The Political Component: The Missing Vital Element in US Intervention Planning

WALTER CLARKE and ROBERT GOSENDE

© 1996 Walter Clarke and Robert Gosende

From Parameters, Autumn 1996, pp. 35-51.


"There had to be some way to deal with violent threats that lay between doing nothing or launching an allout conventional war. Diplomacy could work [to address] problems most effectively when force--or the threat of force--was a credible part of the equation."[1] -- George Shultz

The early years of the Reagan Administration saw an important internal debate on the use of US military force in support of international political initiatives. The carnage left by a suicide bomber at the Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 exacerbated the debate and added to the Vietnamera legacy of distrust of politicians by the US military. The policy dispute between Secretary of State George Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger was permitted to reach its apogee safely after the 1984 elections when the Defense chief articulated the "Weinberger Doctrine."[2] Secretary Shultz wrote the above words in his memoirs to explain his concern that the Weinberger approach seemingly would require the use of heavy force and a decisive victory every time the US military was deployed outside the United States. The US diplomatic chief also believed that limiting the use of force only to situations when vital national interests were at stake was overly restrictive; the United States, now as then, has many international interests that are less than vital but which merit special attention.

Implicit in the Weinberger doctrine was the fear that military support to less than vital political initiatives around the world would so deplete the capabilities of the main force that it would not be ready for the necessary global response if the Soviet leviathan made its move. Events since publication of the doctrine have removed that concern from consideration. Nevertheless, it is the authors' contention that while foreign policy debate is healthy and should be encouraged, the assumptions behind the Weinberger doctrine-already questionable at the time of its creation-are now essentially invalid and distort potentially meaningful resolution of any debate on US intervention policy.

This article examines the relevance of the Weinberger Doctrine in postCold War strategic planning, particularly in regard to its potential for limiting the United States in developing politicalmilitary initiatives. Analysis of current doctrine for the interventions that have come to preoccupy the United Nations, regional groups, and individual states is followed by suggested new international principles for such interventions. Thereafter we look at the issues facing states that consider intervention in complex humanitarian emergencies and then offer an adaptation of Weinberger's original formulation, one that appears directly applicable to the needs of US political and military strategists and policymakers as we confront the new century.

The Inadequacy of US Doctrine

Although it sounds plausible when one articulates the need for "clearly defined political and military objectives," there are "many murky, complicated crises in which Weinberger's third precondition could not be easily met."[3] Secretary Shultz certainly shared the view that congressional support is ultimately critical for any extended overseas operation, but he understood even better the need for the US President to be able to make decisive foreign policy moves when they are clearly in the US interest. Secretary Shultz believed that his Cabinet colleague's inclusive and restrictive doctrine would vastly hamper US politicalmilitary efforts, particularly in counterterrorist operations, which were a primary preoccupation for many senior US policymakers during the Reagan years. Whatever relevancy the historic Weinberger-Shultz debate may have had at the time, it is important to recognize that the basic tenets of the former Defense chief's doctrine emerged triumphant from that debate and continue to dominate and confound US military intervention policy to this day.[4]

Although the decline in ready military resources is a legitimate concern to strategic planners, small wars are the more likely missions for the US military in the next decade. The United States cannot maintain a force relevant only to major conflicts, waiting for the "right war" to come along. The Weinberger Doctrine has an unforgiving and uncharitable rigidity about it which makes contemplation of the use of military force to support humanitarian endeavors appear almost unAmerican. The increased employment of US military forces to assist in international complex humanitarian emergencies seems inevitable, but congressional and other opposition to such activities is invariably phrased in terms of Mr. Weinberger's essentially obsolete doctrine.

The US domestic postCold War debate on the role of force in foreign policy is also distorted by the highly successful US leadership role in the Gulf War. Clear US national interests were involved. The war was quick, appeared to inflict lasting damage on the aggressor, and generated a comparatively low level of deaths and injuries within the USled coalition. As the first major military confrontation in the postCold War era, ironically, the campaign against Saddam Hussein provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate the full range of military doctrine, tactics, and materiel developed for the Cold War. The doctrine of "overwhelming force," the fundamental premise of JCS Chairman General Colin Powell, and a logical offshoot of the Weinberger Doctrine, was clearly vindicated.

Unfortunately, the techniques that provided such a startling and clearcut victory in the Gulf are largely inappropriate for application in the most prevalent forms of current US military involvement: complex humanitarian operations and participation in peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations. The presence of a wellarmed and professional military force is fundamental for success in many such operations, but the nonmilitary political and humanitarian components are the primary focus.[5] At the center of every case of state or societal failure or near failure, there is humanitarian disaster, political unraveling, and military conflict. There are clearly identifiable victims, and there usually are notorious victimizers. The first level of response involves humanitarian relief, but such operations must include substantial political and diplomatic components to facilitate the return to a just civil society to ensure that the humanitarian disaster is unlikely to be repeated. The logical role of the military in such situations is to support the lead elements in the intervention. In the modern era, the use or the threat of military force is a significant component of comprehensive humanitarian and political solutions, although, as we shall discuss below, it does not need to be the lead element.[6]

The postCold War era has not been devoid of efforts to clarify and systematize US foreign military policy. Curiously, neither the extensive "Bottom Up Review" nor the Clinton Administration's "Policy on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations" (PDD25) defines the relationship between overseas political initiatives and the use of military force to support such initiatives.[7] Much effective work is being done now at the interagency level in the Pentagon and elsewhere to improve the policymaking process; this is clearly intended to respond to one of the most practical recommendations of PDD25. At the level of the unified commands, a great deal is being learned through exercises and in the field (currently, Bosnia and elsewhere). Yet no one appears ready to examine seriously the premises of the Weinberger tests.[8]

While it appears fundamental that the political goal of intervention is to assist in the creation of a political dynamic that is more rewarding to the local population than continued war, the tendency remains to separate the political and military components of peace operations. In Somalia, UNITAF believed that it could avoid involvement in domestic Somali political activities by placating the local warlords in Mogadishu. In Rwanda, fear of intruding in a civil war caused the United States, and the world, to hold back while hundreds of thousands were killed. In Bosnia, the Dayton accords created a rigid and awkward separation between the political and military tracks of that operation which may yet threaten its viability. The US experience with noncombat interventions during the 1990s is sufficiently varied that we ought to be examining the assumptions on which their planning and execution have been based.

Limits of the US Intervention Model

US politicalmilitary intervention doctrine appears based on international intervention dogma which developed during the course of the Cold War. During that long period, the Security Council refined strict principles of nonintervention-the better to keep the two global military hegemons under control-to the virtual exclusion of human rights interests. Various potentates, large and small, buoyed by traditional respect for sovereignty, were free to misuse and persecute their populations. The lack of official international humanitarian enforcement structures during the Cold War facilitated the proliferation of a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) which were able to bring assistance directly to emergency humanitarian situations without raising sovereignty issues. An early example was the role of such agencies in the Nigeria/Biafra conflict in the late 1960s.[9] Although humanitarian interventions regularly take place without any military component, the increasing number of complex emergencies-each containing humanitarian, political, and military dimensions-calls for greater understanding of what the world faces in this disorderly era.

The balancing dynamics of the Cold War effectively kept the five permanent members of the Security Council out of the peacekeeping business. A number of states, including the Scandinavian countries, Canada, Argentina, Ireland, and others, developed specialized rules of engagement that emphasized absolute impartiality and neutrality in the application of narrowly drawn UN resolutions. In the peacekeeping operations performed by the United Nations before the removal of the Berlin wall, doctrine was governed by Articles 33 through 38, "Chapter VI: Pacific Settlement of Disputes," of the UN Charter. The consent of all parties was required in disputes involving the presence of UN peacekeepers. These ground rules were believed necessary to maintain the credibility of the United Nations and to avoid identification with any of the parties to intra or interstate disputes.

In states such as Somalia and Bosnia, peacekeeping practices perfected in the Cold War era became part of the problem: there were no longer competent authorities to provide valid consent for international action. When local "authorities" have no interest in fostering stability, or take actions to thwart the best efforts of the world community, strict neutrality can be naive, even selfdefeating, when the international military component is the only neutral force. The current international dynamic encourages the world community to stand for humanitarian assistance and the determination of political structures by national and local communities. Without clear rules for the application of these principles, the cynical warlords of the world have no particular reason to permit the restoration of civil society.

States seem to fail in similar ways: Weak rulers become more tyrannical and tend to withdraw from the people in the final stages of their misrule, resorting to ethnic exclusiveness and ultimately to protection of family members. Their heavy investment in arms permits them to lash out at their people, but many weapons end up in the hands of dissidents. As state services grind to a halt, civil war begins in the provinces. Some abandoned or menaced rural populations take to the highways in search of security. Meanwhile, security in the cities also deteriorates, but most citizens are fearful of turning to state authority for protection. Civil society tends to crumble, and new faces emerge at the local level. These leaders generally owe their status to arms and often are opposed to traditional local leadership.[10]

In the meantime, the degradation of the health and wellbeing of the population attracts the interest of international humanitarian agencies from around the world. Enterprising media agents ensure that the increasing plight of the population does not go unnoticed. Regional states may eventually turn to the UN Security Council out of fear of the spreading chaos. The situation of the people displaced or made refugees by the onrushing societal collapse becomes so severe that the world feels compelled to intervene. If there is the remnant of a government left, it may request UN intervention, thereby justifying subsequent actions under Security Council resolutions. In the absence of authority, the world will find a way; in December 1992, the Security Council mandated the US intervention at the request of a Somali diplomat who clearly represented no lawful authority.

The first large steps toward a new international order were taken in April 1991, when the Security Council found that the persecution of Iraqi Kurds by Saddam Hussein constituted a threat to international peace and security. Security Council Resolution 688 authorized a United Nations force (Operation Provide Comfort) to defend a minority people against the brutality of their own government.[11] Although this outwardly humanitarian act was based, in part, on the desire to so embarrass Saddam Hussein that his military would throw him out, the precedent established by Resolution 688 facilitated subsequent Security Council actions in Somalia and Haiti.

In Somalia, the goals set by the United States for UN intervention could not be sustained in the face of a single regionally based warlord. Genocide in Rwanda, even with gruesome images on every TV screen, brought forth a puny and late international response. Haiti, which had a clear political endgame from the outset of the operation (the return to democracy), had a rocky beginning but ended on a note that, as of this writing, remains positive.

Application of Political-Military Doctrine

In his biography, former JCS Chairman General Colin Powell relates a discussion that he had with President Clinton about Somalia, shortly before Powell's retirement: "I told him [the President] that we could not substitute our version of democracy for hundreds of years of tribalism. . . . `We can't make a country out of that place. We've got to find a way to get out, and soon.'"[12] For General Powell and the senior military and diplomatic leaders in UNITAF, "nationbuilding" essentially meant the imposition of US values on Somalia.[13] This was a fundamental misreading of the Somalia situation. What most Somalis wanted was the freedom to meet and discuss issues outside the range of the weapons in the hands of the warlords' enforcers.

The ultimate goal of the intervention in Somalia-a state in extremis if there ever was one-should have been to create a safe political space in which civil society might have the opportunity to implement traditional Somali problemsolving procedures. Had the intervening force been able to develop a comprehensive plan, one that interpreted humanitarian, political, and military activities based on accepted international doctrine and reflected the norms of the local culture, badly needed coherence might have been provided to the various elements of the intervention. The political system could have been opened to the normal people of Somalia; the charade of foreign conferences which soaked up so much of UNOSOM's resources (and which ensured that the machinations of the warlords were carried out beyond earshot of most Somalis) could have been avoided. With UNITAF's support, the international political authority could have developed and maintained a political initiative to ease the transfer of authority from UNITAF to UNOSOM II on 4 May 1993. Instead, UNOSOM II inherited a ticking time bomb. The absence of an agreed political plan for the restoration of Somali society during the early months of the Somalia intervention left the politicalmilitary initiative in the hands of people who had nothing to gain, and much to lose, by the continued international presence.

