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Deterrence, Lily Pads, And Regionally Aligned Forces: Keys To The Successful Application Of Strategic Landpower

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Technical Report

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The United States has always counted on its armed forces to win the nations wars. Winning is accomplished by the Army playing a key role by partnering with host nations, coalition members, the use of prepositioned stocks, regionally aligned forces and lily pad bases. After more than a decade of conflict the national strategy has begun to shift away from direct conflict to a conflict prevention strategy of deterrence. With a political and military need to defeat in place foreign-born hostilities to stop the spread of regional and global hostilities, the 2008 National Defense Strategy began to stress the importance of building multi-national partner capacity through rotational force training and pre-positioned equipment reserves to defeat violent unilateral actors. The United States uses lily pad bases, rotational forces and pre-positioned stocks as strategic landpower to act as a deterrence. Modern near peer equivalents do not recognize the deterrent effect the United States is posturing towards and continue with their sovereign nation expansionism at the cost of proxy nation sovereignty. One case study will be presented current Russian President Putins forces invading the Crimean Peninsula, and the lack of subsequent action by the United States and international partners to stymie the continued destabilizing effect in the EUCOM AOR. The monograph concludes with recommendations for a whole of government approach through identification of centers of gravity for involved belligerent actors and thoughtful, decisive actions to influence the centers of gravity.

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