The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters


Brandon Colas


This article describes faits accomplis—how states attempt to seize disputed territory using military force, hoping to avoid war in the process—and offers suggestions for how to deter them. Since 1945, faits accomplis have become the most common means by which states attempt to take over territory, even though they frequently result in armed conflict. US deterrent efforts, however, often focus on stopping invasions, not limited land grabs. This study combines the traditional literature on deterrence with Dan Altman’s recent research on faits accomplis to suggest Department of Defense leaders should frame territorial disputes as a real estate market they can both analyze and manipulate.

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03-21-Colas---Defining-and-Deterring-Faits-Accomplis.mp3 (17035 kB)
Decisive Point Podcast: Brandon Colas "Defining and Deterring Faits Accomplis"



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