The failure of the initial US strategic political vision condemned the Somali operation to certain failure. The idea that a substantial military force can occupy portions of a country in anarchy without affecting the local political situation is a chimera. Even among scholars of a conservative bent, it is recognized that "intervention undertaken for purely humanitarian reasons leads inevitably to two quintessentially political tasks: guaranteeing the borders of countries under challenge, and constructing an apparatus of government in places where it is absent."[14] The mandate written in the Pentagon for UNITAF envisaged no such tasks for the USled task force. Although it was immersed in Somali politics from the outset of the operation, UNITAF carefully disassociated itself from difficult political decisions, leaving them for the UN followon force. By maintaining close relations with most Somali warlords, especially Mohamed Farah Aideed, UNITAF put force protection issues ahead of longerterm considerations.

To be fair, there was little experience available to US and foreign civilian and military planners upon which to build such an elaborate operation. We can see now that when traditional peacekeeping doctrine is applied in complex humanitarian emergencies, it provides more opportunities for bandits than it does for victims. Besides providing opportunities to local thugs to steal or extort humanitarian supplies and to profit from contracts with the occupying force, an intervention force brings with it the credibility provided by its Security Council mandate. Nevertheless, as the warlords in Mogadishu were successfully wresting political credibility from UNOSOM and UNITAF, some UNITAF military units adopted proactive politicalmilitary programs which stimulated widespread disarmament and the restoration of local security in their assigned sectors of the country. Most notable among these were the Australians in Baidoa, and the French units operating in the fundamentalist stronghold of Luuq; their operations were subsequently extended to Baidoa after the Australian departure.[15] We can conclude only that the ready acceptance of the warlord status quo ante in Mogadishu by the US diplomatic mission early in the UNITAF period was based on the goal of avoiding confrontations with the heavily armed contenders in Mogadishu.

The establishment of time limits for US presence in support of a complex humanitarian emergency is also counterproductive to securing meaningful political agreements. In Somalia, the warlords, especially Aideed, were as interested in seeing the departure of the USled force as were its commanders. There was little to be gained in attacking openly a military force that had announced at the outset its desire for an early and clean departure. One month after UNITAF returned home, the armed faction led by Aideed launched its unprovoked attacks on UNOSOM II personnel. This prompted a series of military confrontations which ultimately led to decisions to abandon the Somali operation. People may rightfully derive satisfaction from the initial shortterm humanitarian successes, but it is clear that the cause of humanitarian intervention was not advanced in Somalia. An enormous investment of the world's military and financial resources produced no political process sufficiently robust to prevent the return of politically induced starvation. In retrospect, the most disappointing aspect of this outcome is that the international community never truly engaged the basic political dynamic of Somali society. The world did not need to fail in Somalia.

Inadequacy of International Intervention Doctrine

The UN Charter does not use the term peacekeeping; the word is defined by inference only in Chapters VI and VII. Reflecting the significant historical role of the AngloSaxons in the operations of the United Nations, one must therefore look at precedents, an "intervention case law" situation. The Charter specifies that among the goals of the United Nations organization is the need to promote principles of "equal rights and selfdetermination of peoples" and "respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all" (Articles 1.2, 1.3, and 55). The dilemma is caused by the goal of nonintervention "in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of states."[16] Article 2.7 of the Charter appears unequivocal about nonintervention: "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state." The principle of consent to UNmandated interventions was ignored as the world directed its attention to countries where the UN presence was neither invited nor universally accepted. These events raised questions about the meaning of sovereignty in troubled or failed states that have yet to be resolved.[17]

Existing intervention doctrine as defined by UN experience is inadequate for responding to complex humanitarian emergencies, in part because of confusion regarding the definitions of "impartiality" and "neutrality." The two words are not always synonymous; there is an important distinction between "being neutral" and "acting impartially" that is sometimes overlooked. The responsibility of the local UN commander and his staff is to ensure that the UN mandate is applied in an impartial manner, and that his troops employ the rules of engagement in an impartial manner. In neither case does the word "neutral" apply. It is essential that the commander be perceived as impartial by the government and opposing factions in his application of international mandates and in the actions of his troops. Neutrality is something else. We are not neutral about civil rights abuses by any groups. We should not be neutral in the face of repression, oppression, or acts of violence. Least of all can we be neutral about forces or individuals that actively oppose the implementation of the international mandates or take hostile action against our forces. Unfortunately, these words are used casually and ambiguously in FM 10023, Peacekeeping Operations, an otherwise excellent field manual recently published by the US Army.[18]

Diplomatic efforts and mediation between contending parties remain the obvious first steps toward solution of humanitarian disasters caused or aggravated by indigenous leaders for personal reasons. But in the winnertakeall political environment of the postCold War world, such efforts have had little success. In a thoughtprovoking essay on the problems of focusing international attention on humanitarian disasters, Barry Blechman suggests that intervenor leverage is limited when "a civil war is not ripe for resolution, if contending factions are not yet convinced that the price of continued warfare exceeds any political gain."[19] This begs the question. Rather than waiting for an inherently unstable situation "to ripen," intervening forces must be empowered to act proactively to create means for indigenous peoples to reestablish civilian political authority, effectively liberating local political systems from the control of those who profit from chaos. The world needs doctrine for political intervention that will permit it to preempt seemingly aimless political tactics by local warlords.

Doctrinal Issues in International Interventions

External intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state requires the understanding and agreement of the world community. Based on our examination of postCold War interventions, the authors suggest the following ground rules for international action to restore civil society in failing or failed states:

The process outlined above for Somalia, a very difficult case, has applicability to the more difficult cases of Bosnia and Burundi. In the former Yugoslavia, there is war fatigue and a history of interethnic conflict. But the history of that troubled area nonetheless includes long periods of relative peace. These periods should be studied, and the techniques used by rulers in those periods might give indications how outside force might be applied in constructive ways to restore some form of modus vivendi.

The authors believe that the principle of establishing "political space" to permit the sensible members of local societies to meet and debate their problems has nearuniversal applicability. The warlords of the world can be neutralized either by the application of overwhelming force in a combat situation, or by externally supported political initiatives that strike at their center of gravity: their ethnic, clan, or regional supporters. Even in the worst of ethnic and clanbased wars, there are some reasonable people who survive. There is also the war fatigue factor. When mothers and elders see opportunities to participate in a broader process in which their husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons are not being sacrificed daily to advance the narrow interests of the warlord, support for the warlord will naturally diminish. If the process is viable-i.e., based on local tradition and experience-the warlord will either feel compelled to join the evolving process to defend his interests or be recognized for the outlaw element he is. This process might have worked in Somalia. It might work in Bosnia. While such a process is difficult to develop when ethnic demographics are so out of balance as they are in Rwanda and Burundi, the technique may yet have applicability in Central Africa. The intervening force can contribute to political recovery in a failed or failing state by helping to establish and maintain a protected zone for debate, discussion, and perhaps reconciliation.

No international intervention operation can achieve anything of enduring value by allowing its activities to be dictated by individual militia chiefs or groups of warlords. We know from the Somali case that in doing so we simply added to the pretensions of the warlords, which helped to give them undeserved credibility. Yet we do not want the UN to be in a situation of recruiting forces that would then have to fight their way into a country which has failed or is in advanced death throes. In such instances, the UN may need overwhelming force, with the highest technical fighting skills, something resembling UNITAF; with experience, it may need far less. Warlords should know that when the UN decides to deploy such a force, it has the full force of law behind it.

One might reasonably ask just how practical it is to draw up a list of exceedingly difficult peacekeeping operational goals, knowing full well that universal acceptance of the goals will be difficult to achieve. At present, few world capitals, especially Washington, are receptive to notions of strengthening the political, legal, and military capabilities of the United Nations. In this situation, however, the UN must be viewed only as an instrument of the world community. The nations of the world must be prepared to act in a decisive manner to face tragedies affecting their neighbors. The existence of coherent principles would simplify coalition forcebuilding and encourage unity of purpose. Properly presented, the proposed principles might make peacekeeping efforts more comprehensible to Western publics, those largely responsible for providing personnel and paying the bills. The principles would facilitate the development of supportable endstate conditions, so that participants would know when to go home. Most important, the establishment of just intervention principles would protect the rights of victims and the oppressed. Following are proposals for international principles for failing state situations.

Principles for International Intervention[25]

The resources available in the world to participate in such rescue operations are limited, and it is unlikely that they will again be committed on the scale of the Somalia case unless the enabling authorizations provide a reasonable chance of success. It is equally reasonable to expect the communities that would benefit from such extraordinary operations to cede certain sovereign functions of normal society to the agencies involved in the restoration of those functions. There is a prospect for renewed support to both the United Nations and to peace operations in general if the desired results of such interventions can be stated explicitly and if the sons and daughters of the countries participating in the operations will be provided the appropriate tools. The existence of a code of principles for intervention in the name of humanity might provide a deterrent effect on prospective warlords who would otherwise be willing to plunge their countries into chaos in order to advance their political agendas. Conversely, the absence of such principles could contribute to the growing chaos and unspeakable atrocities in some parts of the world.

The authors do not advocate the creation of a permanent UN "911 force," although we suspect that the creation of such a force might eventually be a logical course. We also understand that interventions like that in Somalia must be rare, performed only when a country is in extremis, and when it appears that only an outside force can break a cycle of civil war and massive human suffering, often accompanied by genocide. Obviously, humanitarian assistance to victims must always be at the heart of such operations, and military planners must be constantly reminded of this; every country in extremis generates terrible human tragedy. But intervention doctrine must address the underlying political fractures which lie at the foundation of most complex emergencies. The authors propose the following principles to replace the obsolescent set enunciated by Defense Secretary Weinberger more than a decade ago.

US Intervention Doctrine for the 21st Century

1. It is in the US national interest to assist peoples who suffer from manmade famine, political repression, and natural disasters. The United States may provide civilian assistance and armed forces in common international efforts when properly sanctioned by international and domestic authorities to help in such efforts.

This states what most Americans already believe is US policy: our ability and commitment to help international neighbors in distress. It does not claim that the United States is going to respond to each and every emergency. The statement should reassure those who would fear that any new doctrine is intended to support postCold War US global hegemony. All such US efforts would be duly authorized by the United Nations and would be carried out in concert with other international forces.

2. In the event that military force is required to respond to a complex humanitarian disaster, the United States will provide an appropriate force to supplement the international effort.

The key word here is "appropriate," which may mean a very large force in the event that is judged necessary. Development of agreed planning criteria both within the US government and within international organizations would permit military commanders to adjust their force size to realistically assessed mission requirements designed to promote efficiency and reduce redundancy.

3. US participation in such emergencies is contingent upon comprehensive mission planning with relevant national and international authorities to ensure that the form and function of forces committed to such operations are both necessary and sufficient to attain stated goals and objectives.

This ensures that comprehensive mission planning takes place and should reassure those who might fear that intervention operations would lack "clearly defined political and military objectives."

4. The US force will be selfsustaining and adequate to carry out the missions to which it is assigned.

This does not represent a departure from current policy. Funding issues must be resolved at the national level. Having systematically impoverished the United Nations during the 1990s, there is a greater requirement that the United States be capable of supporting such actions. There is also the need to avoid drawing down on food and fuel resources in areas of intense privation.

5. No mission will be accepted by US forces if it is inconsistent with US values or if it cannot be justified to the American public.

