Peace & Stability Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 23

policy goals. Success in post-conflict stability activities requires a continued and additional level of military effort beyond combat to consolidate gains and to realize and sustain the desired political outcome in dynamic post-conflict conditions. History shows that U.S. forces continue to operate well after the cessation of combat activities, from months to years, and their presence enables the other elements of national power. The following section highlights the event that started and end- ed each phase of US commitment to a particular intervention. Syria: 2014 – Present (2016). The conflict phase in Syria began with President Obama’s declaration on 10 September 2014 that the United States was going to commence airstrikes against Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIL) targets in the country. 1 These airstrikes have continued as of July 2016. 2 Iraq: 2003 – Present (2016). The first conflict phase in Iraq began in March of 2013 with the US-led invasion of the coun- try and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. 3 This conflict phase was declared concluded in 2003 when President Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech, but combat troops continued to conduct sustained kinetic operations until the last combat brigade was withdrawn from the country in August of 2010. 4 US troops remaining in the country then settled into a stabilization role, marking the beginning of the first post-con- flict phase in Iraq. 5 In 2014, this post-conflict phase concluded when Iraq was declared a war-zone once more because of resur- gent Sunni forces (including the Islamic state). This marked the beginning of the second conflict phase. 6 As of July 2016, this conflict phase continues. 7 Afghanistan: 2001 – Present (2016). The initial conflict phase began in September of 2001, when President George W. Bush signed into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for attacking the US on 11 September 2001. This resolution was later used to justify military interven- tion in Afghanistan. 8 This initial conflict phase concluded in May of 2003 when Donald Rumsfeld declared an end to “major combat” in Afghanistan and the transition of US troops to a stabilization and reconstruction role. This marked the begin- ning of the first post-conflict phase. 9 This first post-conflict phase concluded in February of 2009 when Obama deployed 17,000 additional combat troops to the country to conduct sustained kinetic operations against terrorist elements, marking the beginning of the second conflict phase. 10 This second con- flict phase concluded in May of 2014 with President Obama’s announcement of the withdrawal of US combat troops from Afghanistan and the transition of the remaining international and US forces into reconstruction and stabilization roles, com- mencing the second post-conflict phase. 11 This post-conflict phase concluded in 2015 when Taliban-affiliated forces stepped up attacks, forcing the US to delay troop withdrawals and step up the tempo of kinetic operations against the Taliban. These operations continue as of July 2016. 12 Kosovo: 1999 – Present (2016). The conflict phase in Koso- vo began when NATO forces were authorized to conduct airstrikes in March of 1999, and this conflict phase concluded in June of 1999 with the cessation of this airstrike campaign. The post-conflict phase began with stabilization efforts in June 1999, when NATO authorized the deployment of troops as per UNSCR 1244 under the campaign name of the Kosovo Protec- tion Force (KFOR). 13 KFOR is still active as of July 2016, with a troop strength of approximately 4,600. 14 Bosnia: 1995 – 2004. The conflict phase in Bosnia began with NATO airstrikes in May of 1995, and ended in December 1995 with the signing of a General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 15 The post-conflict phase began with the deployment of the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) to Bosnia in December 1995. IFOR v2&W6V@'D7F&ƗFf&6R4d"bb4d"v0&W6VBFV6V&W"#B'UTd"v6Bw&VFǐ&VGV6VBU2f&6RBV6֖26֗FVBrF2W76VFЦǒVFVBU2F&V7BffVVB7B6fƖ7B7F&ƗFVff'G2FR6VG'6Ɩ"( 2RFV6V&W""&RWVFЧF'f&6Rv2FWVBF6ƖF6GV7B7F&ƗFW&F2&rFR&Vvrb6fƖ7B7F&ƗЧF6RF2f&6Rv2&WG&7FfVǒWF&VB'T40&W6WFsBBVBU$D$U5D$RRख&62FRT76VB&W6WFBv6֖ƒЧF&VBFRFFRB6VBf"V6VrVff'G2F0&VBFR66W6bFR6fƖ7B6RB&V@FR&Vvrb6fƖ7B6RvFU2G&2vw&W76fVǐVVFrBVf&6rFR&W6WFFR&6vFv6FVB67W'&VB7F&W"2VFr&'W7BF&V7@U2֖ƗF'WF27F26ƖF2&VBFR&RЦvrb7B6fƖ7B6R'&6RFRU2@vFG&vf&6W2&VrFR6VG'( 2BFV6V&W"U2f&6W2fBЦVBU$DU5B4U4RGFVBF'&rvVW&&VvFW7F6R6&vW2bG'VrG&ff6pBV&vG2'W6W2v6v2FR6WFbFR6ЦfƖ7B6RFR6fƖ7B6R66VFVBvFFR6W76F`Vv&f&RBVBbW&FU5B4U4RV'vfr&6RFW&F$DRĔ$U%EB7B6fƖ7B6R6WFV&W"BU2f&6W2vW&RvFЦG&vg&#