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From Foreign Internal Defense to Unconventional Warfare: Campaign Transitions When US-Support to Friendly Governments Fails

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Technical Report,01 Jul 2014,01 May 2015

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth

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There exists a great threat to regional and global security, the failed state. With the rise of global threats to US interests coming from adversarial nations, and violent non-state actors who seek to gain an advantage through a failing or failed state, it has brought about a new importance to US policy. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the US shifted its policy and resources to counter this phenomena of a failing or failed state. This policy shift is to prevent a state from failing in order to deny opportunities to hostile nations and contain instability in the region through foreign internal defense. This thesis studies the concept of a failing or failed state and determines indicators that can provide early warning to a failing FID campaign and the imminent fall of the US sponsored regime and also studies pre-requisite conditions that must exist to initiate a potentially successful UW campaign. Through analysis of case studies including Iran, Cuba, and Nicaragua, this thesis describes the precursors of a FID campaign failure, preparations for transition from FID to UW, the phasing and timing of the FID to UW campaign transitions, and when the transition from FID to UW is a viable strategic option to re-institute a US friendly regime.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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