General Anthony Zinni (USMC Ret);
experienced in the theory, planning, and conduct of Military Operations
Other Than War (MOOTW) as well as a leading proponent of cultural
intelligence; developed the
following considerations for humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, and
peace enforcement operations. The successful conduct of operations in
Iraq extends well beyond 'taking down Saddam'. The end state we
achieve in Iraq - and how we achieve it - will have a direct and serious
impact on all future operations in the conduct of our war on terrorism.
They are presented here as helpful guidelines on winning the
peace before, during, and after the dust settles in Baghdad and other Iraqi
General Zinni offers basic, common-sense guidelines here.
Unfortunately, many of these guidelines are left behind at our military
think-tanks and schoolhouses once the first round goes downrange. We are reaching critical mass and can ill-afford to relearn lessons from
such places as Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti, and elsewhere. It is time to
start winning wars instead of battles - winning hearts and minds instead of temporary
respite. With that we will win the peace.
Each operation is unique. We must be careful what
lessons we learn from a single experience.
Each operation has two key aspects - the degree of
complexity of the operation and the degree of consent of the involved
parties and the international community for the operation.
The earlier the involvement, the better the chance for
Start planning as early as possible, include everyone in the
Make as thorough an assessment as possible before
Conduct a thorough mission analysis, determine the centers
of gravity, end state, commander's intent, measures of effectiveness, exit
strategy, and the estimated duration of the operation.
Stay focused on the mission. Line up military tasks
with political objectives. Avoid mission creep and allow for mission
shifts. A mission shift is a conscious decision, made by political
leadership in consultation with the military commander, responding to a
Centralize planning and decentralize execution of the
operation. This allows subordinate commanders to make appropriate
adjustments to meet their individual situation or rapidly changing
Coordinate everything with everybody. Establish
coordination mechanisms that include political, military, nongovernmental
organizations, and the interested parties.
Know the culture and the issues. We must know who the
decision-makers are. We must know how the involved parties think.
We cannot impose our cultural values on people with their own culture.
Start or restore key institutions as early as possible.
Don't lose the initiative and momentum.
Don't make unnecessary enemies. If you do, don't treat
them gently. Avoid mindsets or words that might come back to haunt
Seek unity of effort and unity of command. Create the
fewest possible seams between organizations and involved parties.
Open a dialogue with everyone. Establish a forum for
each of the involved parties.
Encourage innovation and nontraditional responses.
Personalities are often more important than processes.
You need the right people in the right places.
Be careful whom you empower. Think carefully about who
you invite to participate, use as a go-between, or enter into contracts with
since you are giving them influence in the process.
Decide on the image you want to portray and keep focused on
it. Whatever the image; humanitarian or firm, but well-intentioned
agent of change; ensure your troops are aware of it so they can conduct
Centralize information management. Ensure that your
public affairs and psychological operations are coordinated, accurate and
Seek compatibility in all operations; cultural and political
compatibility and military interoperability are crucial to success.
The interests, cultures, capabilities, and motivations of all parties may
not be uniform; but they cannot be allowed to work against one another.
Senior commanders and their staffs need the most education
and training in nontraditional roles. The troops need awareness and
understanding of their roles. The commander and the staff need to
develop and apply new skills, such as negotiating, supporting humanitarian
organizations effectively and appropriately, and building coordinating
agencies with humanitarian goals.