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Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18
Headquarters, Department of the Army
Lieutenant General US Army Command and General Staff College
William M. Steele Volume LXXXI July-Aug 2001, No. 4
Commandant, USACGSC milrev @ leavenworth.army.mil
Professional Bulletin 100-01-7/8
David H. Huntoon Jr. CONTENTS
Deputy Commandant, USACGSC
2 Training and Developing Army Leaders
Military Review Staff by Lieutenant General William M. Steele, US Army;
Colonel Lee J. Hockman and Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Walters Jr., US Army
Editor in Chief
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan J. Smidt
by Brigadier General David L. Grange, US Army, Retired;
Lieutenant Colonel Hector J. Acosta Lieutenant Colonel Richard D. Liebert, US Army Reserve; and
Editor, Latin American Editions
Major Chuck Jarnot, US Army
Major Larry Seefeldt
Production Editor Is Army Deployability Overemphasized?
by David Isenberg
Patricia H. Whitten
22 Asymmetric Warfare
Books and Features Editor 23 Strategic Asymmetry
D. M. Giangreco by Steven Metz
32 Deciphering Asymmetrys Word Game
Charles A. Martinson III by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas, US Army, Retired
Art and Design
Winona E. Stroble 38 Asymmetry and Adaptive Command
Webmaster by D. Robert Worley
Patricia L. Wilson
Administrative Assistant 45 US Army Decisionmaking: Past, Present and Future
Consulting Editors by Colonel Christopher R. Paparone, US Army
Colonel Luiz Peret
Brazilian Army, Brazilian Edition
Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Mezzano
Chilean Army, Hispano-American Edition 54 Firepower
Lieutenant Colonel Hernan Vazquez
Argentine Army, Hispano-American Edition 55 Tactically Responsive Firepower
By Order of the Secretary of the Army: by Major Tracy Ralphs, US Army Reserve
Eric K. Shinseki
General, United States Army
65 Operational Firepower: the Broader Stroke
Chief of Staff by Colonel Lamar Tooke, US Army, Retired
JOEL B. HUDSON
Administrative Assistant to the
Secretary of the Army 0113003 73 US and British Approaches to Force Protection
Military Reviews Mission is to provide a forum for by Lieutenant Colonel Richard R. Caniglia, US Army
the open exchange of ideas on military affairs; to
focus on concepts, doctrine and warfighting at the 82 Developing the Warrior-Scholar
tactical and operational levels of war; and to support
the education, training, doctrine development and
by Major Scott Efflandt, US Army; and Major Brian Reed, US Army
integration missions of the Combined Arms Center
and Command and General Staff College (CGSC).
Professional Bulletin 100-99, Military Review, appears Almanac
bimonthly. This publication presents professional
information, but the views expressed herein are those of
90 Reassessing Strategy: A Historical Examination
the authors, not the Department of Defense or its by Lieutenant Colonel Dominic J. Caracillo, US Army
elements. The content does not necessarily reflect the
official US Army position and does not change or 91 ULUS-KERT: An Airborne Companys Last Stand
supersede any information in other official US Army
publications. Authors are responsible for the accuracy
by Sergeant Michael D. Wilmoth, US Army Reserve; and Lieutenant
and source documentation of material they provide. Colonel Peter G. Tsouras, US Army Reserve, Retired
Military Review reserves the right to edit material. Basis
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commands, corps, divisions, major staff agencies,
garrison commands, Army schools, Reserve commands 97 The Promise of e-Commerce to Defense: The Road to Savings
and Cadet Command organizations; one per 25 officers
for medical commands, hospitals and units; and one
by J. Michael Brower
per five officers for Active and Reserve brigades
and battalions, based on assigned field grade officer
98 Short-Range Air Defense in Army Divisions: Do We Really Need It?
strength. Military Review is available on microfilm from by Colonel Charles A. Anderson, US Army
University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, and is
indexed by the Public Affairs Information Service Bulletin. Review Essay
Military Review, The Professional Journal of the United
States Army (US ISSN 0026-4148) (USPS 123-830), is 103 Six Presidents and China
published bimonthly by the US Army CGSC, Fort by Lewis Bernstein
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address changes to Military Review, The Professional 107 Book Reviews contemporary readings for the professional
Journal of the United States Army, C/O Superintendent of
Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA15250-7954. 111 Letters to the Editor
From the Editor
Do you ever feel as if we have it backward as if were talking about
missile defense before assessing threats, choosing weapon systems before
nailing down a strategy, losing officers when we need them most? If you feel
unnerved, this issue of Military Review might confirm your suspicions but, at
the same time, remind you that good minds are taking on the challenges.
In the opening selection, Lieutenant General Mike Steele discusses findings
from the Army Training and Leader Development Panels recent surveys of
officer attitudes and concerns. A follow-on article in the September-October
2001 issue will discuss specific recommendations and directions that officers
can expect to see in coming months, even as the noncommissioned officer
panel is under way here at Fort Leavenworth and around the Army.
Whether the manifestation is suitcase nukes, computer network attacks
or low-tech truck-bombs, the featured theme in this issue is contemporary and
compelling: what do we do about terrorism and other forms of asymmetric
warfare? Authors discuss asymmetric combat from different perspectives,
ultimately offering solutions ranging from concepts to doctrine to training.
How the Army prepares to fight and win war is changing to deal with such
emerging threats. Deployability is at the heart of many initiatives, and authors
address that imperative from different angles as well. We need to be lighter to
get overseas in time do we need forces and equipment even lighter than
currently projected to assure mobility once in theater? What about fire support
during the vulnerable entry phase? Battleships that can steam 500 miles in 24
hours and obliterate the landscape from 25 miles offshore now lounge around
the pool at the Old Ships Home.
Organizations and systems aside, it will be Army leaders who assure victory,
and the institution must support field commanders with both intellectual
preparation and operational guidance. In particular, during peacekeeping they
must understand social dynamics and clearly grasp the relationship between
force protection and mission accomplishment all underwritten by effective
Its been a long, hard, rewarding ride. I retire at the end of June, and this is
my last editorial for Military Review. Colonel Melanie Reeder comes aboard
from I Corps and Fort Lewis, Washington, to take the reins. Keep the faith.
General Shinseki chartered the Army Training and Leader Development
Panel (ATLDP) to study training and leader development in light of Army
Transformation and the new operational environment. As part of the Trans-
formation process, the panel was asked to identify the characteristics
and skills required for leaders of the transforming force. General Shinseki also
tasked the panel to examine the current systems for training and leader
development to see what changes would provide the best leaders for our Army
and the best Army for our nation. The study was released 25 May.
T HE 21ST CENTURY brings new challen-
ges for Army leaders. Information is now a
doctrinal element of combat power, and technolo-
to solve complex problems. Changing missions and
increased urban and complex terrain call for self-
aware leaders who can operate and adapt across the
gies associated with information offer the potential full spectrum of operations. In todays operational
to change the way the Army wages war. Technol- environment, tactical actions by lieutenants, ser-
ogy that provides real-time information throughout geants, corporals and their commanders can have
our combat formations is seen by many as our edge strategic consequences with lasting impact on Na-
against industrial-age armies. But technology alone tional policy. These demands highlight the need to
cannot provide the dominance required to win. The assess our current training and leader development
centerpiece of our formations remains quality lead- doctrine and programs to determine whether they
ers and their soldiers . . . not technology. will provide the leaders required for increasingly
Technology is only a part of the equation. The complex battlefields that are anticipated over the
more complex portion is leadership. The key to vic- next 25 years.
tory is the combination of information-age technol- More than a decade after the Cold War ended, the
ogy and capable leaders who enable the United unitary, exclusive focus on fighting the Soviet Union
States Army to dominate adversaries on full spec- is gone. US strategy and interests mandate an Army
trum battlefields. Armed with better situational un- trained and ready for major theater wars, smaller-
derstanding, leaders can make bold, quick decisions scale contingencies and peacetime military engage-
2 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
TRAINING AND LEADER DEVELOPMENT
ments. The foundation of this full spectrum cred-
ibility is our ability to dominate land combat. Our Threats have ready access to
demonstrated warfighting ability enhances deter- off-the-shelf technologies that can
rence by allowing the National Command Author-
ity to deter conflict and, when deterrence fails, to
confound our units and inflict
enter and dominate combat on our terms. Adversar- casualties as much for political
ies know they cannot win conventional, high inten- effect as for tactical advantage.
sity clashes with US forces, so the threat to Army Battles will migrate into urban and
forces is increasingly unconventional and asymmet- complex terrain where US standoff
ric. Threats have ready access to off-the-shelf tech- weapons offer few advantages and
nologies that can confound our units and inflict ca- the proximity of noncombatants
sualties as much for political effect as for tactical limits US firepower.
advantage. Battles will migrate into urban and com-
plex terrain where US standoff weapons offer few Training. The doctrines training principles and
advantages and the proximity of noncombatants lim- training management process have served the Army
its US firepower. The elusive threat in close, com- well. Today, a primary criticism concerning train-
plex terrain will challenge our leaders and their sol- ing doctrine is simply that leaders are not follow-
diers as never before. ing the principles or the training management pro-
Technology continues to change the way the cess. Increased taskings, high personnel tempo,
Army trains and operates. Increasingly lethal weap- excessive operational pace and undermanned units
ons and breakthroughs in command and control seriously degrade unit efforts to apply the doctrine.
improve US forces effectiveness, but not uniformly. Solid training based on mission essential task lists
Legacy, digital and Interim forces operating in the (METL) competes with requirements for installation
same area challenge commanders and staffs to com- and community support, nonmission training and
bine their capabilities effectively. US forces lack a last minute taskings. The Red, Amber, Green train-
technological monopoly; even adversaries without ing management process blurs and collapses when
a research and development capability can purchase units are tasked regardless of their cycle. Unit train-
remarkably sophisticated systems. Army leaders in ing is top driven, not determined at the lowest tac-
this technology-rich environment must be able to tical level, and the quarterly training brief has devi-
adopt emerging capabilities and adapt them to their ated from its doctrinal intent as a training contract
rapidly changing operational environment. with higher headquarters.
Success in full spectrum operations depends on Changes in the operational environment, the Na-
leaders who consistently make better and faster de- tional Military Strategy and force structure require
cisions than their opponents, which means battle the Army to reevaluate training doctrine and tech-
command education and training must evolve and niques. Fundamentally sound principles from cur-
expand. Materiel approaches and technological ad- rent doctrine, such as standards-based METL train-
vances are only tools that leaders leverage. Com- ing, assessments and feedback for leaders, units and
manders must visualize an expanded battle space; the Army, should continue to provide the founda-
describe it clearly; direct soldiers, units and systems tion for the next generation of training doctrine.
to accomplish their missions; and lead from the Like current training doctrine, Army leadership
front. Understanding, confidence and trust between doctrine has roots more than a decade old. In a
commanders and subordinates enable everyone to leader development study directed by General
exploit opportunities, even in the absence of orders. (GEN) Carl E. Vuono and completed in April 1988,
Battle command in this new operational environ- GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, then Deputy Comman-
ment requires relevant operational and educational dant of the US Army Command and General Staff
experiences to train and develop leaders. The emerg- College, concluded that the Army has two primary
ing question is whether current Army training and leader development tasks. First, the Army must de-
leader development systems are adequate to produce velop leaders who can prepare the force for war.
leaders for these information-age battlefields. Second, the Army must develop leaders who can
The Army established its current training doctrine apply doctrine to win battles and campaigns. A key
in 1987 to meet Cold War needs and described it recommendation of the Sullivan Study was a for-
in Field Manual (FM) 7-0 (25-100), Training the mal Army leader development system. This system
Force, and FM 7-10 (25-101), Battle Focused now includes a leader development model that
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 3
The Army has always adopted a forward-looking
Our leaders and their attitude, and periodically we have sought self-
soldiers must be at the center of our reflection and self-assessment to measure our capa-
Transformation efforts. Otherwise, bilities against future requirements. This has oc-
we will remain focused on technol- curred about once per decade over the past century.
Examples include Elihu Roots reforms in 1902, the
ogy, platforms and weapon systems National Defense Act of 1920, Lieutenant General
at the expense of Transformations (LTG) Leonard T. Gerows and LTG Manton S.
center-of-gravity . . . our people. Eddys boards, GEN William E. DePuys and GEN
Using technology, our leaders can Paul F. Gormans reforms, GEN Don Starrys ini-
dominate full spectrum battlefields, tiatives, GEN Vuonos training principles and
and developing those leaders is training management process, and the Sullivan
the best preparation for an Study. Such introspection characterizes a true pro-
uncertain future. fession, and todays Army welcomes such self-
addresses the importance of institutional training On 1 June 2000, the Chief of Staff, US Army,
and education, operational experience and self- (CSA), GEN Eric K. Shinseki, directed the Com-
development. Common doctrine-based standards for manding General, US Army Training and Doctrine
development and evaluation, such as officer Mili- Command (CG, TRADOC), to convene an Army
tary Qualification Standards and soldier manuals are panel to review, assess and provide recommenda-
central features of todays Army Leader Develop- tions for developing and training our 21st-century
ment Model. leaders. The CSA designated CG, TRADOC, as the
An Army looking toward the future must deter- executive agent for the study and subsequently des-
mine the best ways to train and develop leaders for ignated the CG, US Army Combined Arms Center,
full spectrum operations. From peacekeeping to pre- as the study director. GEN Shinseki chartered the
paring for war, our Army asks a great deal of lead- Army Training and Leader Development Panel
ers. As missions demand more of leaders, our train- (ATLDP) to study training and leader development
ing and leader development challenges increase. in light of Army Transformation and the new op-
How should we adapt to these challenges? erational environment. While Transformations
4 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Soldiers are the centerpiece of our formations.
Elements of the 92d MP Company respond to a mob in Kosovo.
Changing missions and increased urban and complex terrain call
for self-aware leaders who can operate and adapt across the full spectrum
of operations. In todays operational environment, tactical actions by
lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and their commanders can have strategic
consequences with lasting impact on National policy.
warfighting concepts, doctrine, force structures and GEN (Retired) Frederick M. Franksour senior
materiel solutions have received most attention to mentorprovided the panel with advice and direc-
date, the panels review shifted our focus to lead- tion. The integration team provided analytic, plan-
ers, soldiers and units as the centerpiece of our for- ning and logistic support. The Red Team provided
mations. As part of the Transformation process, the real-time, critical review of the panels process and
panel was asked to identify the characteristics and findings. The panels analytic process was thorough,
skills required for officer, noncommissioned officer concentrating on the specified and implied tasks di-
(NCO) and warrant officer leaders of this trans- rected by the CSA and CG, TRADOC. Members
formed force. GEN Shinseki also tasked the panel used comprehensive surveys, focus groups, personal
to examine current systems for training and leader interviews and independent research to compile data
development to see what changes would provide the for analysis. Study groups traveled around the world
best leaders for our Army and the best Army for and interviewed more than 13,500 Army leaders and
our nation. their spouses. Most of those surveyed were lieuten-
For the commissioned officer portion of the study, ants, captains and majors.
the ATLDP task organized four study groups, an The ATLDP used a disciplined process to deter-
integration team and a Red Team. The study groups mine issues, collect data, form conclusions and
comprised senior NCOs and company and field make recommendations. Detailed mission analysis
grade officers serving throughout the Army. Three and investigation of the issues became the basis of
study groups assessed the unit, institution and self- survey instruments and field interviews. The broad
development pillars of the Armys Leader Devel- sample from soldiers across the Army lends ultimate
opment Model. A fourth study group examined credibility to the panels conclusions and recom-
Army culture as it relates to officer development, mendations. Input from the Army was informative,
service ethic and retention. Senior officers, NCOs, candid and heartfelt. As expected, leaders identified
civilian experts from industry and academia, and many strengths and weaknesses in our present
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 5
undisciplined operational pace and an OER system
The ATLDP used a disciplined and application yet to be accepted by our officer
process to determine issues, collect corps. Further, lieutenants want to be platoon lead-
data, form conclusions and make ers and lead soldiers, not serve in captain staff
recommendations. Detailed mis- positions for which they are not trained. They are
disappointed because they are rushed through de-
sion analysis and investigation of the velopmental leadership positions and often do not
issues became the basis of survey have the opportunity to master tactical and techni-
instruments and field interviews. cal leadership skills. When junior officers are
The broad sample from soldiers quickly processed through key developmental po-
across the Army lends ultimate sitions, their expectations of leading soldiers are cut
credibility to the panels conclusions short. Unmet expectations and insufficient contact
and recommendations. Input with battalion and brigade commanders reduce job
from the Army was informative, satisfaction. Without early, quality tours leading sol-
candid and heartfelt. diers, junior officers seriously consider other career
opportunitiesa retention concern for the Army.
programs. Foremost among our strengths were the Officer Education System. The OES does not
strong sense of service and commitment to the Na- train and educate officers in the skills they need for
tion and Army, the value of operational and educa- full spectrum operations. Schools should meet
tional experiences, the benefit of leadership oppor- Army-directed accreditation and be staffed with our
tunities and recognition that our combat training most professionally qualified intructors educating
centers (CTCs) remain the crown jewels of Army our least qualified officer students. The new opera-
training and leader development. The revealed tional environment emphasizes the need for joint op-
weaknesses include an undisciplined operational erations. This translates to a necessity for joint edu-
pace; lack of senior-subordinate confidence and cation. Our OES provides Joint Professional
contact; micromanagement; personnel manage- Military Education (JPME) Phase I during the Com-
ment; the Officer Efficiency Report (OER); valid-
ity of the current Officer Education System (OES);
currency of training standards; resources for home
station and CTC training; outdated training aids,
devices, simulations and simulators (TADSS); and
the lack of a sound training and leader development
management system. The panel energetically dis-
cussed these and other issues and determined that
several require immediate attention. They are so
important and the need for change so significant,
we considered them strategic imperatives. A brief
synopsis of each follows.
Army culture. There is a strong relationship be-
tween Army culture and the quality of training and
leader development programs. Army culture must
operate routinely within an acceptable band of tol-
erance between what the Army expects of its lead-
ers and what leaders expect from the Army. Any
change that widens the gap between Army beliefs
and practices threatens readiness, soldier and unit
training, and leader growth. That widening gap be-
tween beliefs and practice leaves our Army culture
out of balance. One pressure on the acceptable band
of tolerance is micromanagement. Junior officers
need opportunities to develop; they need com-
manders who trust them and are willing to under-
write mistakes. Additional tensions arise from the
6 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
10th Mountain Division
soldiers line up on the
tarmac to deploy (again).
A primary criticism concerning training doctrine is simply that
leaders are not following the principles or the training management pro-
cess. Increasing taskings, high personnel tempo, excessive operational pace
and undermanned units seriously degrade unit efforts to apply the doctrine.
Solid training based on METL competes with requirements for installation
and community support, nonmission training and last minute taskings.
The Red, Amber, Green training management process blurs and collapses
when units are tasked regardless of their cycle.
mand and General Staff Officer Course, but access tionally, units cannot execute home station training
to the critical joint education provided during JPME in accordance with Army training doctrine because
Phase II is limited. The OES must adapt to meet of undisciplined application of that doctrine and re-
the needs of the transforming Army and the reali- source shortages. Our training system must be re-
ties of the operational environ-
ment. Largely untouched since the
end of the Cold War and progres-
sively underresourced during
downsizing, the OES is not coor-
dinated with Army needs. The
OES requires a new approach that
focuses each school on a central
task and purpose; promotes officer
bonding, cohesion, trust and life-
long learning; links schools hori-
zontally and vertically; synchro-
nizes educational and operational
experiences; and educates officers
to common standards.
Training. Army training doc-
trine is fundamentally sound but
must be adapted to reflect the new
operational environment. Addi-
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 7
to improve home station training. Finally, the
Using technology, our leaders Army must recapitalize, modernize, staff and re-
can dominate full spectrum battle- source the CTCs to provide full spectrum, multi-
fields, and developing those leaders echelon, combined arms training and leader devel-
is the best preparation for an uncer- opment experiences.
tain future. The ATLDP has taken a Systems approach to training. We must return
to standards-based training, the strength of Army
self-generated, introspective review readiness during post-Vietnam reforms. Standards
of our training and leader develop- served our Army well as we transformed from Viet-
ment programs. The entire Army nam to the Army of Excellence that fought Desert
participated in the officer portion of Storm. Standards-based training can do the same for
the study to provide credible con- our transforming Army today. While standards have
clusions and recommendations. A been the basis for developing training, assessing per-
similar process will review warrant formance and providing feedback, the systems ap-
officer and noncommissioned officer proach designed to document and publish training
programs this summer. standards has atrophied. The Army lacks training
and education publications and standards for its
vitalized. Training doctrine needs to be updated, Legacy and Interim forces. Without documented,
home station training improved and CTCs recapi- accessible and digital standards, readiness among
talized and modernized. Training doctrineFM 7- our soldiers, leaders and units will falter and endan-
0 (25-100) and FM 7-10 (25-101)must adapt to ger battlefield success.
account for the new operational environment. This Training and leader development model. The
training doctrine must also be nested with doctrine existing leader development model is outdated, and
in FM 3-0 (100-5), Operations, and FM 6-22 (22- there is no training model. The Army needs a model
100), Army Leadership. In the meantime, command- that clearly shows leaders, staffs and outside agen-
ers and units must adhere to existing training doc- cies how training and leader development are inter-
trine, principles and practices to help reduce related and mutually supporting. This training and
operational pace and discipline training manage- leader development model must emphasize Army
ment. The Army must provide commanders with culture; mandate standards for soldiers, leaders and
sufficient resources, including improved TADSS, units; provide feedback to leaders, units and the
8 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
TRAINING AND LEADER DEVELOPMENT
Army; allow for self-development; balance opera-
tional and educational experience; and be founded Any change that widens the gap
on sound training and leader development prin- between Army beliefs and practices
ciples. The model should produce self-aware, adap- threatens readiness, soldier and
tive leaders, and trained and ready units. By focus-
ing institutional education, guiding field training and
unit training, and leader growth.
advocating self-development, the model will de- That widening gap between beliefs
scribe a lifelong learning paradigm. It should also and practice leaves our Army culture
promote a mature management process that continu- out of balance. One pressure on the
ally addresses training and leader development is- acceptable band of tolerance is
sues and provides feedback for the CSA. micromanagement. Junior officers
Training and leader development manage- need opportunities to develop;
ment process. The Army has no management sys- they need commanders who
tem for training or leader development, and with- trust them and are willing to
out one, we risk losing sight of the reasons for underwrite mistakes.
change. An iterative, collaborative and comprehen-
sive management process is needed to measure
progress, adjust priorities and apply resources. Ini- tance and distributed learning programs for self-
tially, this process should provide a quarterly CSA development.
decision forum to build momentum, interest and en- Leaders and soldiers must be at the center of our
thusiasm for these programs throughout the Army. Transformation efforts. Otherwise, we will focus on
Lifelong learning. Army culture underwrites technology, platforms and weapon systems at the
leaders commitment to lifelong learning through a expense of Transformations center of gravity . . .
balance of educational and operational experiences, our people. Using technology, our leaders can domi-
complemented by self-development to fill knowl- nate full spectrum battlefields, and developing those
edge gaps. To be a learning organization that sup- leaders is the best preparation for an uncertain fu-
ports this lifelong learning the Army must: ture. The ATLDP has taken a self-generated, intro-
l Provide training, education, standards and spective review of our training and leader develop-
products for leader development. ment programs. The entire Army participated in the
l Provide doctrine, tools and support to foster officer portion of the study to provide credible con-
lifelong learning. clusions and recommendations. A similar process
l Provide balanced educational and operational will review noncommissioned officer and warrant
experiences supported by self-development. officer programs this summer. The officer study re-
l Develop and maintain a web-based Warrior vealed the seven strategic imperatives outlined
Development Center that publishes standards, train- above. Detailed discussion, conclusions and recom-
ing and education publications, doctrinal manuals, mendations regarding each imperative will be fea-
assessment and feedback tools and provides dis- tured in the next issue of Military Review.
Lieutenant General William M. Steele is the study director for the Army Training and Leader
Development Panel. He is the commanding general, US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leav-
enworth, Kansas. His career includes six tours (more than 12 years) in the US Army Training and
Doctrine Command (TRADOC), during which he addressed training and leader development issues.
He has commanded at every level from company through division and Army major command. His
command and staff positions include commanding general, US Army Pacific, Fort Shafter, Hawaii;
director for operations, J3, US Atlantic Command, Norfolk, Virginia; commanding general, 82d Air-
borne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; deputy commandant, US Army Command and General
Staff College, Fort Leavenworth; assistant division commander, 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized),
US Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; assistant commandant, US Army Infantry School,
Fort Benning, Georgia; executive officer to the commanding general, TRADOC, Fort Monroe, Vir-
ginia; commander, 1st Brigade, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg; and commander, 2d Battalion
(Airborne), 504th Infantry, 82d Airborne Division. His article Army Leaders: How You Build Them;
How You Grow Them was published in the August 1992 Military Review.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Walters Jr. is aide-de-camp for the commanding general, US Army
Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. He received a B.A. from the University of Maryland,
an M.P.A. from Golden Gate University and an M.A. from Webster University. He is a graduate of
the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has served in various command and staff
positions in the United States, Korea, Persian Gulf, Haiti and Bosnia.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 9
Tactical and operational Superior mobility must be achieved if we are to surprise our oppo-
maneuverability need not nent, select the terrain on which we are to fight and gain the initiative.
be constrained to two dimen- There is no alternative. If we are slow in movement, awkward in ma-
sions if forces are light neuver, clumsy in deploymentin a word, not mobilewe can expect
enough for transport by to be forestalled, enveloped or constrained to launch costly frontal
Army helicopters and Air attacks against an enemy advantageously posted.
Force C-130s. Does Trans- Infantry in Battle, The Infantry Journal, Washington DC, 1939
formation need to expand
conceptually within the third
dimension of tactical war-
fare? Does Transformation
T RANSFORMATION IS A TIME for developing new concepts,
organizations and capabilities for dealing with adversaries and
maintaining relevance with our national security strategy. In concert with
need to shrink materially the other US Armed Forces, the Army should have rapid global reach
to field airmechanized ve- for conducting major theater wars, smaller-scale contingencies and
hicles? While the authors peacetime military engagements. The current geopolitical environment,
describe a future force of effects of globalization, critical regional resources, vulnerable trade routes
vehicles even smaller than and continued economic growth require an Army that can access landmass
those the Army is now con- interiors and resolve a situation quickly and decisively with tailored over-
sidering for the Interim and match. All this must be done while operating from exterior lines, a re-
Objective Forces, Isenbergs quirement no other country has on the scale of the United States.
sidebar warns that when you To be strategically deployable, the Transformed Army must maximize
need heavyweights, youd critical airlift to move heavy, medium and light force packages anywhere
better have them. in the world rapidly. This transformed force must optimize the syner-
gistic use of US Army and US Air Force (USAF) systems for immedi-
ate operational maneuver regardless of enemy strategies to deny use of
airfields, seaports and forward bases. To have tactical mobility in all
types of terrain, forces must have fast-moving, protected vehicles and a
vertical lift capability. A force today must have multipurpose systems
for versatility, organizational flexibility to act freely throughout the area
of operations and adaptability to immediately move from peace support
operations to combat. It is unadvisable to depend on only one method
of operation, which the enemy has been studying to counter.
During the Cold War the US National Military Strategy (NMS) cen-
tered on a policy of containment, which required robust forces for-
wardly deployed in Europe and Asia. Extensive basing with well-
developed interior lines and mature infrastructure characterized US
force disposition. Mobilization and methodical phased deployment fo-
July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
cused on sending troops to stored equipment sites to support a defen-
sive doctrine. Rapid deployment was a relatively low strategic priority.
Without the influence of two superpowers, regional stability has de-
creased since the end of the Cold War. Irregular forces, rogue states, Army Transformation is
terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations have found focused on deploying a combat
the environment ripe to exploit. In response, US forces have conducted brigade via C-130 aircraft.
operations from humanitarian assistance to peacekeeping, to smaller- Interim and Objective Forces will
scale contingenciesall while maintaining readiness for major conflict be lighter than legacy brigades
despite fiscal constraints and a massive reduction in force structure. but are equipped with combat
Todays requirements demand the ability to project forces rapidly vehicles that provide more
worldwide with an overmatch capability throughout the spectrum of mobility, lethality and protection
conflict. This means operating almost exclusively from exterior lines than current Army light forces.
with versatile, substantial, joint forces capable of swift offensive action. However, as envisioned, they
Potential adversaries recognize our dependency on secure ports and will rely on secured international
airfields along with the time required to build combat power. It is airports, have no forced-entry
unlikely that US forces will be allowed Desert Storm buildup luxuries capability and employ traditional
in future conflicts. Dangerous geopolitical and technological trends, two-dimensional maneuver
along with antiaccess weapons such as long-range missiles and weap- warfare.
ons of mass destruction, demand an extended-range, power-projection,
The US Navy and Air Force strike capability, along with the littoral
reach of the US Marine Corps, provides rapid projection of US forces,
a vital component of the NMS. Projecting decisive Army
land power also depends on the Navy and
Air Force. Current Army force structure,
built to defend against a Soviet invasion
of Europe, has extremely heavy divisions
that are difficult to project or extremely
light forces that lack mobility, lethality
and protection. US Army Chief of Staff
General Eric K. Shinseki set a bold new
course to correct the too-heavy, too-light
force structure. His Transformation initia-
tive is designed to field medium-size
forces that have sufficient mobility, lethal-
ity and protection, and are light enough to
be projected quickly into the theater. This
vision will close the gap in Army land-
power projection. Shinseki set specific
goals of projecting a brigade-sized combat
team worldwide in 96 hours and an entire
division in 120 hours. These tough standards
will require new paradigms and creative
For Army Transformation to remain rel-
evant, it must be integrated into Joint Vision
2020 based on dominant maneuver, preci-
sion engagement, focused logistics and force
projection, supported by information superi-
ority and quality leadership. This Transfor-
mation is structured with three forces:
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 11
l A sustained, recapitalized Legacy Force.
l An Interim Force using available technology.
l An Objective Force equipped with technological breakthroughs.
Army Transformation is focused on deploying a combat brigade via
C-130 aircraft. Interim and Objective Forces will be lighter than legacy bri-
gades but are equipped with combat vehicles that provide more mobility,
lethality and protection than current Army light forces. However, as en-
The M113LW has about the visioned, they will rely on secured international airports, have no forced-
same internal space as a LAV-III entry capability and employ traditional two-dimensional maneuver war-
and, being tracked, superior cross- fare. This current Transformation model does not take advantage of the
country and urban mobility. Both unrestricted use of space. It lacks local responsiveness, tactical flexibil-
vehicles can mount the same ity and operational depth, and limits the commanders options. Trans-
weapon systems, including the formation forces should be shaped not only for strategic deployability
105mm cannon armored turret. to international airports but also for night landing on austere airstrips or
The band tracks for the M113LW airdropping mechanized forces with protection. Ideally, this force should
increase the road speed over the be capable of helicopter transport for speed and tactical flexibility. This
stock M113 and make the ride capability takes advantage of the synergistic effects of maneuver, pre-
smoother and quieter although cision fires and force protection, capitalizing on the US lead in infor-
the LAV-III has a slight advan- mation superiority. A commander can rapidly seize the initiative and
tage in both areas. The low- concentrate forces from different points against enemy vulnerabilities.
pressure footprint of the M113LW
reduces mine vulnerability. The IBCTEuropeanAirmechanizedModels
M113LW uses existing M113A3s The Army selected the heavy-wheeled light armored vehicle (LAV)-
with only minor modifications, III to equip the interim brigade combat team (IBCT). The LAV-III
resulting in the low acquisition weighs about 38,000 pounds, combat equipped, which is at the extreme
cost of $250,000 each. payload envelope of the C-130, limiting landings to long, improved run-
ways. No US helicopter can sling load it. As with most wheeled armored
vehicles, the LAV-III is very tall, barely clearing the roof of a C-130,
which rules out airdrop. The LAV-III armored gun version is entirely
too tall for the C-130. When the LAV-III add-on armor is mounted, the
LAV-III weighs 43,000 pounds, which precludes C-130 transport alto-
The extra weight of the LAV-III is a consequence of the typical ar-
rangement of most wheeled armored cars. US Tank-Automotive and
Armaments Command studies found that armored cars are about 28
percent heavier and larger than comparable tracked vehicles. Large wheel
assemblies, multiple drive shafts and the numerous gearboxes involved
in all-wheel-drive running gearnot additional armor protection
account for the extra weight. The LAV-IIIs heavy weight is divided
among eight wheels, resulting in high ground pressure and dramatically
increased vulnerability to mines. Compared with heavy tracked M1
Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), the
LAV-III is far easier to maintain, has much faster road speed, runs dra-
matically quieter and burns less than 25 percent of the fuel. However,
these advantages are only marginal when compared to light tracked ve-
hicles like the M113 family of vehicles. Finally, as an entirely new in-
ventory item, the LAV-III is expensive at $2 million each and will re-
quire extended time for high-rate production, mechanics training and
An alternative to the strategy constrained by the LAV-III, the
air-mech-strike (AMS) concept achieves the strategic deployment, op-
erational maneuver and tactical mobility necessary for a cost-effective,
12 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
I Corps soldiers training
with LAV-IIIs at Fort Lewis,
progressive, joint-friendly, relevant Army Transformation. Other armies The LAV-III weighs
around the world have already developed this concept with far less fund- about 38,000 pounds, combat
ing than the US Armys. equipped, which is at the extreme
AMS is the projection of protected mechanized forces by air-land, payload envelope of the C-130,
airdrop and helicopter insertion from both internal and external loads. limiting landings to long, improved
This full-dimensional maneuver concept emphasizes air transportabil- runways. No US helicopter can
ity to break friction with terrain and obstacles and insert maneuver forces sling load it. As with most wheeled
quickly for positional advantage. Recent improvements in the lift ca- armored vehicles, the LAV-III is
pacity of helicopters and the performance of lightweight, armored ve- very tall, barely clearing the roof
hicles have made vertical insertion of mechanized forces possible. Rus- of a C-130, which rules out airdrop.
sian, British and German armies already have operational airmechanized The LAV-III armored gun version
forces. The French, Swiss, Swedish and Finnish armies have all recently is entirely too tall for the C-130.
purchased large numbers of airmechanized vehicles. The Peoples Re- When the LAV-III add-on armor
public of China has likewise purchased 200 airmech vehicles from Rus- is mounted, the LAV-III weighs
sia. In contrast, the US Army has the worlds largest helicopter fleet but
43,000 pounds, which precludes
C-130 transport altogether.
no airmech capability.
Russias army has had an operational airmechanized force for more
than 40 years. In fact, the term airmechanization comes from a Rus-
sian translation of early work Soviet Field Marshal Tuchechevsky did
on this concept in the 1930s. At the height of the Soviet armys strength,
there were eight airmechanized divisions equipped with motorcycles,
light weapons carriers and the BMD-series armored fighting vehicles.
These airborne divisions could parachute mechanized infantry units be-
hind enemy lines or air assault these mechanized forces via Mi-6 and
Mi-26 helicopters. Today the reduced Russian army has about three such
divisions equipped with more than 2,000 BMD-2 airmech combat ve-
hicles and several hundred new BMD-3s equipped with a tank-like 100-
millimeter (mm) cannon. These vehicles are airdrop-capable and
helo-transportable, even by US Army CH-47 helicopters.
The British army built a rapidly deployable light armored force
in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its criteria called for a brigade-sized
element whose vehicles could be transported by C-130 transports,
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 13
A Wiesel-2 sling-
loaded from a UH-60
newly purchased from the United States. The Brit-
ish army selected an 8-ton series of armored ve-
hicles that eventually led to the Spartan troop car-
rier and the Scimitar fighting vehicle equipped
with a shoot-on-the-move, high-velocity, 30mm
automatic cannon. The 8-ton design allowed a
C-130 to transport two vehicles and a CH-47 he-
licopter to sling one, making Great Britain the first
NATO country with airmechanized capability. A
British airmobile brigade conducted an AMS 25
years later over Serbian minefields in Kosovo fol-
lowing the July 1999 air campaignestablishing
its sector in only 24 hours. With no such capabil-
ity, the US Army took several days to occupy its
In the 1980s the German army, influenced by
the earlier Russian and British efforts, decided to
reorganize its foot-mobile airborne (parachute)
regiment into an airmechanized force. In 1992 the
Germans fielded more than 300 Wiesel armored
tracked vehicles, which are light enough to sling
under a UH-60 Black Hawk. Optimized as a
counter-Soviet antiarmored force, these vehicles
were equipped with 20mm auto cannons and
heavy tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-
guided missiles with all-around armor protection
from 7.62mm small arms. To improve the bri-
gades infantry carrying capability in the post-Cold
War, the German army is purchasing the Swedish
airmech vehicle, the 6-ton BV-206S. This ar-
mored, articulated vehicle carries a full 11-troop
squad; is still light enough for the CH-47 Chinook
to carry; and detaches into two separate cabs that
Black Hawks can carry. The British royal marines
and the French, Swiss, Swedish, Spanish and Finn-
ish armies are purchasing the BV-206S to gain an
In 1992 the Germans airmechanized capability. The US Army operates an unarmored earlier
fielded more than 300 Wiesel version called the small-unit support vehicle in Alaska. The small sizes
armored tracked vehicles, which of the Wiesel and BV-206S allow the entire German airmechanized bri-
are light enough to sling under a gade to deploy using only 20 Boeing 747 jets, or it can be inserted via
UH-60 Black Hawk. Optimized parachute from 100 to 150 C-130 sorties.
as a counter-Soviet antiarmored
force, these vehicles were equipped TheAMSConceptfortheUSArmy
with 20mm auto cannons and An improved European-based airmechanized model can work in the
heavy tube-launched, optically US Army. This proposal uses a combination of existing combat vehicles,
tracked, wire-guided missiles with along with a modest purchase of European airmech vehicles already in
all-around armor protection production, lift helicopters, USAF aircraft and civilian Boeing 747s. The
from 7.62mm small arms. airmechanized concept optimizes combat vehicles for aircraft transport-
ability. When secure airports are available, Boeing 747s can move an
airmechanized brigades entire combat power, releasing available C-17s
and C-5s for transporting outsized force packages such as helicopters,
tanks, artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems.
14 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
The following option focuses on the four active light divisions. Three
classes of vehicles are introduced: airmechanized vehiclemedium
(AMV-M) weighing 8 to 10 tons, airmechanized vehiclelight (AMV-
L) weighing 3 to 7 tons and military all-terrain vehicles (MATVs) weigh-
ing 500 to 4,000 pounds. For simpler comparisons the four light divi-
sions are centered on the three types of airmech vehicles. Actual orga-
nizations should consist of combinations in various percentages.
AMV-M design. The US Armys 10th and 25th light divisions are
reorganized using a modified lightweight M113 armored personnel car- The 101st Air Assault
rier employing band tracks and Kevlar hatches (M113LW) as the prime Division is reorganized
candidate for the AMV-M. Each division has three brigades of 300 around the purchase of 900
M113LWs each. The M113LW weighs about 19,000 pounds (the European 3- to 7-ton AMV-Ls,
M113A3 weighs 23,000) and can be sling-loaded by a CH-47 helicop- 300 per brigade combat team.
ter. Two M113LWs can be transported by C-130 as opposed to one The two leading candidates are
LAV-III. Add-on armor carried in follow-on aircraft can increase pro- the German Wiesel-2 and the
tection up to the LAV-IIIs 14.5mm proof standard. The M113LW has Swedish BV-206S tracked
about the same internal space as a LAV-III and, being tracked, superior armored vehicles. A squad
cross-country and urban mobility. Both vehicles can mount the same would require two Wiesels,
weapon systems, including the 105mm cannon armored turret. carrying six troops each, but
The band tracks for the M113LW increase the road speed over the could be sling-loaded by one
stock M113 and make the ride smoother and quieter although the UH-60 helicopter. The BV-206S
LAV-III has a slight advantage in both areas. The low-pressure foot- is larger with room for full
print of the M113LW reduces mine vulnerability. The M113LW uses squads of 11 troops but requires
three UH-60s to sling load
A Wiesel-2 mounting
two complete vehicles with
a 120mm mortar. cabs separated.
MaK, System Gesellschaft mbH
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 15
Russian, British and existing M113A3s with only minor modifications, resulting in the low
German armies already have acquisition cost of $250,000 each; a fast fielding time line; and excel-
operational airmechanized lent sustainability by leveraging the parts and maintenance know-how
forces. . . . The Peoples Repub- of the existing M113A3 fleet. Finally, the M113LWs low weight and
lic of China has likewise pur- compact size facilitate transport by commercial aircraft, which can de-
chased 200 airmech vehicles liver an entire M113LW brigade by 60 Boeing 747 sorties.
from Russia. In contrast, the AMV-L design. The 101st Air Assault Division is reorganized around
US Army has the worlds the purchase of 900 European 3- to 7-ton AMV-Ls, 300 per brigade com-
largest helicopter fleet but bat team. The two leading candidates are the German Wiesel-2 and the
no airmech capability. Swedish BV-206S tracked armored vehicles. A squad would require two
Wiesels, carrying six troops each, but could be sling-loaded by one
UH-60 helicopter. The BV-206S is larger with room for full squads of
H.L. Mencken, the famed sage of Baltimore, wrote their armaments as well as their manpower requirements.
that for every problem there is a nice, neat solution, The United States went from a million-man force dur-
which is inevitably wrong. The same might be said for ing the Civil War, to an expeditionary force 2.8 million
critics who claim that the US Armys new heavy strong during World War I, to a gargantuan force of 12
weapon systems, such as the Crusader self-propelled million during World War II. History hardly disproves
howitzer or the M1A2 system enhancement package the claim that we have recently crossed some watershed
(SEP), are not suitable for the Armys 21st-century and reached the end of an era. Such sea change is clearly
transformation strategy, which seeks to make major possible. However, it takes more than Pentagon officials
Army weapons lighter and air deployable.1 Such single- unsupported assertions to prove the case.
minded critics fear that these high-tech weapon systems In fact, criticism of the Armys deployment capabili-
cannot be transported aboard a C-130. However, they ties has entered the realm of the absurd. Because the
fail to see the bigger problemthe breathtaking and al- Army has experienced problems deploying heavy
most hidden presumption that all future conflicts will be ground combat power, such as the 1999 war over Ko-
relatively minor intrastate affairs. sovo, critics have illogically challenged the future rel-
Smaller-scale contingencies will require US ground evance of major ground combat forces. More important,
forces to be deployed overseas at unprecedented speeds: the Army itself has not ruled out the possibility of ma-
a combat brigade of up to 3,500 troops in four days and jor combat operations. A case in point is the Armys
a division of 12,000 in five. The risk is simple: will fu- positioning of bulky equipment. Today the Army has
ture US Army forces, lacking heavy direct- and indirect- seven heavy-brigade sets of equipment pre-positioned:
fire weapons, be ready to take on a well-armed aggres- one in Italy, Kuwait, Qatar and South Korea; two in
sor? Historically, deficiencies in heavy fire support do Central Europe; and one afloat.4
not become obvious until large ground forces are deeply Agreeing with the Army, the congressionally man-
embroiled in combat.2 dated US Commission on National Security/21st Cen-
Without heavy forces, how does an army move for- tury noted in 2000 that future US military capabilities
ward 20 to 50 kilometers (km) a day and live to tell the should still include conventional capabilities necessary
tale? Transformation advocates explain that future forces to win major wars.5 The very fact that the United States
will not move 20 km a day but 150, finding safety in- is now the worlds dominant economic and military
side the enemys observe, orient, decide, act loop. What power makes it certain that rivals seeking regional he-
happens if the enemy is not there at the end of a 150- gemony will modernize conventional forces to take ad-
km hop? What if he has the initiative elsewhere and you vantage of US force structure vulnerabilities.6 This is
lose visualization of the battle? At that point, will it not especially so because the US military shapes the inter-
be just enemy tanks against your wheels? Can we af- national order.
ford to commit to combat if we cannot hold our own? Critics confuse the probability and number of future
The United States does not face a high probability of interstate wars with the likelihood of firepower-intense
major interstate war. However, the probability is not conflicts. It is not difficult to foresee future operations,
zero. It was only in 1994 that Saddam Hussein once short of a major interstate war, in which the firepower
again threatened to invade Kuwait, and a few months provided by Crusader and the M1A2 SEP would be nec-
later, Pyongyang threatened to invade South Korea.3 essary to counter our adversaries. States can easily ob-
Moreover, the presumption that the future will involve tain sophisticated weaponry. A recent study authorized
only low- and medium-intensity conflicts runs counter by the National Intelligence Council noted that technol-
to a 250-year trend in warfare. Since the mid-18th cen- ogy diffusion will accelerate as weapons and militarily
tury, armies have inexorably increased the weight of relevant technologies are moved rapidly and routinely
16 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
11 troops but requires three UH-60s to sling load two complete vehicles [For the proposed Active
with cabs separated. Both vehicles offer all-around 7.62mm ball pro- light divisions] three classes
tection with add-on armor to stop 7.62 armor-piercing rounds. Light foot- of vehicles are introduced:
prints make these two vehicles unlikely to set off pressure-detonated airmechanized vehiclemedium
antitank mines; however, in a blast sequence, the vehicles are less sur- (AMV-M) weighing 8 to10
vivable than the M113 or LAV-III. Low-recoil auto cannons up to 30mm tons, airmechanized vehicle
can be carried along with every known antitank guided missile and the light (AMV-L) weighing 3 to
heavy 120mm mortar. 7 tons and military all-terrain
While the Wiesel and LAV-III have comparable road speeds, the vehicles (MATVs) weighing
BV-206S is slower. The BV-206S has superior terrain agility; its articu- 500 to 4,000 pounds.
lated track system allows it to negotiate large obstacles, swampland,
wooded terrain and steep slopes. The two separate cabs of the BV-206S also
across national borders in response to increasingly com- main island because it is unlikely China can quickly
mercial rather than security calculations.7 Deploying a achieve air superiority. While the long-term threat to
force that is operationally capable and genuinely re- Taiwan remains serious, it is doubtful the Peoples Lib-
spected by its enemies ensures force protection. Getting eration Army (PLA) could achieve the maneuver, sur-
a lightly armed force to the conflict zoneeven if it ar- prise and strength necessary to land troops where they
rives firstwill not. would not be locally outnumbered and outgunned by
No one can be confident that the revolutions in war- defenders. It is unlikely that mainland China will acquire
fare and the concomitant rush to transform US military the logistic muscle to strengthen its invading forces
forces allow greater reliance on air and naval standoff faster than Taiwan can reinforce its defending forces.
capabilities and less on ground forces. Using air power The protracted PLA campaign necessary to put Taiwan
for nearly a decade after defeating Iraq during Opera- in real jeopardy would allow more than enough time for
tion Desert Storm has not removed Husseins threat. the United States to deploy or pre-position even its
And, using air power in Operation Allied Force to force heaviest forces.
Serbia to withdraw from Kosovo was plagued with Major conflicts remain not only possible but prob-
enough problems to cause the Clinton administration to able. However, unlike Federal Express packages, US
contemplate using ground forces almost to the very end. ground forces do not really have to get there overnight.
Our new tanks and cannon field artillery will provide To make US forces formidable when they do arrive,
increased and more accurate firepower from longer dis- heavy weapon systems, such as Crusader, are still good
tances and the ability to share battlefield intelligence investments both for the 21st-century Army and national
with ships and aircraft. Moreover, using tube artillery in- security in an uncertain world.
stead of missiles does not exclude precision fires. The
latest howitzers are two-fers. In addition to firing inex- NOTES
pensive iron rounds, advanced cannons could deliver 1. Richard Sinnreich, “For the Field Artillery, History Risks Repeating Itself,”
precision submunitions inside 30-foot circles. Consid- The Lawton Constitution, 10 December 2000, <www.lawton-constitution.com/
ering that the standard 155-millimeter projectiles nor- 20history%20risks%20repeating%20itself.htm>; Dave Moniz, “Overhaul of
Army Puts a Premium on Speed: ‘Transformation’ Goal: Get Troops Ready for
mal bursting radius is around 100 feet, the cannon crit- Modern Warfare,” USA Today, 16 January 2001, 1.
ics single-minded preference for missiles seems all the 2. Sinnreich.
3. Donald Kagan and Frederick W. Kagan, While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion,
more misplaced. Military Weakness and Threat to Peace Today (New York: St. Martin’s Press),
Finally, there is a remarkable lack of hard data back- 4. Stephen Kosiak, Andrew Krepenevich and Michael Vickers, Strategy for a
ing up the presumption that US forces must be able to Long Peace (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments),
deploy immediately to fight successfully and defeat an 5. Seeking National Strategy: A Concert for Preserving Security and Promot-
ing Freedom: The Phase II Report on a US National Security Strategy for the 21st
opponent. Consider the cases in Iraq and Taiwan. Al- Century (Washington, DC: US Commission on National Security/21st Century, 15
though air power has not unseated Hussein, it has quite April 2000), 14.
6. Robert Kagan and William Kristol, eds., Present Dangers: Crisis and Op-
capably contained him. US Central Commands ability portunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy (San Francisco, CA: Encoun-
ter Books, 2000), 262-63.
to slow down an Iraqi attack has improved since Desert 7. Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment
Storm, through regular exercises, pre-positioned mate- Experts, (Washington, DC: National Intelligence Council, 2000-02, December
riel and the much lower readiness level of Iraqi military
forces. US ground forces have more time to deploy to David Isenberg is an analyst in the Arms Control and
the theater to defeat Iraq decisively, should it attack any- Threat Reduction Division, DynMeridian, Alexandria, Virginia.
one in the Middle East again. He is an adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute in Washing-
ton, DC, and an associate fellow at the Matthew B. Ridgway
In Taiwan, it is improbable that China could success- Center for International Security Studies, University of Pittsburgh.
fully mount a surprise amphibious assault against the
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 17
allow excellent modularity for mission flexibility and increased survivabil-
ity through compartmented blast areas. The 101st Air Assault Division
has sufficient UH-60 and CH-47 helicopters to insert an entire brigades
maneuver strength in one lift out to a radius of about 200 kilometers (km).
The 82d Airborne Division Both vehicles cost about $500,000 and are small enough for about 20
is reorganized with 300 wheeled Boeing 747 sorties to transport the entire brigades combat power.
MATVs per brigade and 900 per MATV design. The 82d Airborne Division is reorganized with 300
division. The MATVs would be wheeled MATVs per brigade and 900 per division. The MATVs would
4x4 or 6x6 wheeled vehicles, be 4x4 or 6x6 wheeled vehicles, some with limited 5.56mm armor plate.
some with limited 5.56mm armor The candidates are the British Supacat and the US-made Flyer 21 and
plate. The candidates are the Polaris RANGER. These vehicles would be easy to deploy with stack-
British Supacat and the US-made ing capability; one Boeing 747 could transport about 50. The MATVs
Flyer 21 and Polaris RANGER. light weight and small size would also facilitate airdropping large num-
These vehicles would be easy to bers by relatively few T-tail USAF cargo aircraft. The light weight and
deploy with stacking capability; compact size would facilitate long-range air assaults, employing UH-60
one Boeing 747 could and CH-47 helicopters with auxiliary fuel tanks making insertions out
transport about 50. to 400 km. The MATV can carry various weapons up to 40mm auto-
matic grenade launchers, heavy antitank missiles and medium mortars.
These vehicles cost about $100,000 and are very easy to maintain. While
the MATV would not present a well-protected vehicle like the M113
or BV-206S, the ability to deploy so many in so few aircraft sorties
would allow the 82d Airborne Division to be inserted rapidly with ex-
cellent ground mobility and more firepower than current foot-mobile
brigades with hand-held weapons. The low cost per vehicle makes the
option all the more attainable.
Air defense artillery affects helicopter flight as antitank defenses do
armored maneuver. Both defenses must be suppressed and accounted
for in risk-factor planning, but history has shown that the static nature
of such defenses normally does not preclude armored or helicopter ma-
neuver. Because AMS forces are mechanized, landing and drop zones
can be displaced tens of km away from enemy concentrations and
high-density air defenses. If enemy air defenses are too strong to per-
mit helicopter operations, then the AMS brigade can maneuver at mecha-
nized speeds. Sling-loading vehicles, which increases risk, can be re-
placed by streamlined external-load (SEL) technology already available
in the civil helicopter market. Using SEL to carry large external loads
close to the underbelly of helicopters greatly improves maneuverabil-
ity, nearly doubles assault radius and reduces above-ground signatures.
Adopting the proposed airmech option provides a foundation for de-
veloping more advanced three-dimensional capabilities in the Objective
Force. In addition to meeting Shinsekis strategic deployment standards,
the concept allows the force to airdrop an entire mechanized brigade in
one lift and the option to insert light armor via helicopters out to a com-
bat radius of 200 kmall using 1980s airmech vehicles and 1970s he-
licopter technology. Recent technological advances in information war-
fare, combat vehicles, weaponry, signature management and rotary- and
fixed-wing aircraft point to revolutionary expansion of three-dimensional
maneuver warfare. Committing now to the first stage of airmechanized
capability assures institutional conversion throughout the Army that will
18 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Sikorski Aircraft Corp.
(Right) A Black
Hawk tailored for
adding a special-
ized SEL. (Below)
An S-64 Sky Crane
with a typical SEL
drive leader training and doctrine development to keep pace with future Sling-loading vehicles,
technological maneuver advances. which increases risk, can be
The need for increased range. Army legacy aircraft have a relatively replaced by streamlined
short range and require large cargo aircraft for timely deployment to a external-load (SEL) technology
crisis theater. This limitation also increases risk in the short 200-km tac- already available in the civil
tical sling-load radius of airmech vehicles. AMS proposes to remedy helicopter market. Using SEL
this shortfall by joining the Navys vectored thrust ducted propeller to carry large external loads
(VTDP) modification to the Sikorsky H-60 helicopter series. This tech- close to the underbelly of heli-
nology replaces the tail rotor of the AH-64 and UH-60 with a ducted copters greatly improves
fan and short wings to nearly double the cruise speed from 120 to 220 maneuverability, nearly
knots. This increased speed changes a worldwide, self-deployed, seven- doubles assault radius and
to 10-day challenge to a four-day operation. reduces above-ground
Adopting commercially available SEL configurations for the CH-47 signatures.
and UH-60 would likewise extend the range even further, reducing the
risk from enemy air defenses through closer terrain flight. The result of
an aggressive 5-year VTDP and SEL program could achieve 4-day
self-deployment for Army aviation and double the combat insertion ra-
dius from 200 to 400 km. The range increase greatly enhances surprise,
flexibility and survivability while multiplying the area of influence of a
deployed Army force. These programs would extend the viability of
legacy aircraft until about 2015 to 2020 when a future transport rotor-
craft (FTR) could be fielded as a CH-47 and UH-60 replacement. FTR
would employ revolutionary rotor technologies such as retractable and
tilt rotors to achieve 500-knot cruise speeds, same-day self-deployment
and a 1,500-km insertion radius for a 20-ton armored vehicle.
Future combat system (FCS). Scheduled to arrive with the FTR in
2015, the FCS is the Armys replacement for the M1 Abrams tank and
the M2 Bradley IFV. The FCSs common chassis will yield a carrier
version weighing 10 tons and an attack version weighing 20 tons. The
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 19
The Piasecki PiAC 16H Pathfinder with wings and vectored
thrust ducted propeller, circa 1962. (Inset left) The heavily
armored AH-56 Cheyenne flew in excess of 400 km per
hour in “clean” configuration. Production stopped
at 10 aircraft in 1972 because of budgetary
problems. (Inset right) Artist’s conception
of the Paisecki components on
a Black Hawk.
Army legacy aircraft FTR will transport either two carriers or one attack FCS to mass for an
have a relatively short range operation. Instead of fielding heavy armor, advanced weapons will in-
and require large cargo aircraft clude hypervelocity rocket penetrators and advanced chemical energy
for timely deployment to a crisis warheads. FCS will use advanced signature-management technologies
theater. . . . AMS proposes to to hide from sensors and avoid being hit as the principal means of bal-
remedy this shortfall by joining listic survivability. Different mission models of FCS will have the same
the Navys vectored thrust ducted external appearance to complicate enemy imagery calculations. Even fire
propeller (VTDP) modification support platforms, such as trailer-mounted artillery rockets, will appear
to the Sikorsky H-60 helicopter to be logistic carriers.
series. This technology replaces Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicle
the tail rotor of the AH-64 and (UGV) use. The lighter FCS and FTR force of the future will employ
UH-60 with a ducted fan and large numbers of UAVs and UGVs. Leaders down to platoon level will
short wings to nearly double the be able to launch these relatively inexpensive aerial and ground probes
cruise speed from 120 to to greatly expand situational awareness and reduce risk to manned recon-
220 knots. naissance. Using ground robotics will also allow commanders to move
weapons, ammunition and logistic materiel while reducing the drain on
manpower and the risk on soldiers from ambush, land mines and con-
taminated areas. Organic flying and driving sensors will be tied into
larger, more sophisticated platforms with data downlinks, further enhanc-
ing commanders battlefield awareness. By widely using UAVs and
UGVs, a two-dimensional enemy force will be especially vulnerable to
standoff joint and Army precision munitions, facilitating a better over-
match when the inevitable closure with the enemy and objectives occurs.
Strategic joint projection improvements. More sophisticated cargo
aircraft, such as the C-17, will be needed to project Army combat power.
The aging C-130 fleet will need to be replaced with new platforms that
deliver Army forces to unimproved fields employing super-short takeoff
20 July-August 2000 l MILITARY REVIEW
and landing craft. A leading candidate is Lockheeds tilt-wing concept
that promises to deliver up to three 20-ton FCSs. Another projecting and
sustaining technology for Army land forces is the wing-in-ground (WIG)
effect. Large Russian-built prototypes have demonstrated that surface-
skimming aircraft can carry four times the load of a current C-5 by us-
ing the extra lift associated with ground effect. WIG is a possible re-
placement for the aging C-5 fleet. The aircraft would be used only over The result of an
water but could substantially improve early-entry forces projection and aggressive 5-year VTDP and
sustainment. Joint mobile offshore bases can also be substantially im-
SEL program could achieve
4-day self-deployment for Army
proved by linking 10 to 12 supertankers together, under a flat deck, pro-
aviation and double the combat
jecting Army forces via USAF tilt-wing and FTR systems. Not intended insertion radius from 200 to
for amphibious Marine-style assaults, these floating bases would be semi- 400 km. The range increase
permanent as a partial solution to the lack of forward bases. greatly enhances surprise, flex-
US Army relevance in the 21st century depends on the ability to de- ibility and survivability while
ploy sizable forces rapidly from the Continental United States. Once multiplying the area of influence
deployed, they must quickly gain decisive, positional advantage over of a deployed Army force. These
any adversary throughout the spectrum of conflict. The formula for such programs would extend the
a force lies in the concept of airmechanization, which takes advantage viability of legacy aircraft until
of information superiority and provides strategic deployability, forced- about 2015 to 2020 when a
entry capability, dominant maneuver, tactical agility, survivability, op- future transport rotorcraft
erations in depth and flexibility for the commander. Two-dimensional could be fielded as a CH-47
warfare will no longer give our forces the overmatch to win. Many of and UH-60 replacement.
our European allies are already well down the airmech road. The US
military already has airmechanizations most expensive element
the most robust helicopter and fixed-wing force in the world. Transfor-
mation should capitalize on that capability and enable the Armys
full-dimensional maneuverthe money saved can be reallocated to
other NMS priorities.
Brigadier General David L. Grange, US Army, Retired, is executive vice
president and chief operating officer of the McCormick Tribune Foundation.
He received a B.S. from North Georgia College and an M.A. from Western
Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the US Marine Corps Command
and General Staff College, the National War College and the British Spe-
cial Air Service College. He held various infantry and special forces com-
mand and staff positions in the Continental United States, Europe, Korea and
Vietnam, including commanding general, 1st Infantry Division. He has also
commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment; 1st Battalion, 503d Infantry; and a
task force during Operation Desert Storm. His article, Task Force Eagle
and the Battle of the Buses appeared in the March-April 2000 issue of
Lieutenant Colonel Richard D. Liebert, US Army Reserve, operates his
familys farm in Great Falls, Montana, and is a staff leader and instructor,
11th Battalion, 6th Brigade, 104th Division, Vancouver Barracks, Washing-
ton. He received a B.S. from Purdue University and is a graduate of the US
Army Command and General Staff College. He has served in various com-
mand and staff positions in the Continental United States and Europe, in-
cluding company XO, 1st Infantry Division, Goeppingen, Germany; assis-
tant S3, 2d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; and XO, 163d
Infantry Regiment, Montana Army National Guard, Bozeman, Montana.
Major Chuck Jarnot, US Army, is the operations officer, Active and Re-
serve Component Training Support Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas. He received
a B.S. from Western Michigan University and an M.S. from Embry Riddle
Aeronautical University. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and
General Staff College. He has served in various command and staff positions
in the Continental United States, including air cavalry troop commander, Fort
Campbell, Kentucky; heavy lift company commander, Fort Riley; and stra-
tegic planner, Pacific Theater.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 21
TRATEGIC ASYMMETRY uses some sort
S of difference to gain an advantage over an ad-
versary. Many of historys greatest generals had an
There is more to precision than
simply hitting the right target. Military
instinct for it. Like the US military in the Gulf War, strategists and commanders must think in terms
Mongols under Genghis Khan and his successors of psychological precision as wellstructuring
often used superior mobility, operational speed, in- a military operation to shape the attitudes,
telligence, synchronization, training and morale to beliefs and perceptions among the enemy
crush enemies in lightning campaigns. When nec- and other observers, whether local non-
essary, the Mongols used superior Chinese engineer- combatants or global audiences.
ing for successful sieges. Other conquerors, such as
the Romans, Europeans, Aztecs and Zulus, brought
superior technology, discipline, training and leader- somewhat more broadly, listing terrorism, using or
ship to the battlefield. Rebels in anticolonial wars threatening to use weapons of mass destruction and
also relied on asymmetry by weaving guerrilla op- information warfare as asymmetric challenges. In
erations, protracted warfare, political warfare and a 1997 asymmetric threats began to receive greater
willingness to sacrifice into Maoist Peoples War, attention. The Report of the Quadrennial Defense
the Intifada and the troubles of Northern Ireland. Review stated, US dominance in the conventional
Throughout the Cold War, asymmetry was im- military arena may encourage adversaries to . . . use
portant to US strategic thinking but was not labeled asymmetric means to attack our forces and interests
as such. Matching Soviet quantitative advantages in overseas and Americans at home.4
Europe with US and NATO qualitative superiority The National Defense Panel (NDP), a senior-level
was integral to US strategy. Other concepts such as group Congress commissioned to assess long-term
Massive Retaliation in the 1950s or the maritime US defense issues, was even more explicit. The
strategy in the 1980s elevated asymmetry to an even panel reported: We can assume that our enemies
higher plane.1 Beginning in the 1990s, the Depart- and future adversaries have learned from the Gulf
ment of Defense (DOD) began to recognize the po- War. They are unlikely to confront us convention-
tential for asymmetric threats to the United States. ally with mass armor formations, air superiority
This was part of DODs increased understanding of forces, and deep-water naval fleets of their own, all
the post-Cold War security environment. Since the areas of overwhelming US strength today. Instead,
global power distribution was asymmetric, it fol- they may find new ways to attack our interests, our
lowed that asymmetric strategies would naturally forces and our citizens. They will look for ways to
evolve. match their strengths against our weaknesses. 5 The
Explicit mention of asymmetry first appeared in NDP specifically mentioned danger of massive US
the 1995 Joint Publication 1, Joint Warfare of the casualties caused by enemy weapons of mass de-
Armed Forces of the United States, but the concept struction to delay or complicate US access to a re-
was used in a very simplistic, limited sense.2 The gion and inflict casualties, attacks on US electronic
doctrine defined asymmetric engagements as those and computer-based information systems, use of
between dissimilar forces, specifically air versus mines and missiles along straits and littorals, and
land, air versus sea and so forth.3 This narrow con- terrorism.
cept of asymmetry had limited utility. The 1995 The intelligence community and the Joint Staff re-
National Military Strategy approached the issue acted to the panels report, and a flurry of activity
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 23
US Army Center of Military History
North Vietnamese artillery in action, April 1972. Heralded by
massive artillery attacks, North Vietnamese forces advanced
straight across the demilitarized zone, the Central Highlands
and toward An Loc in the Saigon corridor. A later conventional
offensive overran South Vietnam in 1975.
In most anticolonial wars or insurgencies, the less-advanced forces preferred to emulate
the advanced ones. . . . Mao held that guerrilla warfare was seldom decisive but should be used as a
preface for large-scale mobile war. After all, it was not the Viet Cong who overthrew the government
of South Vietnam but a conventional combined arms force from North Vietnam. Understanding
whether the asymmetry is deliberate or by default is important since an enemy using deliberate
asymmetry is likely to make more adjustments and require a more flexible counterstrategy.
ensued to flesh out the meaning and implications of DefinitionandConceptualFoundation
strategic asymmetry.6 The most important single Clear thinking begins with simple, comprehen-
study was the 1999 Joint Strategy Review, Asym- sive, shared definitions. The 1999 Joint Strategy
metric Approaches to Warfare, which provided a Review provided the broadest official treatment of
conceptual framework and a number of recommen- asymmetry: Asymmetric approaches are attempts
dations. Joint Vision 2010, a 1995 document pre- to circumvent or undermine US strengths while ex-
pared by the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to pro- ploiting US weaknesses using methods that differ
vide a conceptual template for future US Armed significantly from the United States expected method
Forces, did not mention asymmetry, but Joint Vi- of operations. . . . [Asymmetric approaches] gen-
sion 2020, the follow-on document released in 2000, erally seek a major psychological impact, such as
labeled asymmetric approaches as perhaps the most shock or confusion, that affects an opponents ini-
serious danger the United States faces in the imme- tiative, freedom of action or will. Asymmetric meth-
diate future.7 Finally, the Secretary of Defenses ods require an appreciation of an opponents vul-
Annual Report to Congress in 1998 and 1999 noted nerabilities. Asymmetric approaches often employ
that US conventional military dominance encour- innovative, nontraditional tactics, weapons or tech-
ages adversaries to seek asymmetric means of at- nologies and can be applied at all levels of war-
tacking US military forces, US interests and US citi- fare strategic, operational and tactical and
zens. The 2000 annual report, while retaining the across the spectrum of military operations.8 This
description of asymmetric threats used in previous latest official definition of asymmetry expanded of-
reports, dropped the word asymmetric. ficial thinking but has two shortcomings: it is spe-
This treatment of asymmetry in official strategy cific to the current strategic environment and US se-
documents indicates that the concept may grow even curity situation, and it deals primarily with what an
more significant. Yet, strategy and doctrine to deal opponent might do to the United States rather than
with asymmetric threats and highlight US asym- giving equal weight to how the US military might
metric capabilities require greater conceptual rigor. use asymmetry against its opponents.
24 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
A more general, complete definition of strategic taineers were victorious because they fought in a way
asymmetry would be: In military affairs and national they understood, not because they analyzed the weak-
security, asymmetry is acting, organizing and think- ness of the more conventional loyalist forces and
ing differently from opponents to maximize relative designed ways to take advantage of them. In most
strengths, exploit opponents weaknesses or gain anticolonial wars or insurgencies, the less-advanced
greater freedom of action. It can be political- forces preferred to emulate the advanced ones.
strategic, military-strategic, operational or a com- Mao Zedong held that guerrilla warfare was sel-
bination, and entail different methods, technologies, dom decisive but should be used as a preface for
values, organizations or time perspectives. It can be
short-term, long-term, deliberate or by default. It
also can be discrete or pursued in conjunction with This latest official definition of
symmetric approaches and have both psychologi- asymmetry expanded official thinking but has
cal and physical dimensions. While the key idea is two shortcomings: it is specific to the current
that significant differences exist, there are several strategic environment and US security situation,
elements of this definition that warrant elaboration. and it deals primarily with what an opponent
Dimensions of asymmetry. Strategic asymme- might do to the United States rather than giving
try can be positive or negative. Positive asymmetry equal weight to how the US military might
uses differences to gain an advantage. US military use asymmetry against its opponents.
strategy places great value on superior training, lead-
ership and technology to sustain and exploit supe-
riority. Negative asymmetry involves an opponents large-scale mobile war.9 After all, it was not the Viet
threat to ones vulnerabilities. Most DOD thinking Cong who overthrew the government of South Viet-
about asymmetry focuses on its negative form. nam but a conventional combined arms force from
Strategic asymmetry can also be short-term or North Vietnam. Understanding whether the asym-
long-term. Military history shows that sooner or metry is deliberate or by default is important since
later the enemy adjusts to many types of short-term an enemy using deliberate asymmetry is likely to
strategic asymmetry. During World War II, for in- make more adjustments and require a more flexible
stance, blitzkrieg succeeded for a year or two until counterstrategy.
the Soviets found ways to counter it. It took longer, Strategic asymmetry can be low-risk or high-risk.
but Third World governments and their militaries Some forms of asymmetry such as superior train-
eventually found counters to the Maoist Peoples ing or leadership are time-tested. They may be
War. The 1999 air campaign against Serbia suggests costly to develop and maintain but seldom increase
that enemies may find ways to counter US advan- strategic or operational risk. The high cost of hav-
tages in air power by camouflage, dispersion and ing a fully trained, equipped, ready force reduces
dense, but relatively unsophisticated, air defense risk even though it may not fully protect against all
systems. Long-term asymmetry is more rare. The asymmetric actions such as the attack in Aden,
United States will probably sustain its asymmetric Yemen. In another sense the assault was a low-cost,
advantage over certain types of enemies for a fairly high-risk action that may have had disproportion-
long time, largely by devoting more resources to ate consequencesremoving US naval presence
maintain military superiority than potential enemies. from a key port and possibly others. Other forms
However, sustaining an asymmetric advantage re- of asymmetry are experimental and are risky. Ter-
quires constant effort; any military force that does rorism, for instance, may be a low-cost, high-risk
not adapt to strategic change will decline in effec- approach because it can generate a backlash against
tiveness. users or reinforce rather than erode the targets re-
Strategic asymmetry can be deliberate or by de- solve. Just as most mutations in nature are dysfunc-
fault. US strategists actively think about asymme- tional or insignificant, many forms of strategic
try and how best to use or control it. More often, asymmetry are acts of desperation that do not work
antagonists in a conflict simply use what they have or only work temporarily.
and do what they know. An asymmetric outcome Strategic asymmetry can be discrete or integrated
is more accidental than planned. For instance, a with symmetric techniques. Generally, only the most
combined French and Indian force defeated British desperate antagonists would rely solely on asymmet-
General Edward Braddock near Fort Duquesne in ric methods. Those who are capable integrate asym-
1775, and a group of colonial mountaineers defeated metric and symmetric methods. Joint Vision 2020
loyalists, commanded by Major Patrick Ferguson, notes that our adversaries may pursue a combina-
at Kings Mountain in 1780. The Indians and moun- tion of asymmetries, or the United States may face
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 25
A German victory parade in Warsaw
after the Nazis divided Poland between
themselves and the Soviets in 1939.
Asymmetry can be material or psychological. The two concepts are interrelated: a material
asymmetric advantage often generates psychological advantages. But, there have been states and
militaries throughout history that were particularly adept at manipulating psychological asymmetry,
often by propagating an image of fierceness. The Mongols, Assyrians, Aztecs and Zulus are ex-
amples of great conquerors who effectively combined material and psychological asymmetry.
a number of adversaries who, in combination, cre- adjunct to conventional operations; Operation Body-
ate an asymmetric threat.10 Commonly, such inte- guard, the operational-level deception plan to sup-
grated approaches are more powerful than strategies port the Normandy invasion; and antiaccess or
that rely solely on either symmetric or asymmetric counterdeployment techniques using missiles, mines,
methods. terrorism and other weapons. Military-strategic asym-
Finally, asymmetry can be material or psychologi- metry is an integrated military strategy based on
cal. The two concepts are interrelated: a material asymmetry rather than using it as an adjunct to sym-
asymmetric advantage often generates psychologi- metric methods. Examples include the Maoist
cal advantages. But there have been states and mili- Peoples War, blitzkrieg and Massive Retaliation,
taries throughout history that were particularly adept the strategic concept that Warsaw Pact aggression
at manipulating psychological asymmetry, often by would invite a US nuclear strike on the Soviet
propagating an image of fierceness. The Mongols, homeland.
Assyrians, Aztecs and Zulus are examples of great Politico-strategic asymmetry is using nonmilitary
conquerors who effectively combined material and means to gain a military advantage. For instance,
psychological asymmetry. Their fierce image aug- recent attempts to ban forms of military technology,
mented advantages in training, leadership and doc- including information warfare, target the United
trine. Often psychological asymmetry is cheaper States more than less-developed states. Similarly,
than the material variant but is harder to sustain. one opponent in a conflict might be able to gain an
Levels of asymmetry. The most common form advantage by claiming victim status. While the
of asymmetry resides at the operational level of war. North Vietnamese were able to gain the moral high
Historical examples include the Germans use of ground against the United States to some extent,
submarine warfare to counterbalance the British Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein failed. In
advantage in capital ships; urban operations to coun- any case, politico-strategic asymmetry is likely to
terbalance a military force with superior mobility; become increasingly significant as information and
long-range fires in the battles for Stalingrad or Hue; globalization make states more susceptible to exter-
guerrilla operations in an enemys rear area as an nal political pressure.
26 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Forms of asymmetry. At least six forms of pike formations that dominated European battle-
asymmetry are relevant in the realm of national se- fields during the Renaissance, the levee en masse
curity and warfare. Asymmetric methods involve which helped French revolutionaries stave off a
using different operational concepts or tactical doc- number of professional European armies, the sys-
trines than the enemy. Examples include guerrilla tem of independent but mutually supporting corps
war and other nonlinear concepts. Many of the op-
erational concepts the US Army anticipates using
in the future, such as advanced vertical envelopment Strategic asymmetry can be positive
with mobile, protected forces (as opposed to air as- or negative. Positive asymmetry uses differences
saults or airdrops using simple foot-mobile infan- to gain an advantage. US military strategy
try), would entail operational asymmetry. places great value on superior training, leader-
Asymmetric technologies have been common in ship and technology to sustain and exploit
military history, particularly in wars pitting an in- superiority. Negative asymmetry involves an
dustrially advanced state against a backward one opponents threat to ones vulnerabilities.
such as Europes imperial wars of the 19th and 20th Most DOD thinking about asymmetry focuses
centuries. While the Europeans brought a wide ar- on its negative form.
ray of military advantages to bear in their colonial
wars, Hillaire Belloc captured their enduring trust
in technological asymmetry when he wrote, What- Napoleon created and insurgent undergrounds. In
ever happens, we have got the Maxim gun and they the future, state militaries may face nonstate enemies
have not. Advanced technology can be decisive in organized as networks rather than hierarchies.11
conflicts when the less-developed antagonist can- Finally, asymmetries of patience or time perspec-
not adapt. Britains colonial forces first used the tive can be significant. These are conceptually linked
Maxim gun in the Matabele War in 1893-94. In one to an asymmetry of will but more often operate in
engagement, 50 soldiers fought off 5,000 Matabele cross-cultural conflicts. Specifically, an asymmetry
warriors with just four Maxim guns. However, dur- of time perspective may occur when a committed
ing protracted wars, clever enemies tend to find antagonist enters a war and the opponent can only
counters to asymmetric technology. Vietnam pro- sustain the will for a short war. The United States
vides the clearest example. prefers to resolve armed conflict quickly, in part,
Asymmetries of will are important when one an- because congressional and public support for any
tagonist sees its survival or vital interest at stake and use of force that does not involve vital national in-
the other is protecting or promoting less-than-vital in- terests is limited. Furthermore, many of the ad-
terests. This type of asymmetry played a role during vanced weapons and systems the US military uses,
conflicts in Vietnam, Somalia and Iraq. An asym- such as precision bombs and missiles, are in lim-
metry of will leads the antagonist with the higher ited supply. Restocking requires restarting dormant
stake to bear greater costs, accept greater risk and production lines.
undertake actions the less-committed antagonist Because of US global security commitments, in-
might eschew on moral or legal grounds. Asymme- volvement in a protracted conflict might encourage
tries of will are most relevant at the level of grand enemies to undertake aggression, believing US re-
strategy. At the operational and tactical levels, the sources are spread too thin. US advantages in stra-
equivalent of an asymmetry of will is an asymme- tegic mobility match the desire for a quick win
try of morale, which can be crucial, even decisive. the preferred operational style. Knowing this
Napoleon Bonaparte held, In war the moral is to preference and knowing or suspecting the limited
the material as three to one. Asymmetries of will US stockpile of precision weapons, an adversary
are closely related to normative asymmetries be- might seek to extend a conflict. In addition to strain-
tween antagonists with different ethical or legal stan- ing the quick-win preference, if the weapons be-
dards. The United States faces enemies willing to come more blunt, collateral casualties will rise, and
use terrorism, ethnic cleansing and human shields. the enemy might gain a moral advantage. Con-
In the long term such actions can be self-defeating versely, the shorter a conflict involving the US mili-
if they alienate potential supporters, but they can tary, the greater the US advantage will be. Asym-
generate desired results in the short term, particu- metries of patience have a cultural component as
larly by highlighting an asymmetry of will. well. Americans are instinctively impatient, seeking
Asymmetries of organization can provide great fast resolution of any problem. This attitude con-
advantage to even a state without other advantages. trasted with Asian patience and willingness to pre-
Examples include the Macedonian phalanx, Swiss vail in a conflict that lasts for years or decades. While
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 27
A Somali gunman flees
from 10th Mountain
Division troops during
operations in Somalia.
Asymmetries of will are important when one antagonist sees its survival or vital
interest at stake and the other is protecting or promoting less-than-vital interests. This type of
asymmetry played a role during conflicts in Vietnam, Somalia and Iraq. An asymmetry of will leads
the antagonist with the higher stake to bear greater costs, accept greater risk and undertake
actions the less-committed antagonist might eschew on moral or legal grounds.
sweeping cultural generalizations are fraught with rapid. Part of the solution involves shifting attitudes.
danger, there is at least a kernel of truth in this one. Innovation and creativity must be nurtured and val-
Somewhere, the US military is likely to face an en- ued throughout uniformed and DOD civilian ranks.
emy attempting to take advantage of an asymmetry While iconoclasts and nonconformists should not
of patience. rule the military, they should be valued, preserved
and heard. Experimentation and research should
StrategicConcepts focus on strategic and operational adaptability. For
The operational concepts that form the basis of instance, experiments should create new types of or-
Joint Vision 2020 full-spectrum dominance ganizations to deal with new types of enemies. If
derived from dominant maneuver, precision en- networked nonstate enemies become a major threat
gagement, focused logistics and full-dimensional to US security, how quickly could the nation orga-
protectionare designed to take advantage of posi- nize to deal with them? In all likelihood, some fu-
tive asymmetry but are also relevant to countering ture US military components must acquire network
negative asymmetry. To best meet asymmetric chal- characteristics to counter networked enemies.
lenges, though, the US military should adopt and DOD experimentation should focus more on po-
develop five strategic concepts that build on the joint tential asymmetric challenges. Today, the enemy in
vision operational concepts. most armed service and DOD experiments or war
Maximum conceptual and organizational games remains a traditional, mechanized, state mili-
adaptability. Two characteristics of asymmetric tary that has invaded a neighboring state. Asymmet-
threats are particularly important: US defense plan- ric war games should form a greater proportion of
ners today cannot know precisely what asymmet- the total. Joint war games should be a robust test of
ric threats will emerge or prove effective; and the transformation and modernization programs, not a
effectiveness of asymmetric threats sooner or later confirmation or endorsement process. At the National
declines as the enemy adjusts. By maximizing Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, the Army has
conceptual and organizational adaptability and flex- learned the value of ignominious defeat at the hands
ibility, the US military can assure that it will rap- of a highly skilled Red team. For some reason, the
idly counter emerging asymmetric threats and speed same process is seldom applied to strategic war
the process that renders asymmetric threats insig- games. Both congressional and DOD leaders must
nificant or ineffective. The military that develops recognize that a Blue war-game defeat does not in-
new concepts and organizations more quickly than validate a transformation or modernization program
its opponents has a decided advantage. but simply provides a means of adjustment and re-
DOD must institutionalize ways to keep adapta- finement.
tion and transformation processes continuous and The process of focusing more analysis and ex-
28 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
perimentation on asymmetric challenges would be
strengthened by an institutional focus. DOD should
fund a center to study emerging threats that is
closely linked to the joint community, the combat-
ant commands and the armed services but indepen-
dent enough to be creative and innovative. This cen-
ter should be tied to the joint experimentation
process at the US Joint Forces Command, the
Pentagons Office of Net Assessment, the Defense
Intelligence Agencys futures programs, service ex-
perimentation programs, concept development cen-
ters and battle labs. It should also have strong in-
teragency and multinational connections.
At a somewhat different level, the US military
should prepare for asymmetric challenges by mak-
ing unit and system modularity a central criterion
during force development. Versatility and agility are SH-60F carrying a Rigid Duck raiding craft as
the touchstones. The armed services and joint com- a streamlined external load. Black Hawks can be
configured for medical evacuation, antisubmarine
munity should experiment with ways to build task- warfare, combat assaults, special operations and more.
specific organizations rapidly. The US militarys
experience forming joint task forces must expand
to explore how future organizations would build
interagency and multinational ties. Modularity
should also be a criterion for developing and pro-
curing systems. Future multipurpose systems like
the Black Hawk helicopter and the high-mobility, Modularity should also be a criterion
multipurpose, wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) could for developing and procuring systems. Future
perform an even wider array of tasks and be multipurpose systems like the Black Hawk
reconfigured according to the mission. This would helicopter, and HMMWV could perform an
give the Army an added degree of flexibility and even wider array of tasks and be reconfigured
better prepare it for asymmetric challenges. While according to the mission. . . . While multi-
multipurpose systems are seldom as effective as purpose systems are seldom as effective as single-
single-purpose ones, multipurpose systems make the purpose ones, multipurpose systems make the
most sense in an age of strategic uncertainty and most sense in an age of strategic uncertainty and
could serve as a foundation for single-purpose sys- could serve as a foundation for single-purpose
tems if long-term needs become clear. systems if long-term needs become clear.
Focused intelligence. There is growing agree-
ment in the defense and intelligence communities
that US intelligence efforts need to refocus on non- are not always available or reliable. Rather than
traditional threats. Intelligence collection, analysis relying solely on overhead imagery and signal in-
and dissemination should become increasingly in- tercepts, nanotechnology and robotics could form
teragency for maximum effectiveness. In addition, intelligence systems that surpass past technical-
intelligence focused on asymmetric threats should collection systems and HUMINT in some tasks. De-
make greater use of open sourcespublicly avail- fending against asymmetric challenges demands
able information.12 The 1999 Joint Strategy Review bold, new collection methods.
suggested that the United States should immediately Minimal vulnerability. The Joint Vision 2020
undertake a multiagency, holistic assessment of its concept of full-dimensional protection applies to
vulnerability to asymmetric threats.13 The intelli- asymmetric threats. Current force-protection efforts,
gence community must help improve adaptability augmented by developments in robotics and nonle-
and flexibility, particularly by strengthening the Red thal weapons, can help counter terrorism and other
teams in war games and experimentation. attempts to cause casualties and erode US will.
The Joint Strategy Review emphasizes the need Minimal vulnerability would also require resilience
for improved human intelligence (HUMINT) to or nondependence on systems susceptible to attack.
counter asymmetric threats.14 New technology for Single sources of anything invite asymmetric at-
collecting, assessing, fusing and disseminating in- tacks, but with some systems, redundancy may be
telligence would also be helpful. HUMINT sources too expensive. All reasonable steps should be taken
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 29
to avoid dependence on any single operational reconfiguration area would be kept to a minimum
method or system. For instance, if the US military and replenished only when necessary. Repair and
becomes so dependent on information superiority hospital facilities would also be mobile and dis-
that it cannot function without it, asymmetric attacks persed.
against information systems could be devastating or Theater reconfiguration areas could be protected
even decisive. Even as the US military increases its by conventional concealment methods, electronic
use of digital technology, it should sustain some skill masking, and a laser-based missile and air defense
at older, low-tech methods. web combining ground-based fire platforms; long-
Finding ways to project power against an enemy loiter and quick-launch, unmanned aerial vehicle fire
who employs an access-denial strategy and to sus- platforms; and space-based sensor and fire plat-
forms. Autonomous sentry systems somewhere be-
tween a full-fledged robot and a mobile, smart mine
Innovation and creativity must be could provide local security. Host nation support
nurtured and valued throughout uniformed would be minimum to protect operational security.
and DOD civilian ranks. While iconoclasts To complicate targeting by enemies, several decoy
and nonconformists should not rule the theater reconfiguration areas could be set up in each
military, they should be valued, preserved and country that allowed them. Such a shell game could
heard. Experimentation and research should provide effective deception and thus complicate
focus on strategic and operational adapta- attempts to strike theater reconfiguration areas
bility. For instance, experiments should with missiles.
create new types of organizations to deal Full-dimension precision. The US military will
with new types of enemies. remain vulnerable to normative and political asym-
metries. The more operations limit collateral dam-
age and reach a speedy resolution, the less likely
tain projected forces without forward bases would these challenges will prove important. One way of
be an important part of minimizing vulnerability. doing that is with greater full-dimension precision.
Since the campaigns of Generals Ulysses S. Grant One component of this is physical precisionthe
and William T. Sherman, the American way of ability to hit targets with great accuracy from great
war has called for stocking massive amounts of distances with precisely the desired physical effect.
materiel and supplies in theater for decisive victory. Physical precision derives from improved intelli-
This strategy is contingent on the enemys inability gence, guidance systems and, increasingly, from the
to strike rear bases effectively. But if future enemies ability to adjust weapon effects. A proposed elec-
have precision-guided munitions, weapons of mass tromagnetic gun, for instance, could be adjusted
destruction and delivery systems, in-theater sanctu- from a nonlethal setting to an extremely lethal one.15
aries may not exist. Even air superiority and theater But there is more to precision than simply hitting
missile defense would be inadequate against a the right target. Military strategists and command-
nuclear-armed enemy, since they cannot assure 100- ers must think in terms of psychological precision
percent effectiveness. The future US military could as wellstructuring a military operation to shape
confront a counterdeployment strategy that uses the attitudes, beliefs and perceptions among the en-
sabotage or precision-guided munitions and ballis- emy and other observers, whether local noncombat-
tic missiles to attack bases and staging areas in the ants or global audiences.
United States and in a theater of operations, and Technology can help future militaries attain
threaten states that provide support, bases, staging greater psychological precision. It is vital to have a
areas or overflight rights to the United States. very wide range of military optionsa rheostatic
An enemy using a counterdeployment strategy capability assures that an operation has the desired
could be blunted in several interrelated ways. One psychological effect. This suggests a growing need
would be through greater intratheater mobility via for effective nonlethal weapons, particularly when
lighter forces and systems such as high-speed, the psychological objective is to demonstrate the
shallow-draft, sealift vessels. Another would be futility of opposition without killing so many of the
using theater reconfiguration areas located in remote enemy or noncombatants that the enemys will is
areas of agreeable nations with a landing strip as the steeled rather than broken or that public opposition
only fixed part of the base. All of the other things is mobilized. Some advocates of nonlethal weapons
needed to prepare equipment and troops for com- go so far as to see them as the central element in
bat could be mobile, concentrating just before an future armed conflict.16 While this is probably an
inbound aerial convoy arrived and dispersing as overstatement, such weapons will be integral to psy-
soon as it left. Inventorying supplies at a theater chological precision.
30 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Different forms of psychotechnology might allow
greater psychological precision. Conceivably, tech- Single sources of anything invite
nology could give militaries the ability to alter the asymmetric attacks, but with some systems,
perceptions of targets, perhaps causing intense fear redundancy may be too expensive. All reason-
or calm. But any state with the capability and incli- able steps should be taken to avoid dependence
nation to develop such technology should be very on any single operational method or system.
careful because of the potential for violating basic For instance, if the US military becomes so
human rights. In most cases, technology for psycho- dependent on information superiority that it
logical manipulation should be eschewed. Some cannot function without it, asymmetric
state or organization without ethical and legal con- attacks against information systems could
straints may field an array of psychotechnology be devastating or even decisive.
weapons. Then the United States will have to de-
cide whether to respond in kind or seek other means
of defense. The potential for a psychotechnology to develop a robust and integrated homeland secu-
arms race is real. rity strategy and organization. Many homeland de-
Technology is only part of psychological preci- fense efforts are already under way, particularly in
sion. Much psychological analysis, particularly deal- infrastructure protection and military roles. One im-
ing with anxiety and fear, is not adequately inte- portant future task is sealing the seams between the
grated into military planning. When the goal is to agencies involved in homeland defense since gaps
create fear and anxiety or collapse the enemys will, create vulnerabilities that an enemy might exploit.
the operation should be phased and shaped for maxi- Ultimately, negative asymmetry can be mitigated
mum psychological impact. Successful militaries but not eliminated. That said, the United States is
must assure that operational and strategic planning not on the verge of disaster. US military organiza-
staffs are psychologically astute, whether by edu- tions, technology, strategy and doctrine can either
cating the planners themselves or using information deal with most asymmetric threats or be quickly
technology to provide access to psychologists, cul- modified to do so. The more adaptable, flexible and
tural psychologists and members of other cultures. strategically agile the US military is, the better it will
They should undertake cross-cultural psychological be prepared to deal with asymmetry. Positive asym-
studies aimed at building databases and models that metry will continue to provide the US military with
can help guide operational planning. advantages over most enemies. Even so, DOD
Integrated homeland security. Modern technol- should continue to refine its understanding of asym-
ogy and globalization have changed strategic geog- metric challenges. A more general and complete
raphy. The United States can no longer assume that definition of asymmetry is needed as a foundation
conflict and warfare will only take place far from for doctrine and for integrating maximum adaptabil-
the homeland. Future enemies will have the means ity and flexibility, focused intelligence, minimal vul-
to strike at the US homeland with missiles, infor- nerability, full-dimension precision and integrated
mation attacks or terrorism. The United States needs homeland security into US security strategy.
1. John Foster Dulles, The Evolution of Foreign Policy, Department of State Joint Chiefs of Staff [CJCS], 2000), 5.
Bulletin, 25 January 1962, 107-10. 8. Joint Strategy Review (Washington, DC: CJCS, 1999), 2.
2. Joint Publication (JP) 1, Joint Warfare of the Armed Forces of the United 9. Mao Tse-Tung, On Protracted War, in Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung,
States (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office [GPO], 10 January 1995), Vol II (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1967), 172.
IV-10 and IV-11. 10. Joint Vision 2020, 5.
3. The same discussion of symmetrical and asymmetrical actions is included 11. For elaboration on this idea, see Steven Metz, Armed Conflict in the 21st
in the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia, 16 July 1997, 668-670; and JP 3-0, Doctrine Century: The Information Revolution and Post-Modern Warfare (Carlisle Barracks,
for Joint Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, 1 February 1995), III-10. PA: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 2000), 56-59.
4. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Report of the Quadrennial Defense 12. Robert D. Steele, Open Source Intelligence: What Is It? Why Is It Impor-
Review, May 1997, Section II. tant to the Military? <www.oss.net/Proceedings/95Vol1/aab0aw.html>; Steele, On
5. Report of the National Defense Panel, Transforming Defense: National Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World (Fairfax, VA: AFCEA Interna-
Security in the 21st Century, (Washington, DC: December 1997), 11. tional Press, 2000), 105-26. Steele is one of the pioneers and most ardent advo-
6. During 1998, based on a contract from the intelligence community, cates of open-source intelligence.
CENTRA Technologies formed a blue ribbon panel on asymmetric warfare. A 13. Joint Strategy Review, 31-32.
workshop held in December included Dr. John Hillen, Mr. Richard Kerr, Dr. 14. Ibid.
Steven Metz, Admiral William Small, Professor Martin van Creveld and Lieuten- 15. US Army Chief Scientist A. Michael Andrews interviewed by Ron Laurenzo,
ant General Paul Van Riper. The project apparently was dropped after this Defense Week, 29 November 1999, 6.
meeting. 16. John B. Alexander, Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First Cen-
7. Joint Vision 2020 (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, Chairman, tury Warfare (New York: St. Martins, 1999).
Steven Metz is research professor of National Security Affairs, US Army War College,
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of South
Carolina and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He has served in various faculty posi-
tions at the US Army War College, the US Army Command and General Staff College and
several universities. He has served as an adviser to political organizations and campaigns,
and on national security policy panels. He has authored more than 80 publications on na-
tional security issues and has been a frequent contributor to Military Review since 1987.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 31
HE TERMS ASYMMETRY, asymmetric
T warfare, asymmetric approaches and asym-
metric options are popular sound bites found in
[One] assessment listed four asymmetric
responses that other nations could take to
many military journals today. Asymmetric-related counter US superiority: acquiring weapons of
terms are commonly associated with a potential mass destruction; acquiring high-technology
opponents operations or actions against US inter- weapons; acquiring cyberweapons; and fighting
ests or forces. The attacks are commonly described in environments that degrade US capabilities.
as chemical, biological, nuclear, terrorist or infor- The logic of considering these approaches
mation attacks, or attacks against weak points. Ar- asymmetric escapes reason, for the first three
guably, these attacks are not asymmetric. In fact, responses would improve symmetry.
except for the terrorist example, these are symmetri-
cal attacks. The United States has chemical, biologi- biological weapons, then we should worry. In some
cal, nuclear and information means; therefore, such cultures, social and religious reasons may override
attacks cannot be asymmetric. national interests when choosing whether to use
The asymmetric aspect of a chemical, nuclear, such weapons.
information or traditional attack actually relates to
asymmetries in capabilities, reliance, vulnerabilities WhatisAsymmetry?
and values. The capabilities of certain forcessome Judging by the multiple applications of the term
information systems can shut down command and in military journalsnot fighting fair, attacking
control systems and prevent nuclear systems from a weak point, information or cyberwar, public
launchingconstitute one variable. A nations re- relations war, weapons of mass destruction
liance on a particular system is another. For ex- very few people understand asymmetrys formal
ample, both sides can have information weapons, definition. This is understandable since joint doctrine
but one side may rely more on them than the other. does not define the term.1 One civilian lexicon ex-
The vulnerability of a system or platforms perfor- plains asymmetry using the mathematical term in-
mance parameters, operating principles or situational commensurability, the relationship between things
context is another asymmetric opening, the one most which have no common measure.2 Another civilian
often associated with weak spots. Finally, cultural definition refers to defective, disproportionate cor-
values determine whether a nation will or will not respondence between things or their parts.3
use one of these methods. Other non-English-speaking cultures define the
The Russo-US relationship provides an example term in more distinct ways. A Russian dictionary
of such reasoning. Both countries have had biologi- definition of asymmetry is the absence or destruc-
cal and nuclear weapons for decades, yet no one has tion of symmetry.4 This concept implies a more
called this an asymmetric Russian threat. Neither active role in changing symmetrys parameters than
side has used these weapons because of discussions the US or British definition, even the creation of
that led to a common understanding and because of asymmetry. Compared to Western deductive think-
a value structure that placed national interests above ing, the Russian dialectic thought process of thesis
other interests. However, if a country that conducts and antithesis encourages an analysis of a situation
operations based on very different values obtains from a different, more confrontational perspective.
32 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
A Predator flies above the USS Carl Vinson during
a training exercise. The unmanned aerial vehicle
broadcast real-time infrared and color video to
intelligence analysts and controllers on the ground
and the ships of the carrier battle group.
While it may be hard for US military leaders to recognize, the dictionary
definition suggests that the United States is the worlds most asymmetric military force.
While degrees of symmetry exist between other forces in developed countries, no one can
symmetrically match up with US equipment and firepower. This was most evident in
the after-action comments following the conflict over Kosovo.
There is no distinct word for asymmetry in Chi- comments following the conflict over Kosovo. De-
nese. To express this concept one would negate the partment of Defense (DOD) officials admonished
word for to be symmetrical. This word for sym- other NATO countries that their equipment was not
metry, duicheng, is also comprised of two charac- compatible with or as capable as US equipment.
ters. The word dui in ancient texts means to re- If the United States is the most asymmetric force
spond, to face or face off, to matchboth in in the world, why are potential threats to US secu-
the sense of complement but also in the sense of rity almost always labeled asymmetric? For ex-
enemies matching in skill. The term cheng initially ample, the US National Defense University (NDU),
signified the concept of a balance and then in its 1998 strategic assessment, listed four asym-
evolved into a broader semantic sense of to accord metric responses that other nations could take to
with.5 Thus, in China, asymmetry would involve counter US superiority: acquiring weapons of mass
things not in accord with, out of balance, not re- destruction; acquiring high-technology weapons;
sponding and not matching or facing one another. acquiring cyberweapons; and fighting in environ-
These definitions indicate that our understanding ments that degrade US capabilities. The logic of
of asymmetry has strayed and become misused. considering these approaches asymmetric escapes
None of the recognized definitions discusses weak reason, for the first three responses would improve
points, unfair fighting or nontraditional means that symmetry according to the dictionary definitions.
many authors assert. The term apparently assumes The United States has all of these capabilities
whatever meaning military authors wish to portray now; if someone else acquires them, then we are
and is thrown around like the grammatically incor- in a symmetric relationship. Threats are mislabeled
rect term irregardless. asymmetric because we do not understand what
While it may be hard for US military leaders to asymmetry means.
recognize, the dictionary definition suggests that the Some highly respected publications stress that if
United States is the worlds most asymmetric mili- an opponent does not fight the way we expect, then
tary force. While degrees of symmetry exist be- we automatically label his fighting technique asym-
tween other forces in developed countries, no one metric. The NDU study stated that asymmetric
can symmetrically match up with US equipment and threats or techniques are a version of not fighting
firepower. This was most evident in the after-action fair, which can include the use of surprise in all its
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 33
operational and strategic dimensions and the use of sions of the threat that each poses to the othercan
weapons in ways unplanned by the U.S. If this defi- be quite problematic. But it is a process that must
nition were accurate, Serbs and Iraqis could claim be undertaken if we are to give due weight to all
that NATO and the multinational coalition did not the relevant elements of power. 7 Threats in the
fight fairface to facebut from afar with long- sense of capabilities, reliance on systems and vul-
range, precision weapons. With such a broad appli- nerabilities are important in this regard.
Steven Metz and Douglas Johnson of the US
Army War College offer another visionary defini-
Perhaps the most asymmetric
tion of asymmetry: acting, organizing and think-
and least-discussed element is values.
ing differently than opponents in order to maximize
Operating principlesindividual, social group
ones own advantages, exploit an opponents weak-
and national valuesall play a role in the
information age. nesses, attain the initiative or gain greater freedom
of action. It can be political-strategic, military-
Foreign societies may believe it is easier to strategic, operational or a combination of these. It
attack the Western psyche or will to fight than to can entail different methods, technologies, values,
meet it on the battlefield in a contest between organizations, time perspectives or some combina-
technologies, a truly asymmetric approach from tion of these. The authors add that asymmetry can
the Western viewpoint. be short-term or long-term, deliberate or by default,
discrete or pursued in conjunction with symmetric
approaches and can have both psychological and
cation, any action can be considered asymmetric and physical dimensions.8
further confuse the issue. The terms atypical or Retired Brigadier General David L. Grange writes
nontraditional better fit a situation in which an op- that asymmetry is best understood as a strategy, tac-
ponent uses an unexpected technique or exploits tic or method of warfare and conflict. It is not some-
some factor better or faster than his opponent. The thing new, he reminds us, noting that strategists de-
imprecise US terminology is faulty. fine asymmetric warfare as conflict deviating from
An Australian officer, Major J.J. Frewen, offered the norm or an indirect approach to affect the bal-
a reason for this imprecision. He noted that global- ance of forces.9
ization has expanded the definition of national se- Perhaps the most asymmetric and least-discussed
curity beyond physical security to include economic, element is values. Operating principlesindividual,
environmental, informational and cultural security.6 social group and national valuesall play a role
Threats to these elements are often considered in the information age. There is always a lack of
asymmetric by many US academic institutes and symmetry in values, even between two people. For
leaders when, more precisely, these are matters for example, discussions of abortion, homosexual-
which our armed forces are not well designed. They ity and religion bring out individual differences.
undermine national interests without shots being In the international arena, some decisionmakers
fired and demonstrate that military intervention is abide by international treaties; others do not. The
problematic when the definition of decisive force values of President George H. Bush and Iraqi leader
is unclear. Frewen notes that problems in Somalia Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War clearly rep-
were caused not by a lack of armored vehicles but resented this asymmetry. Bush prevented a march
by failure to understand the environment. The prob- on Baghdad because it was not in the UN mandate,
lem was about apples attending an oranges while Hussein ignored international treaties and in-
event; any hardware-only solution suggests asym- vaded Kuwait.
Some analysts have defined asymmetry with vi- VulnerabilitiesandAsymmetries
sion. Lloyd J. Matthews offers a strategic vision for Many authors consider asymmetry to be the abil-
his description of asymmetry. He defines it as any ity to exploit situations by attacking weak points or
militarily significant disparity between contending using nontraditional approaches in unexpected
parties that clearly fits the lack or want of sym- ways. These vulnerabilities can be uncovered by
metry idea expressed in Websters. He notes: The using a specific methodology to examine a situation.
process of calculating the resultant of the various The methodology uses one of four means:
vectors of power wielded by two asymmetrically l Performance parameters.
related opponentsin order to measure the dimen- l Situational context.
34 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
In January 2000,
destroying the city
with artillery and
Joint doctrine does not define the term [but] . . . the NDU study stated that
asymmetric threats or techniques are a version of not fighting fair, which can include the
use of surprise in all its operational and strategic dimensions and the use of weapons in ways
unplanned by the U.S. If this definition were accurate, Serbs and Iraqis could claim
that NATO and the multinational coalition did not fight fairface to facebut from
afar with long-range, precision weapons. With such a broad application, any action can be
considered asymmetric and further confuse the issue.
l Operating principles and rules of engagement. destruction or annihilation, prolonged attrition or
l Will. creating large groups of refugees.
Each mean uses nontraditional or intellectual Performance parameters. Weapon parameters,
methods to exploit a situation, degrading capabili- whether signature, such as sound or image display,
ties and inducing unpredictability and chaos into or performance characteristics, are susceptible to
military operations. It limits advantages, capitalizes manipulation and are vulnerable. The Serbian mili-
on weaknesses, and tests patience and will. The tary demonstrated its awareness of this principle
methodology is a thinking mans strategy that en- during the recent conflict in Kosovo. The Serbs re-
courages out-of-the-box concepts that could be la- portedly sent air defense crews to Iraq in February
beled asymmetric because they capitalize on asym- 1999 to study Iraqi procedures. The Iraqis have
metries in capabilities and reliance. fought against these planes and tactics for 10 years.
