The evolution of US Army peace operations
Wolff, James J.
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Peace operations have had difficulty in being accepted by the US Army, have not been institutionalized, and continue to challenge the Army as an institution. Insight from the sociological perspective known as social construction was used to examine doctrinal development and institutionalization. Social constructionism predicts that until a new mission is accepted by the individual and the group, it will continue to cause disequilibrium. The constant reconceptualization and changing terminology within peace operations reflected the inability of the Army to accept peace operations as a primary mission. The national security strategy of the US is the primary, the first step in the social construction of peace operations. When peace operations were considered to serve national interests, the Army began to develop appropriate doctrine for these missions. Army professional literature highlighted how the Army leadership conceptualized peace operations and the amount of attention that they believed should be dedicated to the mission. Doctrinal development was traced from post-World War II, demonstrating the inability of the Army to accept peace operations as a primary mission. Until a coherent doctrine for peace operations is developed, these missions will not be accepted and will continue to challenge the Army as an institution.
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