Stability Operations in Strategic Perspective: A Skeptical View   [open pdf - 68KB]

"This article comprises an eight-point argument that presents both a strategic perspective and, as promised in the subtitle, a skeptical view of some of the more vital assumptions that appear to be shaping policy and strategy today. As an aid to comprehension, as well as an encouragement to economy in explanation and justification, the article will proceed from an itemization and brief explanation of the elements of the argument to their discussion in greater detail. The eight points are these: The United States is the global hegemon at present, by default we must add; As the hegemonic, 'world-ordering' power, America's competence, strengths, and reputation or prestige are of vital importance for global stability; America's national ideology, which is an integral part of its culture, does not travel as well as many Americans believe; The American way of war reflects American society, while the American armed forces reflect American foreign policy demands, actual, anticipated, and plausibly possible; It is not quite as self-evident as the QDR's authors assume, that America's dominant current strategic challenge has been conceptualized accurately; The leading threat at present to American global guardianship for international order is not Islamic fundamentalism, rather is it nationalism; Stability operations must be approached as being integral to strategy, not as behavior that follows the 'war proper'; The QDR says many sound things about irregular warfare, and [...] it is also deeply imbued with the country's love affair with technology, to the point where the technophilia encourages serious strategic misassessment."

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U.S. Army War College, Parameters: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/
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Parameters: United States Army War College Quarterly (Summer 2006), v.36 no.2, p.4-14
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