A Fight for Lodgement: Future Joint Contingency Operations
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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During the summer of 1994 the world watched in horror as Rwandan government forces composed of members of the Hutu tribe killed their rival Tutsi countrymen in a ghastly civil war. That campaign of terror was intended to methodically destroy the Tutsi minority while isolating the outside world from the conflict. Hutu forces seized Rwandas only major airport, openly stating that their goal was to block the West from sending airland relief forces and supplies to surviving Tutsi men, women, and children. The Hutu victory was total. While stark, brutal images of this tragedy remain, the strategically relevant issue is that the Hutus knew how to hinder intervention. The Rwandan civil war will go down in history for its savagery, yet it is a model that can shape future contingency plans and forces. Simply put, in an era of sovereign borders and nationalistic forces, dissidents simply need to deny a strategic lodgement to their adversaries. There will not always be seaports like Dhahran or facilities like Howard Air Force Base through which to build up combat power. Contingency operations will most likely require forcibly opening lodgement. Only by exploiting the capabilities of the Armed Forces under joint task forces JTFs can the Nation conduct strategic power projection to seize lodgements and also achieve quick, decisive victory with minimal casualties.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics