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Operation Blue Bat, 1958: Framing Activities in Crisis Response

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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In 1958, the US military forecasted decisive battles in Europe against a near peer competitor as the most likely instance of future conflict. To fit this vision, US forces fielded advanced weapons, created new organizational structures, and adjusted forward basing locations. Instead of conducting large scale combat, however, President Eisenhower ordered the US military to conduct forcible entry and partnered stability operations in Lebanon to quell political chaos. Known as Operation Blue Bat, the American intervention in Lebanon in 1958 represents an example of military leaders needing to rapidly discern US policy, frame the operational environment, and adjust the operational approach to nest military objectives with political aims at an acceptable level of risk. As the United States enters another era of great power competition, military planners must be cognizant that emergent crises without distinguishable national policy will continue to occur. Operation Blue Bat elucidates the operational challenges of military options to address those events.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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