Bargaining Theory and Building Strategies for Countering Armed Groups
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Throughout history, the U.S. military has struggled to develop strategies for conflicts in which policy goals did not translate directly into military objectives, and sought intangible rather than physical results. Developing strategies to defeat Germany in World War II or eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait was difficult, but not as challenging as developing strategies to counter a communist insurgency in South Vietnam, to produce positive and lasting regime change in Iraq, to effectively counter the war on terror, or to successfully prosecute a war against drugs. The challenge posed by these latter problems combined with a future of persistent conflict and strained resources only sharpens the need to develop useful frameworks for handling them. To date, scholars have developed insightful bodies of literature dealing with the problems posed by insurgency, terrorism, and crime. However, this literature has not yet produced a comprehensive framework to guide strategy in these challenging and amorphous conflicts. This essay will draw on bargaining theory, negotiation techniques, the concepts of interests and armed groups, and insights from traditional war theories to produce such a framework. This framework will link ends, ways, means, and risk in more effective and efficient ways for conflicts that, in the past, have proven tangled and difficult.
- Unconventional Warfare