ABSTRACT

U.S. Weapons: The Low-Intensity Threat Is Not Necessarily a Low- Technology Threat, Report to the Chairman, Government Operations, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 2MB]

"This report responds to the Chairman's request for information on three questions concerning low-intensity warfare (LIW): (1) What are the LIW threats and contingencies US. armed forces face? (2) What are the LIW lessons to be learned from the recent past? (3) How is DOD [Department of Defense] addressing technology requirements for fighting LIW? This report is an unclassified summary of our work; a more detailed description of our findings can be found in the classified version of this report, which we are delivering concurrently to your office. Appendix I contains a summary of our objectives, scope, and methodology. A brief explanation will suffice to distinguish the term 'low-intensity warfare,' which is a significant aspect of our focus here, from the more broadly used term 'low-intensity conflict' (IX). Current U.S. LIC policy places primary emphasis on indirect measures-such as economic and military aid, training and advice, and information policy-to address a range of political-military operations focused on instabilities in the Third World. These operations include counterinsurgency, antiterrorism, peacekeeping, peacetime contingency operations, and counter-narcotics activities. In the event that indirect measures fail, the U.S. armed forces can be called upon to become directly engaged in combat in pursuit of the same political-military objectives, as was recently the case in Operation Just Cause in Panama. We were requested to confine our inquiry to low-intensity warfare, which is that subset of low-intensity conflict where US. armed forces are directly and substantially engaged in combat in a low-intensity environment. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), LIC and the LIW subset together are a form of conflict highly likely to occur in the future."

Report Number:
GAO/PEMD-90-13
Publisher:
Date:
1990-03
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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