Just finished reading In Diyala Province, Persuasion by Artillery Fire and this quote jumped out at me from the US Army colonel the post was about:
The artillery helps with “terrain denial” — driving insurgents away from potential safe havens, he explained. But the strikes are also aimed at persuading the local civilian population, and their leaders.
The rounds have a “profound… psychological impact,” Col. Lehr said. “They quickly get your attention, get you to start asking questions” about why the cannons are blasting.
“Six separate times” such strikes “brought tribal leaders to the table,” Col. Lehr noted.
There’s a word for inflicting terror on civilian populations to scare them into acquiescing to your political demands, isn’t there? I could swear there is. It’s right on the tip of my tongue…