Accession Number : ADA331295

Title :   Limiting Casualties: Imperative or Constraint?

Descriptive Note : Monograph rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Woods, Kevin S.

PDF Url : ADA331295

Report Date : 22 MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 57

Abstract : As America finds itself answering to the needs of the world, the costs associated with less-than-vital military operations have become a growing subject of debate. One inevitable part of this debate is the issue of combat casualties and the widely held perception that the American public, and consequently, US political leadership, is excessively sensitive to suffering combat casualties. This monograph examines the question of whether this sensitivity should alter political and military decision-making. The monograph examines past studies to document the effect of war casualties on public support and political popularity. The issue of casualties is discussed in relation to national security strategies and military decision-making. This discussion includes how national strategists often erroneously use the risk of casualties to support or block political strategies and decisions. For the military, this discussion includes the risk of allowing shifting political pressures to override the harsh realities of combat. Finally, the monograph studies the issue of enemy war casualties and collateral damage and what role they should have on national and military decision-making. The monograph concludes by providing guidance for how political and military leaders can properly integrate the issue of combat into their decision-making.

Descriptors :   *NATIONAL SECURITY, *DECISION MAKING, *COSTS, *CASUALTIES, MILITARY PERSONNEL, WARFARE, POLITICAL SCIENCE, RISK, STRATEGY, LEADERSHIP, LIMITATIONS, SHIFTING, DOCUMENTS, PRESSURE, MILITARY COMMANDERS, PERCEPTION, ENEMY PERSONNEL.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE