From the Editor

From Parameters, Spring 1996, pp. 2-3.

In this and subsequent issues we continue the quest for wisdom in matters pertaining to armed interventions and peace operations.

Operations in Troubled States

Martin van Creveld examines changes underway in state functions in many parts of the world. He assesses the role of the state as a fighting entity; as the product of 19th and 20th century social programs; as the beneficiary and victim of technology, economic change, and the media; and finally as the guarantor of public order. He synthesizes these characteristics in assessing the concept of the state as an organizing principle.

Pauline H. Baker and John A. Ausink define and describe a predictive model for examining troubled states when developing national policy regarding intervention in those states. They propose to use a cluster of "societal indicators" to identify and measure state decay whenever national security policy options include intervention by US forces acting alone, in a coalition, or as part of a UN operation.

Paul M. Belbutowski examines the challenges of dealing with individuals from non-Western civilizations in terms of human culture and the concept of time. He encourages strategists to consider the profound differences between these objective features of any civilization and their own assumptions about them when planning or conducting intervention operations.

Ralph Peters believes that operations in cities are inevitable in future interventions and describes ways in which the services might prepare for them. He proposes adjustments in procurement, organization structures, equipment, and training to prepare for operations in metropolitan regions.

Germany: Strategy, NATO, and Peace Operations

Christian E. O. Millotat looks at strategic opportunities that have followed the unification of Germany, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the rediscovery of maneuver space as an operational factor. He underscores the need to overcome constraints that were inherent in Cold War operational planning and exercises, and he identifies a way ahead as the new NATO strategy revitalizes the operational art.

Karl Heinz Börner describes and analyzes the implications of the 1994 ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court that permits the German Federal Armed Forces to participate in military operations outside of NATO territory. His review of the implications of this change includes its salient effects on the German Federal Armed Forces themselves.

Robert H. Dorff examines the political dimensions of the decision that allows the German military to participate in operations outside of NATO territory. His survey of political and public reactions to the decision is set in the evolution of German foreign policy since unification.

Antulio J. Echevarria provides a context for understanding the renaissance in NATO and German concepts of the strategic defensive through his profile of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke. His analysis of Moltke's career highlights the latter's influence on generations of German army officers, including the development of the General Staff during the 19th century.

Rounding Out the Issue

Harold R. Winton analyzes the evolution of Army and Air Force warfighting concepts between the end of the Vietnam War and the start of the 1990-91 Gulf War against Iraq. His research reveals the high degree of pragmatism involved as each service responded to the other's doctrine and equipment requirements during the final years of the Cold War. Unexamined in this adaptation of a much larger body of research is the prospect for continued cooperation without the unifying influence of an overwhelmingly powerful hostile state.

Review Essays include "Looking Back at the Bomb," by James E. Auer and Richard Halloran; Norvell B. DeAtkine's "The Middle East: Contradictory and Less Predictable;" "Strategic Reading on Northeast Asia" by Donald W. Boose; and "Trends in National Security Issues" by Russ Groves.

Book Reviews include Bernard E. Trainor on The Old Man's Trail; James J. Wirtz's assessment of Colin Gray's The Navy in the Post-Cold War World: The Uses and Value of Strategic Sea Power, and Steve Metz on Robert S. McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam.

The Information Highway

The Army War College has established an Internet home page; its address is We will be uploading information about the journal, an index, and copies of articles and review essays in the coming weeks. As we are starting with the most current material, it could be a year or more before the entire collection is available.

On a related topic, we will soon publish an article that evaluates a variety of Internet locations that may presently be of value to strategists or that have the potential to be of interest. The article, prepared by members of the Strategic Studies Institute, will reside permanently on their part of the War College home page where it can be updated as changes occur. - JJM

Reviewed 22 March 1996. Please send comments or corrections to