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The basic tenets of contemporary air operations were founded during the interwar years. After the Cold War, both the operational environment and the significance of air operations changed; for the risk- and casualty-averse militaries of the post–Cold War era, technological advancements in munitions and targeting have helped air forces become the first choice in humanitarian interventions and an integral aspect of military interventions and counterinsurgency operations of the post-9/11 period. This entry discusses types of air operations and their effectiveness.

Types of Air Operations

Air superiority represents the central role for air forces. The term refers to control over airspace of the operational area in which friendly forces are operating, thereby denying the adversary the opportunity to attack friendly forces by air. It provides safe operational space ...

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