Ambitious Aims and Meager Plans
This introductory chapter provides an overview of noncombat operations. Noncombat operations are activities carried out by personnel in a theater of combat in which the use or threatened use of force is not the primary means by which objectives are secured. They are typified by activities such as the provision of humanitarian assistance; civil affairs operations, up to and including the administration of an occupied territory; the reconstruction of infrastructure; and the reform, restoration, or creation of political institutions. They are also sometimes misleadingly referred to as “postconflict” or “postcombat” operations, but as the 2003 intervention in Iraq demonstrated, the assumption that such activities will take place in a peaceful environment is highly suspect.
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