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Old 08-25-2009   #41
Bill Jakola
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Originally Posted by Klugzilla View Post
I personally wanted to write an IW JP and have advocated writing an Army IW FM,
War is war. Participants may be regular or irregular or fall into any number of other catagories; but warfare is not definable in terms of a standard of regularity. For example, what is irregular war; and how is that different from any other form of war.

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Last edited by SWJED; 08-25-2009 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Fix quote tag.
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Old 08-25-2009   #42
William F. Owen
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War is war. Participants may be regular or irregular or fall into any number of other catagories; but warfare is not definable in terms of a standard of regularity. For example, what is irregular war; and how is that different from any other form of war.
War is War. Cannot argue with that. Welcome to the Dark Side of SWC!

I agree that you cannot have irregular War. - but I do think "Irregular Warfare" is a useful term, especially for training and force development.
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Old 08-25-2009   #43
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War is War. Cannot argue with that. Welcome to the Dark Side of SWC!

I agree that you cannot have irregular War. - but I do think "Irregular Warfare" is a useful term, especially for training and force development.
No argument from me on that one.
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Old 08-26-2009   #44
Ursus horribilis toklat
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Default What is doctrine?

One answer to that question can be found in the introduction to Air Force Manual 1-1, Volume I, March 1992----

"Aerospace doctrine is, simply defined, what we hold true about aerospace power and the best way to do the job in the Air Force. It is based on experience, our own and that of others. Doctrine is what we have learned about aerospace power and its application since the dawn of powered flight. While history does not provide specific formulas that can be applied without modification to present and future situations, it does provide the broad conceptual basis for our understanding of war, human nature, and aerospace power. Thus doctrine is a guide for the exercise of professional judgment rather than a set of rules to be followed blindly. It is the starting point for solving contemporary problems.

Doctrine is also a standard against which to measure our efforts. It describes our understanding of the best way to do the job---the world as it should be. Many factors can prevent us from acting in the best manner, but doctrine can guide our efforts, gauge our success, and illuminate our problems.

Doctrine should be alive---growing, evolving, and maturing. New experiences, reinterpretations of former experiences, advances in technology, changes in threats, and cultural change can all require alterations to parts of our doctrine even as other parts remain constant. If we allow our thinking about aerospace power to stagnate, our doctrine can become dogma.

This is an airman's doctrine---written by air power scholars for use by air power practitoners."


And there you have the essence of what doctrine can and should be. Tactics, techniques and procedures provide the details.

Why can't all the Services have an upper tier of doctrine manuals (brief not limited to an arbitrary 200 pages, and replete with quotes from leaders past and present, and historical vignettes to provide context for the application of doctrinal principles), and a lower tier of tactics, techniques, and procedures manuals?
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Old 08-26-2009   #45
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And there you have the essence of what doctrine can and should be. Tactics, techniques and procedures provide the details.

Why can't all the Services have an upper tier of doctrine manuals (brief not limited to an arbitrary 200 pages, and replete with quotes from leaders past and present, and historical vignettes to provide context for the application of doctrinal principles), and a lower tier of tactics, techniques, and procedures manuals?
To me, Doctrine is simply "That which is taught" - nothing else. Doctrine should be the teaching of an armed force. What that covers is very debatable, but I am firmly of the belief that a great deal of doctrine fails the primary test of "Why".

IMO, a lot of what some consider doctrine are really evidence free articles of faith, akin to religious teaching and not really based in an empirical reality that gives anyone any confidence as to it's use.
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- 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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Old 08-26-2009   #46
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To me, Doctrine is simply "That which is taught" - nothing else. Doctrine should be the teaching of an armed force. What that covers is very debatable, but I am firmly of the belief that a great deal of doctrine fails the primary test of "Why".

IMO, a lot of what some consider doctrine are really evidence free articles of faith, akin to religious teaching and not really based in an empirical reality that gives anyone any confidence as to it's use.
William,

I agree with your understanding of doctrine; it is a simple yet useful definition. This Joint definition from JP 1, 20 March 2009, with change 1 is similar in highlighting the teaching aspect of docrine but goes a bit further as well:

"Joint doctrine promotes a common perspective from which to plan, train, and conduct military operations. It represents what is taught, believed, and advocated as what is right (i.e., what works best). Conducting joint operations generally involve 12 broad principles, collectively known as the “principles of joint operations”. These principles guide warfighting at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war."

Also, your opinion of doctrine unconnected to "empirical reality" seems right. Moreover, competing doctrinal sources, like Army, Navy, Air Force, and Joint organizations, tend to exist to support service specific or individual requirements that do not fit neatly into a coherent concept.
Therefore, individuals tend to use only that doctrine which seems to fit their particular mission. But this causes a potential for failure in multi-service missions where each force possesses a different doctrinal concept. Additionally, Joint doctrine is not a complete solution because, like all compromises, it incorporates only the ideas that everyone agrees with, and leaves out those elements that defy resolution.

For example, Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operation Planning from 26 December 2006, does not align with FM 6-0, Mission Command: Command and Control of Army Forces; and the concept of effects based operations does not align well between Joint, Army, and Air Force doctrine.

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Old 08-28-2009   #47
Ursus horribilis toklat
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Default Peer Review Audit Trail for Historical Basis of Doctrinal Manuals

Klugzilla noted earlier
Quote:
As I mentioned before, I too hate to see this happening; however, the actual appearance of quotes, vignettes, etc. does not necessarily mean that history does not underpin doctrine. That train has left the station". Also, we have yet to settle on a format for the ATTP, which is where vignettes may have the most impact. I think this ties into the Bob's World post."

Its not to late. The train hasn't gathered much speed yet. I think that historical underpinnings ought to be part and parcel of each published Service doctrinal manual, and that these underpinnings, whether in-text references or separate quotes and vignettes, should be extensively footnoted and/or source-note referenced. Peer review/audit ought to be an integral part of the coordination process (required not just requested) for draft manuals prior to their publication and public release.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-31-2010 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Insert quote marks
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Old 08-31-2009   #48
Ursus horribilis toklat
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Default A good and recent example of the use of vignettes in Army writing

I suggest COMISAF's guidance for COIN is a good example of tight writing and appropriate use of vignettes to drive home a point. Alarmingly the current trend in draft revisions of Army doctrinal manuals is not to include such vignettes (see the posts on Army Doctrine Reengineering on the TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference thread). As you well know by now I think this is a mistake. In writing doctrine we should follow GEN McC's lead rather than sacrificing the inclusion of any historical perspective in doctrinal manuals on the altar of brevity (as we are apparently about to do).
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Old 03-30-2010   #49
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Default Symptom of a larger disease

The problem isn't the manuals or what is contained in them.
The problem is an officer corps that sees no reason to read professionally beyond what the immediate problem is.

We have lots of careerists, but professionals are hard to come by.
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