Subversive Diplomatic Surprise: The Inevitable Unexpected
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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The character of war is changing. As the US prepares for future threats, it must recognize how the rise of Gray Zone tactics is blending the line between peace and war, competition and conflict. Future engagements may not rise to conventional force-on-force warfare but live in the realm of ambiguous actions below the level of declared war. Given that assumption, it must be recognized that the US will not be able to prepare for or recognize all possible threats and surprises. Therefore, this paper sets out to investigate how to respond to instances of subversive diplomatic surprise SDS, defined as the use of deception and non-attribution as tools of diplomacy to achieve military supremacy over an adversary. It set out to look at how SDS has been employed in the past, and how it could be used in the future. Specifically, this paper looked at how to control the consequences of SDS by identifying the political conditions under which an aggressor is most likely to attempt to use it to undermine an opponent. To investigate the political conditions under which SDS might be pursued, this paper analyzed case studies using a structured focused comparison. It posed six questions against three cases studies the 1973 October War, the 1998 Indian Nuclear test, and the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. The goal of this paper was to find potential causal logic or patterns of behavior that would allow intelligence officials to better focus their limited resources against adversaries determined to use surprise as a tool for pursuing both military and diplomatic goals, and who are best postured to do so.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics