Second Seminole War: Establishing Favorable Conditions for Conflict Resolution
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Understanding why the Second Seminole War took 7 years to reach termination is significant for modern operational planners, since creating conditions for conflict resolution is the purpose of Unified Land Operations. By looking at the campaigns of the Second Seminole War through the lens of operational art, one can better understand how the arrangement of tactical actions either furthered or hindered the governments removal policy. Setting conditions favorable to conflict resolution required an investment of significant thought, effort, and time on the part of each commander. Each commander learned lessons, made improvements, suffered setbacks, and handed off issues that the next commander chose to manage, resolve, or ignore. The character of the conflict evolved as the Army struggled to establish an adequate base of operations, improve the publics perception of its activities, and create end-state conditions that satisfied the governments political objectives. Transforming from a peacetime military to one adapted to the unique Florida environment and to the Seminole way of fighting required one Indian Agent and three commanders before an adequate base of operations and effective tactics were established. After three commanders, the Army adapted its way of war to satisfy public expectations of a just war, which gave the Army freedom to conduct tactical actions without answering to Congress. Finally, Colonel William Jenkins Worth continued to remove the Seminoles while Secretary of State Daniel Webster isolated the Seminoles from outside support. With the strategic objective of security on the southern border achieved, President John Tyler ended the conflict. The reason why the conflict lasted 7 years is because establishing the appropriate end-state conditions required a whole-of-government approach to isolate the Seminoles and defeat them militarily while building relationships with our former adversaries, Britain and Spain.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics