Accession Number:

ADA374182

Title:

The Use of United States Military Force in the Post Cold War Era

Descriptive Note:

Major rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-05-15

Pagination or Media Count:

55.0

Abstract:

The international security environment has experienced vast changes since the end of the Cold War. As a result of these changes, a conflict has developed in the United States between political and military organizations regarding the role of armed forces and the use of military force, The military frequently takes the position that its primary responsibility is national defense. This dissertation supports that position. Although the armed forces can be used for broader missions, such as peacekeeping and peace enforcement, the use of military force should not be authorized if it threatens the militarys ability to maintain national defense. The post Cold War environment has presented the United States military with the additional challenge of doing more with less. Since the end of the Cold War, the militarys resources and personnel have decreased while the number of military operations have increased. Because the United States is the leading superpower, the international community expects the United States to respond to conflicts. However, there must be guidelines for deciding when to authorize the use of military force to ensure that the military is not stretched beyond its limits of effectiveness. As former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger has pointed out, America must be selective in its actions. It cannot take on all the worlds troubles.1 In a constantly changing security environment, it is essential that political and military leaders have guidelines to follow when making the difficult decision of authorizing the use of military force. This dissertation provides guidelines for the authorization of military force in the post Cold War era.

Subject Categories:

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

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE