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In Pursuit of Decisive Strategic Victories; The Need to Enhance the Potential for Successful Strategic Outcomes Through Effective Planning for Peace Settlement and Peace Building

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Final rept.,

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The record of the United States in decisively achieving its strategic goals following military operations has not been consistent and needs improvement. The cause of this inconsistency is the lack of adequate planning for peace settlement and peace building PSPB. Military victories, regardless of how decisive or stunning, do not necessarily equate to strategic victory. Astute PSPB, following military operations, is critical to successful strategic outcomes since they afford the victor the opportunity to achieve their strategic goals. This is the best opportunity to shape the peace and sustain the long-term achievement of political goals. Examples of U.S. failures to achieve strategic victory include World War I, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. The inadequate planning process for PSPB is causing other problems in addition to the failure to achieve strategic victory. An example of this is funding problems for the Unified Combatant Commanders. Since they are on-scene at the end of conflict, and civilian agencies are not, DoD Commanders must expend their funds on missions that are more appropriately handled by the civilian agencies. This diminishes the available resources for their missions. The National Security Council System of Committees for Interagency Coordination should be modified to include Unified Combatant Commanders on the Interagency Coordination Process and make the Department of State responsible for government-wide planning for PSPB. PDD56 should be amended to include armed conflict in the categories eligible for Interagency Coordination, especially PSPB following an end to the conflict.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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