Powell Doctrine

Powell Doctrine

The "Powell Doctrine" is a journalist-created term, named after General Colin Powell in the run-up to the 1990-1991 Gulf War. It is based in large part on the Weinberger Doctrine, devised by Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense and Powell's former boss.

The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

# Is a vital national security interest threatened?
# Do we have a clear attainable objective?
# Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
# Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
# Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
# Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
# Is the action supported by the American people?
# Do we have genuine broad international support? [ [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/iraq/powelldoctrine.html The Powell Doctrine: Background, Application and Critical Analysis] , Doug DuBrin, NewsHour Extra]

The fifth point of the Doctrine is normally interpreted to mean that the U.S. should not get involved in peacekeeping or nation-building exercises. Powell expanded upon the Doctrine, asserting that when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve decisive force against the enemy, minimizing US casualties and ending the conflict quickly by forcing the weaker force to capitulate. This is well in line with Western military strategy dating at least from Carl von Clausewitz's "On War".

The Doctrine has been used to compare the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the Iraq War [cite news |title=Is Iraq like Vietnam? Lessons learned|date=2007-09-06|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/blogBurst/topNews?type=topNews&w1=B7ovpm21IaDoL40ZFnNfGe&w2=B9KobpniDQffCOR77fHrDXw&src=blogBurst_topNews&bbPostId=Cz95wAAV26XeVBzXxkni1IfbFBDUb6KtNPEUKCz7uB32cOdlE6&bbParentWidgetId=B7qp5dlHYnIr2YRoUoOjnxK] .

ee also

*Pottery barn rule


External links

* [http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19921201faessay5851/colin-l-powell/u-s-forces-challenges-ahead.html Article by Colin Powell in Foreign Affairs Winter 1992]

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