U.S. Participation in a Multi-National Conflict Management Thesis

Pages: 9 (2357 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military


The objective of this work is to examine U.S. participation in a multi-national conflict management force in terms of the valid reasons that exist to support such participation. Conflict takes many forms in terms of situations that may require military intervention and peacekeeping and specifically in situations where 'multi-national' conflict management initiatives tend to interact with a focus toward keep peace in the area of region of conflict.

Definition of a 'Multinational' Operation

The work of the U.S. Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps (2007) on 'Multinational Operations' states that Multinational Operations are "...usually undertaken within the structure of a coalition or alliance. Other possible arrangements include supervision by an intergovernmental organization such as the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. An alliance is a relationship that results of a formal agreement (e.g., treaty) between two or more nations for broad, long-term objectives that further the common interests of the members." (U.S. Department of Defense. 2007)

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Also stated is that the nations when involved in a multinational response "...pick and choose if, when and where they will expend their national blood and treasure. Nations also choose the manner and extent of their foreign involvement for reasons both known and unknown to other nations. The only constant is that a decision to "join in" is, in every case, a calculated political decision by each potential member of a coalition or alliance. The nature of their national decisions, in turn, influences the multinational task force's (MNTF's) command structure." (U.S. Department of Defense, 2007)

II. Multinational Operations

The 'nature of multinational operations' is stated to be that which includes the following components:

1) Respect - for each partner's "culture, religion, customs, history, and values;"

TOPIC: Thesis on U.S. Participation in a Multi-National Conflict Management Assignment

2) Rapport - U.S. commanders and staff establish rapport with their counterparts from partner countries as well as the multinational force commander;

3) Knowledge of partners - U.S. commanders and their staff should gain an understanding of each member of the MNF; and 4) Patience - Effective partnerships take time and attention to develop. (Sharp, 2007)

According to the work of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Walter L. Sharp, Lieutenant General (2007) International rationalization, standardization, and interoperability (RSI) should be implemented between partner nations to enable the following benefits:

1) Efficiently integrate and synchronize operations using common or compatible doctrine;

2) Communicate and collaborate at anticipated levels of multinational force operations, particularly to prevent fratricide and exchange data, information, and intelligence in accordance with (IAW) appropriate security guidelines, either as printed, digital, or electronic media;

3) Share consumables consistent with relevant agreements and applicable law;

4) Care for casualties;

5) Enhance military effectiveness by optimizing individual and combined capabilities of military equipment;

6) Increase military efficiency through common or compatible Service support and logistics;

7) Establish over flight and access to foreign territory through streamlined clearance procedures for essential personnel;

8) Assure technical compatibility by developing standards for equipment design, employment, maintenance, and updating so that those nations that are likely to participate are ready to go. Extra sets of equipment may be necessary so that non-equipped nations are not excluded. Such compatibility must include secure and non-secure communications equipment and should address other equipment areas to include: ammunition specifications, truck components, supply parts, data transmission streams, etc..." (Sharp, 2007)

III. Natural Resource Conflict

One example of conflict which may occur in a country or region is noted in the work of Castro and Nielsen entitled: "Natural Resource Conflict Management Case Studies: An Analysis of Power, Participation and Protected Areas" states: "Conflict situations present a significant challenge to achieving participatory resource management and sustainable livelihoods. Rising tensions and disputes can undermine the formal and informal institutions and rules that govern resource use, resulting in environmental degradation and economic decline. Poor households are especially vulnerable to these shocks, but the entire fabric of society can unravel if conflicts escalate and violence erupts." (2006)

Castro and Nielsen go on to explain that the "...merging of resource conflicts into wider, destructive social conflicts can end in collapsed production systems, uprooted communities and chronic insecurity. The ability to manage and resolve conflicts in a peaceful, participatory and equitable manner allows for more secure access to, and better management of, natural resources." (2006)

Military intervention is often of the nature of humanitarian assistance or even playing the role of a referee in conflict that has accelerated quickly into disputes that have become dangerous and violent. Intervention early into such situations mitigates worse scenarios occurring and oftentimes there are other countries or regions or even the United States itself that is dependent upon the stable economics of the region experiencing conflict or even counts upon products of that country or region." (Castro and Nielsen, 2006)

IV. Importance of Rebuilding and Restoration of 'Failed States'

Serafino and Weiss (2006) in the work entitled: "Peacekeeping and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on Civilian Capabilities" a publication of the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service states: "Post-conflict operations are complex undertakings, usually involving the participation of several United Nations departments and U.N. system agencies, the international financial institutions and a plethora of non-governmental humanitarian and development organizations, as well as the military and other departments or ministries of the United States and other nations."

Serafino and Weiss also relate the fact that since September 11, 2001 "...global instability directly threatens U.S. security and that it is a vital U.S. interest to transform weak and failing states into stable, democratic ones. Related to this is the expectation that responding to the threat of instability will require the United States and the international community to intervene periodically in foreign conflicts with "peacekeeping"3 and "stabilization" forces at about the same intensive pace as it has done since the early 1990s. Because that pace has stressed the U.S. military, many policymakers believe that the United States must create and enhance civilian capabilities to carry out the peace building tasks that are widely viewed as necessary for stability and reconstruction in fragile, conflict-prone, and post-conflict states." (Serafino and Weiss, 2006) Therefore, military stress also would be lessened with multinational participation in such efforts.

It was reported by the American Forces Press Service news article entitled: "Multinational Experiment Lessons Already Benefiting Coalition Ops" that participants from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and NATO are studying the impact of various aspects of international power on a mutual adversary. These include what JFCOM officials call the "DIME" elements -- diplomatic, information, military and economic. About 800 participants from seven nations and NATO, many of them at the command's Joint Futures Lab here and others overseas, are midway through an experiment designed to promote interagency and intergovernmental cooperation. MNE4 is applying a premise that U.S. defense leaders have long advocated: that the United States can't win the global war on terror or conduct any other major operation alone and that winning will take more than just military power." (Miles, 2006)

Miles relates that the experiment scenario is one in which participants are forced to "...take a close look at the myriad challenges they face as a coalition, Shepherd explained. They're examining, among other things, how they coordinate with multinational interagency groups, how interoperable their logistics processes are, and how well they coordinate information operations and medical support." (2006) According to the report and specifically stated by Air Force Maj. Pete Carrabba "Everything is done in real time, with players at 10 sites around the world across six time zones communicating through a massive network, have ready access to real-time audio, text chat capabilities, and shared white boards." (Miles, 2006)

Carrabba states that this in essence "...creates a virtual environment where people involved get a sense that they are dealing with the real world. This collaborative information environment, or CIE, concept has proven so successful during multinational force experiments that it's already being applied to coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The strength of the experiment is that it builds on each participating country's inputs. U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Directorate is leading the experiment from its Joint Futures Lab here. But other participating countries are leading specific concepts and processes within the experiment. Germany has the lead on knowledge base development and information operations; Canada, on knowledge management; and France, on strategic context and conflict resolution. The United States is leading the multinational information-sharing piece, and Australia, the concept of the multinational interagency group that would be created to coordinate the response in response to a crisis." (Miles, 2006)

The report states that just as would happen in the real operation "...players in the experiment are based around the world. Those from Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating from their own experimentation facilities. NATO participants are working from a facility in Istanbul, Turkey. Players from Australia, Finland and Sweden are operating here at… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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