Such moves would be innovative or bold actions Who could better tell Serbian crews what a NATO
that could apply equally to either high- or low-tech or US air attack might look like? Every performance
opponents. It might mean using low-tech options to parameter was recorded on radar.
counter high-tech equipmentthe rocket-propelled In another example, the Serbs reportedly used
grenade (RPG) launcher versus a helicopter or us- smoke to deflect NATO precision-guided weapons.
ing fuel-air explosives on an opponent. Or it could When the pilot could no longer keep the cross hair
mean attempts to strike a peoples political will and on a smoked target, the weapons went off-course
patience. The United States lost the battle of wills as the performance parameter was exploited. In
at home but not on the Vietnam battlefield. Asym- Chechnya, the Chechens knew the elevation and de-
metry can even express itself as a strategy of mass pression limits of the Russian T-72 battle tanks
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 35
An Iraqi SA-3 Goa crew trains
with their medium-altitude
surface-to-air missile battery.
forces superior firepower, maneuverability and in-
telligence capability. In the city environment, the
high-tech force often finds that its force structure
does not fit the terrain. The high-tech force may find
itself opposed by an entire population, as the Rus-
sians were in Grozny in 1996. A high-tech force,
on the other hand, could prevent the low-tech force
from entering the city.
Operating principles and rules of engagement.
Operating principles of presidents, parliaments and
armed forces vary from nation to nation. Interna-
tional treaties bind most nations to some common
principles, but this adherence varies with time and
opponents. Warsaw Pact members allegiance to the
Weapon parameters, whether signature, Soviet Union waned and disappeared in the 1990s.
such as sound or image display, or performance The recent NATO operation over Kosovo offers a
characteristics, are susceptible to manipulation stark example. Breaking with traditions of time,
and are vulnerable. The Serbian military opponent and principles, NATO acted out of area
demonstrated its awareness of this principle and may have placed human rights above sover-
during the recent conflict in Kosovo. The Serbs eignty. If democratic nations bend their operating
reportedly sent air defense crews to Iraq in principles, what type of behavior and adherence to
February 1999 to study Iraqi procedures. operating principles might we expect from totalitar-
ian or rogue regimes?
Below the level of presidents and parliaments,
main gun. They hid below the depression level in combat involves operating principles. Combatants
basements and in windows above the maximum el- can estimate opposing leaders tolerance for loss and
evation while fighting in Grozny during 1994 and damage, and threshold for capitulation. Unlike
1995 and used RPGs to immobilize tanks. nation-states, guerillas are not bound by international
When NATOs air forces engaged Serbias armed treaties, codes of conduct or operating principles.
forces, Serbian deceptions fooled NATOs high-tech This difficulty is compounded by Western reliance
equipment. The Serbian military found a flaw in on technology, a vulnerable operating principle in
NATOs electronic-reconnaissance systemtargets the age of off-the-shelf products. Sometimes underde-
could be seen but not clearly identified. Decoys and veloped countries can acquire high-tech equipment
fake positions protected the real ones. When the faster than developed countries because of research, de-
Serbs wanted to block NATOs thermal-imaging velopment and acquisition time lines: In a world in
systems, they used industrial heat sources to con- which state-of-the-art is off-the-shelf, industry, and
struct thermal-cover positions to protect tanks and potentially our foes, can obtain better information
artillery. systems and technology cheaper and faster than
Another performance parameter is that of an ac- DOD because our current acquisition system buys
tual force: tempo. Understanding an opponents con- computers in the same way we buy bullets. 10 Buying
cept of operational tempo gets one inside an impor- off the shelf becomes an asymmetric approach to
tant performance parameter of his force and developed nations longer-term procurement cycles.
provides an asymmetric option. Operating principles also refer to the rules of en-
Situational context. Situational context includes gagement, strategy, tactics and organizational prin-
an areas dominant historical, cultural, geographic ciples that guide a sides actions and decisions.
and political factors and how an opponent might NATO politicians decided that pilots could fly only
manipulate them. For example, what is the regime above 15,000 feet in Kosovo, a rule of engagement
protecting and what does it want? Other factors in- that affected precision.
clude a countrys particular warrior culture, guerilla Will. Colonel Charles Dunlap Jr. notes that the
movements or use of time and geography. In most Western mind-set Samuel Huntington describes in-
conflicts, both combatants have some elements that cludes concepts (values) such as individualism, lib-
a thinking belligerent can exploit. Two unequal eralism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality,
forces, such as a high-tech force confronting a low- liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets,
tech force, fighting on similar terrain could use an [and] the separation of church and state.11 How-
asymmetric approach. If a low-tech force moves to ever, entirely different principles and ideologies may
the sanctuary a city offers, it can offset the high-tech drive logic in other cultures. Foreign societies may
36 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
believe it is easier to attack the Western psyche
or will to fight than to meet it on the battlefield in a Unlike nation-states, guerillas are
contest between technologies, a truly asymmetric not bound by international treaties, codes of
approach from the Western viewpoint. Many conduct or operating principles. This difficulty
Russians believe that the United States did just that is compounded by Western reliance on
when it convinced Soviet Secretary General Mikhail technology, a vulnerable operating principle in
Gorbachev to end the Cold War. His loss of will the age of off-the-shelf products. Sometimes
allowed the West to win the Cold War without fir- underdeveloped countries can acquire high-tech
ing a shot. equipment faster than developed countries
This discussion offers several conclusions. First, because of research, development and
the word asymmetry highlights the problem of us- acquisition time lines.
ing terms loosely or improperly. When this happens,
words are not properly understood, confusion reigns,
and endless time is spent in futile explanation. The Asymmetry is a matter of two unlike systems in-
international arena further exacerbates the situation teracting, each within its capabilities. Attacks can
because different cultures interpret words with slight be swift (like an earthquake) or progressive (like
nuances. Not using ones own language correctly termites or rust, silently undermining a formidable
only heightens misunderstanding. Second, a meth- structure). Progressive attacks are usually associated
odology that considers a situation asymmetrically with cultural strengths than can be maintained for
offers a way to analyze and choose courses of ac- long periods (sacrifice, resilience, deception, media
tion. Third, perspective is equally as important as sympathy). Unlike systems do not understand how
methodology. The United States might be the most to counter each other because of contradictory para-
asymmetric force on Earth, but Americans do not digms. Consider the term rasingingin. When the
see themselves that way. They view others as an term is understood as singing in the rain, then de-
asymmetric force or threat when, in fact, they are ciphering other terms is easier. For example, the
not. US citizens should be proud to be on the right word insertion paradigm helps interpret the term
side of the asymmetric ledger. beilld as sick in bed. Understanding the threat
Asymmetries exist everywhere, of course. They requires thinking in threat paradigms.
can be found in market economies of varying de- Agents using asymmetric analytic methodolo-
grees versus centrally planned economies and in giesperformance parameters, situational context,
political systems. There are also strategic, opera- operating principles and willstart with an advan-
tional and tactical asymmetries. Strategically, theo- tage. When striving to attack a vulnerability, hav-
rists discuss asymmetries in the force structure of ing a template for action is the name of the game.
intercontinental ballistic missiles or information Each methodology allows analysts to visualize bet-
warfare forces, while tactical-level analysts try to ter how to attack and defend enemy and friendly
calculate the correlation of forces between sides. In vulnerabilities. In the end, this is where the focus
these cases, asymmetries refer to quantities, total should be and not on the so-called asymmetric
numbers or different philosophies. Asymmetries threats of weapons of mass destruction and chemi-
also refer to approaches to attack vulnerabilities. cal, biological and information attacks.
1. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictio- 7. Lloyd J. Matthews, Introduction in Challenging the United States Symmetri-
nary of Military and Associated Terms (Washington, DC: US Government Print- cally and Asymmetrically: Can America be Defeated? ed. Lloyd J. Matthews
ing Office, 10 June 1998). (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College [USAWC], Strategic Studies Insti-
2. Philip Babcock Gove, ed., Websters Third New International Dictio- tute [SSI], July 1998), 20.
nary of the English Language (Unabridged) (Springfield, MA: Merriam- 8. Steven Metz and Douglas V. Johnson II, Asymmetry and U.S. Military Strat-
Webster Inc., 1981), 136. egy, USAWC, SSI, January 2001, 5, 6.
3. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, The Oxford English Dictionary, Second 9. David L. Grange, Asymmetric Warfare: Old Method, New Concern, ROA
Edition, Volume I (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1989), 738. National Security Report, March 2001, 1. Reprinted with permission from National
4. S.I. Ozhegov, Dictionary of the Russian Language (Moscow, 1984), 29. Strategy Forum Review, Winter 2000.
5. Discussion between the author and Dr. Deborah Porter, University of Utah, 10. Ibid., 16.
Associate Professor of Chinese, 4 August 2000. 11. Charles Dunlap Jr., Preliminary Observations: Asymmetrical Warfare and
6. Discussion between the author and Royal Australian Infantry Major J.J. the Western Mindset, in Challenging the United States Symmetrically and Asym-
Frewen regarding a two-year exchange with the US Army as a G3 strategic plans metrically: Can America Be Defeated?, Lloyd Matthews, ed. (Carlisle Barracks, PA:
officer, Headquarters, US Army Pacific. USAWC, SSI, July 1998), 3.
Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas, US Army, Retired, is an analyst with the US Army Foreign
Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and is an adjunct professor at the US Armys Eur-
asian Institute, Garmisch, Germany. He received a B.S. from the US Military Academy and an M.A.
from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General
Staff College and the US Army Russian Institute (USARI). He has held various command and staff posi-
tions in the Continental United States and Europe, including director, Soviet Studies, USARI, Garmisch.
His article Chinas Electronic Strategies appeared in the May-June 2001 issue of Military Review.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 37
T HERE IS NOTHING NEW about asymme-
try. Strategists and tacticians have always
sought to pit their strength against opponents weak-
Perhaps the most insidious consequence
of training focused on plan execution is that
nesses. During the Cold War, Western allies adopted strategic, operational and tactical echelons all
an offset strategy, relying on technological superi- are trained in the tactical time context. Strategic
ority to offset numerical inferiority. Both East and and operational thinking are the domain
West found acceptable responses to the asymmetry. of deliberate planning. Training in the tactical
The nature of asymmetry has changed dramatically, time frame does not allow senior commanders
and organizational processes developed and institu- to exercise strategic and operational
tionalized in response to Cold War realities inhibit decisionmaking.
appropriate responses to the new.
Some aspects of government behavior are best
understood as outputs of large organizations func- ment and doctrine changed, and US forces adapted.
tioning according to standard patterns of behavior.1 Adaptation to change centered in combat develop-
These standard patterns develop over time and be- ment organizations, part of the producer chain of
come routine and institutionalized. Habitual relations command far removed from the operational chain
and practices become part of the unquestioned way of command. Separate organizational responses for
of doing business. They are often honed and opti- plan development, plan execution and adaptation to
mized for measures such as efficiency, effectiveness change are pronounced Cold War legacies.
or safety. When tasked, an organizations response is
generally limited to its existing patterns of behavior. OrganizationalResponsestotheColdWar
Planning, training and adapting are three comple- The Soviet Union was formidable, and we stud-
mentary ways a country prepares for war. A strong, ied it continually for decades. We knew, with rea-
deliberate planning culture developed during the sonable certainty, the enemy order of battle, his
Cold War in large and important segments of the methods of operations, his equipment and the battle-
military, particularly in Europe, Korea and Wash- field terrain. The Soviets were doctrinaire, known
ington. In addition to deliberate planning methods, for centralized planning and withholding latitude
equally strong processes were established to support from tactical commanders. Much was fixed, except
intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB). whether and when war would be fought.
A sophisticated training method was developed The US response was a complex biennial delib-
to complement the deliberate planning process. erate planning process. The typical output was a
The deliberate planning process yielded deci- lengthy OPLAN, including time-phased force de-
sions at the strategic and operational levels of war. ployment data (TPFDD), which detailed unit move-
The output of deliberate planning, the operation plan ment. In theater, our knowledge of the enemy and
(OPLAN), was input to training events. Plan execu- the environment was so detailed that we produced
tionincluding daily, tactical planningwas the voluminous catalogs of targets matched to preferred
training focus. destruction means and doctrinal templates that aided
Higher-level decisions typically caused no observ- in predicting enemy intent. The response to the
able effect during a real-time, week-long exercise. wealth of available information was the sophisti-
Doctrine, organization and equipment remained con- cated IPB process. Deliberate planning became in-
stant for NATO and Warsaw Pact forces during a stitutionalized in US defense culturein Washing-
training event, but throughout the Cold War, equip- ton and in the field.2
38 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
The deliberate planning process emphasizes plan
development; a separate training methodology was One of the most dramatic post-Cold
developed to exercise plan execution. The classic War trends is from permanent to temporary
training event is conducted in real time, begins when commands, for example, from the dominant role
the first shots are fired, runs 24 hours a day for five of unified commands and their component
to seven days, executes a previously constructed headquarters to a reliance on ad hoc JTFs.
plan and traverses a single path in detail through a A corollary trend is from a regional CINCs
very bushy tree of possibilities.3 Typically, two full area of operations to a JTF commanders JOA,
echelons of command and staff constitute the pri- the former characterized by an established
mary training audience. If the training audience is and familiar infrastructure and the latter by
sufficiently tactical, real forces and equipment are immature and unfamiliar infrastructure.
in the field, the air or at sea. If the training audi-
ence is at higher echelons, then some form of simu-
lation represents echelons below the staffs. order of battle. Our organizational responses are still
Perhaps the most insidious consequence of train- based on those assumptions and must be reconsid-
ing focused on plan execution is that strategic, op- ered in light of asymmetry.
erational and tactical echelons all are trained in the One of the most dramatic post-Cold War trends
tactical time context. Strategic and operational think- is from permanent to temporary commands, for ex-
ing are the domain of deliberate planning. Training ample, from the dominant role of unified commands
in the tactical time frame does not allow senior and their component headquarters to a reliance on
commanders to exercise strategic and operational ad hoc joint task forces (JTFs). A corollary trend is
decisionmaking. In addition to the deliberate plan- from a regional commander in chiefs (CINCs) area
ning and training responses, a third response solidi- of operations to a JTF commanders joint operations
fiedadapting to change. The services imple- area (JOA), the former characterized by an estab-
mented the combat development process separately lished and familiar infrastructure and the latter by
in garrison. A long-term intelligence process focus- immature and unfamiliar infrastructure. A second
ing on Soviet evolution supported combat develop- corollary trend is from forward-deployed forces as-
ment. Unified commands nominally generated the signed to a specific unified command to deployable
requirements that drove the combat development forces apportioned to multiple commands. The
process. But, as often as not, technological oppor- trend in planning is from deliberate planning to
tunity, the need to replace aging weapons and vi- time-sensitive, or crisis-action, planning. The final
sions within various organizations in the producer related trend is from warfare between conventional
chain of command, drove combat developments. forces to military operations other than war involv-
Adapting to the evolving threat was the combat ing conventional, unconventional and irregular
developers responsibility. forces.4
Over the past several decades a complex of Future conflict likely will bring together elements
sophisticated processes has spread across the of both war and operations short of war. Asymmet-
departments bureaucracy, each office operating ric actors will engage US forces in complex ter-
with specialized skills in a different time frame. One rainincluding mountain, jungle, forest and urban
element of the larger process is deliberate planning settingswith small bands of dedicated warriors
with voluminous output every two years. A sepa- using low-technology weapons. They will attempt
rate training process produced units trained to doc- to defeat US forces before destroying them by at-
trinal standards to accomplish the specific missions tacking the command, control, communications,
derived from OPLANs. Warfighting commands computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnais-
trained to execute tasks doctrinally in real time; they sance systems that unify dispersed units. Asymmet-
did not train to adapt in real time at the strategic, ric threats recognize that the United States cannot
operational or tactical levels of war. The services employ forces that it cannot deploy, and they will
also implemented the combat development process. attack ports of embarkation and debarkation and
Combat developers were continually challenged to lines of communications.
absorb new technology and weapon systems and re- There is always uncertainty in war, but the over-
spond to Soviet advances with doctrine, organiza- riding trend following the Cold War is a dramatic
tion and equipment. increase in uncertainty. So much of what was known
and could be planned for is now and will remain
ChangesintheEnvironment unknown. A useful way to summarize the changed
Many Cold War assumptions are now invalid, environment is the dramatic shift in balance between
including known threat, known doctrine and known what is fixed (relatively certain) and what is variable
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 39
(relatively uncertain). The natural tendency is to jures up pejorative images of the so-called four-
apply familiar and institutionalized processes and star squad leader. The third model, command by
procedures to the new environment. But adapting influence, involves broad, mission-oriented orders
to the new threat environment is not a matter of re- and maximum initiative at the lowest echelons.
placing the Soviets with a different enemy that we Any real command employs a hybrid of the three.
For example, the Navy often describes its model as
command by negation. Ship captains independent
In training, repetition is key command at sea subject to occasional interventions
to making performance second nature. from above constitutes a hybrid of command by in-
Observation and feedback are necessary to fluence and command by direction. When the air-
diagnose shortfalls and correct them in the next borne warning and control system overrides the
iteration. In learning, multiple trials are ATO in real time, there is a command-by-plan and
necessary to explore alternatives; recognizing command-by-direction hybrid.
unexpected outcomes may be more important These command models are determined by who
than measuring expected ones. exercises command and when. Command by plan
centralizes command in the higher-echelon com-
mander, who exercises it in advance by creating and
can come to know as well as our old foe. Some fu- promulgating plans. Command by direction also
ture opponents may not exist today as formal orga- centralizes command at the top, but it is exercised
nizations. Some unforeseen event may bring to- through real-time orders. Command by influence
gether disparate groups into a new, loose coalition. distributes command to lower echelons, where it is
Not knowing the actors and conditions in advance exercised by on-scene leaders. Adaptive command
requires adaptable organizations and processes to is not about who commands or how but concerns
cope with emerging threats. Adaptations must con- the command function; adapting doctrine, organi-
tinue throughout military missions. As US forces zation and the concept of operations to the situation
succeed at countering a recently recognized method, must be a function of all command levels.
an asymmetric foe will adapt to find other vulner- US forces must adapt their doctrineincluding
abilities. US forces must be trained, organized and tactics, techniques and proceduresas asymmetric
equipped to adapt quickly and proactively. opponents develop theirs. This response will be
driven more by contact with the enemy than by in-
RespondingtotheChangedEnvironment telligence gathered in advance. Adaptive command
The United States and its allies had decades to will require different and tighter integration of in-
understand the Cold War problem and propose so- telligence and operations functions. Intelligence
lutions in the form of war plans. All that remained functions that monitor the enemys physical dispo-
was to execute. We trained execution. Against a sition before contact and assess battle damage af-
world of asymmetric actors, we must be prepared terward will be inadequate. The intelligence func-
to learn as we go. That does not mean that we should tion must include monitoring enemy behavior during
not plan for what we can, but we must build orga- engagement and recognizing its evolution. Rather
nizations that can improvise. Those that can only than train to doctrine, US forces must learn to an-
execute a plan according to fixed doctrine will fail ticipate, recognize and adapt on the fly.
in the new environment. A proper response to the
changed environment is to adopt different command Teaching,TrainingandLearning
habitsadaptive command. It is not so much a new Teaching, training and learning have spe-
command model as a shift in emphasis that paral- cific meanings here. Teaching imparts an assembled
lels the shift in emphasis between what is fixed and body of knowledge, often through traditional class-
what is variable in the environment. Thomas J. room methods, including reading and lecture. Train-
Czerwinski offers a lucid and useful taxonomy: ing improves the performance of a particular skill
command by plan, command by direction and com- set through practice. Learning creates new knowl-
mand by influence.5 edge over a problem space through exploration and
The pervasive Soviet model was clearly com- discovery. Teaching and training assume an exist-
mand by plan. The air tasking order (ATO) is an- ing body of knowledge; learning does not.
other example, as are many of our Cold War delib- Both training and learning rely on multiple itera-
erate planning processes. Command by direction tions and observation. In training, repetition is key
brings to mind Napoleon Bonaparte sitting atop his to making performance second nature. Observation
horse, surveying the entire battlefield and directing and feedback are necessary to diagnose shortfalls
a cavalry charge at the decisive point. It also con- and correct them in the next iteration. In learning,
40 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Paintings by John Singleton Copley, City of Boston loan to Museum of Fine Arts
Improbable unions, like
those between drug lords
and insurgents, are far
from new. Sam Adams
(right), the maestro of
street mobs, appears less
portly and weathered in
this portrait commissioned
by his benefactor and co-
conspirator John Hancock
(left). Note that unlike the
who built his fortune through
shipping and smuggling
Adams is clothed in
simple Puritan garb.
Adapting to the new threat environment is not a matter of replacing the Soviets with
a different enemy that we can come to know as well as our old foe. Some future opponents may not
exist today as formal organizations. Some unforeseen event may bring together disparate groups into
a new, loose coalition. Not knowing the actors and conditions in advance requires adaptable
organizations and processes to cope with emerging threats.
multiple trials are necessary to explore alternatives; commandlearning to anticipate, recognize and
recognizing unexpected outcomes may be more respond to change. Learning events are anchored
important than measuring expected ones. in a problem space and are designed to generate
A learning event, in contrast to a training event, possible solutions through better recognition of a
would be conducted in fast or skip time and run problems breadth and depth.
eight hours a day for several days, engaging the
commander and principal staff of only a single ech- LearningattheTacticalLevel
elon.6 Students would prepare sketchy plans, con- Leaders at the tactical level must be prepared
struct alternative doctrine and organization, execute to adapt. The asymmetric actor may apply low-
the assemblage and repeat the process. Several al- technology means and methods against US conven-
ternative courses of action are explored in a learn- tional forces. Asymmetric actors continually adapt
ing event. Only one course of action is executed in through trial and error, and the opposing tactical
a training event. Doctrine and organization are nec- commander with limited doctrinal responses will be
essary inputs to a training event; candidate doctri- the victim. General Montgomery C. Meigs, Com-
nal and organizational concepts are possible outputs mander, US Army Europe and 7th Army, puts it
of a learning event. At the nexus of training and this way:
experimentation, the learning process investigates We have become adept at replicating a set-piece
the unknown, guided by questions.7 Learning is enemy for our units. We do a good job of giving
trainingfor adaptive command. them an opponent that fights with consistent, pre-
Appropriate preparation for a relatively certain dictable doctrine and tactical procedures. We
threat environment is deliberate planning and IPB; must now move to the next level and present an
training to doctrine; and a separate, long-term com- enemy that uses asymmetrical approaches and
bat development process. Appropriate preparation who learns from our Blue Force, adapting to avoid
for a relatively uncertain threat environment refines our strengths and to exploit our tactical weaknesses
crisis-action planning, reconnaissance and adaptive as he moves from battle to battle. . . . Units must
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 41
learn to anticipate the enemys actions, find him, decisive battlethe close-with-and-destroy-the-
assess what he is doing, preempt him and reassess.8 enemy school. Another school of thought focuses
Greater emphasis needs to be placed on forming on geographythe seize-and-hold-terrain school.
combined arms teams in response to evolving Yet another focuses on penetrating a linear defense
threats. Military operations in urban environments, to move deeply to the enemys soft rear areathe
for example, consistently show that combined arms maneuver-warfare school. None of those may be rel-
teams are required at the lowest tactical levels to deal evant in the asymmetric environment. The US Army
needs coping mechanisms as a dominant character-
istic of the operational level of war in asymmetric
During regional conflicts, asymmetric environments.
tactics may be applied out of area as part of a A JTFs mission may be dominated by long pe-
larger strategy or as the sole elements of a riods of maintaining peace while responding to
long-term strategic offensive. Protecting the joint sporadic flare-ups. Or, responding to asymmet-
deployment system continues to be a strategic ric incidents may be part of larger, conventional op-
imperative but cannot be separated from more erations. In either case, insufficient resources will
general force protection. Learning at this be available to prevent all potential asymmetric at-
level focuses on developing a strategic response tacks. They must be detected and dealt with as they
that subordinates means to ends. emerge. Preparation means emplacing coping
mechanisms in advance.
Urban emergency services, including police, para-
with this asymmetric environment.9 However, small medics and fire fighters, offer a useful model for the
teams of combat, combat support and combat ser- operational level of war in asymmetric environ-
vice support elements are not found in garrison or ments. With insufficient resources to prevent all
in doctrine. Units that experiment with new combi- accidents, crimes and fires, city managers cannot
nations (methods of employing a mix of arms) are plan to be in the right place at the right time in ad-
more likely to adapt to an evolving enemy than units vance, but they can implement mechanisms in ad-
that train to design standards against a doctrinal op- vance to monitor and respond with the critical re-
ponent. The problem then becomes learning, train- sources necessary. These are the bases of coping
ing and adapting combined arms warfare across mechanisms.
branches and services at the lowest tactical echelons. Coping mechanisms at the operational level of
There are a host of impediments to exploring new war are not new. One was implemented after the in-
combinations at the tactical echelons. In garrison, cident in Mogadishu on 3 and 4 October. That small,
homogeneous units, such as artillery battalions and independent units in the city would come under at-
fighter squadrons, achieve efficiency. On the other tack could be known in advance; when and which
hand, combined arms teams achieve effectiveness. ones could not. A monitoring network and quick-
Training opportunities are optimized for a specific response force was established to cope with what
type of force and range of operations. Peacetime could be anticipated but not prevented. Air mobil-
efficiency militates against combined arms learning ity as employed in Vietnam could be considered as
opportunities. an operational-level coping mechanism. US forces
The problem extends well into the hierarchy. Di- could neither prevent enemy troop concentrations
vision tables of organization and equipment, like nor predict and plan for them. They could, however,
their battalions, are designed and optimized for a detect them as they emerged and respond rapidly.
specific range of operations. Training opportunities Close air support, when tightly integrated with dy-
like the Battle Command Training Program are de- namic ground operations, can also be seen as a cop-
signed accordingly. The range of possible combined ing mechanism.
arms operations in an armored division is limited. Law enforcement may also offer instructive in-
The same is true of light infantry, airborne or air sights for intelligence. Rather than conventional-
assault divisions. The somewhat defunct infantry force templates, mug shots, family trees, and tele-
division may offer the widest range of combinations phone and bank records may be appropriate
to explore. At all levels the force must be designed intelligence products. Intelligence staffs will learn
for competence across a broad range of missions but to provide different products, and operators will
optimized for none. learn to ask for them.
Learning will certainly continue to occur in the
LearningattheOperationalLevel unforgiving laboratory of ongoing operations. JTFs
Some interpretations of the operational level fo- created for real operations offer opportunities to ex-
cus on picking the point in space and time for the periment with a wide-ranging combinations of cop-
42 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
David J. Reimer Sr. Emergency Services Photography
Fire fighters practice
a hazardous materials
exercise in Berks
Urban emergency services, including police, paramedics and fire fighters, offer a useful
model for the operational level of war in asymmetric environments. With insufficient resources to
prevent all accidents, crimes and fires, city managers cannot plan to be in the right place at the right
time in advance, but they can implement mechanisms in advance to monitor and respond with
the critical resources necessary. These are the bases of coping mechanisms.
ing mechanisms. JTFs are not part of standard mili- Learning at this level focuses on developing a stra-
tary organizations in garrison. Just the opposite is tegic response that subordinates means to ends.
true; garrison forces are pure and rarely join a het- In the event of a crisis, a JTF commander will be
erogeneous force. Without standing JTFs, garri- appointed and assigned a JOA within a unified
son and learning operational readiness will be weak. commands area of responsibility (AOR). There will
Adaptive command is a daunting task for a good be significant opportunities for asymmetric actors
team and perhaps impossible for a last-minute pick- to attack outside the JOA and even outside the AOR.
up team. Yet, we plan to form our command team For example, another Middle East scenario might
at the last minute. The newly appointed commander involve bombers and strategic airlift operating out
must build a team at the same time the team is of Rota, Spain. An asymmetric actor might be will-
building a response to an emerging crisis. The ad ing and able to disrupt operations there or to raise
hoc JTF headquarters will defy adaptive command, Spains cost of providing basing. The mere poten-
or any type of command, until the command team tial for asymmetric attack caused significant prob-
is built. The learning curve will be slow and costly. lems to planners of Operation Eldorado Canyon
US forces and objectives will be vulnerable at the when Spain and France denied overflight rights to
operational level of war until the joint command US FB-111s flying from Great Britain to Libya.
team forms.10 Asymmetric attacks can be less direct than physi-
cally destroying military facilities. They may include
LearningattheStrategicLevel inciting locals to riot or strike. Throughput capac-
The US military is accustomed to fighting abroad. ity would be seriously degraded if forklift operators,
This reality presents an enduring strategic vulner- railroad engineers and stevedores did not report for
ability for an asymmetric actor to exploit. Dur- work. Attacks on family housing would have great
ing regional conflicts, asymmetric tactics may be strategic effect. How can the United States learn
applied out of area as part of a larger strategy or to anticipate, prevent and cope with out-of-area
as the sole elements of a long-term strategic offen- attacks?
sive. Protecting the joint deployment system con- A learning event could be designed to focus at-
tinues to be a strategic imperative but cannot be tention on the joint deployment system, including
separated from more general force protection. ports of embarkation, lines of communication, ports
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 43
of debarkation and forward operating bases. A learn- metric attack outside the JOA must be evaluated in
ing event should explore as many potential asym- terms of strategic priorities and the JTF com-
metric attacks as possible and determine how to manders theater priorities.
cope with the most dangerous and most likely. At The balance has shifted between what could be
one extreme, resources can be statically preallocated known and planned for in advance and what could
to protect the force against all potential threats. Such notbetween what was fixed and what was vari-
a prevention strategy is exhausting and cannot be able. Increasingly, being prepared is less a product
sustained. A strategy that subordinates means to of deliberate planning, training execution to doctri-
ends would dynamically allocate resources to the nal standards and long-term combat development
force element most critical to mission accomplish- processes and more a product of warfighting orga-
ment. Additional resources would be allocated to nizations that are trained in crisis-action planning
monitor threat conditions and to respond accordingly. and adaptive command. Adaptive command, as de-
Coping mechanismsresources organized to fined here, is becoming more common. Coping
monitor and respondunderwrite this second strat- mechanisms can be found in military history but
egy. If intelligence detects a rising threat condition may become central doctrinal concepts in asymmet-
and operations can mount a timely response, then ric environments.
coping mechanisms can be effective in a prevention Centering learning in the user chain of command
strategy. If this real-time, stimulus-response cycle will produce organizations that can more readily
cannot be built, then coping mechanisms should be adapt and more effectively lead long-term com-
designed to deal with the aftereffects. The real-time bat development rather than be its belated recipient.
interaction of intelligence and operations is critical Combat developers must more actively convert les-
and should be a focal point for both learning and sons learned in operational commands to doctrine,
training. organization and training. Combat developers must
Examples of coping mechanisms used to respond produce a more diverse playbook of combined arms
to out-of-area attacks in the Mediterranean region at the lowest tactical levels and coping mechanisms
during a Middle East scenario include an amphibi- at higher-level commands. But, combat develop-
ous ready group with a Marine expeditionary unit, ment is conducted principally by services and
a special operations task force, an air assault-based branches within them. When competing for acqui-
task force, a chemical-biological incident response sition funds, branches dominate combined arms or-
force or a fleet antiterrorist security team supported ganizations, and services dominate joint organiza-
by closely linked intelligence. tions. Only leadership, another precious resource,
Neither the JTF commander nor the CINC will can overcome the inevitable imbalance accompany-
be positioned to deal with all out-of-area attacks, but ing the flow of money. More important, to over-
the total system must anticipate and prepare for come limitations that standard patterns of behavior
them, and the JTF commander must be prepared to often place on government action, adaptation must
cope with the effects. The risk of a potential asym- become a hallmark of US military behavior.
1. Graham T. Allison, Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ameri- world time in every hour of event time. An event conducted in skip time might repre-
can Political Science Review, September 1969, 689718. sent decisionmaking in slower than real-world time to allow greater deliberations, ad-
2. Deliberate planning is distinct from the crisis-action planning that naval ex- journ for the evening and resume the next morning as if weeks or months had passed.
peditionary forces, XVIII Airborne Corps and special operations forces, among 7. This pedagogical technique is commonly referred to as heuristically guided
others, commonly practice. investigation, a process driven by seeking answers to questions rather than by
3. This description characterizes the exercises conducted by the European testing hypotheses. For a more thorough discussion of military experimentation,
Commands Army and Air Force components at the Warrior Preparation Center; see D. Robert Worley, Defining Military Experiments, IDA D-2412 (Alexandria, VA:
by the Armys Battle Command Training Program; and more recently, by the Joint IDA, February 1999).
Forces Command in its UNIFIED ENDEAVOR series of exercises. 8. General Montgomery C. Meigs, Operational Art in the New Century, Pa-
4. For a more thorough discussion of post-Cold War trends and the implica- rameters (Carlisle, PA: USAWC, Spring 2001), 12.
tions for higher-echelon training, see D. Robert Worley, Michael H. Vernon and 9. D. Robert Worley, Alec Wahlman and Dennis J. Gleeson Jr., Military Op-
Robert E. Downes, Time and Command Operations: The Strategic Role of the erations in Urban Terrain: A Survey of Journal Articles, IDA D-2521 (Alexandria,
Unified Commands and the Implications for Training and Simulations, IDA-3222 VA: IDA, October 2000).
(Alexandria, Va: Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], October 1996). 10. Charles E. Heller and William A. Stofft, Americas First Battles, 1776
5. Thomas J. Czerwinski, Command and Control at the Crossroads, Para- 1965 (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1986); D. Robert Worley,
meters (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College [USAWC], Autumn 1996), 12132. Joint Task Forces: Options to Train, Organize and Equip, National Security
6. An event conducted in fast time would represent more than one hour of real- Studies Quarterly, Winter 1999, 3148.
D. Robert Worley is a senior research fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Stud-
ies, Arlington, Virginia. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Ange-
les (UCLA); an M.S.E.E from the University of Southern California; an A.B. from the
University of California, Berkeley; and masters degrees from Johns Hopkins University
and Georgetown. He has served on the UCLA faculty and is now a fellow at the Johns
Hopkins University Washington Center for the Study of American Government and an
adjunct faculty member of George Washington Universitys Elliot School of International
Affairs. He has worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses, the RAND Corporation and
Hughes Aircraft Company. He served in Vietnam as an enlisted Marine.
44 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
After tracing the history of Army decisionmaking doctrine, the author
proposes wide-ranging examination of our procedures, organizations and
culture. In the end, the military decisionmaking process emerges as a
valuable tool for coordinating intuition with analysis, task with purpose,
plans with operations, and the present with the future.
R UDIMENTARY military staff organization
and procedures have developed since 2000
B.C., beginning probably with the armies of early
movements became the business of army staffs as
keys to decisive victory. In von Moltkes time, the
Germans proved that an army that could plan de-
Egypt. But, according to James D. Hittle, a histo- tailed requirements, orchestrate capabilities rapidly
rian of the military staff, the modern staff system and implement them precisely would win large-scale
did not emerge until late in the 19th century, even wars of national mobilization.
later for the US Army. Hittle postulates that mod- The Generalstabs power eventually usurped ci-
ern staff systems have certain features: vilian policy because the exhaustive, inflexible mili-
l A regular education system for training staff tary decisionmaking process (MDMP) and planning
officers. actually drove political decisions. The best example
l Delegation of authority from the commander. of this was at the beginning of World War I when
l Supervised execution of orders issued by or Germany executed the Schlieffen plan. Named for
through the staff. Alfred von Schlieffen, head of the Generalstab from
l A set method of procedure by which each part 1892 to 1906, the Schlieffen plan called for swift
performs specific duties.1 victory against France through a flanking attack
Hittles proposed characteristics would certainly across neutral Belgium. The greatest flaw in the
describe the successful formation of the Prussian plan was the Generalstabs assumption that vic-
Generalstab (general staff) under General Helmuth tory would come in six weeks, thereby allowing
von Moltke in the latter 19th century. The General- Germany to respond to the expected sluggish Rus-
stab was largely responsible for orchestrating sian mobilization on a potential eastern front.2
Germanys rapid defeat of France in 1870. During The Schlieffen plan case shows that excellence in
the industrial age, military theory began viewing planning alone will not overcome a flawed military
armies as machines of the nation-state. Detailed al- strategy or concept of operations; operations may
gorithms of mobilization, rail schedules and troop fail not only by being unsuccessfully implemented,
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 45
1940 US Army Field Manual (FM) 101-5, Staff Of-
Commanders intent, along with ficers Field Manual: The Staff and Combat Orders,
initial guidance and concept of operations, increased the scope and depth of staff doctrine be-
introduced innovation and initiative to the yond the 1932 version.
traditional, analytically oriented MDMP. A new method of using draft staff officers doc-
Thus, for the first time, this edition emphasized trine emerged after World War II. The US Army Com-
synthesis (integrating elements into a cohesive mand and General Staff College (CGSC) published
whole) in the MDMP as a complementary draft staff officers doctrine to update frequently
mental attribute to the traditional analysis changing terms and procedures. The 1949 CGSC
(successively decomposing into parts). draft, for example, emphasized the planning process
rather than the orders format. Later CGSC versions
were published as numbered reference books and
but also by being successfully implemented then student texts under various titles and formats.7
proven inadequate.3 The July 1950 FM 101-5, Staff Officers Field
The US form of government makes forming a Manual: Staff Organization and Procedures, the
Generalstab-like military staff unlikely, even dis- next officially published staff doctrine, added the ad-
tasteful. Civil authority over the military is vested ministrative commanders estimate, focusing on
in the US Constitution, making the military pur- analysis for supporting an operation.8 This manual
posely subservient to civilian decisionmakers and was a logical evolution of the 1949 CGSC draft
the Constitution itself. Nevertheless, modern nations FM 101-5.
have adopted ideas from the German staff model. The November 1954 FM 101-5 made the com-
manders estimate a part of an overall estimate of
HistoryofModernUSArmy the situation and added specific staff estimates for
StaffOfficers’Doctrine personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, civil af-
As the Schlieffen plan was being developed and fairs, military government and deception. Interest-
the world drew closer to World War I, the US Army ingly, the deception estimate fell out as a stand-alone
lacked published staff doctrine. The 1910 publica- estimate in the next version and has not reappeared
tion, Regulations for Field Maneuvers, did not in- in staff doctrine. The manual adopted the basic five-
clude a description of staff processes; a 1914 field step analysis associated with the commanders es-
service regulation (FSR) mentioned the need for a timate process and added conclusions or recommen-
commander and staff estimating process but did not dations to paragraph five to supplement the decision
describe one.4 step. This version also added atomic weapons and
Following World War I, the 1924 version of the chemical, biological and radiological effects as fac-
FSR included doctrinal formatted orders with re- tors of analysis.9
quired annexes, maps and tables. Still, the FSR In June 1968 more detailed procedures were pub-
stated only that leaders should first make an esti- lished while preserving the basic doctrinal concepts.
mate of the situation, culminating in a decision upon Wiring diagrams and process flowcharts depicted
a definite plan of action.5 No procedural steps were multiple players with plans, orders and estimate pro-
provided to explain this process. cesses occurring simultaneously. Estimate proce-
In 1932 the Staff Officers Field Manual compiled dures were presented as military problem-solving
principles, information and data to be used as a techniques and further shown to be Standardization
guide for the operation of staffs of all units and ter- Agreement (STANAG) 2118; hence, US Army doc-
ritorial commands, in peace and war, rather than a trine for staff planning took on an allied flavor for
set of rules and regulations to be rigidly and blindly the first time. Additionally, for the first time, pro-
followed.6 The manual provided a comprehensive cedures differentiated between the operation order
command and staff doctrine on which modern pro- (OPORD) and operation plan (OPLAN). Also note-
cedures are based. Orders formats were more de- worthy was the introduction of planning assump-
tailed than in the 1924 FSR, and explanations of tions to fill the gaps in knowledge of what condi-
staff functions and the commanders estimate were tions probably will be.10
more complete. While the July 1972 FM 101-5 contained few
In 1940 the Army began expanding to prepare for substantive changes from the 1968 version, it intro-
World War II, growing to more than eight million duced the administrative staff study to separate the
soldiers by the end of the war. The scale and com- MDMP for administration from combat opera-
plexity of military decisionmaking and planning tions.11 Replacing the administrative commanders
made staff work proportionately more intricate; thus, estimate, the staff study outlined six steps to admin-
staff doctrine expanded with the Army. The August istrative problem solving: problem, assumptions,
46 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
German stormtroopers in France, circa
1916. The failed Schlieffen plan aimed for
a swift victory against France through a
flanking attack across neutral Belgium.
A contemporary observer stated that
when the operation broke down, shell
holes became trenches and the trenches
eventually became an elaborate defen-
sive system several miles deep.
Imperial War Museum
The Schlieffen plan case shows that excellence in planning alone will not overcome a flawed
military strategy or concept of operations; operations may fail not only by being unsuccessfully
implemented, but also by being successfully implemented then proven inadequate.
facts, discussion, conclusions and action recom- Finally, the 1984 edition added a special appen-
mended.12 It also introduced a model showing the dix, Emerging Staff Techniques and Procedures,
sequence of commander and staff actions that more which provided a forum for brief discussion of
clearly developed the idea of simultaneous and in- Armywide initiatives in staff techniques and proce-
teractive staff and commanders MDMP actions. dures developed to enhance the effectiveness of staff
The model flowchart separated nine staff and operations in the face of emerging doctrine and rap-
commanders actions. Actions that involved mak- idly changing technology.14 This was an official
ing synthesized decisions were on the commanders invitation to open discussion and dialogue, espe-
side of the chart; actions requiring detailed analysis cially about up-and-coming information technolo-
were primarily on the staffs.13 gies such as the maneuver control system, micro-
The 1984 version, retitled Staff Organization and processor systems, teleconferencing, facsimiles and
Operations, implemented no fewer than eight decision graphics.
