Ethnic Conflict: The Perils of Military Intervention


From Parameters, Spring 1995, pp. 30-42.

"History is littered with the wreck of states that tried to combine diverse ethnic or linguistic or religious groups within a single sovereignty."[1] -- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Ethnic conflict is an elemental force in international politics and a significant threat to regional security and stability. Ethnicity as a source of conflict has deep historic roots. Many such conflicts have lain dormant in our lifetimes, suppressed by the Soviet empire or overshadowed by the ideological competition of the Cold War, whose protagonists demonstrated unwarranted optimism about their ability to defuse ethnicity and ethnic conflict. Marxists believed that ethnicity would give way to "proletarian internationalism." Social class and economic welfare would determine both self-identity and loyalty to political institutions that would transcend ethnic identification or religious affiliation.

Western democracies assumed that "nation-building" and economic development were not only vital components in the strategy to contain communist expansion, but that capitalism, economic prosperity, and liberal democratic values also would create free societies with a level of political development measured by loyalty to the state rather than to the narrower ethnic group. Instead, the goals of assimilation and integration within the larger context of economic and political development are being replaced by violent ethnic corrections to artificially imposed state boundaries. The Balkan and Transcaucasian conflicts, for example, are ancient in origin and have as their object the territorial displacement of entire ethnic groups. Such conflicts by their nature defy efforts at mediation from outside, since they are fed by passions that do not yield to rational political compromise. They are, as John Keegan describes in his most recent study of war, apolitical to a degree for which Western strategists have made little allowance.[2]

The demise of European communism and the Russian empire has unleashed this century's third wave of ethnic nationalism and conflict. The first, in the wake of the collapsing Ottoman, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires, came to a climax after World War I; the second followed the end of European colonialism after World War II. The third wave of ethnic-based conflict may transform international politics and confront the United States with new security challenges.[3]

The extent of the historic transformation under way since the Cold War will be determined by the interplay of many trends, some cyclical like ethnic conflict, and some historically unique. Cyclical trends include the violence that follows failed empires and states, economic scarcity, environmental degradation, epidemics, mass migrations, and even ethnic cleansing. Historically unique trends which make the post-Cold War world unpredictable include global transparency and communications, mobility, proliferation of military technology, including weapons of mass destruction, and the potential scope of environmental changes caused by unprecedented assaults from population growth, industrialization, pollution, climatic change, and the emergence of new, virulent diseases. These trends are capable of producing synergistic effects that fast-forward systemic collapse in the Third World, reducing the radius of trust and loyalty to ethnic kinsmen, tribe, clan, or religious group.

The United States and its allies are faced with intractable zones of hostility in failed, fragmenting states that resemble the anarchy of the pre- nation-state system. Failed states are inevitably altered when, as Martin van Creveld noted, warring factions wrest the legal monopoly of armed force from official hands and create an environment in which the distinctions between war and crime are lost in a rising tide of violence and anarchy.[4] Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Sudan, Chad, Liberia, and most recently Chechnya provide evidence to support Van Creveld's hypothesis.

These trends are not indicators of an inevitable dark age of ethnic conflict. They are, however, warnings to both our military and civilian leadership that we face an unprecedented number of conflicts ranging from high-tech forces emerging from the military-technical revolution to primitive inter-clan, urban warfare. The primary interest for the US Army is to protect our national interests when they are at risk from any of these trends.

Implications for Military Strategy

Emerging patterns of ethnic conflict are forcing Americans to reexamine long-held principles. Self-determination, for example, seemed morally clear and compelling in President Wilson's Fourteen Points designed to formalize the liberation of small states from European empires after World War I. These same principles were equally compelling when Roosevelt applied them to European colonial empires at the end of World War II.

The third wave of ethnic conflict confronts policymakers with more complex patterns, patterns that cannot be resolved by idealist policies based on self-determination. What, for example, is a reasonable unit of self- determination? Is it every ethnic group that wants a sovereign territorial state? Where does the proliferation of states end? How does "reunion" take place if the process begins to reverse itself? Are US interests better served by support for the integrity of existing states or their fragmentation? How does support for the status quo square with our political history and contemporary world view?

Thinking about these challenges begins with the National Security Strategy. A specific national security goal of the United States is the promotion of democracy and human rights abroad. These objectives require political and economic strategies based on the recognition that not all ethnic conflict is synonymous with a desire for separatism or secession. Regional stability may be underwritten by support for civil rights movements or greater autonomy for ethnic groups within an existing state. How another sovereign state shares political and economic power within its own borders is not a problem for US military leaders until efforts to achieve peaceful integration and assimilation erupt into violence, terrorism, insurgency, or patterns of repression that threaten to destabilize an ally or a region in which the United States has a clear interest at risk.

The line between appropriate US political support for stability and peaceful resolution of ethnic-based civil conflict, on the one hand, and a military strategy to deal with ethnic-based regional instability, on the other, needs to be drawn with some degree of precision. Understanding patterns of ethnic conflict is an essential starting point for military strategy, because each case varies in its causes, potential for escalation, and probability of successful intervention. Military strategy and operational plans must be tailored to counter an adversary's specific capabilities and centers of gravity. Such an understanding also provides good historic indicators for the intractability of any such conflict, the potential for domestic and international support for it, and the degree to which US military options could achieve desired goals at acceptable costs.

Patterns of Ethnic Conflict

The academic literature on ethnicity and ethnic conflict is extensive and controversial. This study uses Donald Horowitz's working definition of ethnicity: a narrow self-identification and basis for affiliation, loyalty, and action, but elastic enough to embrace groups differentiated by race, color, religion, language, regional origin, tribe, or nationality.[5] This section addresses those patterns of ethnic conflict that are the most threatening to regional stability:[6]

Communal Violence

Communal violence can result from an ethnic mosaic or intermingling of groups, often through centuries of conquests, migrations, and dislocations. Ethnic groups can be distributed so haphazardly that it becomes difficult to discern a discrete territorial unit inhabited by specific nationalities or ethnic groups. Many of the groups evidencing this pattern have lived side by side with one another, usually in a segregated fashion, for dozens of generations. Nowhere is this better typified than in India, where one commonly finds a Muslim side of a village and a Hindu side of a village. Jerusalem, as well as Sarajevo, each with its respective ethnic or religious quarters, typifies this distribution pattern, as does Beirut. Each of these cities can attest that the volatile mix of ethnic groups can lead to intense violence.

These types of societies are given to periodic and virulent outbursts of conflict. Bosnia, for example, combines at least three patterns of ethnic conflict--communal violence, repression of ethnic enclaves (variously by all three parties), and irredentism or retrieval of adjacent enclaves of ethnic kinsmen. The Bosnia example is made more complex and tragic because Bosnia is bordered on two sides by independent states, Serbia and Croatia, seeking to annex large segments of its territory. As discussed below, these complex patterns, vital parts of policy development, must be understood and accounted for by strategists when deciding whether or how to apply military forces.

Repression of Ethnic Enclaves

Enclaves are most often created through the process of imperial exhaustion. The collapse of empires and the emergence of newly independent states usually produce pockets of stranded co-ethnics in territory no longer under a former imperial power's control. Ethnic populations living within enclaves have both contemporary affiliations to, and historic claims upon, the territory which they inhabit within their host state.

Host state repression of enclaves may take the form of human rights abuses committed against stateless minorities (Azeris in Armenia, Kurds in Iraq or Turkey, and Baluchis in Pakistan, for example). More often, however, threats to large ethnic enclaves can have the potential for escalation when the enclaves have patron states on or near the borders of repressor states. Examples that have flared up--or have the potential to do so--include Hungarians in Slovakia, Russians in newly independent republics of the former Soviet Union, Armenians in Azerbaijan, and Moslems in Bosnia.

Azerbaijan provides an instructive lesson for newly independent republics of the former Soviet Union not to discriminate against their Russian minority. Armenia is attempting to claim an enclave of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh by capturing a corridor linking it to the enclave. The reclamation of an enclave generally means the inclusion of people who are not of that ethnic or national group, creating an entirely new enclave. In such a situation, the reclaiming state may have to accede to some sort of guarantee regarding the rights of the newly created minority population, or else engage in the types of large-scale "population transfers" which occurred at various times within the Soviet Union and at the end of World War I and World War II.

More extreme solutions are at work in Bosnia, where one finds many islands of Serbs distributed in de facto enclaves as well as in the communal mosaic described above. The Bosnian Serb nationalists, in concert with the Serbian military, have sought to reclaim these enclaves throughout Bosnia, again through the establishment of what they call corridors. Implicit in the creation of these corridors is the recognition that one will have to "reclaim" individuals who are not co-ethnics, leading to the creation of new enclaves. Rather than live with this condition, the Bosnian Serbs have engaged in "ethnic cleansing," a benign term when describing expulsion from one's homeland. When they use it to describe genocide they demonstrate the banality of evil.

The use or establishment of corridors to make enclaves territorially contiguous is not without historical precedent. The so-called "Polish Corridor" that connected the Baltic Coast with Poland during the period between World War I and World War II created a German enclave in East Prussia that was forcefully reclaimed by Hitler. At Yalta, this former German enclave became part of the Soviet Union; today it is Kaliningrad, the only noncontiguous portion of Russia, separated from it by Lithuania. Ethnic enclaves have been and will continue to be sources of regional instability.

Closely related to the enclave problem, but with greater potential for conflict, are patterns where national boundaries divide ethnic groups between two sovereign states.

Irredentism and Retrieval

Irredentism, one state's attempt to claim or reincorporate contiguous territory occupied by ethnic kinsmen, often occurs after the deliberate transfer of terrain, as from losers to victors. The Pola region between Italy and the former Yugoslavia, the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, and Italy's acquisition of the Northern Tyrol are examples of deliberate transfers of terrain and populations that created irredentist movements. In Europe irredentas were often created in the aftermath of major power conflict, such as the two World Wars. Hitler, for example, used irredentist pretexts to incorporate Austria and the Sudetenland. In the Third World, irredentist claims are most often attributable to the capricious fashion in which the boundaries for colonial empires were delineated. The policies of the Russians in Kazakhstan, Somalis in Ethiopia, and Tajiks in Afghanistan are a few current examples of this enduring consequence of geopolitical maneuvering.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, a whole new array of real and potential irredentas has been spawned. The Soviet Union was loathe to launch irredentist or other ethnic-based claims for fear of riling ethnic tensions both within and outside the USSR. The same is no longer true of the new nationalist regimes created by the Soviet empire's fall. Nationalists in newly independent republics inspire their counterparts in Russia, many of whom are prepared to mobilize Russians to retake the lost empire. Ethnic-based claims reinforced by repression anywhere against the 25 million Russians living in the newly independent republics are likely, along with economic chaos, to resonate as the most effective rallying call for extremists.

Regional conflict stemming from new irredentist-retrieval patterns is not limited to the former Soviet Union. We find ourselves in a period of profound international transformation in which nationalist, including irredentist, claims will be more frequent than during the more stable bipolar period of the Cold War. As one leading expert has warned:

Irredentism has been a by-product of transition and uncertainty in the international order. Irredentist propensities may lie dormant for years and then erupt when interstate arrangements are destabilized. The latent and overt phases of irredentism are therefore closely connected to occurrences in the international arena in general and regional politics in particular.[7]

Secessionist Movements

Separatist or secessionist movements are not always ethnic-based or motivated, but they nearly always result in or are affected by some degree of ethnic conflict. The former Soviet Union, for example, did not fragment along purely ethnic lines. Indeed, as discussed above, each of the new states in the Commonwealth of Independent States is confronted with its own internal ethnic conflicts. The last act in this great drama has yet to unfold, and ethnic conflicts will play a prominent role in determining the former Soviet empire's continued fragmentation or forceful reunion by revanchist Russian nationalism. The rubble in the streets of Grozny is tragic evidence that the boundaries of a new Russian state cannot be consolidated without bloodshed. The challenge for American leaders is to balance our primary interest in the stability and democratization of Russia with violent repression of ethnic separatists.

Historically, most ethnic-based secessionist movements are spawned by failures in integration and assimilation. Eventually convinced that they are unable to compete in an undivided state, often in effect colonized by civil servants and administrators from other regions, and subject to uncongenial policies on language and other important symbolic issues, such groups are apt to seek independence. More often than not, they do so heedless of the economic costs. If the region is economically backward, as the Slovakian Republic (a good but atypical example of peaceful separation), the southern Sudan, the southern Philippines, the former East Pakistan, the hill country of Burma, or Chechnya, secession very likely means a loss of subsidies from the center. One reason people living in such regions nonetheless choose secession is that their political and ethnic goals outweigh the economic benefits that come with the undivided state. Another reason is that the political and economic interests of their elites lie with independence. Rather than be minority political leaders in a heterogeneous larger society, these elites may see independence as making it possible to be at the center of things. If they are junior civil servants, and if other groups have longer traditions of education and have produced many more senior civil servants, they may see independence as making it possible to jump the queue.[8]

Two specific cases of secessionist movements are worth noting because of their potential effects on regional stability and military strategy. The first is the violent but successful independence of Eritrea from Ethiopia. This secessionist victory sets a precedent that may contribute to a domino effect throughout Africa, where some degree of regional stability had been achieved by the acceptance of colonial borders, no matter how arbitrarily they may have been drawn.

The second example of ethnic-based separatism is illustrated by stateless minorities who form recognizable enclaves shared by two or more states. The Kurds in Iraq and Turkey or the Baluchis in Pakistan and Afghanistan are examples. The case of the Kurds in Iraq is especially challenging because their fate led to an ongoing mission to provide humanitarian relief and security to their enclave in northern Iraq. In Turkey, the Kurds have the potential for destabilizing not only a region, but also a US ally that plays a strategic role in both Europe and the Middle East.

Separatist movements in general demonstrate the paradox confronting US national security strategy. Political, economic, and military strategies must be carefully coordinated through the interagency process to avoid what may seem in some regions of the world to be paradoxical, if not contradictory, US objectives. The enlargement of democracy, as the strategic objective that replaced the containment of communism, will produce both the desire for self- and group-expression and the electoral vehicles by which to promote separatist ambitions.[9] This is why the Administration has clearly stated that the national security strategy of the United States is not to embark on an idealistic, global crusade. Selectivity and discriminate military intervention are guides to both our involvement in ethnic conflicts and our parallel efforts to enlarge democracy. Moral commitments cannot multiply while military resources decline. The guiding principle is the degree of risk to a clearly identifiable US interest. We know how to say no to intervention, and we will encourage others, including the United Nations, to say no as well.[10]

Implications for the Army

The patterns of ethnic conflict described here will continue to erupt in human rights violations, terrorism, insurgency, civil conflict, territorial disputes, and open warfare. These events produce economic dislocations, refugees, and mass migrations which contribute to the domino effects through which a clan struggle can engulf an entire region.

While our ability to affect the root causes of centuries-old ethnic conflicts is marginal, few ethnic conflicts in the world pose direct threats to US security. As the last global superpower, however, the United States plays a leading role in the promotion of collective security and the protection of human rights. Moreover, there is reason to believe that domestic political pressures for US participation in multinational efforts to alleviate the consequences of ethnic conflict will grow as the result of global transparency and near real-time news coverage of violence everywhere in the world. Violence is no longer remote or abstract. When ethnic violence and human suffering are on display in our living rooms every night, they raise two questions for the Army: Under what conditions should the leadership recommend that US forces participate either unilaterally or in coalition to contain or terminate an ethnic-based conflict? What specific military requirements are needed for the wide range of operations that ethnic conflicts may require?

Under What Conditions Should Military Force Be Introduced?

Military leaders can play a vital role in the interagency decisionmaking process. This process should clearly assess US interests and objectives against the risks and costs of intervention. The risks of military intervention in ethnic-based conflicts are high. Deeply rooted, and in some cases intractable, ethnic conflicts may be driven by emotional rather than material interests. Economic and political incentives may neither satisfy nor suppress the combatants. The risk of escalation is high, especially when ethnic combatants have kinsmen or patron states in the region. Escalation may also include terrorism directed against the United States. Military objectives and centers of gravity in such conflicts will be difficult to identify, difficult to attack, and may lie beyond imposed political constraints.[11]

This last point lies at the heart of civil-military decisionmaking. Civilian leadership identifies the broad political objectives and acceptable levels of cost and risk. Military leadership is responsible for a military strategy that can achieve political objectives. Reconciling the two requires a clear delineation of political constraints and an equally clear assessment of military objectives and centers of gravity that must be attacked to achieve both military and political objectives. If centers of gravity, the most vital military targets, lie beyond the political constraints imposed by the nation's leadership, military intervention is unlikely to succeed. Typical political constraints on military intervention in ethnic (or other) conflicts include:

The various patterns of ethnic-based conflict described earlier can complicate the reconciliation of political constraints and effective military targeting against centers of gravity. Typical centers of gravity include:

While the list is neither inclusive nor necessarily applicable to all ethnic-based conflict, it does allow analysis of ethnic conflicts for patterns that could relate conflict centers of gravity to political constraints imposed on US forces during an intervention. If external political, economic, or military support is a center of gravity (Serbia's support of Bosnian Serbs, for example), then regional escalation of a conflict must be an acceptable risk. If land forces are the center of gravity, then the United States must be prepared for a level of effort, including American casualties, required to degrade or destroy those forces. If popular support for ethnic combatants is a center of gravity, then economic and other targets that are punitive to noncombatants must be acceptable.

The difficult reconciliation process between political constraints on war and centers of gravity is vital to the formulation of effective military strategy if military force is to be the principal means for conflict termination. Reconciliation is equally important whether in war--situations in which military force is the principle means to achieve national objectives--or in operations other than war--situations in which military power is available but subordinate to political or economic power in conflict resolution. Specific Army capabilities are required in all such situations, however, whether they are called war or operations other than war.

What Army Requirements Are Needed to Respond to Ethnic Conflicts?

This analysis emphasizes that ethnic conflicts stem from deep historical roots that ultimately require political solutions. Military force can never achieve a lasting solution in such conflicts. At best, it can temporarily contain or reduce violence and foster the political conditions and institutions that might lead to a stable environment and a willingness to work toward more enduring solutions. Even given these limited objectives, military contributions to the resolution of ethnic conflicts may require considerable forces, resources, and lives, without assurance from the parties to the conflict of the durability of the changes brought about by the loss of US lives and the expenditure of our resources.[12]

Under current domestic and international political conditions, the Army leadership can make several operational assumptions about their role in responding to ethnic conflicts. First, with the possible exception of humanitarian relief operations, US involvement will not be unilateral. A growing consensus in the post-Cold War world is that in regional conflicts, if military force is to be used, it should be applied collectively; that is, collective uses of military force can be legitimate means to just ends.[13] By contrast, unilateral interventions establish precedents that lead to more bold, potentially destabilizing behavior by other governments. Russian demands for unilateral peacekeeping in their "near-abroad" is one example. Therefore one assumption of this article is that US participation in ethnic conflicts will be virtually synonymous with participation in multilateral peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations. This does not suggest that all peacekeeping or peace-enforcement operations are the result of ethnic conflict. Desert Storm provides a powerful example to the contrary.

Second, military commitments will be limited to peacekeeping and to low- and mid-intensity peace-enforcement operations. But peace-enforcement operations are likely to be dominated by land combat, requiring overwhelming military force on the ground to bring any conflict to an early end before public support erodes. Such a display of military capability, in both soldiers and firepower, provides a potent deterrent effect as well on local populations from which hostile forces might otherwise draw support.

Third, a broad range of noncombat operations will be required. It has already been demonstrated that these requirements compete for resources with the readiness requirements for the "nearly two simultaneous" major regional contingencies prescribed in the Bottom-Up Review and in the National Military Strategy.

The affordability of the force capable of carrying out the Bottom-Up Review scenario and the feasibility of the concept itself have been challenged in recent months. However, the operational assumptions derived from that policy remain valid until the policy is changed. Those operational assumptions give rise to several specific requirements for the Army:

The most significant constraint on the Army in meeting the requirements of national policy is in combat service support organizations--medical, engineers, military police, civil affairs, and psychological operations units--of which there are insufficient numbers to support peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, and major regional contingencies. There are three ways in which we might correct these deficiencies: restructure the reserve component to provide additional support capabilities and access to those units in peacetime; add more specialized units to the active force; or, as the President's National Security Advisor has done, declare a clear priority: "We will never compromise military readiness to support peacekeeping. Nor would we hesitate to end our engagement in a peacekeeping operation if that were necessary to concentrate our forces against an adversary in a major conflict."[14]

Declaring priorities does not make the United States an unreliable partner in collective security. It means that peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations are, by definition, burden-sharing enterprises. The United States will honor its commitments and share the burdens of world order. It cannot, however, under current fiscal constraints, carry so large a percentage of the collective security burden that other interests are placed at risk as the result of overcommitment. Peacekeeper's fatigue is a threat to readiness if a declining US force structure is confronted by frequent or protracted deployments.[15]

Two specialized leader development requirements cited above also deserve emphasis here. One is the importance of negotiation skills. Officers and NCOs will be in close contact with combatant and noncombatant groups in situations where decentralized diplomacy and on-the-spot negotiating skills can defuse a volatile situation, possibly saving American, allied, and noncombatant lives. We cannot place the lives of those officers and NCOs at risk by failing to prepare them for the challenges of negotiating under adverse conditions with individuals from other cultures. We have to find ways to adapt our formal training of officers and NCOs to develop the skills they will need to succeed in such situations.

The other calls for thorough understanding of rules of engagement as a critical part of specialized training for ethnic conflicts. Rules of engagement have political significance that resonate far beyond the battlefield. Global transparency, the omnipresent news media, and the political nature of collective security and peacekeeping forge an unprecedented convergence of the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war in the theater of operations. A single infantry unit can bring immediate praise or condemnation from the world community. Similarly, a single explosive event with even a few casualties (as in Somalia) can cause US domestic support for a military intervention to evaporate overnight.

To Conclude

There is a point that needs to be widely understood throughout the defense community: peacekeeping operations generally and ethnic conflicts in particular are land-power dominant. They will require the best of our traditional combat skills, and they will require our best efforts to be open-minded and innovative in an era of declining resources, ambiguous threats, and additional missions under the umbrella of operations other than war.

These requirements do not mean that ethnic conflicts and peacekeeping operations are the centerpiece of our foreign and defense policies. Our armed forces' primary mission is to fight and win wars. Nevertheless, early, collective participation to contain or dampen ethnic conflicts can protect allies, create breathing room for fledgling democracies, and contribute to regional stability. The interests of the nation and the credibility of the Army demand that we thoroughly understand the complex environments of ethnic conflict before we commit our forces.


The authors would like to thank the following for their helpful comments and recommendations: Ambassador Daniel H. Simpson; Colonels Karl Farris, Bruce B. G. Clarke, Elizabeth L. Gibson, and Joseph R. Cerami; Lieutenant Colonel William T. Johnsen; and Drs. Michael G. Roskin and Donald E. Schulz. An earlier version of this article was published as "Ethnic Conflict: Implications for the Army of the Future," in Ethnic Conflict and Regional Instability: Implications for U.S. Policy and Army Roles and Missions, ed. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., and Richard H. Shultz, Jr. (Carlisle, Pa.: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 1994), pp. 341-54.

1. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), p. 129.

2. John Keegan, A History of Warfare (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 58.

3. The most comprehensive, documented post-Cold War study of ethnic conflict is Ted Robert Gurr, Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflicts (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1993).

4. Martin van Creveld, The Transformation of War (New York: Free Press, 1991), pp. 197-207.

5. Donald L. Horowitz, "Ethnic Conflict: The Known and the Unknown," paper presented at the Defense Intelligence College, Washington, D.C., 23 June 1992, pp. 5-6. Horowitz is recognized as one of the nation's most prolific scholars on ethnicity and ethnic conflict. One of his most significant warnings is to avoid using ethnicity and race as synonymous. He calls this the "figment of the pigment." Groups with identical gene pools can be parties to conflicting ethnic factions. In Bosnia, for example, all factions are predominately Slavic in origin.

6. More comprehensive patterns of ethnic conflict are developed in Tomas A. Hopkins' "Resurgent Nationalism: Ethnic Group Distribution Patterns and Interstate Relations," paper presented at the International Studies Association-West meeting, Phoenix, Ariz., 5-7 November 1992.

7. Naomi Chazan, "Irredentism, Separatism, and Nationalism," in Irredentism and International Politics, ed. Naomi Chazan (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1991), p. 143.

8. Developed in detail by Horowitz, pp. 19-20.

9. The enlargement of democracy theme was developed by Tony Lake. See Daniel Williams, "Clinton's National Security Adviser Outlines U.S. `Strategy of Enlargement,'" The Washington Post, 22 September 1993, p. A16.

10. This was a prominent theme in President Clinton's speech at the UN General Assembly. "Address by the President to the 48th Session of the United Nations General Assembly," White House Press Release, 27 September 1993.

11. The authors are indebted to Colonel Bruce Clarke for the relationships between political constraints and centers of gravity. See his "Conflict Termination: A Rational Model," Journal of Conflict and Terrorism, 16 (1993), 25-50.

12. This theme is developed by Lieutenant Colonel William T. Johnsen, Ethnic Conflict in Europe (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: Strategic Studies Institute, 23 December 1994).

13. Morton H. Halperin and David J. Schneffer, Self-Determination in the New World Order (Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1992), p. 105. See also Daniel Williams, "Clinton Peacekeeping Policy to Set Limits on Use of U.S. Troops," The Washington Post, 6 February 1994, p. A24.

14. Tony Lake, "The Limits of Peacekeeping," The New York Times, 6 February 1994, p. E17.

15. This problem was described by Secretary of the Army Togo West. See Steve Vogel, "Secretary Concerned that Frequent Deployments Will Run Troops Ragged," Army Times, 28 February 1994, p. 4.

Major General William A. Stofft, USA Ret., was Commandant of the US Army War College from 1991 to 1994. He is a graduate of the State University of South Dakota, holds an M.A. in history from New York University, and completed the program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University. He also is a graduate of the US Army War College. He is the coeditor of America's First Battles, 1776-1965. Prior to his service at the War College he was the Army's Chief of Military History from 1985 to 1989 and, from 1989 to 1991, the Army's Director of Management in the Office of the Chief of Staff.

Dr. Gary L. Guertner is Chairman of the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College. He previously was Director of Research at the War College's Strategic Studies Institute. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Claremont Graduate School. A former Marine Corps officer and a Vietnam veteran, Dr. Guertner also has served on the staff of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and as a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Fullerton. He is the editor and an author of The Search For Strategy: Politics and Strategic Vision.

Reviewed 25 November 1996. Please send comments or corrections to