From Parameters, Summer 1996, pp. 2-3.
In This Issue . . .
Gavin Bulloch describes a seamless concept in British army doctrine for integrating strategic, operational, and tactical operations in counterinsurgency, illuminating as he does issues related to our own doctrine, operational principles, and strategic planning.
Robert H. Dorff notes the increasing tendency for post-Cold War peace operations to take place within weak, failed, or failing states. He cautions against expectations that a military peace support operation can succeed in establishing a functioning democratic state when most, if not all, of the usual indicators suggest failure.
Mark R. Walsh describes how a humanitarian assistance mission is established, some key factors that affect its ability to meet its objectives, and the challenges of obtaining agreement from all participants in the mission to cooperate with one another. He notes that progress generally will be determined by initiatives undertaken by the indigenous population, rather than by those introduced through the mission.
Andrew S. Natsios identifies and analyzes nine factors that he believes commanders providing humanitarian assistance could consider when formulating their intent and operational concepts. He emphasizes the importance of identifying and working with local leaders other than warlords during peace operations and humanitarian assistance.
Anthony D. Marley bases his analysis of the responsibilities of military participants in peace negotiations on his experiences in such negotiations in Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.
Faris R. Kirkland, Ronald R. Halverson, and Paul D. Bliese describe and analyze stressors identified in five post-Cold War deployments. They demonstrate that successful management of stress among our soldiers and their families depends on validating individual and group experiences after the operation, on debriefings, and on decompression and family time upon completion of the deployment.
A. James Gregor provides insights into China's military development and its regional policies, noting that its forces are designed to influence the behavior of its immediate neighbors and other regional states. He explores the significance of China's military buildup in light of its definition of territorial waters in the East and South China seas.
Ralph Peters raises issues related to our concepts of warfighting that deserve scrutiny for the very reason that some may find the idea of doing so distasteful.
Karl W. Eikenberry asks why the Army considers casualty limitation to be a doctrinal issue rather than one best governed by policy.
Harvey M. Sapolsky and Jeremy Shapiro express concern that US sensitivity to casualties--ours, the opponents', and innocent victims--can limit our ability to design and carry out strategy to solve foreign and domestic problems.
Review Essays include "The Internet Strategist: An Assessment of On-line Resources," by James Kievit and Steven Metz. This essay is unique in that the authors have analyzed the current and prospective value to strategic research of dozens of Internet sites. While many sites presently offer more promise than content, the reviewers' conclusion--"within a few years . . . an analyst's collection of Internet bookmarks will be as valuable as a Rolodex of personal contacts is now"--should be of interest to all students of strategy. Other essays are "Anticipating the Future: New Perspectives on Prussian and Austrian War Planning," by Antulio J. Echevarria II, and Charles R. Shrader's "Logistics in Peace Operations and Humanitarian Assistance."
Book Reviews include Henry G. Gole on Democracy Imposed: U.S. Occupation Policy and the German Public, 1945-1949; Lawrence G. Kelley's analysis of When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, and Chaplain John Brinsfield's reflections on Admiral James Stockdale's Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot.
A Note on Language . . .
Many readers will be aware that whatever else has come of the changes in military affairs since 1989, the period has been a fruitful one for the invention of new terms or the adaptation of familiar ones to new purposes.
Fifty years hence the first decade of the post-Cold War era will probably resemble the early years of the Cold War itself, when concepts such as containment and terms such as the Iron Curtain emerged to explain new phenomena. Few remember, or even care, what those concepts and terms replaced. Observers of strategy and of military affairs will just have to work harder to stay current.
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Reviewed 28 May 1996. Please send comments or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.