Powell Doctrine
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The "Powell Doctrine" is a
journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...

journalist
-created term, named after General
Colin Powell Colin Luther Powell ( ; April 5, 1937 – October 18, 2021) was an American politician, statesman, diplomat, and United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanent ...

Colin Powell
, for a doctrine that Powell created in the run-up to the 1990–91
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
. The doctrine poses questions emphasizing national security interests, overwhelming strike capabilities with an emphasis on ground forces, and widespread public support, all of which have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken. Powell's doctrine is based in large part on the
Weinberger Doctrine The Weinberger Doctrine was a list of points governing when the United States could commit troops in military engagements. The doctrine was publicly disclosed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on November 28, 1984, in a speech entitled ...
, devised by
Caspar Weinberger Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger (August 18, 1917 – March 28, 2006) was an American statesman and businessman. As a prominent Republican, he served in a variety of state and federal positions for three decades, including Chairman of the Cali ...
during his tenure as
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
(at which time Powell was Weinberger's senior military assistant).


Summary

The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States: # Is a vital
national security National security or national defence is the security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics ...
interest threatened? # Do we have a clear attainable objective? # Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? # Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? # Is there a plausible
exit strategy An exit strategy is a means of leaving one's current situation, either after a predetermined objective has been achieved, or as a strategy to mitigate failure. An organisation or individual without an exit strategy may be in a wiktionary:quagmire ...
to avoid endless entanglement? # Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? # Is the action supported by the American people? # Do we have genuine broad international support? As Powell said in an April 1, 2009 interview on ''
The Rachel Maddow Show ''The Rachel Maddow Show'' (also abbreviated ''TRMS'') is an American Liberalism in the United States, liberal news and opinion television program that airs on MSNBC, running in the 9:00 pm ET timeslot Monday through Friday. It is hosted by ...
'', it denotes a nation's exhausting of all "political, economic, and diplomatic means", which, only if all were futile, would result in the condition that the nation should resort to military force. Powell has also asserted that when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve decisive force against the enemy, minimizing casualties and ending the conflict quickly by forcing the weaker force to capitulate.


Analysis and commentary

The Powell Doctrine has been reported as an emerging legacy from the Korea and Vietnam wars and the "Never Again vs. Limited War" policy debates (either win or don't start versus value of limited war) and Weinberger's Six Tests described in his 1984 speech "The Uses of Military Power". It has been used to compare the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
, the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
, and the
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
.


See also

*
Bush Doctrine The Bush Doctrine refers to multiple interrelated foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily ...
*
Just war theory The just war theory (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
*
Pottery Barn rule The Pottery Barn rule is an American expression alluding to a policy of "you break it, you bought it" or "you break it, you buy it" or "you break it, you remake it", by which a retail store holds a customer responsible for damage done to merchandis ...
*
Reagan Doctrine The Reagan Doctrine was stated by United States President Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became ...
*
Shock and awe#REDIRECT Shock and awe Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a tactic based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy's perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fig ...

Shock and awe
*
Weinberger Doctrine The Weinberger Doctrine was a list of points governing when the United States could commit troops in military engagements. The doctrine was publicly disclosed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on November 28, 1984, in a speech entitled ...


References


Further reading

* Campbell, Kenneth J. "Once Burned, Twice Cautious: Explaining the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine." ''Armed Forces & Society'' 24#3 (1998): 357–74. * LaFeber, Walter. "The rise and fall of Colin Powell and the Powell Doctrine." ''Political Science Quarterly'' 124.1 (2009): 71–93
online
* MacMillan, John. "After Interventionism: A Typology of United States Strategies." ''Diplomacy & Statecraft'' 30.3 (2019): 576–601
online
* Meiertöns, Heiko. ''The Doctrines of US Security Policy: An Evaluation under International Law'', Cambridge University Press (2010), . * Middup, Luke. ''The Powell Doctrine and US Foreign Policy'' (Ashgate, 2015
online
* O'Sullivan, Christopher D. ''Colin Powell: American Power and Intervention From Vietnam to Iraq'', New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, (2009) * Record, Jeffrey. "Back to the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine?" ''Strategic Studies Quarterly,'' no. Fall (2007): 79–95. * Walt, Stephen. "Applying the 8 Questions of the Powell Doctrine to Syria." ''Foreign Policy'' (September 13, 2013)
online
* Yeatman, Scott T. "Modifying the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine for the Modern Geo-Strategic Environment." (''NDU/JFSC Joint Advanced Warfighting School,'' 2017
online


Primary sources

* Powell, Colin L. "U.S. Forces: Challenges Ahead." ''
Foreign Affairs ''Foreign Affairs'' is an American magazine of international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader ...

Foreign Affairs
''; Winter 1992, Vol. 71 Issue 5, 32–45, 14
online
* Powell, Colin L. and Joseph E. Persico. ''My American Journey'' (1995), autobiography. {{Foreign relations of the United States, expanded=DPC Military doctrines Foreign policy doctrines of the United States 1990 in the United States 1990 in international relations