Post-9/11 Stability Operations: How U.S. Army Doctrine is Shaping National Security Strategy
Syracuse University Syracuse United States
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It was only a matter of time before the elevated language of post-911 security discourse, and the phrase the global war on terrorism itself, was bound to reap both practical applications and studied reversals.1 Without the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan and each countrys challenging reconstruction projects, one might expect idealist solutions to this historical juncture. Only 8 short years ago, the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States NSS 2002 offered just that, the virtues of pressing for freedom and democracy against a new breed of postCold War threats.3 In now memorable language, the policy document linked the great struggles of the 20th century between liberty and totalitarianism to a single sustainable model for national success freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.4 Displaying the black and white worldview of unchallenged power, NSS 2002 grouped 21st-century nations together that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom, arguing that these values would assure their future prosperity.5 Such values, it noted, are right and true for every person in every society, and, in turn, the duty of protecting them against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the agesa role spearheaded by the United States insofar as it enjoyed unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence.6 Yet from a similar appraisal of this era, defined by the idealism of the 2002 and 2006 National Security Strategy policy documents, the newly released Field Manual FM 307, Stability Operations, adopts a very different tone and comes to very different conclusions.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science