Krayola Khans: An Analysis of US Operational Commanders and Indigenous Warlords
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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This paper seeks to answer a question posed by the NWC faculty in their February 2006 Joint Military Operations Research Paper Guidance Memorandum Based on U.S. military experience during the past five years, define and defend the tenets that a U.S. operational commander should employ when dealing with indigenous warlords during complex OOTW missions. To answer this question, the author proposes that our experiences in MOOTW, both past and present, require the operational commander to employ the tenets of center of gravity, leverage, and termination in dealing with indigenous warlords. By looking at our past experience in Somalia, as well as current operations in Afghanistan, the influence of sub-national actors warlords can have a devastating impact on the operational commanders mission and the overall U.S. desired end state. Looking first towards conflict termination, the operational commander must determine how the warlord plays into the mission of bringing stability to the region. Once that decision is made, he must then analyze the warlords center of gravity his militia. Finally, he must place leverage against the warlords critical vulnerability in order to achieve the operational objective initial security in order to develop long-term stability. Given the current environment in todays War on Terrorism, the U.S. military will continue to be tasked to conduct MOOTW in failed and failing states. Warlords, defined as sub-national actors, will most certainly be a part of those scenarios. Our lessons in Somalia and Afghanistan make it imperative that we build upon our experiences and expand our doctrine to deal with indigenous warlords.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Unconventional Warfare