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Title: The role and limitations of technology in US counterinsurgency operations : the operationally offensive tactically defensive concept
Author: Rubright, Richard W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 8648
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis addresses the possibility of a growing role of technology in US counterinsurgency operations. Counterinsurgency, like any other form of warfare, is dependent on the technical capabilities of the actors involved. However, asymmetry between host nation forces and insurgents is far more integral to counterinsurgency operations. As such the US military has the potential to leverage its technical superiority to lftter conduct counterinsurgency operation while applying sound strategy. The thesis shows that reliance on technology alone will not ensure success in military intervention; however, it will play a central theme in the United States' ability to use violence effectively as an element of strategy in dealing with organizations such as AI- Qaeda while protecting civilians. The US military is capable of flexibility and it possesses an ability to operate with strategic objectives in mind. The challenges for the United States in confronting non- state actors in a counterinsurgency effort will be grappled with on the battlefield, within the national media, and throughout the halls of power in Washington, D.C. This thesis identifies the technical trends by which policy makers may be able to better prepare for US counterinsurgency operations. Historical examples help to outline how technology will further the US military's capability to pursue policy objectives by means of military intervention. However, the thesis shows that the utility of technology will be limited by the ability of military officers and policy makers to appropriately tailor technical abilities to sound strategic practice. The conclusion of this thesis is that technology will provide many elements to support US military power and will provide invaluable capabilities for engaging and defeating insurgents, but must be combined with a strategic awareness to ensure political success. Specifically, an operationally offensive tactically defensive conventional concept can be applied to counterinsurgency warfare if the technical capabilities of the US military are appropriately directed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available