This is a key requirement. Obviously, US administrations are required to jump whatever congressional hurdles have been constructed, but the center of gravity for sustaining any US civilmilitary operation is the American public. The President must be able to articulate the basic instinct of most Americans to respond to widespread suffering.

6. The United States will be prepared to use force, or to threaten the use of force, when necessary to achieve the internationally sanctioned goals of the operation.

This last element provides flexibility and is closer to reality than the Weinberger formula. It returns to the earlier concerns of Secretary of State Shultz: military force has no credibility when it has no relevance to the ongoing political process.


NOTES

1. George P. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (New York: Scribners, 1993), p. 650.

2. The six tenets of the Weinberger Doctrine (as drawn from Alan Ned Sabrosky and Robert L. Sloane, The Recourse to War: An Appraisal of the "Weinberger Doctrine" [Carlisle, Pa.: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 1988]) are these:

I. The United States should not commit forces to combat overseas unless the particular engagement or occasion is deemed vital to our national interest or that of our allies.

II. If we decide it is necessary to put combat troops into a given situation, we should do so wholeheartedly, and with the clear intention of winning. If we are unwilling to commit the forces or resources necessary to achieve our objectives, we should not commit them at all.

III. If we do decide to commit forces to combat overseas, we should have clearly defined political and military objectives. And we should know precisely how our forces can accomplish those clearly defined objectives. And we should have, and send, the forces needed to do just that.

IV. The relationship between our objectives and the forces we have committed-their size, composition, and disposition-must be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.

V. Before the United States commits combat forces abroad, there must be some reasonable assurance we will have the support of the American people and their elected representatives in Congress. This support cannot be achieved unless we are candid in making clear the threats we face; the support cannot be sustained without continuing and close consultation.

VI. The commitment of US forces to combat should be a last resort.

3. Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Problems of Our Time (3d ed.; New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993), p. 266.

4. General Colin Powell served as Weinberger's military assistant at the time the doctrine was prepared. Later, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Powell enunciated the related "doctrine of overwhelming force." In his memoirs, General Powell indicates his support to the Weinberger tests, but also suspected "they were too explicit and would lead potential enemies to look for loopholes." See Colin L. Powell, My American Journey (New York: Random House, 1995), p. 303.

5. See discussion of "complex disasters" in Larry Minear and Thomas G. Weiss, Mercy Under Fire: War and the Global Humanitarian Community (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995), pp. 1718.

6. Richard Smith, UN to Develop Doctrine for Use of Force in Conflict. The Requirement for the United Nations to Develop an InternationallyRecognized Doctrine for the Use of Force in IntraState Conflict (Camberly: Strategic and Combat Studies Institute, Occasional Paper Number 10, 1 January 1994), p. 27. The document reviews various tactical elements of intervention, including those of the Scandinavians, the United States, NATO, France, and the UK. Based on the UK colonialera exploits in Cyprus, Malaya, and Kenya, the author suggests that British army experience is the proper point of departure for the development of UN field doctrine.

7. See Les Aspin, Report on the BottomUp Review (Washington: Department of Defense White Paper, October 1993); and US Department of State, The Clinton Administration's Policy on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations (Washington: State Department Publication 10161, May 1994).

8. See John Gerard Ruggie, "Peacekeeping and U.S. Interests," The Washington Quarterly, 17 (Autumn 1994), 17584.

9. See Philippe Garigue, "Interventionsanction and `droit d'ingérence' in international humanitarian law," International Journal, 48 (Autumn 1993), 66886.

10. For more on state collapse, see Aristide R. Zolberg, "The Specter of Anarchy: African States Verging on Dissolution," Dissent, 39 (Summer 1992), 30311; and the editor's introduction to I. William Zartman, ed., Collapsed States: The Disintegration and Restoration of Legitimate Authority (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1995), pp. 111. For further discussions of the concept of "failed states," see Gerald Helman and Steven Ratner, "Saving Failed States," Foreign Policy, No. 89 (Winter 199293), 320; and Edward Marks, "UN Peacekeeping in a PostCold War World," in Edward Marks and William Lewis, Triage for Failing States (Washington: National Defense Univ., Institute for National Strategic Studies, McNair Paper 26, January 1994), pp. 122.

11. See Thomas G. Weiss, David P. Forsythe, and Roger A. Coate, The United Nations and Changing World Politics (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1994), p. 72.

12. Powell, p. 588.

13. Robert Oakley, "Imposing Values: The U.S. Ambassador who negotiated temporary security among warring clans and starving refugees in 1993, argues for caution in exporting our values to other countries," World View, 8 (Winter 199495), 1318.

14. Michael Mandelbaum, "The Reluctance to Intervene," Foreign Policy, No. 95 (Summer 1994), 318.

15. See Michael J. Kelly, "Legal Regimes and Law Enforcement in Peace Operations," in Hugh Smith, ed., The Force of Law: International Law and the Land Commander (Canberra: Australian Defense Studies Center, 1994), pp. 189204.

16. A balanced view of the debate is presented in Sydney D. Bailey, "Intervention: Article 2.7 Versus Articles 5556," International Relations, 12 (August 1994), 110.

17. John Mackinlay, "Defining a Role Beyond Peacekeeping," in William H. Lewis, ed., Military Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (Washington: National Defense Univ., Institute for National Strategic Studies, June 1993), p. 23.

18. Department of the Army, Field Manual No 10023, Peace Operations (Washington: 30 December 1994). Despite the confusion over "impartial" and "neutral," the manual demonstrates that a number of valuable lessons were learned from the Somalia experience.

19. Barry M. Blechman, "The Intervention Dilemma," The Washington Quarterly, 18 (Summer 1995), 69.

20. Michael Hoffman, "War, Peace, and Interventional Armed Conflict: Solving the Peace Enforcer's Paradox," Parameters, 25 (Winter 199596), 4152.

21. Problemsolving at the national level in a segmentary lineage society is a difficult though not impossible matter. It is a subject wellstudied in anthropological literature on Somalia. See the excellent review article by Erika Pozzo, "Customary Law of Somalis and Other African Peoples," in Hussein M. Adam and Charles L. Geshekter, eds. Proceedings of the First International Congress of Somali Studies (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), pp. 27788.

22. Margaret Castango, Historical Dictionary of Somalia (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1975), p. 142.

23. See Ken Menkhaus and John Prendergast, "Governance and Economic Survival in PostIntervention Somalia," CSIS Africa Notes, No. 172 (May 1995).

24. See Ken Menkhaus, "International Peacebuilding and the Dynamics of Local and National Reconciliation in Somalia," in Walter Clarke and Jeffrey Herbst, eds., Learning from Somalia: The Lessons of Armed Humanitarian Intervention (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, forthcoming January 1997).

25. These principles are based on the authors' analysis of the critical need to maintain a balance between the requirements for meaningful intervention by external humanitarian, political, and military forces and the inherent rights of self-determination by the peoples of the affected state.


Walter Clarke retired from the US Foreign Service in 1994 and is now an independent consultant in Carlisle, Pa., where he is Adjunct Professor of Peace Operations at the US Army Peacekeeping Institute. He served as Deputy Director of the US Liaison Office in Mogadishu for several months in 1993. His diplomatic assignments included service on the faculties of the Army and Naval War Colleges.

Robert Gosende is a Senior Foreign Service Officer in the US Information Agency who served as US Special Envoy to Somalia, March-October 1993. He will take up his assignment as Counselor for Public Affairs and USIS Director at the American Embassy in Moscow in late 1996.

The authors express their appreciation to the Sassakawa Peace Foundation for sponsoring the project National Sovereignty and Self-Determination after the Cold War, from which this essay is a product. The authors are indebted to Dr. Jeffrey Herbst and various members of the faculty at the Woodrow Wilson Center at Princeton for their constructive comments and support. The views expressed by the authors do not reflect those of the Sassakawa Peace Foundation, Princeton University, or any agency of the US government.


Reviewed 21 August 1996. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil.