Accession Number:

ADA592963

Title:

Dimensions of Uncertainty in Presidential Decision-Making Involving the Use of Force

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

TRIANGLE INST FOR SECURITY STUDIES DURHAM NC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-05-25

Pagination or Media Count:

46.0

Abstract:

In an increasingly dangerous world, especially since the asymmetric terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the Commander-in-Chief is often faced with decisions involving military employment that could present enormous risk to the President politically as an individual, and also to the Nation domestically, internationally, and militarily. During the course of a crisis, leaders are presented with a broad set of military options ranging from a show of force to full mobilization and deployment of ground combat troops, all having different dimensions of uncertainty and levels of calculated risk. Over the past two years, President Obama has made numerous decisions involving our military. This project will examine the dimensions of uncertainty and risk in two major decisions by the Obama administration the Afghanistan surge 2009 and the U.S. unilateral action to kill Osama bin Laden 2011. Many would argue that the Afghanistan Surge was a political decision, while the decision to use unilateral force to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was an operational decision. Both involved dimensions of uncertainty that led to the President taking calculated risks that have shaped his role as our Commander-in-Chief.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE