The Asymmetric Response to Network-Centric Lock-Out Strategies and the Escalation of Violence.
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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As the worlds sole superpower, the United States will operate in an asymmetric environment for the foreseeable future. This asymmetric environment is ultimately defined by perceived differences in the will and means of the United States in relation to its opponents. Unable to compete with the United States militarily, the asymmetric enemy perceives his will to fight as his competitive edge. These perceptions underwrite enemy strategies aimed at eroding U.S. will to fight by exploiting what the enemy believes is a U.S. aversion to casualties. To deal with this emerging challenge, the U.S. military is adopting an effects-based approach aimed at striking the adversarys will to fight. Acting quickly and decisively, effects-based strategies strive to lock-out or foreclose alternate enemy courses of action. However, the enemys reaction must be considered as the operational commander employs these strategies. Given the opponents dwindling opportunity for military action as a result of a lock-out strategy, he may be expected to escalate the level of violence on an increasing compressed time line. Asymmetric enemies may be expected to strike preemptively to dissuade or complicate U.S. military action. The use of force may be directed at U.S. military targets to increase U.S. casualties, or at other U.S. opponents to complicate or deter U.S. military involvement. To mitigate the effects of these enemy counter-efforts, the operational commander must focus on effective operational protection and accurate identification of enemy courses of action during the planning process.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics