Department of Education
Graduate Research Management Office
Research Papers
Academic Year 2012


Lost Unconventional Warfare Lessons from the Yugoslav Front

by Michael Herman Adorjan MAJ, USA
School of Advanced Military Studies
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

During the early years of the Cold War, the United States Army developed the new doctrine of Unconventional Warfare. This doctrine focused on U.S. soldiers working through and with indigenous guerrilla units to achieve tactical successes in support of the larger theater campaign. The early doctrine writers failed to incorporate three key lessons from the guerrilla war fought in Yugoslavia (1941-1945). The lessons were the selection and employment of the right people as advisors, the effective employment of guerrillas (who have a different agenda) and setting the conditions for effective demobilization of the guerrilla force. These overlooked lessons offered a more comprehensive approach in terms of advising, employing and then demobilizing the guerrilla units in support of U.S. military objectives. The lost lessons provided valuable planning considerations for future advisory units. Through these lessons, U.S. advisors can prepare to work with robust guerrilla organizations that are not solely dependent on U.S. logistical, moral or political support.

Click here to download monograph

Irregular Warfare as a Containment Strategy in Afghanistan

by Ashley Samuel L. COL, USA
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS), North Carolina

A security environment dominated by the threats of terrorism and insurgency is the new (and old) normal. For the United States this poses a “wicked” problem, which we cannot win, but can be managed with the right balance in strategy. Full integration of Irregular Warfare into our national policies and strategy will allow the United States to manage this enduring problem. Afghanistan serves as the most immediate and relevant venue for implementing a strategy using Irregular Warfare as the main effort. Given that the insurgency in Afghanistan does not threaten the continental United States, is not supported by an outside power, and given that the U.S population will likely resist continued expenditure of resources, it is possible to “contain” the insurgency in Afghanistan with irregular techniques. This approach calls for a small footprint of U.S. and coalition forces, that can be sustained long enough for Afghanistan to become a functioning state and once “Afghan Good enough” is achieved, an even smaller, more permanent commitment.

Click here to download civilian research project

Disrupting Emerging Networks: Analyzing and Evaluating Jamaat al-Muslimeen (JAM) and the Development of an Extremist Threat in the Caribbean

by Brandon Oliveira MAJ, USA; Darby Aviles MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

For the last decade, the primary U.S. and global focus has been on combating terrorism and extremist groups in the Middle East and Asia. Limited resources have been directed to the possibility of extremists groups existing in the Western Hemisphere or the threats that could emanate from this region. Knowing that terror organizations exist globally, a closer look at the possibility of a significant terror threat near U.S. borders is warranted.

Recognizing this era of globalization, counter terror efforts must identify and address the reach of extremist organizations with traditional roots in the Middle East. This thesis evaluates and addresses the viability of a terror threat in the Caribbean through the examination of a known extremist organization, Jamaat al-Muslimeen (JAM). Examining this known organization allows for a better understanding of the actual overall threat that may or may not exist.

After assessing JAM, the authors found that the threat presented by JAM as a terrorist organization has run its course. What began as a social movement with a political message, evolved into a terrorist entity, and has now dissolved with only its political affiliation and history to keep it on life support. The organization has been undermined by splinter groups and dissention. JAM has been unable to grow numerically and it has failed to expand its influence. Although dangerous as a criminal entity and slightly influential in Trinidad and Tobago as a facilitator of government corruption, Jamaat al-Muslimeen should no longer be considered a threat outside of its home country.

Click here to download thesis

The Role of Senior Leaders in Fostering Interagency Cooperation

by Daniel J. Barzyk LTC, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Recent experiences in the Global War on Terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan clearly demonstrate that there is a large role to be played by the interagency. In all phases of operations there is much to be gained by interagency cooperation defined as the coordination that occurs between elements of the Department of Defense (DoD) and engaged US Government (USG) agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and regional international organizations (IOs) for the purpose of accomplishing an objective. Senior leaders can either foster or impede strong interagency cooperation and can therefore either have a positive or negative effect on achieving US Government objectives. This essay examines the role of Senior Leaders in fostering interagency cooperation and discusses how they can maximize the potential for achieving USG objectives.

Click here to download manuscript

The Role of Civil Affairs in Unconventional Warfare

by Garric M. Banfield MSG, USA; Jonathan G. Bleakley MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

With the renewed focus on Unconventional Warfare as a means of achieving U.S. Foreign and National Security Policy goals, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Civil Affairs force must assess its capability to conduct Civil Affairs operations in support of an Unconventional Warfare campaign. This thesis examines Civil Affairs’ current role and surveys past conflicts to explore Civil Affairs’ potential role in all phases of Unconventional Warfare. It assumes that political and logistical networks are the keys to building and sustaining a revolutionary movement. This thesis answers the following questions: How can Civil Affairs forces in place now and deployed for an operation identify, develop and motivate revolutionary networks that can be activated to sustain a revolution and fulfill U.S. policy needs within a foreign nation? How can Civil Affairs doctrine be revised to better support these tasks?

Click here to download thesis

United States Counter Terrorism Cyber Law and Policy, Enabling or Disabling?

by John W. Brennan LTC, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Ten years after the tragedy of 9-11, al-Qa’ida and other international terrorist organizations continue to threaten the United States and its allies through their ever-expanding cyber capabilities. It is clear that numerous national-level civilian and military leaders have duly recognized these menacing terrorist threats--and many officials have also likewise lamented the lack of authority provided them to effectively counter terrorists from within cyberspace. The incongruence between national CT cyber policy, law, and strategy degrades the abilities of federal CT professionals to interdict transnational terrorists from within cyberspace. Specifically, national CT cyber policies that are not completely sourced in domestic or international law, unnecessarily limit the lattitude cyber CT professionals need to effectively counter terrorists through the use of organic cyber capabilities. In order to optimize national CT assets and to stymie the growing threat posed by terrorists’ ever-expanding use of cyberspace, national decision-makers should potentially modify current policies in order to efficiently execute national CT strategies--albeit within the framework of existing CT cyber-related statutes.

Click here to download manuscript

Civil Defense Forces in Counterinsurgency: An Analysis of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group in Vietnam

by Darrell W. Carr MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

This thesis examines the effect of civil defense forces on a counterinsurgency campaign through a study of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group in the Republic of Vietnam. This thesis challenges a common U.S. Army viewpoint on counterinsurgency that conventional combat power, training a host nation’s national security forces, and expenditures on large civil reconstruction projects are the Army’s main contributions to counterinsurgency operations. This thesis is a chronological study that outlines the U.S. Army’s major successes and failures in the refinement of counterinsurgency doctrine. This study uses two major research strategies: (1) qualitative analysis of counterinsurgency theory and U.S. Army counterinsurgency doctrine of the 1960s, and (2) a chronological study of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group. Further, operations are evaluated using the four major principles of counterinsurgency: unity of effort, securing the population, isolating the insurgent from sources of support, and winning the support of the population. After examining counterinsurgency theory, doctrine, and operations in the Republic of Vietnam this study reveals that civil defense forces are a decisive in defeating an insurgency when properly balanced with conventional combat power. Additionally, a civil defense force assists in regaining area control, denial of support to the insurgents, and the restoration of government authority to an area.

Click here to download thesis

Re-introducing Conceptual and Detailed Planning: Differentiating Between Decision Making and Problem Identification

by Sean M. Cooney MAJ, USA
School of Advanced Military Studies
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

Since its introduction, Army Design Methodology (ADM) has met resistance from senior military leaders. This monograph researches the question why ADM faces resistance among senior Army officers. The resistance to integrating ADM within the Army originates from the historical reliance on the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) and its past success. The research conducted in this monograph leads the author to believe a major reason for this resistance is that officers are confused about what MDMP does and what ADM does. MDMP provides a decision-making tool. ADM provides a problem identification tool. ADM as a problem identification tool utilizes conceptual thought to define problems. Defining problems creates structure to allow decision-making and detailed planning. Confusion about ADM results from not understanding the value of conceptual thought in problem identification to facilitate solving ill-structured problems. An integrated planning approach must consist of both detailed planning and conceptual thought. Both well-structured and ill-structured problems benefit from an integrated planning approach. This author concludes that the addition of a simplified “Define Step” within MDMP would facilitate the integration of conceptual thinking with detailed planning. A define step assimilates the most significant aspect of ADM, the ability to successfully define or frame a problem. The monograph introduces the idea of a reformatted version of MDMP with a simplified conceptual design step, called “define,” based on the model of the Six Sigma Methodology. Six Sigma problem solving and improvement planning methodologies apply to both well-structured and ill-structured problems.

Click here to download monograph

Exploitable Vulnerabilities of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

by Sean J. Corrigan COL, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

As the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s center of gravity, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) critical strengths are both vulnerable and exploitable. The IRGC’s accumulation of considerable influence in Iranian domestic politics, media, security, and economics and the IRGC’s execution of all instruments of Iranian national power abroad through its Qods Force have consolidated power in a unity of effort unachievable in a less authoritarian state. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali al Khamenei has delegated the IRGC near-absolute power and made the institution answerable only to him. Corruption, economic mismanagement, and an alienating hubris among the IRGC elite have come with this power. Competition among Iran’s security and intelligence services, as well as the growing divide between the elected government and the ruling clerics threaten to topple the IRGC’s house of cards. The Qods Force’s brazen employment of Iran’s instruments of national power abroad has drawn international attention to the Republic’s malign intent. The IRGC is more powerful and more vulnerable than ever before.

Click here to download manuscript

Unleashed Potential: The Potential of a Civil Military Support Element in Theater Security Cooperation

by Clayton D. Curtis MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

The problem is how to employ a limited amount of CMSEs in a theater of operations in order to develop and maintain a partner nation’s military CMO capacity. The purpose of this research is to identify best practices in developing partner nation capacity to conduct CMO to a level where little or no U.S. military involvement is needed. The thesis question that this research attempts to answer is whether a CMSE can develop the capacity of partner nation military to conduct civil military operations through unified action to level where little or no U.S. military involvement is needed. The conclusion of this thesis is that the CMSE in the Paraguay case study not only did this but also helped the partner nation develop, plan, execute, and orchestrate their own Civil Military Engagement Plan to achieve unity of effort in conducting CMO and to train other military branches and units to do so as well. This action met the Combatant Commander’s (CCDR) and Theater Special Operations Command’s (TSOC) objectives and allowed the TSOC the flexibility to reassign the CMSE from Paraguay to another region/country.

Click here to download thesis

A United States Civil Affairs Response to the Pending Humanitarian Crisis Following the Collapse of the North Korean Regime

by Robert F. Douglas MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

The Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea is showing signs that the regime’s control of information and its people are weakening. Increasing defections, more public officials taking bribes and a public demonstration against the regime in 2006 demonstrate the slipping state controls. The possibility that the North Korean regime will collapse has never been greater under its new leader, Kim Jong Un. The humanitarian problems, shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, will only become worse following a collapse of the North Korean regime. This study explores the niche role United States civil affairs will play in the humanitarian response following the regime’s collapse. The magnitude of the problem the collapse will precipitate, a survey of civil affairs doctrine, and lessons learned from the 2010 Haiti Earthquake demonstrate a unique capability civil affairs provides in a large-scale humanitarian response. The study concludes that civil affairs planners need to lay the groundwork now for a successful humanitarian response to a post-collapse North Korea.

Click here to download manuscript

An Analysis of Modern State-level Terrorist Deradicalization Campaigns

by Justin A. Duvall MAJ, USA; Lee C. Novy MAJ, USA; Calvin A. Knox MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

The purpose of this thesis is to identify the optimal characteristics of a terrorist deradicalization campaign. A deradicalization campaign consists of all efforts a state or organization leverages to prevent the rise of or to disrupt terrorist organizations. A persistent difficulty with evaluating deradicalization “programs” stems from conflating different levels of analysis ranging from individual in-jail programs to broader national campaigns. The primary scope of this research extends to identifying key programs or factors required for state-run deradicalization campaigns to be effective. The initial framework used to evaluate these campaigns is composed of four lines of effort (LOE): individual disengagement, collective disengagement, individual deradicalization, and collective deradicalization. A series of mechanisms operationalize each LOE. This framework will be applied to historical and ongoing deradicalization efforts in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Indonesia in order to develop relevant, empirically based conclusions.

Click here to download thesis

Defeating the Active Shooter: Applying Facility Upgrades in Order to Mitigate the Effects of Active Shooters in High Occupancy Facilities

by Charles E. Ergenbright MAJ, USA; Sean K. Hubbard MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

The average duration of Active Shooter incidents in Institutions of Higher Education within the United States is 12.5 minutes. In contrast, the average response time of campus and local law enforcement to these incidents is 18 minutes. In the majority of Active Shooter incidents affecting U.S. IHEs, the emergency response time greatly exceeds the incident duration and affords law enforcement authorities no opportunity to interdict the shooter or prevent further casualties. This stark contrast between response requirements and response capability produces a considerable delta of dead, injured or potential victims and provides the unfortunate motivation for this project. The primary focus of this project is aimed at reducing the Rate of Kill of Active Shooters in U.S. IHEs. This thesis contains 14 case studies that examine lethal Active Shooter incidents that occurred in U.S. IHEs, as well as the Oslo and Utoya Island Active Shooter event that occurred in Norway. Data analysis on each of these incidents revealed facility composition as a critical vulnerability common to all of these incidents. Accordingly, the recommendations included in this thesis suggest a practical implementation of facility upgrades capable of mitigating the deadly effects of Active Shooters.

Click here to download thesis

The Requirement for U.S. Army Special Forces to Conduct Interrogation

by Michael J. Foote MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

Waterboarding, rendition, torture: each of these terms provides deeply negative examples of the mishandling of detainees by various entities of the United States government during the prosecution of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In order to rectify these failures of the various systems within the U.S. military’s detention framework, the Department of Defense (DoD) developed and issued Field Manual 2-22.3 Human Intelligence Collector Operations. This new doctrine has created restrictions that add unnecessary hours to the process of exploiting detainees through tactical interrogation. Due to the autonomous nature of their missions, the significance for U.S. Army Special Forces is immense.

Tactical interrogation is a legal, viable, and necessary method of information gathering on the battlefield. FM 2-22.3 has taken away USSF’s capability to exploit an immense pool of intelligence that could be critical in the current conflicts. This thesis explores the limitations imposed by current doctrine and discusses changes necessary to provide the skills, training, and legal authorities that will allow Special Forces to use every appropriate resource to be successful on the modern battlefield. Recommendations are provided regarding training and doctrine to provide the proper authorities along with appropriate checks and balances.

Click here to download thesis

Putting a Price on Strategy: Implementing a Prediction Market in a Modern Military Unit

by Marcus R. Forman MAJ, USA; John M. Wear Gunnery SGT, USMC
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

Prediction markets are speculative markets created for aggregating relevant information on some measurable future event. Simply put, prediction markets ask participants to trade ideas as stocks. The “market price” of a particular idea or contract can then be interpreted as the probability that an event will occur, or as a feedback mechanism regarding how well some course of action is working. The application and utility of prediction markets to military strategy and decision-making has yet to be adequately tested in any real or empirical way. This thesis seeks to understand the conditions under which the application of a prediction market would be both successful and useful to military commanders. To test this, markets were established with three different organizations and included more than 135 participants. Upon the closing of the markets, results and participant surveys were analyzed. The data collected indicate that such a toolcould be quite useful if employed and illuminate a variety of challenges that must be addressed in order to implement a prediction market in a military unit.

Click here to download thesis

Instilling Aggressiveness: U.S. Advisors and Greek Combat Leadership in the Greek Civil War, 1947-1949

by William D. Harris Jr. MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

In March 1947, the United States established an economic and military assistance program to bolster the nationalist Greek government against a communist insurgency. The Greek government suffered from a collapsed economy, deep social divisions, and an inability to defeat the insurgents in battle. The Joint U.S. Military Advisory and Planning Group provided operational advice to the Greek National Army that improved the nationalists’ aggressiveness, tactics, battlefield management, and logistics. The advisors used training, mentorship, directive control, and disciplinary action to affect the nationalists’ combat leadership. The improved leadership led to more effective combat operations against the communists. These operations pressured the insurgency, which had alienated Yugoslavia and committed to fighting with conventional tactics. These two insurgent errors, the massive economic and military aid program, and the improved nationalist combat performance resulted in a decisive victory in August 1949. The study provides insight into how advisors can affect a military’s leadership.

Click here to download thesis

U.S.-Vietnam Military Relations: Game Theory Perspective

by Ngan M. Kim MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

In recent years, China has been flexing its military power and strengthening its claim to the resource-rich Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. These islands are also being claimed by five other countries: Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Currently China claims the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters. The U.S. has great interest in this issue because its trade routes with the Asia-Pacific region go through the South China Sea. Throughout history, Vietnam and China have had a contentious relationship. Like China, Vietnam is currently modernizing its military and strengthening its claims to the South China Sea. Of the claimants to the South China Sea, Vietnam seems to be the only country that is willing to challenge Chinese assertiveness in the region. Since the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam, the two former enemies have become important trading partners. The United States and Vietnam are conducting yearly high-level military visits; however, the U.S. wants to take this relationship to the next level. This thesis will apply game theory and analyze whether the U.S. can influence Vietnam to open a more formal military relationship to counterbalance the assertiveness of China in the South China Sea. This thesis concludes that, from a game theoretic Strategic Moves perspective, the U.S. currently cannot apply threats, promises, or a combination thereof to compel or coerce Vietnam toward a more formal military alliance to counterbalance the assertiveness of China in the South China Sea.

Click here to download thesis

Alliance or Reliance? Reconsidering U.S. Forces in the Republic of Korea

by Johnathon M. Kupka MAJ, USA
School of Advanced Military Studies
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

An American military presence has been prevalent on the Korean Peninsula since the end of World War II. As Korea attempted to recover from decades of bitter Japanese rule, internal struggles and politics led to the division of Korea into North and South Korea. Separation led to war, which required increased U.S. interest in South Korea to contain communist influence spreading from the Soviet Union. While South Korea attempted to build their nation after Japanese rule and three years of brutal combat with North Korea, the United States provided military and economic aid to help the fledgling country get back on its feet. Nearly 60 years have passed since the end of the Korean War, however, a robust U.S. military presence remains on the Korean Peninsula.
Seemingly, the tables have turned for the Republic of Korea. They have emerged as a global economic powerhouse since the dismal years of war and prospered as the fifteenth largest economy in the world as of the end of 2011. The United States, on the other hand, suffers from a deep economic recession and significant reductions in defense spending. Since January 2012, the U.S. has pledged to focus their interests in the Asian-Pacific region despite reduction in military spending. This monograph proposes that a reduction of U.S. forces and transferring a majority of the security burden onto the Republic of Korea will not diminish stability or degrade U.S. interests in the region.

Click here to download monograph

Traditional Military Operations: A Legitimate Policy Alternative to Covert Action

by Ladouceur Timothy C. COL, USA
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS), North Carolina

Covert action and traditional military activities are two paths for the legitimate use of force by the United States. For the President to employ the full span of capabilities available to him there must be a clear understanding of the unique nature of each option. The CIA has, for decades, employed covert activities internationally to further U.S. interests, with the goal of avoiding the stigma of U.S. sponsorship. Likewise, the DOD has been employed to further U.S. interests abroad, having refined its precision targeting capability to a level never before available to an American President, both inside and outside of the designated areas of armed conflict. It is, therefore, critical that national-security decision-makers properly employ these tools under the appropriate conditions to align with national policy in the defense of the nation. Misapplication of these tools, however, carries with it consequences that may equally degrade U.S. standing in the international community. No change or addition to domestic or international law is necessary or recommended: this is a policy issue. To refine the law would be to further constrain national-security decision making in the face of future, and unforeseen threats.

Click here to download civilian research project

Orde Wingate and the British Internal Security Strategy during the Arab Rebellion in Palestine, 1936-1939

by Mark Lehenbauer MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

The Arab Rebellion and British Counter-rebellion campaign of 1936 to 1939 in Palestine exhibited many features of modern insurgency and counter-insurgency. This thesis traces the British military thought and practice for countering rebellion as influenced by their Small Wars’ experiences, and it then presents the rebellion and counter-rebellion campaign as a case study in their military and political contexts. This study focuses on the evolution of the internal security strategy, and it examines the actions of Captain Orde Wingate both within the campaign and in his attempts to influence it at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. This research is intended to inform military practitioners about the campaign while highlighting the issues that are encountered when they seek to: (1) apply the contemporary wisdom of military thought and practice to a specific operational environment, (2) negotiate the policy constraints on the possible military “solutions” to the security problems incurred by insurgency, (3) influence various facets of the greater campaign when outside the hierarchy of responsibility and authority to do so, and (4) expose some of the issues involved with a counterinsurgent force’s utilization of portions of the indigenous population towards converging interests. This study finds that Wingate sought to shape the evolving internal security strategy through both military and political channels, and that he utilized a variety of mechanisms to do so. Despite tactical successes in his validation of proofs of concept through the Special Night Squads, his determined efforts failed to achieve his stated goals at the operational and strategic levels.

Click here to download thesis

Decentralizing Democracy: A Governance Proposal for Post-Conflict Ethnically Divided Countries

by Srinivas Ganapathiraju Wing Commander, Indian Air Force; Robert Miske MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

The recent experience of nation building in Iraq, and more so in Afghanistan, calls for a deeper analysis of the preconditions for establishing an appropriate form of governance in post-conflict ethnically divided societies. While Afghanistan’s democracy has become increasingly associated with the unwanted imposition of western liberal values, the need to build stable governance there raises critical questions about which form of governance is the best social fit for a given society. This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between the decentralization of governance and stability in deeply fragmented societies. Our research also seeks to validate the tenets of consociational democracy.

Drawing on lessons from six contemporary post-conflict cases, we conclude that a decentralized framework offers a more viable option than any other currently being proposed for deeply divided societies. Our findings suggest that the steadfast adherence to consociational democracy tenets and tailored decentralization of governance functions were consistent with the achievement of social fit in post-conflict ethnically divided countries. Although the involvement of external actors, economic growth or decline, and other geopolitical considerations can delay stability or serve as a catalyst for instability, it is the governance characteristic of social fit that endures.

Click here to download thesis

Deception: Theory and Practice

by James D. Monroe MSG, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

This thesis explores the history of U.S. Army deception and doctrine, and combines the insights gained with the various works on deception, cognitive psychology, communications, and decision-making in order to distill a concise handbook for deception practitioners. A longitudinal review of U.S. Army doctrine reveals a wide variation in the treatment of deception, from emphasized to ignored. This variation can be primarily explained by the U.S. preference for the cumulative destruction style of war and the perceived balance of power between the U.S. and its adversaries. This thesis strives to fill the current doctrinal gap by distilling the existing body of work to create a theory of deception in the military context. The theory presented provides a cogent structure, taxonomy, and lexicon; as well as, emphasis on how deception functions within the frameworks of communications and decision-making. Next, a synthesis of the practice of deception is presented, with a focus on deception planning and the essential elements of deception practice. Examples of U.S. use of deception from the Revolutionary War to Operation DESERT STORM are presented to provide illumination on the utility and use of deception. Finally, the thesis provides recommendations on how to organize for deception operations.

Click here to download thesis

Why Failing Terrorist Groups Persist: the Case of Al- Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

by Richard A. Nessel MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is less likely to reach its goal of establishing an Islamic state in Algeria than at any time since its earlier history as the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Yet the group endures. The apparent resilience of AQIM relies less on its actual organization than the environmental factors that have allowed it to persist. By co-opting local anti-government groups, Algerian jihadists have long been allowed to live among and collaborate with Berber and Tuareg separatists. Turning to international notoriety to augment its local jihad the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) became AQIM even though an Al-Qaeda link had long since been established. Effective Algerian security measures have pushed portions of AQIM to ungoverned spaces where regional security pressure is less existent and illicit networks are numerous.

Potential ends for AQIM rely heavily on Algeria to bear the weight of the effort, whereas Sahelian initiatives are peripheral to a complete end. U.S. strategy should subordinate the Sahel focus, as a Sahelian solution is not sufficient, while an Algerian solution is both necessary and sufficient to AQIM’s demise. AQIM represents a lower priority challenge that, if not dealt with properly, can become a major priority or drag on indefinitely, like the FARC in Colombia. The U.S. must strive to meet AQIM with the most appropriate solution with the least force possible to expedite its departure, so that U.S. CT efforts can be engaged elsewhere against remaining Al-Qaeda affiliates.

Click here to download thesis

Flattening the Learning Curve: SOF as the Supported Command in the Irregular Warfare Environment

by David J. O’Hearn MAJ, USA; Damon S. Robins MAJ, USA; Aaron C. Sessoms MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

When the United States commits forces to a war, overseas contingency operations, or any other large scale military effort that centers on conflict with belligerents other than another country’s armed military forces, Special Operations Forces (SOF) should be the supported command. Joint doctrine allows for support of such a concept, but that doctrine has not always been followed in practice. Consequently, this thesis argues for SOF being the supported command in an irregular warfare environment. By selecting the force specifically trained for the task at hand, the United States will dramatically reduce the time lost on the “learning curve” that results from relying predominantly on General Purpose Forces (GPF) commanders in all combat situations. Advocating for SOF being the supported command is not an argument for SOF only, but rather aims for a synergistic and truly unified approach that makes the best possible use of local national forces, partner nations, and GPF in an irregular warfare environment.

Click here to download thesis

Understanding and Communicating through Narratives

by Gittipong Paruchabutr MAJ, USA
School of Advanced Military Studies
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

The military is increasingly using and relying on the term “narrative” in its lexicon. United States strategic guidance documents generally implore commanders to “shape the narrative,” doctrinal publications recommend commanders to “exploit a single narrative,” and operational plans direct commanders to execute an “operational narrative.” Although the concept of narrative is generally understood as telling a story, it is more important for practitioners to recognize narrative as a methodology for understanding and as a mode of communication. Integrating a narrative approach to military operations would be beneficial because it offers the potential to convey the meaning of our actions in a context that is relevant to a rival’s understanding.
A survey of current U.S. doctrine provides multiple and ambiguous definitions and functions of narrative. A shared understanding of narrative is required to prevent misunderstanding as future military commanders contemplate executing operations within a narrative framework. Specifically, this monograph will provide an analysis of the current military narrative development, narrative theory, and explore the current paradigm of U.S. communication efforts. Lastly, based on shared understanding this monograph provides with regard to the utility of narrative in planning and communications, it makes recommendations on potential application narrative theory to military operations. This monograph argues that the absence of understanding about what narrative is and what it can do limits the military’s ability to utilize the tool effectively.

Click here to download monograph

The Appropriate Army Organization to Conduct Security Force Assistance

by John S. Prairie COL, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

During the past decade combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused shifts in National Security priorities. Senior leaders have identified the strategic requirement to build viable partner forces capable of maintaining internal stability, defending against external threats, and assisting in the fight against violent global extremists. The Army has translated this strategy into the security force assistance (SFA) doctrine. However, since the creation of SFA, there has been debate as to which organization is best suited to train, advise, and assist foreign security forces (FSF). In the past, Special Operations Forces (SOF) conducting foreign internal defense (FID) were the primary force of choice to accomplish this mission set. Recently this paradigm has shifted. Conventional forces have been reorganized and augmented allowing them to take the lead role in training both Iraqi and Afghan security forces. This project will define the overall strategic connection to SFA, analyze the capabilities of these two military organizations by evaluating their advantages and disadvantages, and finally recommend a feasible means to attain the national end state.

Click here to download manuscript

Modeling Conflict Between China and the United States

by Phil W. Reynolds MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

As the United States exits Iraq and Afghanistan, it must begin the long process of preparing for future challenges. There is considerable pressure on policy makers within the Congress and DoD in making strategy and force structure decisions with costs in mind. A key question is what will future conflict look like and how much resources should be committed to large conventional forces.

To effectively analyze the desired size and characteristics of tomorrow’s military, we must take a hard look at feasible, real-world contingencies, one of which could be conflict with China. This thesis examines the strengths and weakness in both the U.S. and China, and uses Game Theory to model conflict between the two countries using the Correlates of War data to measure national power. Finally, the relative merits of diplomacy and irregular war are examined in order to determine the best method for the United States to achieve an advantage when interacting with China in the pursuit of national objectives.

Click here to download thesis

The Whole of Government Approach in West Africa

by Nestor A. Sadler COL, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Pursuing a whole of government approach in West Africa within the Department of State (DOS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of Defense (DoD) is essential in ensuring US interests and objectives in the region are achieved. This paper addresses the whole of government approach as it relates to integration and coordination of development assistance initiatives, security concerns, and humanitarian relief efforts in West Africa. Additionally, attaining national security objectives requires the efficient and effective use of the diplomatic, informational, economic, and military instruments of national power supported by and coordinated with those of allies and West African regional organizations. In order for the US to achieve a balanced whole of government approach, it must not only collaborate and coordinate internally but it must do the same with its partners. The US must get this right because without a whole of government approach in West Africa its efforts, interests and more importantly influence in the region will decline.

Click here to download research project

More Effective Warfare: Warfare Waged Psychologically

by Michael A. Schaad MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

The Powell Doctrine for waging war was generally focused on the use of overwhelming physical force to defeat the enemy. Destroying enemy combatants and capabilities faster and more severely than the rate at which they can inflict losses has traditionally resulted in victory. Consequently, kinetic operations have always been at the forefront. Despite this predominance of kinetic operations, history has shown that technologically superior, militarily advanced, and numerically overwhelming forces are sometimes defeated by ragtag groups of a few hundred guerrillas with inferior combat capabilities. Rather than attempting to convince our enemies through the use of violent action— which targets their physical well-being rather than their mental decision making—there is a more effective way to wage war: psychologically. By exploring case studies of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the neo-Taliban, this thesis examines whether resequencing psychological and kinetic operations, at various times throughout a conflict, will create stronger, more synchronized and believable messages, thus producing warfare waged in a more effective and efficient manner.

Click here to download thesis

Self-Inflicted Wounds: Russia’s Failed Chechen and North Caucasus Policy

by Donald P. Schurr LTC, USA
United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Chechnya declared its independence during the chaos of the dissolution of the USSR and the emergence of Russia in 1991. Chechen independence threatened Russia’s territorial integrity however, resulting in two wars between Russia and Chechen rebels that lay waste to Chechnya and killed an estimated 100,000 people. Russia’s harsh methods during both wars resulted in reprisal attacks on Russian targets, instability in Chechnya, and a widening insurgency in the North Caucasus. The Kremlin’s response to each successive attack has been the use of force and population control measures against its Caucasian population. Russia’s reliance on military force and the aggressive application of population control measures against its Caucasian population, while ignoring other options for conflict resolution, has ensured continued discord in the North Caucasus, jeopardizing the flow of Russian energy in the Caspian basin, and endangers future Federation stability and security. To reduce further threat, Russia must learn from its mistakes and adapt its methods, or risk future attacks and the spread of Islamic extremism in the North Caucasus.

Click here to download manuscript

Getting Ugly: Exploring Network Development in "The Ugly American"

by Richard P. Teta MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

While social network analysis (SNA) has been utilized for a wide variety of purposes across various academic, business, and consulting fields, military applications of this emerging field have tended to focus on the “mapping” of dark networks. By borrowing from the considerable accumulation of SNA software and network theory, this work reveals how techniques designed for network analysis and dark network interdiction can also help reveal distinct characteristics of successful approaches to host nation interaction and indigenous network development.

The network models examined in this thesis are drawn from William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick’s book, The Ugly American. This text, widely viewed as an indictment of the application of U.S. foreign policy in Asia throughout the mid–20th century, serves as a foundation for the examination of indigenous network development at both the operational and tactical levels. The goal of this thesis is to illuminate and elucidate the unique characteristics of four network design approaches that appear in the book. This study also seeks to re-emphasize the important and often overlooked principles of effective host nation interaction presented in The Ugly American that have been recognized and discussed by generations of Foreign Service officers, military advisors, and civilian volunteers.

Click here to download thesis

Improving the Interagency Conflict Assessment Framework (ICAF) with Intellectual Habits

by James T. Wilson MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

How can the Interagency Conflict Assessment Framework (ICAF) be improved in order to better understand the operational environment? The application of the ICAF requires good intellectual habits that encompass an appreciation for abductive reasoning and nuanced causal explanation. Research that enriches and expands our understanding of conflict, political theory, and relevant social science continues to grow. Practitioners must understand the latest theories in order to apply abstract reasoning to better understand what is increasing or decreasing a conflict. Furthermore, they must understand causality so that this understanding is complete. Craig Parsons has broken conventional causality into the four causal mechanisms of structural, institutional, ideational, and psychological. These causal mechanisms are comprehensive and internally coherent. However, in the complex nature of conflict, conventional causality is not enough. William Connolly’s understanding of complexity and emergent causality are necessary in order to better understand a conflict. These habits will improve the ICAF and facilitate the best understanding of the conflict and environment.

Click here to download manuscript

Force of Choice: Optimizing Theater Special Operations Commands to Achieve Synchronized Effects

by Richard S. Woolshlager MAJ, USA; Fredrick J. Wright MAJ, USA
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

SOCAFRICA, a theater special operations command (TSOC), executes the full spectrum of Special Operations in complex environments, emphasizing the indirect approach to operations. The operational emphasis on preventive activities in a steady-state environment provides access, awareness, and options to the U.S. and its partners in the event of crises. Special Operation Forces (SOF) have doubled in size over the past decade, and SOCOM has built tremendous capabilities in that time, but TSOC’s—the regional-level SOF organizations—have not shared in these capability increases. Because TSOC’s are under-manned and under-resourced, they are not capable of effectively applying the indirect approach to achieve long-term effects for Geographic Combatant Commanders and Chiefs of Mission. Change is needed to improve TSOC effectiveness. This thesis will analyze the organizational shortfalls of TSOC’s through the lens of the newest TSOC, SOCAFRICA, and will examine USSOCOM’s Global SOF Network concept which intends to provide authorities, capabilities, and resources to TSOC’s to make them the force of choice at the regional level. SOCOM has established a road map to optimize TSOC’s. However, the GSN alone is not capable of implementing the necessary changes; it will require commitment and continued support from the individual services, the GCC’s, and from Congress.

Click here to download thesis

Social Mobilization, Influence, and Political Warfare: Unconventional Warfare Strategies for Shaping the 21st Century Security Environment

by Michael J. Yeager MAJ, USA
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

The Arab Spring and the political upheaval in MENA provided a small glimpse of the power and potential of non-violent political warfare for shaping the security environment. As mobilized Tunisians and Egyptians took to the streets, challenging their ruling regimes, the world could observe from a distance and watch a society mobilize for collective action. These events are not isolated or limited to the contemporary. This form of non-violent political warfare has allowed numerous resistance movements to overthrow dictators, throw out foreign occupations, or achieve self-determination. The purpose of this study is to expand on what has been speculated about the Arab Spring and other resistance movements by analyzing three causal factors; opportunities and environment, mobilizing structures, and influence campaigns. This study will also examine past instances of social mobilization and collective action to determine key highlight the causal factors related to non-violent resistance movements.

Click here to download thesis

Contact

Graduate Degree Programs
For Graduate Degree programs,
(910) 908-1517 or email
Graduate Degree programs