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Oct 6th, 2008

Standard Warfare May Be Eclipsed By Nation-Building

Image: soldier in Iraq
Maya Alleruzzo / AP

By Ann Scott Tyson

October 5, 2008

The Army on Monday will unveil an unprecedented doctrine that declares nation-building missions will probably become more important than conventional warfare and defines “fragile states” that breed crime, terrorism and religious and ethnic strife as the greatest threat to U.S. national security.

The doctrine, which has generated intense debate in the U.S. military establishment and government, holds that in coming years, American troops are not likely to engage in major ground combat against hostile states as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, but instead will frequently be called upon to operate in lawless areas to safeguard populations and rebuild countries.

Such “stability operations” will last longer and ultimately contribute more to the military’s success than “traditional combat operations,” according to the Army’s new Stability Operations Field Manual, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. …

The new manual aims to orchestrate and plan for a range of military tasks to stabilize ungoverned nations: protecting the people; aiding reconstruction; providing aid and public services; building institutions and security forces; and, in severe cases, forming transitional U.S. military-led governments. …

But as the Army struggles to define its long-term future beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, some critics within the military warn that the new emphasis on nation-building is a dangerous distraction from what they believe should be the Army’s focus: strengthening its core war-fighting skills to prepare for large-scale ground combat.

The critics challenge the assumption that major wars are unlikely in the future, pointing to the risk of high-intensity conflict that could require sizable Army deployments to North Korea, Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere. …

Civilian officials and nongovernmental groups voice a different concern: that the military’s push to expand its exercise of “soft power,” while perhaps inevitable, given the dearth of civilian resources, marks a growing militarization of U.S. foreign policy. …

Image: Pakistani demonstrators
Pakistani demonstrators shout slogans as they burn a U.S. flag during a protest rally in Multan, Pakistan, on Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. Pakistan insisted it has not made a deal allowing the U.S. to fire missiles at militant hide-outs in Pakistani territory. (Photo credit: Khalid Tanveer / AP)

3 Responses to “New Nation-Building Doctrine”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties Says:

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  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » October 6, 2011 Says:

    […] U.S. Army Unveils New Nation-Building Doctrine […]

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