Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

By Dominic J. Caraccilo | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Good

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the vic-
tory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and
afterwards looks for victory.

       —Chinese Military Strategist Sun Tzu

This chapter presents examples of what went “right” as it pertains to planning for war termination, conflict resolution, measurements and criteria, endstate and policy aims, and in some instances, definitive exit strategies. In the following examples, it is instructive to review—perhaps by phase in the fight—what portions went well and use those lessons learned to help in the future when planning each stage of the fight in the ongoing wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan and for those thereafter.

Recalling from the Introduction, Michael Brown stated that “In the first twelve years of the post-Cold War (1990 to 2001), fifty-seven major armed conflicts took place in forty-five countries. In the first half of this period, the number of conflicts ranged from twenty-eight to thirty-three per year. Although the incidence of conflict dropped as the post-Cold War era stabilized, the number of conflicts has held steady since the late 1990s at around twenty-five conflicts per year.”1

If one intends any conflict to advance long-term interests, one must consider the essential question of how the enemy might be forced to surrender or, failing that, what type of bargain might work to terminate the war. Such questions combine both the political and military realms. Not only the military contest but also domestic and foreign policy developments contribute to the war’s outcome. Although the question of terminating a war should arise as soon as the war has begun or in the course of advanced planning, it tends to receive little or no attention in war plans.2


WORLD WAR II

The occupation of Germany after World War II is perhaps the paradigm of a successful postcombat operation in modern American history. After

-82-

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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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