Reevaluating the United States' Approach to Conflict and Military Intervention
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The realist paradigm is the U.S. Governments dominant perspective for conflict analysis. Historically, this perspective has served the United States well, leading it to its ascension from colonial possession to global hegemon in less than two centuries. There is mounting evidence, however, that this perspective and its associated approaches are inadequate for the conflicts the United States is currently engaged in and will continue to be engaged in throughout the 21st century. Recent trends suggest that the United States future conflicts will be more emotional and intractable than the ones for which it has traditionally prepared. The realist paradigm, with its explicit focus on rational decision-making and substantive issues, fails to provide insight into conflict formation and lacks the concepts, methods, and tools the nation needs to effectively address an intractable conflicts multiple dimensions. The systems paradigm, specifically the dynamical systems approach, provides valuable insights into conflict formation, maintenance, and resolution that practitioners can use to design more effective resolution strategies. More importantly, it provides an overarching framework that incorporates the relative strengths of multiple conflict paradigms into a cohesive holistic approach. This thesis argues that adopting a more holistic approach to conflict resolution would increase the effectiveness of the United States international intervention efforts.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics