Accession Number:

ADA482425

Title:

From the New Middle Ages to a New Dark Age: The Decline of the State and U.S. Strategy

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

70.0

Abstract:

This analysis offers key insights into what is a shifting security environment and considers how the United States can best respond to it. Dr. Williams argues that we have passed the zenith of the Westphalian state, which is now in long-term decline, and are already in what several observers have termed the New Middle Ages, characterized by disorder but not chaos. Dr. Williams suggests that both the relative and absolute decline in state power will not only continue but will accelerate, taking us into a New Dark Age where the forces of chaos could prove overwhelming. He argues that failed states are not an aberration but an indication of intensifying disorder, and suggests that the intersection of problems such as transnational organized crime, terrorism, and pandemics could intersect and easily create a tipping point from disorder into chaos. Dr. Williams suggests that analysts and policy makers are reluctant to acknowledge the pace and scope of state decline. He suggests that many of the problems which are proving particularly intractable in Iraq exemplify -- albeit on a small scale -- the kind of challenges associated with a New Dark Age. Against this background, Dr. Williams outlines the strengths and weaknesses of three major choices preventive interventionism, disengagement and mitigation, and triage or selective interventionism. He suggests that for both a continuation of the current approach and for selective intervention, U.S. policy makers have to design a far more holistic approach to the exercise of power. In the future, for any substantial U.S. military intervention to have any chance of success will require what is termed in this monograph a transagency organizational structure. Military forces, diplomats, reconstruction specialists, and legal experts must be integrated into one organization designed to assist a target state in reestablishing its authority, legitimacy, and effectiveness.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE