Coercive Military Strategy

By Stephen J. Cimbala | Go to book overview

6
Operations "Not War" and Coercive Military Strategy

The end of the Cold War has removed the threat of global war, and in the near future, a large-scale conventional war in the developed and democratic parts of Eurasia seems a remote possibility. But the spread of ethnic, religious, and other conflicts of identity within and across territorial state borders has only increased since Soviet communism became an historical anachronism. The United States, other powers, and the United Nations have all been invited or tempted into involvement in peace promotion and stability restoration within failing or failed states.

This chapter considers the problem of using operations apart from war or nonwar actions as components of a coercive military strategy. The chapter proceeds in three steps: First, it attempts to identify the size and shape of the animal itself -- no small task -- surveying some representative definitions of operations apart from war or "other than war" for what they reveal about the length and breadth of the topic. Second, the chapter considers the specific problem of U.S. adaptation to a world in which operations apart from war may become normative instead of atypical for the armed forces of developed countries. Third is a discussion of possible challenges to security in the new international order, broadly defined, and their implications for the ability of the United States or others to engage successfully in military operations apart from war.


I. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM: WHAT IS THE REAL SHAPE OF THE ELEPHANT?

The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes that its responsibilities now include preparedness for so-called "unconventional" conflicts including

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