Accession Number:

ADA573576

Title:

Why UW: Factoring in the Decision Point for Unconventional Warfare

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEFENSE ANALYSIS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

197.0

Abstract:

There has been a dramatic unconventional warfare UW renaissance in recent years. Much of the published material on the subject has been focused on what unconventional warfare is, re-defining it, and attempting to frame the concept of its use as it relates to the current military operational environment. Little work has been produced that examines the more basic question Why UW This research begins where the 2009 redefinition of UW left off. After identifying an expanded field of 51 cases of U.S.-sponsored unconventional warfare from 1892 to 2010, the authors selected four cases that represent a wide variety of UW methods, locations, and goals. The four cases are Iran in 1953, Tibet from 1956 to 1974, Laos from 1958 to 1973, and Nicaragua from 1981 to 1986. They analyzed these four cases of UW and compared them to one case of conventional warfare Panama from 1988 to 1990 to answer the following question What are the factors that lead to the use of unconventional warfare as a strategic policy option The results of the study are used to form recommendations for the advancement of UW as a strategic option. By understanding the why first, as in why unconventional warfare is chosen as a method of operation, the subsequent questions of how and who become easier to answer.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE