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'Full spectrum dominance': Donald Rumsfeld, the Department of Defense, and US irregular warfare strategy 2001-2008

Ryan, Maria

Authors

MARIA RYAN maria.ryan@nottingham.ac.uk
Assistant Professor



Abstract

This article examines the evolution of US irregular warfare (IW) doctrine and practice from 2001 onwards. It argues that, after 9/11, top-tier civilian policymakers in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and across the US government developed a heightened awareness of asymmetric threats and non-conventional forms of warfare, especially those shaped by contemporary globalisation. The result was a gradual turn towards irregular warfare, led by Rumsfeld and the DoD, designed to ensure ‘full spectrum dominance’ across all modes of conflict. This pre-dated the insurgency in Iraq and the promotion of counterinsurgency in the US Army by General David Petraeus and others. Policymakers' reluctance to acknowledge the insurgency in Iraq was not down to a failure to understand the concept of IW, but because they had viewed Iraq in conventional terms for so many years and were reluctant to admit their mistake.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Small Wars and Insurgencies
Print ISSN 0959-2318
Electronic ISSN 1743-9558
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Ryan, M. (in press). 'Full spectrum dominance': Donald Rumsfeld, the Department of Defense, and US irregular warfare strategy 2001-2008. Small Wars and Insurgencies, 25(1), https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2014.893600
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2014.893600
Keywords irregular warfare, counterinsurgency, Rumsfeld, Global War on Terror, 'full spectrum dominance'
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592318.2014.893600
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Small Wars and Insurgencies on 28 May 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline....80/09592318.2014.893600

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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