The author examines the bases of American military participation in the array of Third World activities falling under the general rubric of peacekeeping and peace-enforcement. The relevance of this inquiry was underscored by President Clinton in his Inaugural Address, when he added situations where "the will and conscience of the international community are defied" to traditional vital interests and as times when American military force might be employed. He considers the major instances in the post-cold war world where so-called humanitarian interventions have occurred or may occur: the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, Somalia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The author then examines the effects of these actions on the principle of sovereignty. He next turns to the emerging roles of peacekeeping and peace-enforcement and the conceptual and practical differences between them, and concludes with some cautionary lessons for the Army.
The editors of the nation's two leading journals on foreign policy were asked to examine the nature of the post-cold war world and America's transitional role. These essays represent the views of Charles William Maynes, editor of Foreign Policy, and William G. Hyland, former editor of Foreign Affairs.
Charles Maynes reviews the major transitions that marked 45 years of Soviet-American strategic confrontation. Predictably, the U.S. global role and defense resources are declining as old threats decrease and domestic problems move higher up on the policy agenda. Less predictably, the relative defense spending of small powers is likely to increase, adding to the potential for regional instability. These trends and the proliferation of weapons technology, including weapons of mass destruction, will drive the major powers toward their third attempt in this century to deal with global instability through collective security. Power will become more evenly distributed as America's military dominance recedes and others' economic power increases. Such trends, Mr. Maynes believes, should not be disturbing so long as prudent retrenchment does not become a foolish retreat from an American global role.
William Hyland believes that no president since Calvin Coolidge has inherited an easier foreign policy agenda. Presidents from Truman through Bush did the cold war "heavy lifting," and the Clinton transitional era should mark the ascendancy of domestic over foreign policy issues. Economic power is essential to America's future and the country faces the difficult task of economic recovery while avoiding the political expedience of protectionism or other forms of belligerence toward our trading partners. This would accelerate international fragmentation, undermining the political trends toward a collective security regime that is vital to the new world order and is the best alternative to the extremes of U.S. isolationism or global policeman.
This report provides an historical analysis of lessons from one of the most important wars of the 1980s, the war in Afghanistan. After reading this study, you will better understand the nature of operations "other than war" in multiethnic states. Many fear that these wars will set the paradigm for wars in the 1990s and will exert pressure on U.S. forces to conduct peacekeeping, peace-enforcement and humanitarian assistance operations in especially dangerous areas. Yugoslavia and Somalia, each in their own way, bear out the ubiquity of these wars and the pressures on the United States to act. This report will, of course, contribute to the body of material dealing with the war in Afghanistan.
More importantly, it increases understanding of future wars, particularly these types of wars, so that policymakers and analysts alike will better appreciate their military and political aspects. In turn, we may devise mechanisms either to forestall and avert them, or to bring them to the speediest possible conclusion. Alternatively, should those mechanisms fail and troops have to be committed, this and future analyses will enable commanders to have a better grasp of the nature of the war they will fight. In either case, understanding the war and the theater should facilitate a solution more in keeping with U.S. interests and values.
After every momentous event, there is usually a transition period, in which participants in the events, whether individuals or nation-states, attempt to chart their way into an unfamiliar future. In the United States in this century, there are three such transitions, each focused on America's role in the international arena. After World War I, the American people specifically rejected the global role for the United States implicit in Woodrow Wilson's strategic vision of collective security. In contrast to this "return to normalcy," after World War II the United States moved inexorably toward international leadership in response to the Soviet threat. The result was an acceptance of George Kennan's strategic vision of containing the Soviet Union on the Eurasian landmass and the subsequent bipolar confrontation of the two superpowers in a twilight war that lasted for over 40 years.
Sometime in the penultimate decade of the 20th century, the United States and its allies won the cold war. Once again in the current transition period, the primary questions revolve around the management of power and America's role in global politics. Once again there are the issues of change and continuity. In terms of change, the cold war set in train a blend of integrative and disintegrative forces and trends that are adding to the complex tensions of the current transition. The integrative force that increasingly linked global economies in the cold war, for instance, also holds out the spectral potential of global depression or, at the very least, nations more susceptible to disintegrative actions, as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait demonstrated. In a similar manner, the advances in communications and transportation that have spread the results of medical and scientific discoveries around the world are countered by the malign transnational results of nuclear technology, the drug trade, terrorism, AIDS and global warming.
President Clinton has expressed clear support for greater U.N. effectiveness in the peaceful resolution of conflict and the organization of collective security. This entails finding ways to improve U.N. peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peace-enforcement. The U.S. Army will have a vital role in this process and thus must better understand both the U.N. itself and the key issues and questions associated with peace support operations. The foundation of such understanding is debate on a series of broad issues such as the macro-level configuration of the international system, alterations in global values (especially the notion of sovereignty), and the function of the United Nations in possible future international systems. While questions concerning such problems cannot be answered with certainty, they will serve as the basis for future decisions on doctrine, force structure, and strategy. It is thus vital for American security professionals to grapple with them.
