Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

By Dominic J. Caraccilo | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

The first, the supreme, the most-far-reaching act of judgment … is to estab-
lish … the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it
for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.

—Carl von Clausewitz

Thus far, I have presented key terms, definitions, vignettes, and examples of war termination successes and failures; a whole of government, nation, and world overview; and a review of our national security strategy and the nesting of the military strategy. Readers looking for an unveiling of a grand methodology that is different from what exists in the form of mission planning and strategy development will be disappointed and perhaps at the same time, relieved, at this point. Disappointed because there is a natural reaction to expect the discovery of a dogmatic panacea unfounded in our national security planning process; relieved, however, because the methodology already exists; we just need to follow it.

What the United States lacks as it continues to decide to deploy troops to a fight is the discipline to identify an endgame strategy and the hard decisions to resource it. The resourcing is a key—if not decisive—ingredient. Dollars or, more accurately, money is essential when devising plans for reconstruction and stabilization. Time is a resource in this case and, as always, time is a zero sum gain, especially in a crisis mode. The lack of time is why the development of a war termination strategy is often overlooked. The attitude that we will figure it out on the fly and focus on defeating the enemy is prevalent.

Although the armed forces have the predominant role on the battlefield, the combatant command is but one actor among several during conflict termination. The process requires interagency (and often coalitionwide) cooperation to deal with the diverse political, economic, humanitarian, and military issues. Rarely will conflict be resolved through the finality of unconditional surrender; limited war is the rule, and total war

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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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