Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 103

The Morality of Intervention by Waging Irregular Warfare Col. Daniel C. Hodne, U.S. Army Col. Daniel C. Hodne, U.S. Army, serves in the U.S. Special Operations Command. He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, an M.A. from Louisiana State University, and an M.S.S. from the U.S. Army War College. His assignments include tours with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the Joint Staff. U nited States defense strategic guidance issued in 2012 establishes defense priorities to support U.S. security objectives.1 Among the ten primary missions of the U.S. Armed Forces, the strategic guidance calls for capabilities to wage irregular warfare—defined as “a violent struggle among state and nonstate actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population(s).”2 While the United States wages irregular warfare against enemies such as al-Qaida, policy options to achieve U.S. security goals may entail projecting U.S. landpower among other nonstate and state actors in volatile, complex, and ambiguous environments.3 Depending on the context, coming to the aid of nonstate actors, such as a group resisting oppression at the hands of its government, may be deemed prudent to advance, secure, or protect U.S. national interests. Where committing conventional forces may not be appropriate, policymakers still may decide to intervene with sp V6