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Not Quite War: The Link between Operational Protection and the Principles of MOOTW: An Examination of Somalia Operations.

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Final rept.,

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The United States will continue to be drawn into Military Operations Other Than War MOOTW in the post Cold War era. Although the American public desires to assist societies in distress, there is great intolerance for casualties to military forces, particularly in the absence of clear American interests. It is therefore critical that commanders plan for the operational protection if American military forces are to participate in Military Operations Other Than War. An examination of the two major Somali operations, UNITAF and UNOSOM II, shows that there is a clear correlation between observing the Principles of MOOTW and enhancing operational protection, or ignoring them and putting the force at risk. The American-led UNITAF succeeded in providing relief supplies to Somalia and security to relief workers. The military objective was attainable and complemented broader political and economic initiatives. Overwhelming force was brought to bear to ensure Security was maintained. The force remained neutral with regard to the internal Somali conflict thus maintaining Legitimacy. This enabled the force to show Restraint and minimize the risk of inadvertent combat. Unity of Effort was maintained throughout the operation. All of these factors enhanced operational protection. Conversely, during UNOSOM II, the mission was not successful. Military objectives were out of synch with the greatly expanded political, economic and social goals of nation building. The military force was not large enough or sufficiently equipped for this mission. When the military entered into armed conflict with a powerful clan leader, the principles of Legitimacy and Restraint were lost. The multiple chains of command prevented the operation from achieving Unity of Effort. The result was greater risk to the force and a weakening of operational protection.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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