Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

By Dominic J. Caraccilo | Go to book overview

Foreword

Are we there yet?

What parent has not heard that line wander up from the back seat, or thought it for himself or herself, while droning ahead on a long, lonesome highway? An automobile journey has a destination, and, sooner or later, you reach the end. Therefore, when the question arises, the aware driver can answer with an estimated arrival time. But all of that presupposes that you know where you are going.

One would like to think that when a country goes to war, it knows where it wants to end up. In contemporary American strategic thought, much time and energy is devoted to putative “endstates” and victory conditions. But, not unlike our generic car trip, the route chosen must get you to the final stop. One cannot drive to Las Vegas by going north out of New York City, and we would scoff mightily at a vehicle operator who tried such a maneuver. It works only when you pick an objective that connects to your approach, and it works even better if the path selected is smooth, straight, and short.

Yet the United States, like other countries in history, has at times moved well down the road before determining that something has gone seriously wrong with the strategic compass … not to mention the moral one. In certain circumstances, we have marched off to fight without fully thinking through where we really should go and how best we could get there. One thinks of the War of 1812, the Philippine Insurrection, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the current campaigning in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. To have any hope of justifying the blood sacrifices it demands, a war must end well.

-ix-

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Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Fog of Postwar 21
  • Chapter 2 - War Termination Strategy Goes Webster 57
  • Chapter 3 - The Good 82
  • Chapter 4 - The Bad 106
  • Chapter 5 - The Missing Link- The Interagency Struggle 130
  • Chapter 6 - The Nesting of Goals and Objectives to Achieve an End 145
  • Chapter 7 - The Art of Ending War 150
  • Epilogue 161
  • Appendix - Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam 165
  • Notes 177
  • Bibliography 197
  • Index 211
  • About the Author 221
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