Imaging the Future: Institutional Factors Affecting Postwar Occupation Operations in Austria, 1943-1945
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This paper examines through a case study the occupation of Austria, how institutional habits influenced preparation for the conduct of peacekeeping and post-conflict operations after World War II. The U.S. Army had a long history of conducting post-conflict occupation duties going back to the American Revolution. This knowledge, however, was never incorporated into doctrine, military education, and professional development programs or reinforced in the Armys memory through its honors and traditions. The services hectic wartime preparations reflected this powerful habit of forgetting and applying as few resources as possible to thinking and preparing for occupation duties until these tasks were at hand. When American forces did undertake postwar missions they tried, as much as possible, to make them mirror traditional military activities. This paper concludes that experiences, memory, traditions, warfighting doctrine, common perceptions, and the routine practices that the American Army carried into battle were the principle influences guiding the U.S. approach to occupation.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics