How can the U.S. military avoid another 9/15 an analysis of the inability of U.S. military leaders to provide an adequate strategy for responding to the 9/11 attacks
Mauldin, James R.
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The purpose of this thesis is to identify the actions the U.S. military should take to ensure the next time it is called upon to provide a campaign strategy to the President, the U.S. military does not repeat the shortfalls of 9/15/2001, which called for a Direct Approach against an irregular adversary, Al Qaeda. The thesis presents a Game Theory analysis of Toft's "Strategic Interaction Theory" to develop an optimal strategy for conducting future asymmetric conflicts. It finds the optimal strategy is to be equally capable of either a Direct or Indirect Approach and to employ whichever approach the adversary is employing. The thesis then reviews U.S. military operations between 1947 and 2001 and finds that 208 of the 210 known engagements optimally required a U.S. Indirect Approach. Despite the overwhelming preponderance of indirect action during this period, an assessment of the U.S. military educational system that produced the military uniformed leaders at the time of the 9/11 attacks shows it focused on the Direct Approach, rendering these leaders ill-prepared to advise the President on 9/15. The thesis concludes with recommendations for future U.S. military preparations for asymmetric warfare, calling for an equally balanced education of U.S. officers in Direct and Indirect Approach strategies.
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