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  1. #841
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    OK, so what you are telling me is that Operational Warfare is something that takes place at the Corps level (and above) and is thus done by Corps Staff, but is also done by Divisions if they have Corps assets?

    So basically, Operational Level Warfare is how Corps fight?

    If so, when does a Corps employ "Operational Level Warfare" and when does it not?


    Let me be clear. They conducted and taught soldiers to plan and conduct "Operations." Basically staff work. They called this "Operations of War." It was largely focussed on Campaign planning. They did not make it something between Strategy and Tactics. Quite the opposite.
    This is the model and teaching I subscribe to.
    I really don't have a dog in this fight, but to me, when we discuss the operational level of war, it is not how Corps fight; rather it is the scope of the fight that one traditionally assigns a Division, Corps or even an Army, to handle. That scope is often regionally/terrain defined; but could be defined by some functional characteristics as well.

    How a Corps fights, well, as Wilf clearly states. That is tactics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    For sure. The question is, does it require a unique skill set? Is planning at the operational level fundamentally different from strategy/tactics? I would say yes, and most military thinkers agree.
    What exactly is contained in this unique skill?

    Careful with semantics. Lets not confuse the term "operations" used in its broad sense with "operational warfare." Yes, a company commander can plan an operation, however, that does not equate to operational warfare. Operational warfare, in contrast with operations, only takes place in major formations, namely Corps and above, and possibly Division if properly augmented.
    Canada's contribution to Afghanistan is a Brigade; this Brigade conducts logistics that go back to Canada, is a joint HQ and has an air component, and deals with the "Command" back in Canada. Does it practice "operational warfare", "tactical warfare" or both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    How a Corps fights, well, as Wilf clearly states. That is tactics.
    but yes on that last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    That is what I was looking for, if I understand it correctly. Operations planning is concerned with Combat but Operational Warfare has two sides so to speak. On one side is the Combat Operation and the other side for lack of a better term I will call Logistics Operation usually on a very large scale. The Logistics side tends to link up to Strategy while the Operation side tends to link down toward the actual Battle. Which is why they call it the bridge between Strategy and Tactics.

    Is that about right? Yes,No, I missed the whole thing?
    I think you are on the right track. Operational warfare is largely (but not exclusively) concerned with logistics. Operational objectives link both up to strategy and down to tactics.

    I go back to my favorite example, which is Operation Michael in 1918. Here is an excerpt from A World Undone by GJ Meyer, which describes the situation after German Storm Troops had successfully broken through the Allied line:

    No one including [German Chief of Staff] Ludendorff could have said at that point what the purpose of a continued...advance was supposed to be. His astonishing progress gave rise to a question: progress toward what? What actually was the value of the ground he had taken and the great expanses of territory that lay open in front of him? The absence of an answer exposed the emptiness of the Michael operation... "We tear a hole in the enemy line," Ludendorff had said when challenged, "and everything else follows."
    Michael's tactical successes did not give rise to strategic success because the two were not linked. This is because strategy and tactics are not inherently linked by their nature, as Mr. Owen suggests. This is the realm of operational warfare. In this case, had Ludendorff pressed for the French communications hub of Amiens as his operational objective, and been able to reinforce success toward the objective with men and materials (although there were practical problems with the latter), he might have succeeded in splitting the French/British line and pushing the Brits into the sea.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-20-2010 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Insert 2nd quote marks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    What exactly is contained in this unique skill?
    Without going into exhaustive detail, the ability to plan, conduct, and sustain campaigns and major operations which accomplish strategic objectives. This includes setting the conditions for tactical engagements and battles which link to strategic objectives or effects. Operational planners use operational concepts, such as Center of Gravity and Lines of Operation, to plan operational activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    Canada's contribution to Afghanistan is a Brigade; this Brigade conducts logistics that go back to Canada, is a joint HQ and has an air component, and deals with the "Command" back in Canada. Does it practice "operational warfare", "tactical warfare" or both?
    Tactical warfare. This brigade is necessarily linked logistically with its home nation, however, the conduct of operational warfare has less to do with the structure of a unit than its scope of responsibility vis a vis the theater of operations. In other words, an operational headquarters has certain characteristics (joint, logistics focus, etc...) because it is doing operational planning. This doesn't mean that all joint HQ with extended logistics are working at the operational level.

    Structure is an outgrowth of operational responsibilities - operational responsibilities are NOT a consequence of structure.
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    M.L. - thank you for the response. You'll find some follow up questions below; I ask not for the sake of being difficult - I'm only trying to link personal experiences to what appears to be your very concrete definition of operational warfare.

    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    Without going into exhaustive detail, the ability to plan, conduct, and sustain campaigns and major operations which accomplish strategic objectives. This includes setting the conditions for tactical engagements and battles which link to strategic objectives or effects. Operational planners use operational concepts, such as Center of Gravity and Lines of Operation, to plan operational activities.
    Well, I don't know why one would plan a campaign or major operation to not accomplish strategic objectives, so I think we can simply go with the following:

    plan, conduct, and sustain campaigns and major operations.

    Does this seem agreeable?

    Is the scope of this limited by a minimum geographic size? How about a minimum size of friendly forces? Does a Company that builds a District Stabilization Plan which focuses on a series of operations over a extended period of time constitute conducting operational art?

    Tactical warfare. This brigade is necessarily linked logistically with its home nation, however, the conduct of operational warfare has less to do with the structure of a unit than its scope of responsibility vis a vis the theater of operations. In other words, an operational headquarters has certain characteristics (joint, logistics focus, etc...) because it is doing operational planning. This doesn't mean that all joint HQ with extended logistics are working at the operational level.

    Structure is an outgrowth of operational responsibilities - operational responsibilities are NOT a consequence of structure.
    Ok.

    So when this HQ conducts a "Provincial Stabilization Plan", focuses on identifying insurgent centers of gravity within the Province and plans along key counterinsurgent lines of operation (stability, governance, development and security sector reform) it is not doing Operational Warfare?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    M.L. - thank you for the response. You'll find some follow up questions below; I ask not for the sake of being difficult - I'm only trying to link personal experiences to what appears to be your very concrete definition of operational warfare.

    Well, I don't know why one would plan a campaign or major operation to not accomplish strategic objectives, so I think we can simply go with the following:

    plan, conduct, and sustain campaigns and major operations.

    Does this seem agreeable?
    Very much so. I think your simple definition above trends toward an explanation of operational warfare. In my previous answer, I'd was trying to pull out some of the unique skills required to do what you state above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    Is the scope of this limited by a minimum geographic size? How about a minimum size of friendly forces? Does a Company that builds a District Stabilization Plan which focuses on a series of operations over a extended period of time constitute conducting operational art?
    Operational art contains many tools for conceptualizing military operations at large. That doesn't mean we are working at the operational level. Again here, an overuse of the word "operation" contributes to our collective confusion.

    There are no hard or fast rules, however, I'd have a hard time being convinced that a series of company operations would end with a strategic effect. Rather, these "operations" are more likely a series of tactical actions toward stabilizing a district. This may, in turn, serve an operational objective, such as stabilizing a key province (Kandahar, for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    So when this HQ conducts a "Provincial Stabilization Plan", focuses on identifying insurgent centers of gravity within the Province and plans along key counterinsurgent lines of operation (stability, governance, development and security sector reform) it is not doing Operational Warfare?
    Doing "Campaign Planning" is currently fashionable in U.S. brigades. This is an operational tool that helps conceptualize, frame, and link things like, security, governance, and economics. However, this doesn't mean brigades are doing operational warfare - they are just using the tools.

    The size of a unit, its area of responsibility, the tools it uses to plan, etc... are not necessarily indicative of operational warfare.

    They key question to ask is whether the campaign/operation being planned sets the conditions for tactical success that in turn creates a strategic effect. This is the "linking" of tactics to strategy that must be accomplished in the operational realm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    Michael's tactical successes did not give rise to strategic success because the two were not linked.
    That is simply not true. King George actually warned his staff that if German success continued, "we may have lost the war."
    Luckily the whole offensive was very badly planned in terms of exploitation, and had almost no reserves to replace very high casualties - which is why it failed. Had tactical success, such as that seen in the first 36 hours continued, they would have knocked the UK out of the war.
    This is because strategy and tactics are not inherently linked by their nature, as Mr. Owen suggests.
    As I suggest? Sorry 800 years of written military thought say they are linked as do 5,000 years of recorded Military History. Your case is based on a 1980s invention of Corps Operations.
    They are linked. If not then Strategy is not linked to tactics and tactics does not bear on Policy. If that's the case then the whole conceptual edifice that puts "Operations" between Strategy and tactics falls apart.
    In this case, had Ludendorff pressed for the French communications hub of Amiens as his operational objective, and been able to reinforce success toward the objective with men and materials (although there were practical problems with the latter), he might have succeeded in splitting the French/British line and pushing the Brits into the sea.
    "Operational Objective"? So basically you mean "objective". Nothing you state there makes the case for an "operational level of war.

    This is after the fact justification of the worst sort. The British went on to fight solidly for the "100 days" with nothing even remotely resembling the "Operational Level." You cannot say "oh they had it, but they didn't call it that." In the minds of British Generals and Staffs, there was NO operational level. ...and it worked just fine! The UK did not adopt the Operational Level until well into the 1990's. We even won the Falklands without it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    Operational art contains many tools for conceptualizing military operations at large. That doesn't mean we are working at the operational level. Again here, an overuse of the word "operation" contributes to our collective confusion.
    So Operational Art is not related to "Operational Warfighting?" I thought one expressed the other?
    By tools, do you means staff procedures used to aid planning?
    Does conceptualizing mean "planning?"

    They key question to ask is whether the campaign/operation being planned sets the conditions for tactical success that in turn creates a strategic effect. This is the "linking" of tactics to strategy that must be accomplished in the operational realm.
    Sorry, to me the campaign/operation being planned sets the conditions for tactical success is tactics. Intelligence, Logistics, planning, and Command are the realm of tactics and I cannot see how calling them the "Operational Level" makes it any different.

    ....and I thought the "Operational level" was related to Corps and Divisions with Corps assets?
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 12-21-2010 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Clarity
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    When in doubt, go to the doctrinal literature. The following is a list of definitions from JPub 1-02. Seems to me to be pretty clear what distinguishes the operational level of war from the tactical and strategic. Also the definition of operational seems rather straightforward.

    (interestingly, IMO, is the fact that battle is referenced but the J Pub has no definition for it)

    Quote Originally Posted by JPub 1-02
    engagement . . . 2. A tactical conflict, usually between opposing lower echelons maneuver forces. See also battle; campaign

    campaign A series of related major operations aimed at achieving strategic and operational objectives within a given time and space. See also campaign plan. (JP 5-0)

    campaign plan A joint operation plan for a series of related major operations aimed at achieving strategic or operational objectives within a given time and space. See also campaign; campaign planning. (JP 5-0)

    campaign planning The process whereby combatant commanders and subordinate joint force commanders translate national or theater strategy into operational concepts through the development of an operation plan for a campaign. Campaign planning may begin during contingency planning when the actual threat, national guidance, and available resources become evident, but is normally not completed until after the President or Secretary of Defense selects the course of action during crisis action planning. Campaign planning is conducted when contemplated military operations exceed the scope of a single major joint operation. See also campaign; campaign plan . (JP 5-0)

    major operation A series of tactical actions (battles, engagements, strikes) conducted by combat forces of a single or several Services, coordinated in time and place, to achieve strategic or operational objectives in an operational area. These actions are conducted simultaneously or sequentially in accordance with a common plan and are controlled by a single commander. For noncombat operations, a reference to the relative size and scope of a military operation. See also operation. (JP 3-0)

    operation 1. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission. 2. The process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defense, and maneuvers needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign.

    operational art The application of creative imagination by commanders and staffs supported by their skill, knowledge, and experience to design strategies, campaigns, and major operations and organize and employ military forces. Operational art integrates ends, ways, and means across the levels of war. (JP 3-0)

    operational level of war The level of war at which campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, and sustained to achieve strategic objectives within theaters or other operational areas. Activities at this level link tactics and strategy by establishing operational objectives needed to achieve the strategic objectives, sequencing events to achieve the operational objectives, initiating actions, and applying resources to bring about and sustain these events. See also strategic level of war; tactical level of war. (JP 3-0)

    tactical level of war The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to achieve military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives. See also operational level of war; strategic level of war. (JP 3-0)

    strategic level of war The level of war at which a nation, often as a member of a group of nations, determines national or multinational (alliance or coalition) strategic security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to achieve these objectives. Activities at this level establish national and multinational military objectives; sequence initiatives; define limits and assess risks for the use of military and other instruments of national power; develop global plans or theater war plans to achieve those objectives; and provide military forces and other capabilities in accordance with strategic plans. See also operational level of war; tactical level of war. (JP 3-0)
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    I'm going to leave most of your comments alone since we've been there and done that, and I sure no one wants to rehash deeply entrenched positions (least of all me).

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    That is simply not true. King George actually warned his staff that if German success continued, "we may have lost the war."
    King George hardly seems like right fellow to give a professional military appraisal of the situation.

    In fact, continued German tactical success paradoxically weakened their position by extending their lines and creating salients without any operational gains. Another case for linking tactics to strategy - failure to do so can turn tactical success into strategic failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Luckily the whole offensive was very badly planned in terms of exploitation, and had almost no reserves to replace very high casualties - which is why it failed. Had tactical success, such as that seen in the first 36 hours continued, they would have knocked the UK out of the war.
    Sounds like a lack of operational planning to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    As I suggest? Sorry 800 years of written military thought say they are linked as do 5,000 years of recorded Military History.
    Since operational warfare emerged in the Napoleonic wars and came into its own in WWI, it follows that you wouldn't find much written about it. This is like saying "There is NOTHING about this nuclear weapon crap in almost all of recorded military history!" Yeah, well, it's sort of a RECENT concept you see...

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    "Operational Objective"? So basically you mean "objective".
    No, I really do mean operational objective, i.e. an objective reached by a series of tactical actions which produces an operational or strategic effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    This is after the fact justification of the worst sort.
    Some call it history...
    Last edited by M.L.; 12-21-2010 at 03:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    This is like saying "There is NOTHING about this nuclear weapon crap in almost all of recorded military history!" Yeah, well, it's sort of a RECENT concept you see...
    Spilled a lot of coffe over that one

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    So Operational Art is not related to "Operational Warfighting?"
    I didn't say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I thought one expressed the other?
    You thought wrong. You don't believe in operational warfare, so I don't expect you to understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    By tools, do you means staff procedures used to aid planning?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Does conceptualizing mean "planning?"
    No.


    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Sorry, to me the campaign/operation being planned sets the conditions for tactical success is tactics. Intelligence, Logistics, planning, and Command are the realm of tactics and I cannot see how calling them the "Operational Level" makes it any different.
    Fair enough. Great opinion - you are welcome to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ....and I thought the "Operational level" was related to Corps and Divisions with Corps assets?
    You said that, not me.
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Question Doctrine -- or dogma...

    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    ...Operational planners use operational concepts, such as Center of Gravity and Lines of Operation, to plan operational activities.
    That could be construed as use of proper jargon delineates august Operational planners from the great unwashed...

    It could also lead one to give great credence to this comment by WilF:""Your case is based on a 1980s invention of Corps Operations."" While I realize that is not strictly true it is FACT that all those operational art concepts were in existence and were used prior to the introduction of the operational level concept to the US.
    Doing "Campaign Planning" is currently fashionable in U.S. brigades. This is an operational tool that helps conceptualize, frame, and link things like, security, governance, and economics. However, this doesn't mean brigades are doing operational warfare - they are just using the tools.
    Or misusing them...

    That goes back to my original and I believe rather important issue on this sub-thread: ""My point is the rather more important issue that Military folks are too often slaves to doctrine"" as exemplified by this quote from BG (Ret) John S. Brown: ""They were reinforced by an emphasis upon the operational art in the basic course, and thus the tendency of all recent officer graduates of the service school systems to use concepts and vocabulary that facilitated its use.""

    Wilf may have a problem with operational art. I do not, it exists and is useful. I do have a major problem with the misuse of doctrinal concepts and seeming military elitism obscuring reality, muddling good tactical planning and operations and the creation of oversized Staffs that lend little to actual warfighting. For, as you also said:
    Structure is an outgrowth of operational responsibilities - operational responsibilities are NOT a consequence of structure.
    That is too often forgotten -- by too many...

    Over a good many years I've seen too many Army concepts the led to an almost cult like following and belief in the awe and majesty of a particular subset of Soldiery or skill being annointed. That "airborne mystique" foolishness will get you killed; SF and SOF are handy but are far from being the epitome of combat soldiering; Aviation is now a branch but has not really done itself many favors. Similarly, Operational Level Planners and SAMS graduates are not necessarily the solution to all Army problems. Not that anyone has said they are -- but I do see a trend...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    It could also lead one to give great credence to this comment by WilF:""Your case is based on a 1980s invention of Corps Operations."" While I realize that is not strictly true it is FACT that all those operational art concepts were in existence and were used prior to the introduction of the operational level concept to the US.
    Couldn't agree more. However, you will note a common theme throughout my posts that the operational level existed since Napoleon; it just wasn't labeled as such. The terminology wasn't introduced until the 1980s, but the concepts have been around for a while.

    Mr. Owen's argument is largely based on the absence of operational-level terminology from the historical record. My counter-argument is that the words matter very little since the ideas were there. As a demonstration, I repeat my previous observation:

    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    The word "strategy" appears exactly once in The History of the Peloponnesian War. Yet, this is one of the most influential books on strategy ever written, and is required reading in most strategic studies programs. Similarly, the absence of the words "operational warfare" from history doesn't really tell us that much. As I have said before, it is better to focus on ideas rather than words.
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    Default Forests and trees...

    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    Couldn't agree more. However, you will note a common theme throughout my posts that the operational level existed since Napoleon; it just wasn't labeled as such. The terminology wasn't introduced until the 1980s, but the concepts have been around for a while.
    I think you just reinforced my point. We have a terminology (not totally a concept) introduced about 30 years ago and it has already permeated the Army and use of the concepts have filtered down by your own admission to BCT level -- and folks tell me that it also appears at Bn level -- the mis-application you wrote of earlier...
    Mr. Owen's argument is largely based on the absence of operational-level terminology from the historical record. My counter-argument is that the words matter very little since the ideas were there...
    True and, IMO, an esoteric argument between two hard heads -- no insult intended, I also fit that description, just not into fighting this particular issue -- my concern is rather with the appropriate application versus inappropriate use of ANY military technique.

    The Operational Level as holy grail is blatant misuse. Operational art is a concept, it has applicability in some cases, none in others. Its use in the wrong situation is at least wasteful and time consuming for little to no benefit and at worst is going to get people killed unnecessarily.

    As the Actress said to the Bishop, it's not what you have, it's how you use it...

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    To rudely interject into this debate with a straw-man argument of my own...

    How about viewing this argument as a framework whereby government policy is set/translated into the levels discussed:

    - Strategic Policy (how AfPak is to be shaped IOT disrupt violent extremism, deny AfPak to AQ and stabilise the Pak nuclear capability)
    - Operational/ Theatre-level Policy (conduct a COIN-based campaign around the key pop centres while conducting FID IOT achieve transfer)
    - Tactical Policy (ROEs/ Clear-Hold-Build process/ priorities on minimising civ and FF cas)

    Military forces are only ever able to operate tactically, but the tactical effects can be in support of either strategic, operational or tactical policy depending on their employment, task, etc.

    Viewing the three 'levels' of war as distinct elements of policy-making, rather than a physical level in which one functions, seems to be an elegant solution to some of the points either side of the debate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    ... my concern is rather with the appropriate application versus inappropriate use of ANY military technique.

    The Operational Level as holy grail is blatant misuse. Operational art is a concept, it has applicability in some cases, none in others. Its use in the wrong situation is at least wasteful and time consuming for little to no benefit and at worst is going to get people killed unnecessarily.
    No argument here. The misuse of concepts is rampant (center of gravity comes to mind in the US system). My argument with Mr. Owen is with the existence of operational warfare. The fact that the concepts are misunderstood and/or badly applied is a related but separate issue. Just because something is misused doesn't make that something inherently bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post
    To rudely interject into this debate with a straw-man argument of my own...

    How about viewing this argument as a framework whereby government policy is set/translated into the levels discussed:

    - Strategic Policy (how AfPak is to be shaped IOT disrupt violent extremism, deny AfPak to AQ and stabilise the Pak nuclear capability)
    - Operational/ Theatre-level Policy (conduct a COIN-based campaign around the key pop centres while conducting FID IOT achieve transfer)
    - Tactical Policy (ROEs/ Clear-Hold-Build process/ priorities on minimising civ and FF cas)

    Military forces are only ever able to operate tactically, but the tactical effects can be in support of either strategic, operational or tactical policy depending on their employment, task, etc.

    Viewing the three 'levels' of war as distinct elements of policy-making, rather than a physical level in which one functions, seems to be an elegant solution to some of the points either side of the debate.
    An excellent observation. The idea of stratified levels of war is probably inappropriate. Instead, we could imagine each of these concepts as spheres existing within the larger sphere of policy.

    Your observation above tracks with Clausewitz, "War is a continuation of policy by other means." All actions in war must ultimately serve political objectives...even tactical actions.
    There are two types of people in this world, those who divide the world into two types and those who do not.
    -Jeremy Bentham, Utilitarian Philosopher
    http://irondice.wordpress.com/

  20. #860
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default So many would say.

    Quote Originally Posted by M.L. View Post
    Just because something is misused doesn't make that something inherently bad.
    Too many year in and watching the critter that is the US Army lead me to take strong exception. If something can be misused, it will be. Murphy rules, particularly in combat.

    That is particularly true in the structured, heirarchial military environment. The solution is to, when misuse is detected, rapidly examine the issue and institute corrective measures. The US Army does not do that at all well. It is too bureaucratic to spot misuse until it is thoroughly embedded in the muscle memory of the organism; It is loth to take corrective measures because that means one GO would have to publicly criticize -- even if indirectly -- others, an absolute no-no; and / or admit that the 'system had erred -- another no-no; and lastly, the pet corrective measure is to punish everyone by introducing even more bureaucratic rules.

    Ponder reflective belts in a combat zone. For that matter, ponder reflective belts in an Armed Force not in combat. Some dubious implications there...

    Ergo, it is imperative that the potential for misuse be thoroughly understood and steps to mitigate the potential disasters be takenbefore a program is introduced. That really was not done with 100-5 (either edition of profound -- if different * -- impact). Unfortunately, it is rarely done with much of anything in the Army...

    The US Army does not do take steps to preclude misuse of doctrine, equipment or ideas, either -- it is too eager to be seen as an intellectual catchment that is the equal of the vales of academe (scary thought, that...) and to be 'professional' in all things. That factor plus the too rapid turnover of senior personnel into too many quite different jobs and overlapping bosses and subordinates which creates short term-ism and 'my watch-itis' preclude sensible assessment of potential unintended consequences.

    Someday, when you're old and gray, recall that some old Dude on an internet message board said "Mark my words, the proliferation and misuse of SAMS and Staffs as well as the Operational Level of War theme will each in their own way cause grave problems for the Army and that last will likely result in unnecessary deaths."

    Laugh now -- but recall later...

    * Also ponder those significant differences within six short years of 'immutable' Doctrine with a capital 'D.'

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