Right Backed by Might: The International Air Force Concept

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This study provides an overview of the International Air Force (IAF) concept, which emerged in the early 20th century out of a long progression of schemes for creating multi-national armed forces to enforce the peace, most often referred to as an international police force (IPF). After broadly tracing the IAF's complex lineage, Beaumont surveys the proliferation of IPF and IAF proposals throughout the 20th century, including schemes offered by Kipling, H.G. Wells, and Theodore Roosevelt. Later ideas included the Allies' Independent Air Force of 1917-18, the evolution of the League to Enforce Peace into the League of Nations, imperial air policing between the World Wars, and a host of proposals, official and informal, such as visions of a United Nations IAF and the ad hoc coalition air forces assembled by the major western powers in the Gulf War and the Balkans in the 1990s.

The IAF concept gained far greater popularity, even among contemporary historians, than is generally appreciated. Beaumont interweaves the review of the IAF and IPF designs with diplomacy and war, especially the rise of air power, and the confounding of its advocates' visions of a cheap, quick road to victory. Based on Beaumont's survey of secondary and primary sources during more than a decade of research, this book considers the IAF image from such diverse perspectives as pacifism, popular culture, and collective security.

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Editorial Reviews

When he began research, Beaumont (history, Texas A&M U.) was surprised to find that the idea of an International Air Force has faded in and out of public and official focus throughout the 20th century and has left quite a record. He first reviews the centuries of attempts to enforce authority with an international force. Then he looks more closely at the International Police Force concept and the League of Nations, and the growth the International Air Force concept from 1919 to 1939, and during and after World War II. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275971724
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 214
  • Lexile: 1890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

ROGER BEAUMONT has taught history at Texas A&M University since 1974.

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Table of Contents


Seeds on the Wind: Visions of Universal Peace and Air Power from Ancient to Modern Times

Bloom and Wilt: The International Police Force Concept and the League of Nations

Frail Blossoms Between Storms: The Growth of the International Air Force Concept, 1919-1939

In Fulsome Bloom: Manifold Visions of an International Air Force in World War II

Scattered Petals on the Wind: Collective Security and Air Power, 1945 to the Present

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