Conflict Termination in Counterterrorist Campaigns
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Operational commanders have historically struggled to align the process of conflict termination with long-term national strategic objectives. In the Global War on Terror, this challenge is exacerbated as operational planners must design counterterrorist campaigns that simultaneously consider the elusive nature of transnational terrorist organizations and the underlying causes for the creation of failed states that support such organizations. Cost-benefit analysis and negotiation, key concepts in theoretical conflict termination literature, are demonstrated to offer limited applicability to counterterrorist campaigns. Considerations for conflict termination in low intensity conflict are explored as a theoretical substitute for the post-conflict operations ongoing in Afghanistan. The limitations of joint doctrine in this area, although much improved in the last decade, are highlighted, with recommendations for increased emphasis on leverage in the post-conflict phase, when security and stabilization operations predominate. Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan is analyzed with due consideration for the national-strategic objective. The need to achieve leverage during post-conflict operations is considered paramount, and must be considered in conjunction with the primary objectives of the decisive operations phase.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Unconventional Warfare