Accession Number:

ADA581221

Title:

The Absurdity of Moderation in War: Is Military Force a Credible Means to Compel United States Political Will in the 21st Century?

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

96.0

Abstract:

This study asserts that military force is losing its political utility due to the imposition of constraints resulting from the liberal values and associated tolerances of U.S. society. The cause of this situation is examined by investigating past political, military, and social influences that have shaped the ways and means of military force and its perceived utility as a means to impose political ends. Reflecting the special nature of wars means relative to its political utility, Clausewitz believed that the introduction of moderation into the theory of war itself, would always lead to logical absurdity. Over the last decade however, U.S. strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed a failure to balance political aspirations with appropriate consideration of the second order effects of military action, and have distracted attention from the human nature of war. Though it may not be physically possible or politically desirable to change the constraints under which military force currently operates, greater understanding and consideration of the resulting limitations and consequences will temper social and political expectation and ensure that the future demands of policy are socially and militarily acceptable, suitable, and feasible.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE