from: 2015-07-03 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2015-08-04Bibliographically approved

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