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Supra-means Warfare

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Master's thesis

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Americas infatuation with conventional warfare has displayed the limitations of conventional means in conflicts of both the past and present. Recognition of this fact reveals the need for the nation to redraw its boundaries with regard to warfare to make America more dangerous to its future enemies. One way of achieving this change is to expand the array of warfare tools available to the nation. A greater selection of means or an arsenal of supra-means will make the nation more diverse and more dangerous to its enemies. The employment of supra-means warfare incorporates the use of a wide array of warfare means, to include several which lie outside the conventional paradigm of modern warfare. The concept of supra-means encourages warfighters to explore how the nations relative dominance in certain fields may be used to influence or affect adversary entities, outside of the military sphere. Supra-means warfare is an inclusive concept of warfare that includes both conventional and alternative means of warfare. Supra-type methods of warfare include financial warfare, smuggling warfare, ecological warfare, and resource warfare. Use of these types of warfare is better than the present American concept of warfare for three basic reasons. First, the current American concept is tied to the old nation-state paradigm, which is no longer adequate in describing the modern security environment. Second, supra-means warfare enhances the nations capacity to prosecute war against nonstate entities. Finally, supra-means warfare provides the U.S. Government with greater flexibility and diversity of options in the prosecution of war. However, for supra-means warfare to work, the government needs to focus on adapting intelligence activities to support supra-means and creating an interagency management system to effectively employ the full gamut of supra-means available to it.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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