Cover: Operations Other Than War

Operations Other Than War

Implications for the U.S. Army

Published 1995

by Jennifer Taw, John E. Peters


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Post-Cold War political pressures are likely to increase the demand for the U.S. military in general and the U.S. Army in particular to conduct operations other than war (OOTW). This report analyzes how changing demographics worldwide will affect the operational requirements of future OOTW missions. Two key factors that have influenced U.S. success or failure in the past are (1) political-military communication and (2) mission creep and mission swing. Without effective political-military communication, military planning may be derived from political rhetoric or, alternatively, political decisions may be based on faulty understandings of military capabilities or considerations. Equally critical is sufficient recognition of, and planning for, mission creep (in which political goals shift, requiring military operations different from those planned at the intervention's outset) and mission swing (in which the operational environment undergoes quick deterioration or improvement unrelated to the presence or efforts of intervening forces). The report concludes with specific recommendations regarding Army doctrine, training, equipment, and force structure.

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