White Zone Conflicts Are The Most Significant Security Threat Confronting U.s. Strategists

1621 Words Dec 10th, 2016 7 Pages
Gray-zone conflicts currently present the most significant security threat confronting U.S. strategists and planners. Recent events by Russia in the Ukraine and China in the South China Sea are current examples of these gray-zone threats. Applying components from two international relations (IR) theories to gray-zone conflicts will create a framework for U.S. strategists. Using components of realism and liberalism and combining them will provide the U.S. a policy instrument with both hard and soft power to deal with these styles of conflicts. Consequently, a third IR theory constructivism offers very little to U.S. planners to help them with a strategy for gray-zone conflicts. As some scholars suggest, constructivism is a theory of culture and cannot function or substitute as a theory of politics. Components of the Truman Doctrine applied during the Cold War can benefit U.S. planners with recent gray-zone conflicts. Nevertheless, using elements of contain and deter along with diplomacy and foreign aid would allow progress in recent gray-zone conflicts with both China and Russia.

Currently, gray-zone conflicts pose the greatest significant security issue confronting U.S. policymakers. Gray zone conflicts are named accordingly because there are no black and white national policies that address them. They fall in between what can be described as a no man’s land to the normal war fighting line of thinking . Gray zone conflicts create problems for U.S. military planners and…

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