From the Editor

From Parameters,  Summer 2005, pp. 2-4.

In This Issue . . .

“The Conduct of War” is a thematic presentation incorporating four articles related to the changing nature of war in the 21st century. The authors provide imaginative insight into the evolution of armed conflict throughout history and the associated legal and operational paradigms. In our first article R. D. Hooker, Jr., takes time out from his duties in Iraq to remind readers that although the nature of armed conflict may be evolving, the “character of war,” as defined by Clausewitz, is enduring. In “Beyond Vom Kriege: The Character and Conduct of Modern War,” Hooker dispels any thoughts that the end of the Cold War and increased globalization would signal the demise of war. Michael H. Hoffman’s “Rescuing the Law of War: A Way Forward in an Era of Global Terrorism” outlines a new perspective on how the law of war might apply to terrorist activities. The author adroitly points out that existing treaties and conventions provide only a limited ability to respond with military force to such acts (or threats). Hoffman provides a solution to this conundrum based on a determination of “combatant status.” He concludes that America’s long record of legal practices associated with the prosecution of “unlawful belligerents” is more than sufficient for developing a legal framework to prosecute terrorists. Pierre Lessard tells us that if Western militaries are going to be victorious in the post-9/11 era they must develop “campaign designs” that incorporate the strategic roots of ends and means in their quest to not only win wars, but also the peace. “Campaign Design for Winning the War . . . and the Peace” examines the history of campaign design to conclude that successful campaigns require finding ways to achieve strategic objectives through the use of strategically generated means. Lessard leaves the reader with the warning that the ends of any conflict (Campaign Termination Conditions) should be designed to coincide with the end of the conflict and the beginning of the peace, and must reflect the victor’s national policy goals. Our final article in this feature is Christopher M. Ford’s “Speak No Evil: Targeting a Population’s Neutrality to Defeat an Insurgency.” Using ongoing operations in Iraq as a model, the author examines the relationship between the people and an insurgency. Ford makes the distinction between insurgencies and counterinsurgencies to conclude that counterinsurgencies need the positive support of the populace, whereas insurgencies need only a population’s neutrality to be successful. To address the neutrality of the Iraqi people, Ford recommends a carrot (incentive force) and stick (persuasive and lethal force) approach. He translates this approach into incentive targeting of the population in the form of more efficient reconstruction projects and, concurrently, the lethal targeting of the insurgency.

Arthur K. Cebrowski and John W. Raymond provide a reassessment of current military space capabilities in their “Operationally Responsive Space: A New Defense Business Model.” The authors caution that the “common” of space is undergoing rapid change based on a number of systemic issues that demand a reevaluation of how America acquires and exercises its space capabilities. The authors use the Disruptive Innovation Model of Harvard’s Clayton Christensen to design a new value network for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS). This new “business model” is focused on providing customers (operational and tactical commanders) greater access and improved performance at a lower cost. The authors


caution it is at its own peril that the United States fails to compete with itself to ensure a sustained advantage in the arena of space.

Antulio J. Echevarria II presents an enlightening analysis of the value of history in education, especially military education. The author reviews the problems that have plagued history in the academic environment to dispel the popular belief that history is the same thing as the past. He makes the obvious, if often forgotten, determination that history is simply someone’s interpretation of the past. Echevarria reviews the long struggle historians have waged to overcome the lack of objective references and methodologies associated with their craft. One of several myths the author rapidly dispels is that history is capable of bringing the vicarious experience of warfare to the military academic environment. He challenges the reader with the rhetorical question, is there then no role for history in the realm of professional military education? In his response the author examines Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy to conclude that the true value of history in professional military education lies in its contribution to the development of higher-level critical thinking skills.

Dan Henk provides us with an examination of the phenomenon of “human security” in his “Human Security: Relevance and Implications.” Analyzing the various definitions and connotations associated with the phrase, the author determines that a “slippery range of alternative definitions” have hindered the success of the concept. The author postulates that the success the human security model experienced in the 1990s marked the greatest single triumph for proponents advocating greater understanding and acceptance in the wake of the Cold War. It was in fact this success that led to a proliferation of different approaches and models. Henk goes on to analyze the human security paradigm over time and concludes the concept does have utility as an analytical tool or prescription for solving many of the crises facing fractured, conflicted societies in the 21st century.

Harry S. Laver raises the possibility that America may need to reexamine its national security strategy. In “Preemption and the Evolution of America’s Strategic Defense,” the author conducts a review of how we, as a nation, develop our national security strategy. He then specifically examines the doctrine of preemption and its associated challenges. Laver’s analysis reveals that the way forward in terms of a national security strategy based on preemption is not necessarily clear. He cautions that whatever national strategy Americans determine to be in their best interest, the administration that executes it will require the utmost in intelligence and analysis from its national security team, along with as much international support as it might garner.

William M. Darley provides our final article in this issue, “War Policy, Public Support, and the Media.” Darley presents an insightful, unemotional analysis of the debate concerning the role and influence of the news media in determining public opinion and national policy. The author reviews the history of this relationship from the Korean Conflict to Operation Iraqi Freedom, with emphasis on press reporting, public opinion, and war policy. The author uses numerous polls, historical examples, and an enormous amount of research to support the thesis that there is little credible evidence to establish any causal relationship between the so-called bias and slanting of media coverage and public opinion in time of war. He concludes that the real challenge for policymakers is to understand that the perceptions the media generate are “ephemeral and transitory.” The most important contribution the media can make in formulating public support in time of conflict lies in its articulation of bold and clear policy statements that are directly translatable into decisive military action. — RHT

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Reviewed 12 May 2005. Please send comments or corrections to