Conflict Termination - Considerations for the Operational Commander
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
Pagination or Media Count:
A review of many of our recent past conflicts provides evidence that while the need for careful administration of conflict termination may have been understood its execution has not been well managed. Failures in conflict termination at the operational level arise primarily from two essential components of the conflict termination process. These two components which exist principally at the national strategic level are the formulation of the national objectives and the establishment of conditions under which a stable peace will be achieved. In essence for the operational commander conflict termination is merely the translation of these two components into a military end state. While closely interrelated these two fundamental components of conflict termination must be evaluated separately and well understood by the operational commander in order to avoid critical pitfalls of a badly conceived and poorly supported termination strategy. While the decision to initiate and terminate a war is always a political decision and resides at the highest national command level successful conflict termination is inextricably linked with conditions on the battlefield established by the operational commander. Although operational commanders do not make policy their actions can critically impact the success or failure of those policies. The operational commander must establish an end state to support the political aim and be able to explain both to superiors and subordinates how his vision of that end state is critical to the conflict termination process.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics