Fighting in the Gray Zone: A Strategy to Close the Preemption Gap   [open pdf - 608KB]

"Three 2003-2004 Harvard National Security Fellows, Commander Joanne Fish, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel McCraw, and Colonel Christopher Reddish, argue that, when the National Security Strategy introduced the strategy of preemption, it simultaneously and unknowingly created a conceptual 'gray zone' by failing to clarify the substantive difference between 'imminent threats' and the 'adapted imminent threats' identified by the Bush administration. The resulting strategic confusion is most problematic when facing the nexus of rogue states, terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction. With the desire to bring better clarity to the debate, this Carlisle Paper proposes a new threat threshold, called 'convergent threat,' for using force against this nexus. Further, the paper recommends for using force against this nexus. Further, the paper recommends threat employing a strategy of forcible counterproliferation (FCP) as the most effective way to disrupt converged threats. Successful implementation of FCP pivots on four things: 1) changing international use of force norms, 2) achieving international consensus for the standard of abrogated sovereignty to legitimize force against otherwise sovereign states, 3) adopting three sets of trigger points to ascertain when a nation has abrogated its sovereignty, thereby opening up the possibility of applying force under an FCP strategy, and 4) the administration's ability to garner both domestic and international support for the strategy. The paper concludes with a comprehensive set of recommendations tied to adopting the notion of converged threats and employing a strategy of forcible counterproliferation."

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Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/pubs/recent.cfm
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