The latest installment of the Military History Podcast Series features a presentation by Dr. Richard Goette “Canada and the Positive Psychological Effect of Soft Air Power.”
In this presentation Richard Goette explains the often overlooked benefits of non-kinetic air power and why it is an important tool for the Royal Canadian Air Force to use in the national interests of Canada. Unlike traditional kinetic air power, non-kinetic air power can be used to produce positive psychological effects including hope, relief, security, and inspiration, rather than fear and demoralization. As historical example of this are the reconnaissance aircraft provided safety and security to convoys that crossed the Atlantic during the Second World War. But as Goette argues, non-kinetic air power is not limited to combat roles. Search and Rescue operations, air shows, peacekeeping, and medical supply shipments are also examples of altruism and benevolence that should be part of Canadian foreign policy. These tasks, he explains, make Canada a responsible and effective international actor, providing relief and hope to those in need. Goette also points to several historical examples of domestic non-kinetic air power, citing Operation Santa Claus and other such initiatives to bring supplies, medicine, and personnel to populations in the Canadian north. Non-kinetic air power, he concludes, should be viewed as being just as important as traditional, kinetic air power, and can be used to the benefit of Canada, both internationally and domestically.