Know When to Hold`em: The Art of Restraint
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Restraint was recently and controversially added to the principles of war as one of the other principles. In doing so, joint doctrine established the principles of joint operations. Attempting to define restraint, the DoD has compounded the overarching issues by highlighting legal linkages and meanings instead of its moral necessity and conscience guiding qualities. This is also apparent in the attempted training aspects of restraint and their focus on the legalities of the use of force instead of unintended consequences and morality. This article demonstrates that the moral underpinnings embodied within military restraint make it an essential principle of joint operations with a fundamental application in military operations and a virtue demanded by society. It will accomplish this by showing the legal linkages and how they are fundamentally designed with adherence to moral values and societal norms. In doing so, it will prove that these moral underpinnings necessitate the use of restraint in the design, planning, and execution of military operations and that it spans the entire spectrum of conflict. Finally, it will show how the proper use of restraint can, with a potential short-term increase in risk, lead to an overall long-term risk reduction with a greater chance of enduring peace.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics