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Intellections Discussion

Think Before You Act: Defining The Political End State

Do all clearly defined political end states require military force?


Absolutely not, in fact reaching any politically defined end state, military force should be the option of last resort.

No, I would imagine there are all kinds of political end states that are achieved without even our knowledge, they don't become an issue because the elected folks do the job of reaching the end point without having any need of military force.

I like the question. Too many think that the US only gets what it wants through military force which is completely not true. The trick to the question is where a clearly defined political end state meets our needs but doesn't meet the needs of other countries/entities. The intricacies of defining an end state and then working all available resources and players to achieve the goal is very difficult and sometimes require taking on interesting partners who share goals and convincing others to modify their goals. This was especially true in Obama's failed attempt to bring order to Syria's conflicts by recruiting local fighters to engage in battles where he defined the enemy and the requirements to fight. Poorly conceived and even disastrously put into place.