Peace & Stability Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 22

Introduction
This historical study is meant to outline the commitment of United States ( US ) forces in post-conflict and non-conflict environments . This is done not only to highlight the overall length of post-conflict and non-conflict commitments , but also the disparity in time between the conflict and post-conflict or non-conflict phases of military interventions . For the purposes of this study , conflict phases are defined as the application of armed force ( either troops or bombing operations ) authorized and conducted under the command of either the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) or US forces .
Authorization to use force and / or direct military engagement was chosen as the point at which military involvement began . Hostilities lasting less than three continuous weeks were not considered conflict phases , as stabilization activities sometimes involve limited kinetic operations . The end of the conflict phase is defined as the point at which the US , NATO or the United Nations ( UN ) officially declared a ceasefire or the cessation of hostilities , or when no major armed engagements occurred for approximately one year .
The US commitment in post-conflict or non-conflict situations was defined as the beginning of stabilization activities either after the conclusion of the conflict phase or if no combat took place . For an operation to be considered a US commitment , a continuous presence of US or NATO forces involved in reconstruction and / or stabilization efforts was required . Additionally , reconstruction and stabilization efforts undertaken by United Nations forces were included only if they were included significant contingents of US troops .
US forces on permanent or semi-permanent bases in countries that have experienced US occupations , such as Japan and Germany , are not included in this study as continuous , long-term commitments . Korea is the exception to this standard because the US still maintains operational control over a large portion of South Korean forces . For clarity of viewing , the duration of conflict , post-conflict and non-conflict operations have been rounded to the nearest year .
Several key findings include the concept that accomplishing military objectives may not lead to political end states or even necessarily the termination of military operations in support of

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