Punishment, Revenge, and Retribution: A Historical Analysis of Punitive Operations   [open pdf - 352KB]

"The purpose of this monograph is to study punitive attack and assess what makes these operations successful or unsuccessful. By surveying early international law we can see that attacking to avenge a loss or as retribution is an enduring and justified cause of war. The historical campaigns of both the British and the United States provide some excellent examples of punitive operations in execution. The twenty year fight by the British army against the Mad Mullah in Somaliland, and the United States Armys Punitive Expedition into northern Mexico in search of the bandit Poncho Villa, as well The United States 1986 air raid on the country of Libya are examples of punitive operations. Reponses against nations or actors that are punitive must be timely and warranted. Any action that seeks retribution or deterrence must have a limited and attainable objective. One important facet of punitive operations is in their residual deterrence value. Deterrence is the perception of the potential for the use of force. Potential force may be effective against sophisticated and organized polities; however, for primitive loosely organized enemies, the actual use of physical force may be the sole method for achieving a level of deterrence."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
Media Type:
Help with citations