Balancing the Trinity. The Fine Art of Conflict Termination,
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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This study analyzes the role of the military commander in termination planning during operations other than war. First, the author assesses past and present political guidance, such as the Weinberger doctrine and the presidential directive on peace operations, as well as conditions that affect exit strategy planning. The conclusion is that most of the guidance is vague and that internal and external influences make the process of transforming political goals into viable military objectives very difficult. Next, the writer evaluates actual end-state development and the subsequent exit strategies in Somalia and Haiti operations. The results of the Somalia case study indicate that the military commander was not provided specific end-state conditions and had to determine a termination strategy as he was prosecuting the conflict. Although this approach worked for a brief period of time, political events eventually overcame military planning and US forces were withdrawn without accomplishing the political goals. Having learned from the Somalia operation, the Haiti planning was more thorough and looked specifically for concrete end-state conditions. Consequently, the military mission was more successful, though it is questionable what the political results of this intervention will be in the future. The final chapter states three conclusions 1 if the political leaders do not provide a specific end state, the military commander will have to develop one and pass it up the chain of command for consideration and approval, 2 much better results can be expected from a military mission which is given an end state that was developed in coordination with both the political and the military establishments prior to commencement of hostilities, and 3 in all cases, the planning process will be difficult and fluid.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics