Strategic Influence: Applying the Principles of Unconventional Warfare in Peace

July 2021 No Comments

Author(s): Jones, R. (United States Special Operations Command)

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“The most important aspect of our containment strategy is that it serves to contain ourselves,” former President Dwight Eisenhower reportedly observed after he had left office. Perhaps the greatest problem facing the United States in the post-Cold War era is not our waning ability to deter the problematic peacetime activities of others; rather, it is that we have lost sight of the need to deter ourselves. Therefore, any serious look at updating US deterrence going forward must include a serious look at our own missteps. The world is changing rapidly, and we can neither wish nor force it into staying in some form we deem best for us. To truly lead a rules- based system, the US must first understand the world better for what it actually is and then shape changes in directions favorable to us. To lead, we must also pursue our interests in ways others deem appropriate and see as being in their own interests to follow.

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