Military intervention in identity group conflicts
Lyons, Todd W.
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This thesis studies military intervention in identity group conflicts. Building on the concepts of conflict entrepreneurship, I argue that military commanders must coopt, confront, accommodate or compete with existing identity groups to be successful during intervention operations. I argue that the local military commander is relatively autonomous and therefore can and should aid the community in rebuilding durable, longterm institutions such as police, judiciary and local councils in areas torn by identity group conflicts. Israel's 1982 intervention in Lebanon, Operation Peace for Galilee, and the United State's intervention in Somalia, Operation Restore Hope, are used to highlight the common elements of intervention and the types of activities that encourage and discourage cooperation with the intervention force. The paradox of intervention is that it often solves a short-term problem at the same time it spawns a new threat. This arises in part from the effect of the intervention on the political economy of the target society. The activities of local commanders in Lebanon are assessed based on the historical record and documentary evidence. The activities of commanders on the ground in Somalia are analyzed based on a number of personal interviews, a compilation of unpublished Lessons Learned and the unpublished history of the Marines in Somalia by Captain David Dawson. I argue that the official "lessons learned" are inaccurate and suggest a set of Lessons (Un)Learned that are both accurate and useful in planning and conducting intervention operations.
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