Waging War: Alliances, Coalitions, and Institutions of Interstate Violence

By Patricia A. Weitsman | Go to book overview

5
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM
AND THE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
ASSISTANCE FORCE

IT IS ESPECIALLY important to explore the meaning of multilateralism in the context of the war in Afghanistan. This war decision by George W. Bush and his administration was widely perceived as unilateral.1 And yet a close examination of the way in which the war in Afghanistan unfolded makes clear that wholly unilateral operations are rarely feasible in the contemporary age and are profoundly un-American. Multilateralism was undertaken in Afghanistan for both strategic and ideological reasons that persisted for the duration of the war. The central question of American warfare is not whether it is unilateral or multilateral, but rather how the multilateralism manifests. The Afghanistan case is instructive in this context; it reveals the spectrum of multilateral action even in the space of one target country. The institutions available to promote American hegemony are many; some of these instruments of war facilitate the projection of American power; others hinder its realization. We see evidence of both in this case. As realist institutionalism instructs, certain institutional mechanisms facilitated the United States’ swift and effective response post–9/11; other institutional effects undermined cohesion, efficiency, and effectiveness in pursuing U.S. military ends.

This chapter offers an examination of the Afghanistan case and the multilateral character of the operation, both in regard to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). I analyze the institutional arrangements, decision-making structure, size, burden sharing and balance of power within the alliance and coalition, and effects on cohesion and efficacy of the coalition and alliance used to prosecute the war and to maintain the fragile peace in the less turbulent regions in Afghanistan.

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Waging War: Alliances, Coalitions, and Institutions of Interstate Violence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acronyms xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Fighting with Friends 14
  • 3 - Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield 48
  • 4 - Operation Allied Force 74
  • 5 - Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force 99
  • 6 - Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War in Iraq 132
  • 7 - Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector 164
  • 8 - Conclusion 188
  • Notes 199
  • Index 265
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