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Consequence Management in COIN

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Research paper

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The contemporary operating environment often throws soldiers into situations where they must quickly establish working relationships with complete strangers soldiers from other tactical units, law enforcement personnel from federal agencies, and relief coordinators from nongovernmental organizations. Although this quote may seem obvious, it highlights the coordination and interaction among soldiers and different organizations that is necessary for success in the contemporary operating environment. More than ever, Army leaders are being challenged to fulfill a variety of duties as the United States conducts counterinsurgency COIN operations. One of these obligations, the role of a mediator and peacemaker, is of utmost importance in winning the hearts and minds of the local populace and completing the mission in a COIN operational setting. Success in a COIN environment is especially important as the U.S. military looks into the future and sees no other military force capable of defeating them in conventional combat. This idea of the United States as the only hyper power, called fourth generation warfare 4GW, was first defined in 1989 by American analysts who used it to describe warfares return to a decentralized form. While COIN operations may differ regionally because of distinct environments, ideologies, objectives, and cultures, maintaining legitimacy, governance, and popular support continue to be a resounding objective of Coalition Forces CF in a COIN. However, even when all of these conditions are met by CF, unavoidable events that result in collateral damage to civilians may take place. It is the role of the Army leader to take these circumstances into consideration, and plan for them ahead of time through exercises and training in consequence management CM. In a 4GW conflict where both sides primary objective is to sway popular support, the need for CM is absolutely necessary to maintain legitimacy and stability with the host nation.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

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