Following the principles: Case studies in operations other than war, 1945--1999

Kevin Joseph Dougherty


In the post-World War II-era, operations other than war (OOTW) were the types of conflict most commonly faced by the United States. This term for what had previously been called by such names as small wars and low intensity conflict was incorporated in the Army's capstone manual, Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, in 1993. Field Manual 100-5 also listed objective, unity of effort, legitimacy, perseverance, restraint, and security as the six principles of OOTW. An analysis of eight OOTWs that occurred between 1945 and 1999 indicates that the balanced application of these principles is a reliable predicator of the operation's outcome and that there is a relationship among several of the principles themselves. These findings suggest the principles of OOTW are a useful planning tool for military commanders and staffs.