Dr. Thomas H. Henriksen provides us with historical insights of the benefits and difficulties of implementing strategic concepts for Dividing Our Enemies. He suggests that understanding and leveraging the human fault lines to counter terrorism can sometimes be an important complement to, or even substitute for, Special Operations Forces’ direct action tactics and larger battles of annihilation. Overwhelming fire is likely to be much less effective by itself in today’s global fight against violent extremism than other approaches that can take advantage of the political divisions among insurgents and terrorists….
A Joint U.S.-British Regime-Change Operation in 1953 that Holds Lessons for Today. Edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne
This publication addresses military psychological operations planning and execution in support of joint, multinational, and interagency efforts across the range of military operations.
The Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) was one of a series of crises during an era of upheaval in the Middle East: revolution in Iran, occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by militant students, invasion of the Great Mosque in Mecca by anti-royalist Islamicists, the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan, and internecine fighting among Syrians, Israelis, and Palestinians in Lebanon. The war followed months of rising tension between the Iranian Islamic republic and secular nationalist Iraq. In mid-September 1980 Iraq attacked, in the mistaken belief that Iranian political disarray would guarantee a quick victory.
One of the PNAC's (By Project for the New American Century / Foreign Policy Initiative) most influential publications was a 90-page report titled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century. Citing the PNAC's 1997 Statement of Principles, Rebuilding America's Defenses asserted that the United States should "seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership" by "maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces." The report's primary author was Thomas Donnelly, and Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt are credited as project chairmen. It also lists the names of 27 other participants that contributed papers or attended meetings related to the production of the report, six of whom subsequently assumed key defense and foreign policy positions in the Bush administration. It suggested that the preceding decade had been a time of peace and stability, which had provided "the geopolitical framework for widespread economic growth" and "the spread of American principles of liberty and democracy." The report warned that "no moment in international politics can be frozen in time; even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself.
Joint Vision 2020 (Full Spectrum Dominance). US Joint Chiefs of Staff. U.S. Department of Defense. June 2000. The US military today is a force of superbly trained men and women who are ready to deliver victory for our Nation. In support of the objectives of our National Security Strategy, it is routinely employed to shape the international security environment and stands ready to respond across the full range of potential military operations. But the focus of this document is the third element of our strategic approach – the need to prepare now for an uncertain future. ...
American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century. We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.
The alliance that won the Cold War has lost its way. Contented summit photos cannot hide the fact that NATO no longer defends its members' vital interests. With the Soviet Union gone and regional threats on the rise, the proper object of strategy is to protect more distant interests -- Persian Gulf oil, for instance -- not Western Europe's borders. The United States has executed this strategic U-turn more or less gracefully by refocusing its defense plans on "major regional contingencies." Its European partners, however, have not. NATO does not figure into current American strategy, while the strategy of America's NATO allies is a mystery altogether. …
In accordance with section 523 of the FY 1994-95 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Public Law No. 103-236, I am pleased to submit on behalf of the secretary of state the report, "people's Mojahedin of Iran." The Administration has welcomed the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of the people's Mojahedin of Iran. The U.S, Government has been monitoring the group's activities since the 1970s. We believe the report to be a balanced and comprehensive analysis. Consideration of this issue suggests it may be appropriate to take this opportunity to restate the Administration's policy towards the government of Iran. We want to be clear that our conclusions about the Mojahedin do not in any way imply support for the behavior of the current regime in Iran. As you are aware, longstanding U.S policy on Iran has been based on an unvarying premise: Iran should not enjoy the benefits of normal, state-to-state relation with other countries so long as it acts in ways that fall outside generally understood patterns of acceptable government behavior. Our record of objection to outlaw Iranian behavior is clear. We vigorously oppose Iran's support for terrorism, its efforts to block the Middle East peace process through violence, its attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and its dismal human rights record. Until Iran alters its behavior in these critical areas, we will continue to lead the world in pressuring Tehran. We must convince the regime that there is a price to be paid for flouting international standards.We welcome the opportunity to brief the Congress on all aspects of our bilateral relations with Iran. You can be assured we will continue to monitor the activities of the Mojahedin. We remain, however, guided by the premise that our mutual distaste for the behavior of the regime in Tehran should not influence our analysis of the Mojahedin.
The Clinton Administration is preparing a broad new effort to weaken Iran by persuading reluctant allies to cut off loans, investment and arms sales to what American officials regard as a permanently hostile Government. The plan, drafted as part of an intensive policy review, reflects a conclusion that Iran must be isolated if it is to be prevented from emerging as a substantial threat to Western interests. Thus, the plan rejects Reagan and Bush Administration policies that offered to reward Teheran for good behavior. Abandoning a Balance