Unconditional Surrender: A Modern Paradox
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This study determines whether or not unconditional surrender leads to a more lasting peace. The answer is paradoxical--yes, unconditional surrender can achieve the desired effects however, it is no longer a suitable policy in the twenty-first century, due to the threat of nuclear escalation and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction WMD. Using the methodology of historical and descriptive comparison, the findings reveal the following persistence of bellicose means and will have a direct impact on the duration of the ensuing peace and victory results in a more lasting peace when the enemy enemys will is removed. Considerable attention should also be given to post war settlement efforts with regard to financial aid and reconstruction. The Marshall Plan is a prime example. The findings also discover the existence of a perceived cultural bias in the West towards warfighting. This bias is described as the Western lens, which places inordinate significance on the aspects of time and decisiveness that can produce false expectations. Although demanding unconditional surrender, carte blanche, is not likely in the foreseeable future, there are methods governments can use to ensure certain conditions for war termination are met unconditionally. As long as these conditions remove an adversary adversarys belligerent intentions, then the possibility exists for an enduring peace to ensue.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics