View Full Version : Questioning a Deity

12-23-2008, 01:42 AM
From the Small Wars Journal (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/12/questioning-a-deity/)

"On September 16-17, 2008, the Israeli Armor Corps Association hosted its second annual conference, this entitled “Land Maneuver in the 21st Century. The centerpiece for speaker presentations and related discussions was “maneuver:” what it is, what it should be, and its relevance to security operations in light of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other recent or continuing conflicts."

I found this piece very interesting. The conference, being held at an "altar" to Maneuver-the Israeli Armor Corps Museum and Memorial, is about whether/how to adapt the concept of maneuver to the challenges we face today. I cannot but wonder what the discussion would be like if this were held at the US Artillery Center in Ft Sill. From what I have seen, at least on the tactical level, many of the "whole of government" solutions are being handled through targeting-like processes (non-lethal targets, IO, etc.).
I think this is a phenomenon where we are trying to adapt tried and true terms that fit conventional war into new "Irregular Warfare" concepts. We have Lines of Operation that have morphed into something far from what Jomini would recognize. We have lethal and non-lethal fires, and now we have operational, or full-spectrum, maneuver being defined in terms of gaining an advantage through the use of all available resources (rather than being a function of physical movement). I think its a function of us all being comfortable with adapting concepts into terms we understand and that share our outlook on war. Thus Armor officers describe their fight in terms of maneuver and artillery officers describe it in terms of Fires.
I believe that all of this is useful for education and discussion, but the problem comes when someone wants to see this translated into a comprehensive campaign plan with definite tasks and purposes, coordinated in time and space. I'm initially at a loss to describe the "operational maneuver" in such a plan.

12-23-2008, 04:28 AM
I agree with the difficulty in conceptualizing maneuver into something completely different, but I do feel that IW or UW or COIN or Anti-terrorism ops or 4GW or whatever the flavor of the week is, does still have "lines of operations" and Jomini probably could recognize them with little help. I will clarify my thoughts more tomorrow.