To encourage this process, the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, sponsored a roundtable on October 5, 1993 that brought together distinguished experts from both inside and outside the government. They included widely-published writers, analysts, and practitioners of peace operations. Their goal was less to reach consensus on the future of the U.N. than to agree on what the vital questions, problems, and issues will be. This report is not a verbatim transcript of discussion at the roundtable, but an attempt to capture the debate and identify the core issues which emerged.
Security professionals and strategists are discovering the post-cold war world is as rife with persistent, low-level violence as its predecessors. In fact, many regions are experiencing a rise in the amount of conflict in the absence of restraints previously imposed by the superpowers. Since frustration in many parts of the Third World is actually increasing, insurgency--the use of low-level, protracted violence to overthrow a political system or force some sort of fundamental change in the political and economic status quo--will be an enduring security problem. Unfortunately, most existing doctrine and strategy for dealing with insurgency are based on old forms of the phenomenon, especially rural, protracted, "people's war." But as this type of insurgency becomes obsolete, new forms will emerge. It is important to speculate on these future forms in order to assist in the evolution of counterinsurgency strategy and doctrine. Dr. Steven Metz uses a psychological method of analysis to argue that two forms of insurgency, which he calls the "spiritual" and the "commercial," will pose the greatest intellectual challenges to security professionals, military leaders, and strategists. The specific nature of such challenges will vary from region to region.
Over the course of the next six months, the Strategic Studies Institute will examine the impact of the media's technological advances on strategic and operational level planning and policymaking, first in an overseas theater, and subsequently on decisions made at the national level. The first of these two studies recognizes the complexity of executing military operations under the scrutiny of a very responsive, high technology world news media. Given the volatile, unstable, and ambiguous environment in which armed forces can find themselves, the actions of field forces have a greater chance than ever before of affecting subsequent strategic decisions made at higher levels. The pressure on field commanders to "get it right the first time" is demonstrably greater than ever. The author intends that these thoughts provide commanders with an understanding of the high technology and competitive news media environment they can expect to experience and offers specific suggestions for successfully communicating with reporters.
Given the potential explosiveness of the Cuban crisis and the possibility that it might lead to U.S. military involvement, it would seem appropriate to take a closer look at the Cuban situation. In particular, we need a better understanding of those forces promoting both political stability and instability. In this report, the distinguished Latin American scholar Enrique Baloyra argues that Castro's current policy of "re-equilibration" is unlikely to succeed and that his options will increasingly boil down to two choices: One, he can deepen the process of government-led reform, or, two, he can continue the current policy, with growing chances of violence and turmoil. Baloyra suggests that since the former might jeopardize his hegemonic position, the latter is the more probable option. The future, in short, is likely to be grim.
Every year the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute prepare current strategic assessments for their particular areas of interest. These assessments are the bedrock of the annual SSI Study Program. This year's assessments seem especially crucial as the strategic situation throughout the world is far more complex and fraught with danger than many may realize. The dramatically altered world of the post-cold war period is not the peaceful and tranquil scene many had longed for and thought had, indeed, arrived. From the Danube eastward along the southern boundaries of what used to be the Soviet Union, ethnic conflict is rampant. Russia remains very much an enigma wrapped in a riddle, but, as always, Russian national interests are paramount in Kremlin thinking. While there are those in the Middle East who earnestly seek peace, there are others who are determined to support old hatreds and the policies that issued from them. In the Far East, North Korea has resisted U.N. demands to inspect its nuclear production facilities, China is modernizing its military forces, and Japan continues to seek new markets. In this dynamic international setting, a technological revolution is propelling many nations, the United States being foremost among them, from the industrial age into the information age. The implications for military force structures and strategies are as enormous as they are uncertain.
International environmental issues can lead to instability and conflict that threaten U.S. security interests and may result in the commitment of U.S. forces. Chronic, unresolved environmental issues threaten stability in such critical regions as the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Recognizing this, the Department of Defense (DOD) has committed itself to using DOD assets to mitigate environmental issues that could lead to instability. However, a strategy to implement this proactive policy has not been developed. As part of the effort to create this strategy, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and Occupation Health), Mr. Lewis D. Walker, convened a panel on Environmental Security as part of the Fifth Senior Environmental Leadership Conference. The panel was sponsored by the Strategic Studies Institute and the Army Environmental Policy Institute. Its members were environmental security experts from within and outside DOD and represented Major Commands and the Joint Community. This report was drafted by members of the panel and edited by the panel chairman. While recognizing that their report was a contribution to the ongoing effort to define DOD's environmental security role and not a comprehensive study, the panel reached consensus, and made recommendations on key policy