Effects based warfare: The sum of previous experience

Mitchell, Ashley (2006) Effects based warfare: The sum of previous experience. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Effects Based Warfare (EBW) describes a novel Western conceptual approach to warfare within which the effects that accrue during war are consistent with, and limited to, those effects envisaged during the planning process. EBW covers action at every level of warfare. It embraces any activity that seeks to influence allies, adversaries, and neutrals, and it demands coherent aftermath planning. Further, it demands inputs from all government departments rather than solely from military sources. EBW is therefore an holistic, pan-governmental construct. The aim of this thesis is to determine whether EBW is an original model of warfare or merely the sum of previous experiences. To resolve this matter the dissertation covers five broad areas: Understanding EBW, which outlines the context for EBW and describes the contemporary Effects Paradigm from first principles; American Origins, which looks at US inputs to the model, combining detailed historical approach with recent doctrinal developments; UK Origins, the UK input to EBW, which analyses a series of groundbreaking governmental papers issued between 1999 and 2004; Operational Case Studies, a set of four discrete historical case studies which from an EBW perspective involve increasing levels of complexity (this adds substance to the conceptual elements of the thesis); and Time for Change? The Early 21st Century which analyses the strategic tapestry of the early Century, delving into matters ranging from the impact of globalisation upon the wider security environment to increasing influence of the media and the re-emergence of humanitarianism. In support of the above aim this thesis seeks to prove three fundamental contentions. First, the extant Western approach to warfare is the product of a previous era - the Cold War and its immediate aftermath - which has failed to develop sufficiently to meet the unique demands of the 21st Century. Hence it is ill-equipped to deliver enduring international security today. Second, an alternative approach began to coalesce shortly after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This was due initially to the efforts of various US doctrinal theorists, but after their initial mark was made, the baton subsequently picked up by the UK. Indeed within 5 years of this happening, a viable if immature effects paradigm had emerged. Third, whilst the mantra that 'wars have always been conducted for effect' may true, at least at the strategic level, within the context of EBW it is irrelevant; because as this thesis will show, the issue at stake is not whether effects occur per se - which is a given - but the degree to which cause and effect are considered by planners throughout the full depth of warfare.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Military studies
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-71405
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71405

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