Accession Number : ADA311148

Title :   A General Theory of Conflict: Bosnia, Strategy and the Future.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Fastabend, David A.

PDF Url : ADA311148

Report Date : 10 MAR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 87

Abstract : To understand the phenomena of 'war' or 'operations other than war,' we must view them in their context of conflict. The dominant academic views such as realism, rationalism, or idealism present partial perspectives of conflict; these views are of limited utility to practitioners who must deal with conflict in an environment of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. A general theory of conflict would expedite communication and coordination between the diverse efforts of the many agencies of conflict. An outline of a general theory of conflict starts with conflict as the competition of contradictory ideas. The mechanism of conflict is two-fold: logic and violence. The milieu of conflict includes chance, fog, friction and circumstance. Circumstance in turn includes geography, resources, technology and history. This outline of a general theory of conflict can be evaluated in light of Paret's three roles for theory; cognitive, utilitarian, and pedagogic. The cognitive test is applied to generate an improved understanding of the conflict in Bosnia. The utilitarian test is applied to test the usefulness of the theory in matters of current strategy: the conflict environment, the use of force, and the National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. The pedagogic test is applied to analyze the future and the Revolution of Military Affairs.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY STRATEGY, *THEORY, *CONFLICT, *MILITARY PLANNING, *BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA, UNCERTAINTY, MILITARY HISTORY, NATIONAL SECURITY, COGNITION, ADVERSE CONDITIONS, RESOURCES, VOLATILITY, AMBIGUITY, GEOGRAPHY, TECHNOLOGY FORECASTING, LIMITED WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE