Student or Learner
So here's the sentence: He makes a good point that initially the German Luftwaffe was doctrinally unprepared for close air support missions for the army and instead could only employ pre-planned strikes determined by the air staff.
What is the meaning of employ in that sentence? If I replace it with execute, would it be fine?
Look at meaning 3 here:
You can write the sentence with 'execute', but it doesn't mean the same. 'Employ' has the connotation that they have the capacity to strike at any time, and that they have now decided to use (employ) that capacity. 'Execute' doesn't have that connotation. But given that we've been told that the strikes are pre-planned, 'execute' is reasonable to use.
("I might have other opinions about the difference, but I've decided not to employ them." I couldn't use 'execute' here.)