Interests, Values, and Objectives Lsn 2

Interests, Values, and
Lsn 2
• Represent the legal,
philosophical, and moral
basis for continuation of a
nation’s system
• Provide a sense of national
purpose and are the basis
for the development of
national interests
• But values can also be
contradictory to one another
– Values are situational and are
modified over time
Founding documents such
as the Declaration of
Independence often contain
a statement of a nation’s
• A nation’s perceived needs and
aspirations in relation to its international
• Interests usually combine security and
material concerns with moral and ethical
– During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and
communism were perceived as threats to both
American security and American values
Categories of National Interests
• Defense of the Homeland
– Protection against attack on the territory and
people of a nation-state in order to ensure
survival with fundamental values and political
systems intact
• Economic Prosperity
– Attainment of conditions in the international
environment that insure the economic wellbeing of the nation
Categories of National Interests
• Promotion of Values
– Establishment of the legitimacy of or the
expansion of the fundamental values of the
nation such as free trade, human rights, and
• Favorable World Order
– Those end states that promote conditions
favorable to the values and fundamental
purposes of the nation, such as stability and
democratic governments
Intensity of Interests
• Vital
– Assure a state its security, its freedom and
independence, protection of its institutions,
and enshrinement of its values
– A nation is willing to expend blood and
treasure, in short to do whatever it takes, to
defend its vital interests
– If unfulfilled will have immediate consequence
for critical national interests
Intensity of Interests
• Important
– Do not affect national survival, but they do
affect importantly the national well-being and
the character of the world in which nation
– If unfulfilled, will result in damage that will
eventually affect critical national interests
– However, the use of force is not automatically
deemed necessary to protect an important
Intensity of Interests
• Peripheral
– If unfulfilled, will result in
damage that is unlikely to
affect critical national
– Does not really pose a
threat to the nation as a
whole (although it may
affect some private
– The nation may or may
not seek to defend a
peripheral interest
depending on the relative
cost of the endeavor and
the importance of the
Political scientist Michael
Mandelbaum complained that in the
Clinton Administration, “We have a
foreign policy today in the shape of a
doughnut—lots of peripheral interests
but nothing at the center."
Policy and Strategy
• National Policy
– A broad course of action or statements of guidance
and objectives adopted by a government at the
national level in pursuit of national interests
– Objectives are end states that must be accomplished
in order to advance national interests
• National Security Strategy
– The art and science of using all the elements of
national power during peace and war to secure
national interests
– Sometimes called national strategy or grand strategy
Elements (or Instruments) of Power
• Basic means a nation uses to pursue its
– Power can influence, support, enforce, or coerce
• Can be natural determinants or social
• Natural
– Geography, population, natural resources, etc
• Social
– Diplomatic, informational, military, and economic
– Particularly adaptable to use by the strategist
• Diplomatic
– Establishment, suspension,
or break in diplomatic
– UN Security Council debate
– Cultural exchanges
• Informational
Scientific exchanges
Technical assistance
In 1995 Secretary of State Warren
Christopher traveled to Vietnam to
help open the US Embassy there
and mark the reestablishment of
diplomatic relations between the
US and Vietnam
• Military
– Military assistance
– Show of force
– Quarantine,
blockade, or mining
of ports
– Invasion
• Economic
– Trade embargo or
– Economic and
financial assistance
– Economic and trade
In spite of the highly repressive
regime of Nicolae Ceausescu,
Romania was one of the few
communist countries to be accorded
most-favored-nation status by the US
during the Cold War, principally in
recognition of Romania’s permissive
policy toward emigration of Jews
The Strategist’s Challenge
• Determine the best way to project power
by choosing those instruments of power
which are both feasible and effective in
achieving the objective
• Ensure that all strategies and instruments
of power are supporting, complementary,
and synergistic wherever possible (or at
least do not work at cross-purposes)
Risk Assessment
• Almost no strategy has resources sufficient for
complete assurance of success
• The strategy must ensure an assessment of the
risk of less than full attainment of objectives
• If the risk is determined to be unacceptable, the
strategy must be revised by…
– Reducing the objectives
– Changing the concepts, or
– Increasing the resources
Case Studies
• Weinberger Doctrine
• Powell Doctrine
• Clinton Doctrine (Les Aspin and the
Limited Objective School)
• On Sept 29, 1982, US military forces were inserted
in Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping
• Peacekeeping operations are designed to monitor
and facilitate cease fire, truce, and diplomatic efforts
• No cease fire materialized in Beirut
– Israelis and Syrians stayed in and around city
• In spite of this, the Marines were told to “establish
presence” between Syrians and Israelis without an
agreed upon withdrawal for either side
• The Marines were first
welcomed but steadily
became perceived as
being pro-Israeli
• The Marines were highly
vulnerable in a nontactical billeting
arrangement with very
strict ROE
• Violence culminated on
October 23, 1983 with a
terrorist bombing that
claimed the lives of 241
service members
Time Reports the Terrorist Bombing
Lessons: Beirut
• “Without a clearly defined objective, determining
the proper size and armament and rules of
engagement for such a force is difficult at best.”
• “with no mission since there was no withdrawal
agreement” Marines are effectively sitting
• The military is but one instrument of national
power, and it is not the appropriate one to be
used in all situations or for all objectives.
• Resulted in the development of the Weinberger
Doctrine—strategic criteria to commit U.S. forces
Conflicting Points of View
• “There had to be some way to
deal with violent threats that
lay between doing nothing and
launching an all-out
conventional war. Diplomacy
could work [to address]
problems most effectively
when force– or the threat of
force– was a credible part of
the equation.”
– Secretary of State George Shultz
Conflicting Points of View
• “My own feeling was that we
should not commit American
troops to any situation unless the
objectives were so important to
American interests that we had
to fight, and that those conditions
we met, and all diplomatic efforts
failed, then we had to commit, as a
last resort, not just token forces to
provide an American presence, but
enough forces to win and win
– Secretary of Defense Casper
Weinberger Doctrine
• The US should not commit forces to combat
overseas unless the particular engagement
or occasion is deemed vital to our national
interest or that of our allies
• If we decide it is necessary to put combat troops
into a given situation,we should do so
wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of
• If we do decide to commit forces to combat
overseas, we should have clearly defined
political and military objectives
Weinberger Doctrine (cont)
• The relationship between our objectives and
the forces we have committed– their size,
composition, and disposition– must be
continually reassessed and adjusted if
• Before the US commits combat forces abroad,
there must be some reasonable assurance we
will have the support of the American people and
their elected representatives in Congress
• The commitment of US forces to combat should
be a last resort
Beirut and The Weinberger
• What impact did Beirut have on
Weinberger’s criteria for using force
relative to intensity of interest?
• How did the Weinberger Doctrine address
• Why did the Weinberger Doctrine work
well in the Cold War environment?
Changing World
• Desert Storm
– War can be won quickly with
low casualties
– Erased the “Vietnam
• Dissolution of the Soviet Empire
– No more threat of a
superpower clash
– US became the only world
– Real opportunity for
international cooperation and
United Nations leadership
• Weinberger Doctrine came to be
viewed as less appropriate in the
post-Cold War era
Powell Doctrine
• Force should be used only as a last
• Military force should be used only
when there is a clear-cut military
• Military force should be used only
when we can measure that the
military objective has been achieved
• Military force should be used only in
an overwhelming fashion
– Perceived as being too much like the
Weinberger Doctrine (but it did omit the
“vital interest” requirement)
Les Aspin and the Limited
Objective School
• “…this brand new world of
ours is a world of turmoil
and agitation. And that
agitation has provoked
calls for the use of military
force in a whole range of
circumstances that don’t fit
the mold.”
Increased Optempo
• After the end of the Cold War and the
tremendous success of Desert Storm,
there was an increased willingness to use
the military
• Previously reserved largely for “vital”
interests, the military became increasingly
used for lesser interests under a strategy
of “engagement and enlargement”
Increased Optempo
• The pace of deployments increased 16-fold since
the end of the Cold War.
– Between 1960 and 1991, the Army conducted
10 operations outside of normal training and
alliance commitments, but between 1992 and
1998, the Army conducted 26 such operations.
– The Marines conducted 15 contingency
operations between 1982 and 1989, and 62
since 1989.
– During the 1990s, U.S. forces of 20,000 or more
troops were engaged in non-warfighting
missions in Somalia (1993), Haiti (1994), Bosnia
(1996), and Iraq and Kuwait (1998).
The Heritage Foundation, The Facts About Military Readiness, Jack Spencer, Executive Summary #1394
Changed World
• How did the end of the Cold War change
America’s understanding of its interests?
• How did the end of the Cold War and
Desert Storm affect risk?
• How do Powell and Aspin disagree over
their understanding of what is a suitable
objective for the military?
1996 National Security Strategy of
Engagement and Enlargement
• “three basic categories of
national interests that can
merit the use of our armed
– Vital
– Important
– Humanitarian
Vital Interests
• “… interests that are of broad, overriding
importance to the survival, security and
vitality of our national entity -- the defense of
U.S. territory, citizens, allies and our
economic well-being.”
• “We will do whatever it takes to defend these
interests, including -- when necessary -- the
unilateral and decisive use of military power.”
– Desert Storm and Vigilant Warrior (when Iraq
threatened aggression against Kuwait in October
Important Interests
• “… interests at stake do not affect our national
survival, but they do affect importantly our national
well-being and the character of the world in which
we live.”
• “In such cases, military forces should only be used
if they advance U.S. interests, they are likely to be
able to accomplish their objectives, the costs and
risks of their employment are commensurate with
the interests at stake and other means have been
tried and have failed to achieve our objectives.
Such uses of force should also be selective and
limited, reflecting the relative saliency of the
interests we have at stake.”
– Haiti and Bosnia
Humanitarian Interests
• “Here, our decisions focus on the resources we
can bring to bear by using unique capabilities of
our military rather than on the combat power of
military force. Generally, the military is not the
best tool to address humanitarian concerns.”
• “But under certain conditions, the use of our
armed forces may be appropriate: when a
humanitarian catastrophe dwarfs the ability of
civilian relief agencies to respond; when the need
for relief is urgent and only the military has the
ability to jump-start the longer-term response to
the disaster; when the response requires
resources unique to the military; and when the
risk to American troops is minimal.”
– Somalia
• US involvement in Somalia
began in December 1992
to help ease the
humanitarian crisis there
• Once this objective was
accomplished the US
forces expanded the
mission to include
disarming the Somali
people and restoring law
and order
• This change of mission
was a direct threat to the
power base of clan leader
Mohammed Farah Aidid
• On Oct 3, 1993 Task Force Ranger
raided the Olympic Hotel in
Mogadishu to search for Aidid
• This led to a 17 hour battle in which
18 US soldiers were killed and 84
were wounded
• Pictures of the body of a dead US
soldier being dragged through the
streets and the capture of a US
helicopter pilot caused a public
outcry against the US policy in
• On Oct 7, President Clinton
announced the beginning of the US
• Marked the beginning of a period in which
the US became very “casualty adverse”
– What type of interest was at stake in Somalia?
– Explain Somalia and intensity of interest in
terms of risk acceptance.
– Explain the US decision to withdraw from
Somalia as a function of intensity of interest.
• Idealism
and Realism
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