Accession Number:

ADA509278

Title:

Creating a De-Escalation Mindset

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

23.0

Abstract:

For military ways and means to help attain a political end, the military itself must possess the capability to help transform an environment of conflict into an atmosphere of political, social, and economic stability. In short, a modern military must have the ability to escalate and de-escalate the level of violence as appropriate to coerce or persuade people, political parties, insurgents, guerrillas, or any other actor involved to return to the conditions necessary to resolve the conflict. The outdated conceptual split between traditional major combat operations and nontraditional nation building has not only hindered performance at every level of operations, but has potentially turned initial tactical advantages into strategic failures. To properly bridge the gap between traditional and nontraditional operations and help operational commanders develop appropriate ways to reach political ends, three supporting concepts must be explored. First, the concept of military contact, which is aimed at gaining insight into how both persuasion and coercion are important, while understanding that for a long-term solution, the ability to persuade is far more significant. Second, the concept that it is the operational level of war in which the strategic ends and tactical means are reconciled helps demonstrate the overwhelming need for commanders to create clear intent and Rules of Engagement ROE. Third is the concept that successful decision making must be based on suitable lenses or filters created by training, commanders intent, and ROE, which in turn help to create the appropriate understanding of the situation within military members at the tactical level. The paper provides historial examples and lessons learned from two conflicts The 1994 United Nations Mission to Rwanda - A Case of Inability to Escalate and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF, March to May 2003 -- A Case of Inability to De-Escalate.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE