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  1. #301
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    Maneuver Warfare was en vogue in the Canadian Army in the late 90s to the point where it was actually written into doctrine. A few years after the fact, the primary author of that doctrine came out and said that it had largely been lifted from the Brits and that it was utter junk.

    Pretty bad when the guy who wrote it says that.

  2. #302
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Maneuver Warfare is no complete work in itself. It was an effort to inject some facets of the art of war into the U.S. land forces - facets that were neglected or missing.

    You're prone to exaggerate and produce an incomplete work if you attempt to write a MW doctrine. That's like asking an artillery fanatic to write a land campaign doctrine.

  3. #303
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    Actually, that's exactly what the author said - he called MW a cognitive doctrine; a series of ideas (some good, some not-so-good) that was turned into a doctrine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Rorschach of Conflict is a better title. I was just re-reading "Patterns" the other day. I just don't see it personally. How this ever got as far as it did, is a mystery to me, especially in the UK.
    Pretty new to the site...I've read a lot of your stuff and I'm not as well read as you are.
    I currently teach tactics to LTs. I teach them about the OODA loop. I try to find holes in it, but I can't. I go back to my time in graduate school and compare research from those like Lazarus and his "appraisal theory", which states that every stimulus is appraised, then run through the 'CPU' and a reaction is then set into motion. Lazarus doesn't really give much consideration to any hard-wiring and instinctual reactions, even the startle reflex.
    Then you have researchers like Davidson who wholeheartedly believe in some hard-wiring and would probably endorse a bit of a hybrid of appraisal and predispositions.
    Even surveying vision research, and accepting the position that visual stimuli is received without us acknowledging it, visually, does not clearly elucidate what happens in our brains when something happens "out there".
    All this taken into consideration, I cannot find a plausible reason to throw out the OODA loop, from a psychophysiological perspective.
    We observe, orient, decide and act....I cannot find an alternative. If that was not the case we could not condition ourselves for immediate action drills, or to exercise tactical patience.
    Whether or not Boyd got to the right answer by the wrong means is not so much my concern. I think it's a sound concept and it's a vital part to understanding how we win the tactical fight.
    Also, there are quite a few seasoned professional that have been in many more two-way firefights than I have, and they completely endorse the utility of understanding "patterns" and the OODA loop.
    I think it's a very useful construct and plays well with the study of maneuver warfare principles or any others you feel vital to winning at the tactical level.

    So, I realize you are not "buying it", but I can't understand why. Knowing what goes on within the anterior cingulate cortex and how omnipresent its activation is with just about every volitional act, there is no alternative for a layman's perspective than to express it as an OODA loop. I'm sure Boyd had no idea and had no intention of linking his patterns or OODA loop to any psychophysiological data, but it meshes rather well in my opinion.

  5. #305
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumperplate View Post
    Pretty new to the site...I've read a lot of your stuff and I'm not as well read as you are.
    Do not be fooled! Reading means nothing in this game unless you can translate that into clear advice and guidance.
    I currently teach tactics to LTs. I teach them about the OODA loop. I try to find holes in it, but I can't.
    The OODA loop describes one possible set of actions. Looking, understanding, making a decision and then acting upon it, are things that people do. However it does not describe how people actually think for real. It describes one possible sequence of decision making. What if the observation is coloured by action already taken? It describes a possible process. It does not guide you as to how make decisions.
    I think it's a very useful construct and plays well with the study of maneuver warfare principles or any others you feel vital to winning at the tactical level.
    Well I think Manoeuvre Warfare is at best a crutch for poor understanding.
    So, I realize you are not "buying it", but I can't understand why.
    Do you teach the "Core Functions." FIND, FIX, STRIKE, EXPLOIT? Far more useful than the OODA loop. They provide clear explicit guidance, and each action is only successful if the previous one has been performed effectively.

    Does that help?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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  6. #306
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Armchair adds

    Wilf cited:
    Do you teach the "Core Functions." FIND, FIX, STRIKE, EXPLOIT? Far more useful than the OODA loop. They provide clear explicit guidance, and each action is only successful if the previous one has been performed effectively.
    From my "armchair" and for very different reasons I found the F3EA concept very useful; yes similar to Wilf's text: Find, Fix, Finish, Evaluate & Analyse. There are a few open source references to the concept.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-06-2016 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Remove links no longer working.
    davidbfpo

  7. #307
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Wilf cited:

    From my "armchair" and for very different reasons I found the F3EA concept very useful; yes similar to Wilf's text: Find, Fix, Finish, Evaluate & Analyse.
    The language used strongly implies that who ever came up with F3EA, did not understand the Core Functions. If they did, they would not have come up with the new words!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Chris jM's Avatar
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    Since the topic of conversation is turning to the Core Functions I'd like to clarify something that's been nagging at me:

    - Where did they (the core functions) come from?
    - Where are they written into doctrine?

    I think they are a very powerful framework but I only ever see them referred to here and never in military literature, no matter where I look.
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

  9. #309
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post

    - Where did they (the core functions) come from?
    - Where are they written into doctrine?
    They can be traced to Ferdinand Foch in about 1906 or 1911. He was certainly translated into English by 1918. Liddell-Hart knowingly plagiarised them as the "man in the dark theory" in the 1920's, and claimed them as his own.

    They were explicitly written into UK doctrine in 2005 in a complete form (as opposed to just "find, fix strike"), but they are strangely absent from the vast majority of written doctrine, yet seem well understood.

    I gave a presentation of Core Functions to the Royal Thai Army "COIN" symposium in 2007 and it was all new to them!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Wilf cited:

    From my "armchair" and for very different reasons I found the F3EA concept very useful; yes similar to Wilf's text: Find, Fix, Finish, Evaluate & Analyse. There are a few open source references to the concept, which IIRC appear to come from the SF world Such as this:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/jou...119-rawley.pdf and http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...28072547/pg_6/
    Sir, I'll think you'll fidn that the F3 concept you refer to is the intelligence gathering version rather than the pure "warfighting" concept Wilf is refering to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post
    Since the topic of conversation is turning to the Core Functions I'd like to clarify something that's been nagging at me:

    - Where did they (the core functions) come from?
    - Where are they written into doctrine?

    I think they are a very powerful framework but I only ever see them referred to here and never in military literature, no matter where I look.
    An example of the F3EA concept DavidBFPO is refering to (and an example of its use in doctrine for Chris JM) can be found in the UK Counter-Insurgency Manual Vol. 10, Section 5-5 (this is F3 in its intelligence formatdeployed as a methodological aid/heuristic device)

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    Default Sorry for the delay...the "warfighting" version of Find-Fik-Finish/Strike

    The Military or “warfighting” version of Find-Fix-Finish(-Exploit, which one would assume was a given) is described in ADP Land Operations Chapter 3 p. 51 onwards wherein it has morphed into find-fix-strike(-Exploit) which I am assuming is because of our adherence to the so-called “manoeuvrist” approach (....wait, it couldn’t be a PC term to replace the overly aggressive sounding “finish”,..... could it?!). This is the same doctrinal publication upon which Dr. Jim Storr worked. In case links don’t work (for whatever reason) a summary of the core functions as per ADP Land Operations can be found below;


    0310. At its simplest, there are two core functions: to fix and to strike. The need to find and to be prepared to exploit is implicit in both. In the 5th Century BC, Sun Tsu coined the terms ‘ordinary force’ for the function of fixing the enemy or denying him the freedom to achieve his purpose; and the ‘extraordinary force’ for the function of manoeuvring into a position of decisive advantage from which he can be struck. Whilst finding and fixing contribute to shaping, striking and exploiting have the potential to be decisive. Fixing is by no means confined to defensive operations to protect the force. Defensive or offensive operations designed to fix the enemy may set the conditions for offensive action to strike him. Where circumstances permit, operations designed primarily to find, fix or strike the enemy should be exploited. Operational experi¬ence indicates that finding, fixing, striking and exploiting should be conducted concurrently, or at least achieve seamless transition from one to another. The campaign plan for Operation DESERT STORM chose to do both.

    0311. The core functions have wide utility across the continuum of operations. In a COIN campaign non-military and paramilitary adversaries are found by information gathering by the intelligence services, covert and overt elements of armed forces, and other government agen¬cies. The uniformed military forces and the police, combined with diplomatic efforts and Informa¬tion Operations, fix the insurgents, acting as the ‘ordinary force’. Locally-raised forces can also help to find and fix opponents, and have been employed in numerous campaigns to good effect. Special Forces, military and police units and the legal system contribute to striking, acting as the ‘extraordinary force’. Exploitation in both combat and non-combat operations involves taking advantage of a developing situation in accordance with the superior commander’s intent. For ex¬ample, local tactical successes against insurgents may enable freedom of movement for military forces, civilian police, government officials and humanitarian workers. This process, if exploited, may assist in winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the population and allow economic and political development to take place.

    Finding the Enemy
    0312. Finding the enemy is a basic function which endures throughout an operation. It includes locating, identifying, tracking and assessing the enemy. Forces may be directed specifically to fight the battle for information, particularly in the opening stages of an operation. This will nor¬mally be a sound investment when the situation is confused and seemingly chaotic. Whatever its source, information is never wholly reliable. It may need checking or corroborating with other sources. Too much information is a form of friction that can impede decision-making.

    Fixing the Enemy
    0315. To fix is to deny the enemy his goals, to distract him and thus deprive him of his freedom of action. By doing so, the friendly force gains freedom of action. Combat is adver¬sarial and lethal; an enemy will avoid being struck and defeated unless his freedom of action is constrained. It is difficult to strike an enemy effectively if he is not fixed. Furthermore, an enemy who has no freedom of action cannot dictate the course of tactical events; he has lost the initia¬tive. Depriving an enemy of his freedom of action has both physical and mental aspects. Physi¬cally, his force can be blocked, or pinned against an obstacle. Mentally, he is fixed if he believes he has no freedom of action, if he feels himself compelled to do something, or if he believes he should persist with something which in practice will not bring success. Deception or distraction can play a major role. Often the easiest way to fix an enemy is to attack something that he has to protect: his forces, for example. Deception may fix him until the deception is exposed, which may be too late for him to regain the initiative.


    0318. Depriving the Enemy of his Freedom of Action. The enemy can also be fixed by a combination of methods which deny him information, deny him the ability to pass orders, and inhibit their execution. The enemy’s information sources and his command system are central to his ability to concentrate force. Both often depend on the use of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Dominating and exploiting it can help fix the enemy. An unsophisticated enemy or one who de¬centralizes command will be less vulnerable. Distracting and fixing the enemy is further achieved by embroiling him in subsidiary actions which divert him from his main purpose. He should also be denied physical mobility.

    0319. Tactical Methods. Fixing the enemy may require the use of firepower or close combat. Such operations can use a significant element of one’s own combat power. Thus the extent to which the enemy’s freedom of action should be constrained has to be judged carefully, to ensure that the resources devoted to fixing are no more than the minimum required. The air operations which preceded the Normandy invasion in June 1944 fixed the German mobile reserves by a combination of interdicting road and rail routes, direct air attacks, and other deception measures. These gave the impression of a direct threat in the Pas de Calais area. This example highlights the value of fixing the enemy by several different means, making it difficult to counter any one. In Northern Ireland, patrolling, vehicle checks, searches and observation have all contributed to fixing the terrorist by limiting his freedom of action.

    Striking the Enemy
    0320. To strike is to manoeuvre and then take direct action to achieve the purpose of the mis¬sion.

    a. Manoeuvre. To manoeuvre is to gain a position of advantage in respect of the enemy from which force can be threatened or applied. Manoeuvre means more than movement in combination with fire. It allows combat power to be focused for greatest ef¬fect, avoids strengths and exploits weakness. The concept of water flowing over surfaces and gaps is useful to understand the concept. Water runs off surfaces – enemy strengths – and pours through gaps – enemy weaknesses. Existing gaps are exploited where pos¬sible. Failing that, they are created. There is usually a time aspect: to exploit fleeting op¬portunities requires agility, anticipation, and decentralized decision-making. This places a premium on reconnaissance, and on forward command which pulls combat power towards enemy weaknesses rather than pushing it from the rear. Doing so opens up options for striking the enemy which, if exploited, present him with multiple threats to which he is un¬able to respond coherently.

    b. Direct Action. Direct action in combat means seizing objectives or destroying enemy forces. Firepower and movement are focused through simultaneity and tempo, to achieve shock and surprise and break the enemy’s will and cohesion. Such coordination makes the most of the complementary characteristics of tactical capabilities, concentrating force at the selected point to ensure a favourable outcome. There is also a time dimension to striking the enemy. It is generally preferable to apply concentrated violence to win quickly at minimum cost. However, constraints may dictate a more protracted approach without the prospect of a single decisive act. In these circumstances, operations should be sequenced and sus¬tained so that the effects on the enemy are cumulative. Nevertheless, whenever force is applied to strike it should be applied suddenly and in concentrations so as to achieve shock effect. Where the mission requires action other than the use of violent force, such as an arrest operation or preventing interference with the delivery of humanitarian assistance, similar while avoiding the adverse effects of shocking the general population.

    Exploitation
    0321. As a core function, exploitation is the seizure of opportunity in order to achieve a higher commander’s objective, or fulfil some part of his intent, directly. Opportunistic exploitation re¬quires action beyond the given mission. It may therefore replace the task stated in orders.2 For example, a commander ordered to neutralize an enemy force covering the approaches to his commander’s objective may find an approach which is not covered and simply move directly to the objective. Opportunities can occur at any time whilst finding, fixing or striking. A commander should constantly search for such opportunities and, when they occur, pursue them ruthlessly. Exploitation should be expected from subordinates. They should not have to be told to exploit, and only told how far they may do so if absolutely necessary, using the term ‘limit of exploitation’. General von Moltke the Elder’s prescription for success at the operational level was “reconnaissance, victory and exploitation”, which might be described today as the aggressive handling of reconnaissance, tactical success and exploitation.

  12. #312
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    Of note, it appears ADP Land Operations was replaced last week by a new ADP Operations.

    http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Mi...Operations.htm

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default The Kill Chain

    is what the Air Force calls it. Find,Fix,Track,Target,Engage,Assess. In other words put the "Warhead on the Forehead"

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    Council Member Chris jM's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info - it is appreciated.
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    Of note, it appears ADP Land Operations was replaced last week by a new ADP Operations.

    http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Mi...Operations.htm
    The worst piece of UK military doctrine for well over 100 years. Possibly ever. Disgraceful.
    ....just my opinion having read the pre-release draft and now this shambles.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Sorry, but yes. MW has no rigourously tested basis in fact. It's an arbitrary device designed to teach the USMC. At best it's a doctrine and IMO, a deeply flawed one.
    I share some of your frustration with the vague and sometimes historically shaky basis of maneuver warfare, but in my limited experience with it (a year and change as a second lieutenant) I think it's a good construct to teach tactical fundamentals and orient us around a few core principles: the main effort, auftragstaktik, relative speed and tempo, center of gravity and critical vulnerability. The danger is just falling in love with buzzwords or trying to be too cute, always looking to avoid the dreaded "attrition." One of the best things I heard from a general at TBS was "Someone, somewhere, is doing a frontal attack" (also doubles as a good late night text to friends at bars).

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    Default Mastering Tactics

    Slapout, have you seen the Marine Corps Gazette's Mastering Tactics TDG book? If you haven't I think you'd enjoy it, 15 TDGs from squad to MEB size, written by Maj John F. Schmitt, USMCR (ret.), who wrote FMFM 1 as a captain. Lengthy discussions of each scenario go over some of the same ground as Lind's book.

  18. #318
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    ...the basics can be taught without junk theory too.

  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    Slapout, have you seen the Marine Corps Gazette's Mastering Tactics TDG book? If you haven't I think you'd enjoy it, 15 TDGs from squad to MEB size, written by Maj John F. Schmitt, USMCR (ret.), who wrote FMFM 1 as a captain. Lengthy discussions of each scenario go over some of the same ground as Lind's book.
    No I have not seen it but I have heard of it. Yea I probably would like it. I am really looking into this war game stuff thanks to Colonel Walters.... but I am a slow learner.

  20. #320
    Council Member Polarbear1605's Avatar
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    Default Whoa there grasshopper!

    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    I share some of your frustration with the vague and sometimes historically shaky basis of maneuver warfare...
    I usually agree with WILF’s critical analysis of Boyd Theory/Maneuver Warfare (to a point). Sometimes, WILF’s criticism sometimes makes we wonder if the Boyd Theory and Maneuver Warfare are not two separate things (but that is another issue). I do think he at times makes the same mistake of generalization as the US military leadership and education system in regards to Maneuver Warfare. For example:

    Citing Wilf:
    The whole edifice of Maneuver Warfare rests on the idea that there are two competing forms of warfare, maneuver and attrition, one of which is skilled and the other which is clumsy. This construct is false; it makes no sense to favor one form over the other.
    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...warfare-fraud/

    For example, I never thought of maneuver and attrition warfare as competing. I always thought, however, that maneuver warfare needed a contrast in order to change military thinking of the time.

    When he states that Maneuver Warfare lacks intellectual rigor, I agree, but lack of rigor should not translate to “vague and historically shaky”.
    The reason I agree with the lack of rigor comment is because neither Boyd nor Lind, to the best of my recollection, ever held anything up as an absolution example of “this is the way to do it”. Instead what they told us was to read study and analyze certain examples and look for those maneuver warfare elements that make it successful. Yes, the stalemated trenches of Flanders and “shells, shells and more shells” were used as examples of “attrition warfare” but T.E. Lawrence and Rommel’s “Attacks” plus von Lettow-Vorbeck East African WWI Campaign were also use as Maneuver Warfare examples to study. The subtlety of the word study was lost on both Marine and Army doctrinal manual writers because they realized that when it comes to tactics most US military officers are neither studiers nor readers. Instead we push these innovative ideas into a military education system designed to destroy creativity and encourage buzz word solutions.
    Rigor is not added to study by a double running the obstacle course before a written military exam. Rigor is added by study, presentation, debate and “adaptation” (had to throw that Boyd term in there). The part that was gotten wrong was the study part because it required the time to read.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-25-2010 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Add quote to Wilf's

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