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Pursuing National Interests Through Coalitions with Adversaries

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Over the last few years the threats facing the United States have adapted into two categories. Nation states like Russia and China aim to contest the United States influence in their regions and further their own interests. Violent Extremist Organizations VEOs are proving to be broad threats that are operating throughout the world and require multinational collaboration to defeat them. While these may seem like novel circumstances facing the United States, the combination of a VEO threatening multiple nations requiring them to work together is not new. In 1900 eight nations formed a temporary alliance in Northern China to secure their besieged populations living abroad. This monograph proposes that in eras of competition, coalitions formed with adversaries offer nations the ability to both further their own interests and counter their rivals. Motivated by common elements of fear, honor and interests both Japan and Russia joined a coalition to defeat their common foes the Boxer Rebellion and the Qing Dynasty. While this coalition bound the groups together and strengthened their ability to achieve mutual goals, it also enabled parties to both pursue unique national interests and check rivals ambitions. This is seen most in the operational art of the Japanese and Russian militaries. Their operational reach, lines of operations and effort, and end states were all enabled by the formation of the coalition.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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