The termination theories developed since the Korean War that influenced the development of joint doctrine are confusing and contradictory. Joint doctrine therefore did not address the militarys role in obtaining US national interests in the long-term. As a result, US military planners developed termination criteria focused on the short-term cessation of military operations for most conflicts between 1990 and 2003. Campaigns framed upon such criteria resulted in destabilization, thus hampering obtaining US interests post conflict. An examination of US operations within the region known as the Arc of Instability indicates planners must synchronize their actions with the other instruments of national power to prevent this from happening.
Thomas Barnetts concept of the Leviathan and the Sys Admin forces presents a method of how to achieve this synergy. Senior military leaders, specifically within the US Marine Corps, embraced these concepts when developing security cooperation operations and the Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force.
Accordingly, termination criteria focusing on a quick, decisive victory followed by a rapid withdrawal is no longer valid. Joint doctrine therefore needs updating to reflect the US militarys responsibility in obtaining national interest in conjunction with the other instruments of national power not only during open conflict, but at all times.