STANAGs, indicating more purposeful NATO After many CGSC student text drafts, FM 101-5
interoperability. For the first time, Army staff doc- was again updated and published in 1997. It devoted
trine discussed the joint planning process and in- a chapter to staff officer characteristics, reflecting
cluded a more comprehensive discussion of special- contemporary management influences; it explained
ized staff roles and organization. MDMP changes the most intricate procedural aspects of MDMP with
included adding rehearsals as a new doctrinal step a complex, 38-step procedure; it contained more
and expanding the MDMP flowchart to show feed- detailed examples for completing plans, orders and
back to the staff estimate, mission analysis and annexes; it had a separate appendix on information
commanders estimate. The MDMP doctrine now management; it introduced the concept of the
recognized that while supervising decision execu- commanders critical information requirements; and
tion, emergent factors influence changes in mission it detailed the concepts, duties and responsibilities
and commanders concepta decision that remains of liaison officers based on lessons learned from
a continuous and interactive process within the coalition operations in the Gulf War. Also notewor-
MDMP. thy was the absence of any link to STANAGs.15
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 47
The 1997 edition introduced commanders intent formation for making that decision is inadequate or
in Army staff doctrine, a concept that had been ex- unavailable. Conversely, analysis is conscious rea-
perimented with at length at CGSC and in Army soning based on decomposition and manipulation of
operations and training. Commanders intent, along a situation. It is a methodical process that seeks
knowledge in complex environments and involves
a step-by-step, systematic procedure.16 Decision-
Modes generally reflect patterns makers display sound judgmenta blend of intu-
of military planning and when coupled with the ition and analysiswhen they chose well among
types of planning (detailed, functional and options despite uncertainty and ambiguity.17
conceptual) give a better picture of the full scope Good decisionmakers tend to use heuristics or
of planning required. The old adage plan early speculative general rules that aid in problem solv-
and plan twice is based on failure to recognize ing by directing the search or decreasing the amount
proper modes of planning required of information searched.18 While Army profession-
committing too early rather than formulating als are likely to develop similar heuristics, educa-
contingencies or orienting on the threat tion, experience, intelligence and personality will
or opportunity. affect differences among decisionmakers.19 Military
educational institutions use historical analogies and
case studies to foster heuristic decisionmaking, for-
with initial guidance and concept of operations, in- mulate creative stratagems and develop critical
troduced innovation and initiative to the traditional, thinking skills.20
analytically oriented MDMP. Thus, for the first Visualization, a related concept to heuristics,
time, this edition emphasized synthesis (integrating is a decisionmakers ability to picture what lies
elements into a cohesive whole) in the MDMP as a ahead. Good decisionmakers, like good chess
complementary mental attribute to the traditional players, think downboard to envision second- and
analysis (successively decomposing into parts). third-order effects of decisions and develop
branches and sequels to current or planned opera-
ModernMDMP’sMultipleDimensions tions. Often specialized staffsthink tanks or fu-
Modern MDMP is a multidimensional undertak- tures groupsassist decisionmakers in the visu-
ing with the decisionmaker, environment, organiza- alization process.21
tion (vertical and horizontal), planning, learning and Army decisionmakers rely on learned values that
procedures its major aspects. Many decisionmaking affect decisions and planning:
models (most are procedural) have been developed l Truth (through analysis the scientific
to assist decisionmakers in other than military or- method).
ganizations. However, researchers studying decision- l Power (in being part of a team that creates the
making in civilian organizations have found that national element of power).
decisions appear to be somewhat arbitrary and not l Goodness and virtue (high ethical and moral
necessarily based on the best possible course of standards).
action. Hence, one purpose of the Armys doc- l Aesthetics (appreciation for the art of decision-
trinal MDMP is to ensure that defining a problem making, the satisfaction and beauty of formulating
and choosing the best course of action is not ran-
domly matching variables but a deliberate action.
The decisionmaker is the central MDMP element.
Effective military decisionmakers do not necessar-
ily occupy formal leadership positions or have se-
nior rank. Future military operations in a dispersed
and noncontiguous battle space will likely distrib-
ute authority and decisionmaking. Soldiers operat-
ing remote sensing devices, uninhabited vehicles or
precision-guided munitions, for example, may op-
erate autonomously and make critical decisions af-
fecting the outcome of military operations.
Good decisionmakers can employ both intuitive
and analytic skills. Intuition is an unconscious ap-
preciation of patterns of operationsa synthesis
process. It reflects understanding that fosters the
ability to achieve workable solutions even when in-
48 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Members of Lockheeds Advanced Development Projects
Division, or Skunk Works, prepare the first F-117 stealth
aircraft for an engine test, spring 1981. This team carried
the project from concept to design to prototype.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Visualization, a related concept to heuristics, is a decisionmakers ability
to picture what lies ahead. Good decisionmakers, like good chess players, think downboard to
envision second- and third-order effects of decisions and develop branches and sequels to
current or planned operations. Often specialized staffsthink tanks or futures groups
assist decisionmakers in the visualization process.
creative solutions to complex problems).22 and futureproduce variances in knowledge and
The environment. MDMP addresses three en- understanding of what has happened, what is hap-
vironmental settingsthe past, present and future. pening and what will happen.
Future environments exist under varying conditions Vertical aspects of MDMP. Decisionmakers
of certainty, so decisions have varying degrees of must understand how decisions concerning tactics,
flexibility and risk. Flexibility flows from available operations, strategies or policy nest in higher-level
choiceshow much force should remain in reserve organizations. The same MDMP principle applies
and where; how many concept plans for branches to ensuring that subordinates understand the com-
and sequels should be developed; what kind of ma- manders intent. A recent MDMP study demon-
neuver (attack or defend) should be employed. Risk strated that successful commanders best impart their
is the residual variance of rational choice or the intent through a healthy command climate, telling
decisions stability whether underlying assump- subordinates what and not how (mission-type or-
tions about the environment or the effects of the de- ders), explaining how they arrived at their decision
cision on the environment hold true. Risk may be (their thinking process), good feedback mecha-
accepted, for example, by some measure of avail- nisms (subordinate access to the superiors MDMP)
able force readiness or the enemys known readi- and being familiar with their subordinates (a mea-
ness. Less flexibility (stronger commitment to a sure of trust).23
single choice) and less risk (more stability) are char- Status is another aspect of vertical organizational
acteristics of decisions made with certainty, while influence on MDMP. Especially under conditions
the opposites may be true under conditions of of stress, those with less military rank or on a lower
greater uncertainty. The availability and quality of organizational level tend to defer to others of higher
information about the environmentpast, present rank and organizational level. The result may be
Horizontal (group) aspects of MDMP. Group
military decisionmaking is a corollary to conflict
management in various organizations. Conflict is
eliminated, often incrementally, through consensus
and through loosely coupled decisionmaking
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 49
systems when efforts to seek consensus fail.25 In op- planning (creating and maintaining military capabili-
erations involving joint and combined military or- ties) and operation planning (what the Army would
ganizations or other agencies and nongovernment associate with the MDMP type of planning). MCDP
organizations, consensus building and a more 5 describes a planning continuum from:
loosely coupled MDMP have proven useful. l Detailed planning (the lowest level; focuses on
Loosely coupled processes try to make sense of how-to instructions for control measures and
seemingly random systems using decentralization, movement tables, for example).
l Functional planning (the medium level; sup-
ports plans with discrete functional activities such
One danger in MDMP is being as logistics, security and intelligence).
overanalytical, creating a tendency toward l Conceptual planning (the highest level; opera-
premature closure in the process of formulating tional concepts, commanders intent, goals and ob-
stratagems. Decisionmakers may be more jectives).31
comfortable or competent conducting MDMPs The levels are interactive; concepts will drive
procedural aspects. They may give inadequate functional and detailed planning, and details will
attention to the less-structured, but more influence functional and conceptual planning. This
important, step of generating stratagems hierarchy may be processed at any level of organi-
in the first place. zation or war. MCDP 5 describes planning modes
as another dimension of planning and also along a
continuum of risk and time:
l Commitment planning (resources are physi-
delegation, vague language, vague expectations, and cally prepared under conditions of greater certainty
coaching and educating through talk and action.26 with a shorter time horizon).
Loosely coupled operations permit greater freedom l Contingency planning (resources are pro-
of action and variation in executionallowing par- grammed for several projected circumstancesbut
ticipants broader latitude without adversely affect- not physically committedunder conditions of mod-
ing the operation. erate uncertainty with an increased time horizon).
Planning aspects of MDMP. In large Army or- l Orientation planning (resources are in rough
ganizations, such as corps and divisions, near-term conceptcontinually assessing and designing pre-
decisions (current operations) are always nested in liminary plans allows response to a broad variety
long-term decisions (plans). To plan is to design a
desired future (ends) and orchestrate effective ways of circumstances over longer periods).32
and means of bringing it about. A plan is anticipa- Modes generally reflect patterns of military plan-
tory decisionmaking that involves a set of interde- ning and when coupled with the types of planning
pendent decisions. The process is continuous and (detailed, functional and conceptual) give a better
has no conclusion or end point. What separates stra- picture of the full scope of planning required. The
tegic planning from operational and tactical plan- old adage plan early and plan twice is based on
ning is largely the difficulty of reversing its effects failure to recognize proper modes of planning re-
during execution.27 quiredcommitting too early rather than formulat-
Military planning shifts the decisionmaking load ing contingencies or orienting on the threat or op-
to earlier periods of relative inactivity.28 This was portunity. Another planning adage, the truth
certainly true with the XVIII Airborne Corps dur- changes, applies as well. Over time interpretations
ing Operation Desert Shield where planners focused of the situation change. While each change may be
MDMP on incremental defensive planning during small and immediate, the cumulative drift can lead
the force buildup phase. That plan changed as more to transformation large enough that few will recog-
military capability deployed into the maturing the- nize historys relationship to the current situation.
ater. In addition, through implementing a viable Without recognizing patterns, projecting the future
defense, ample time was assured to plan extensively situation is difficult if not impossible.
for the XVIII Airborne Corps ground offensive Learning aspects of MDMP. C.S. Foresters his-
against Iraq.29 torical novel, The General, portrays World War I
US Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 5 (MCDP 5), British leaders as simple- and single-minded. In
Planning, provides an extensive and valuable dis- what todays US Army would call an after-action
cussion of the nature of planning, including plan- review (AAR), Forester depicts a British army corps
ning theory and what makes planning effective. It commander and his division commanders discuss-
defines planning as the art and science of envision- ing the battle of Loos, a failed allied offensive.
ing a desired future and laying out effective ways The September 1915 offensive was based on an
to bring it about, influencing events before they oc- allied delusion that artillery could blast a hole
cur.30 Categories of Marine planning include force through the opposing wall for infantry and thereby
50 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
assure success.33 British killed in action totaled formulation is emerging in MDMPaspects that
60,000 and the breakthrough failed. Forester de- involve intuition as well as analysis. The challenge
scribes the World War I AAR: In some ways it was to changing staff organization and operations is
like the debate of a group of savages as to how to clearly cultural. A decisionmaking system that
extract a screw from a piece of wood. Accustomed evolves over decades as primarily analytic devel-
only to nails, they had made one effort to pull out ops a code for information about the situation. Such
the screw by main force, and now that it had failed a code partitions all possible estimates of the situa-
they were devising methods of applying more force tion into a relatively small number of classes of es-
still, of obtaining more efficient pincers, of using timates. Organizational learning relies on changing
levers and fulcrum so that more men could bring that partitioning process or at least modifying it to
their strength to bear. They could hardly be blamed apply to the whole of the new situation.37
for not guessing that by rotating the screw it would The Army Battle Command Training Program was
come out after the exertion of far less effort; it would designed to exercise division and corps command-
be so different that they would laugh at the man who ers and staff in the art and science of staff orga-
suggested it.34 nization and operations. More attention by observers/
Even in a learning organization that conducts controllers will be placed on the art of decision-
AARs and harvests lessons and observations, ap- making (creative and intuitive faculties) than the
proaches can be deadly wrong if they are based on science of control (analytic).38 Additionally, a com-
faulty MDMP devoid of creative thinking. Based on prehensive study of tactical commanders at the Na-
such reasoning, British generals later planned an tional Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, re-
even larger fiascothe Somme offensive in sum- vealed that the most successful leaders demonstrate
mer 1916where again more than 60,000 British not just analytic skills but the capacity to synthesize
soldiers perished. Caught in paralysis through using visualization, creativity, initiative and flexibil-
analysis they decided through a commander and ity.39 Making decisions under varying conditions of
staff estimate process that they could attain victory uncertainty in the full spectrum of Army operations
by merely improving on the same concept of op- will require more and more intuitive skills.40
erations from the previous offensive. This sort of Stratagems are formulated not through a linear
behavior has been called a competency trap, decision process but through a nonlinear MDMP.
which arises in various forms in many adaptive Nonlinear MDMP is continuous, accounts for pro-
systems and reflects the ways in which improving cessed feedback (learning) and emergent situational
capabilities with one rule, technology, strategy or factors (such as mission, enemy, terrain, troops,
practice interferes with changing that rule, technol- time, civilians) and adjusts stratagems accordingly;
ogy, strategy or practice to another that is potentially hence, MDMP with adaptive learning results. The
superior (but with which the decisionmaker has little figure below depicts a nontraditional model of
current competence).35 MDMP with large and small arrows indicating a
British Field Marshal William Slims leadership nonlinear performance outcome.
in Burma during World War II was
the antithesis of the competency
trap. Learning from his own orga-
nizational weaknesses and enemy
strengths over more than two years,
he turned defeat into victory: In
Burma we fought on a lower scale
of transport, supplies, equipment,
supporting arms and amenities than
was accepted in any other British
theatre. Yet, largely because of this
lack of material resources, we
learned to use those we had in fresh
ways to achieve more than what
would have been possible had we
clung to conventional methods. We
. . . in strange conditions evolved
our own technique of war, not so
much material, as human.36
Recent emphasis on conceptual
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 51
One danger in MDMP is being overanalytical, risk in these areas fosters learning and development
creating a tendency toward premature closure in the among Army decisionmakers.
process of formulating stratagems. Decisionmakers
may be more comfortable or competent conducting WhatLiesAhead
MDMPs procedural aspects. They may give inad- Army organizations must achieve decision su-
equate attention to the less-structured, but more im- perioritygood decisions made faster than an op-
portant, step of generating stratagems in the first ponent can react or, in a noncombat situation, at a
tempo that allows the joint force commander to
shape the situation or react quickly to changes and
Army doctrinal MDMP must merge accomplish the mission.46 In future MDMP, the goal
with joint decisionmaking processes. The corps is to turn estimates of the situation into situational
commander and staff serving as a joint task understandingpast, present and, insofar as pos-
force headquarters will have little or no time to sible, future. Staff organization and operations will
change from Army MDMP and doctrinal orders be tailored to enable enactment planning, modi-
to the joint operation planning and execution fying or creating new stratagems to control the fu-
system that produces joint force orders. Until the ture situation while giving the opponent little or no
procedures match, Army theater-level and corps choice. Ultimately, friendly MDMP limits the effec-
commanders and staff must translate MDMP tiveness of the decisionmaking process.
so it becomes seamless with joint processes. To do so, Army doctrinal MDMP must merge
with joint decisionmaking processes. The corps
commander and staff serving as a joint task force
place.41 Stratagems are generated through divergent headquarters will have little or no time to change
thinking, which involves expanding the picture of from Army MDMP and doctrinal orders to the joint
the problem.42 Convergent thinking involves nar- operation planning and execution system that pro-
rowing a problem down to a smaller, more manage- duces joint force orders. Until the procedures match,
able size and casting out alternatives. Commanders Army theater-level and corps commanders and staff
must avoid letting MDMPs procedures cause con- must translate MDMP so it becomes seamless with
vergent thinking too early.43 Premature closure pre- joint processes.
vents learning from other possible alternatives. It Most studies of Army commanders and staffs
may be better to continue to orient on the problem have focused on potential MDMP improvements to
than to commit to a solution too early. shorten decision times and conduct more detailed
Another pitfall similar to premature closure is analyses.47 Future study must include more empha-
self-imposed constraint. Preventing or removing sis on how to:
unnecessary constraints permits creativity and learn- l Enhance decisionmakers intuition through
ing. The MDMP environment contains controllable Army training, education, and current and planned
variables, such as friendly forces, and uncontrollable operations.
variables such as weather, terrain and enemy attack. l Transform Army culture from placing value on
The ideal situation does not constrain how the analytic (procedural) aspects of MDMP to give
decisionmaker controls the controllable variables equal weight to its more multidimensional aspects.
and reduces or removes the effectiveness of the un- l Revise MDMP to ensure it is seamless with
controllable variables.44 Mission statements, con- joint decision processes.
cepts of operation, commanders intent statements, l Blend Army Staff organization and operations
tasks to subordinate units and similar directives must with Joint Staff organization and operations; allied,
be carefully formulated to avoid self-imposed con- coalition or combined staff organization and opera-
straints. tions; the interagency process; and nongovernment
Army education, mentorship and organizational organizations.
experience through training and operations should l Increase flexibility and speed in MDMP be-
synthesize what has already been learned and ex- cause Army forces will deploy when there is only
tract a holistic view from it so decisionmakers can an orientation plan available.
better convert information and knowledge into un- l Adapt MDMP for force planning and decision-
derstanding. Answers that are expected cannot be making in the institutional Army.
creative and therefore may inhibit innovation.45 Tra- The history of staff organization and operations
ditional Army organizational culture can stifle dis- is clearly evolutionary, and for almost a century, no
sent, but wise leaders question the old answers, al- major changes were made to the basic steps of esti-
low freedom of action and accept professional mating the situation or providing analysis for
mistakes when subordinates experiment. Accepting MDMP. The current edition of FM 101-5 introduces
52 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
more of the thinking aspects of staff organization
and operations to avert conditions that lead to a com- Traditional Army organizational culture
petency trap. can stifle dissent, but wise leaders question the
When continuing current operations become in- old answers, allow freedom of action and accept
effective, innovative thinking can make a difference. professional mistakes when subordinates
Effective new stratagems may not emerge clearly experiment. Accepting risk in these areas fosters
from established doctrine; tactics, techniques and learning and development among Army
procedures; or past successes and failures. In for- decisionmakers.
mulating innovative stratagems, MDMP will require
commanders and staffs to suspend traditional think-
ing and learn by treating: ciding and planning with a combination of intuition
l Self as a hypothesis. and analysis are important to the success of Army op-
l Intuition as reality. erations. As critical as the commander is, Slim rec-
l Hypocrisy as transition. ognized that There comes a moment in every battle
l Memory as an enemy. against a stubborn enemy when the result hangs in
l Experience as a theory.48 the balance. Then the general, however skillful and
Modern staff organization and procedures recog- farsighted he may have been, must hand over to his
nize the value of innovative thinking and that de- soldiers . . . to complete what he has begun.49
1. James D. Hittle, The Military Staff (Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Company, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1994), 230.
1961), 10-11. 26. Ibid., 193-98.
2. Jay M. Shafritz, Phil Williams and Ronald S. Calinger, The Dictionary of 20th 27. Ackoff, 100-103.
Century World Politics (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993), 11. 28. Ibid., 40.
3. Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (New York: The 29. Robert H. Scales, Certain Victory: The US Army in the Gulf War (McLean,
Free Press, 1994), 360. VA: Brasseys Inc., 1994), 86-112.
4. Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), Field Service Regulation 30. Department of the Navy, Headquarters, US Marine Corps, MCDP 5, Plan-
(Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office [GPO], 1914), 12. ning (Washington, DC: GPO, 21 July 1997), 3.
5. HQDA, Field Service Regulation (Washington, DC: GPO, 1924), 6. 31. Ibid., 36.
6. US War Department, The Staff Officers Field Manual (Washington, DC: 32. Ibid., 38-41.
GPO, Part One 1932 and Part Two 1933), iii. 33. S.L.A. Marshall, The American Heritage History of World War I (New York:
7. For example, a 1983 CGSC version was Reference Book 101-999, Staff David McKay Company, 1964), 123.
Officers Handbook (Fort Leavenworth, KS: April 1983) and during the later 1980s 34. C.S. Forester, The General (Annapolis, MD: The Nautical and Aviation Pub-
and 1990s as almost annual editions of Student Text 100-9, Techniques for Tac- lishing Company of America Inc., 1982), 195-96.
tical Decision Making, Commanders Estimate or other similar titles. 35. March, 96-97.
8. US Army Field Manual (FM) 101-5, Staff Officers Field Manual: Staff Or- 36. Field Marshal The Viscount Slim, Defeat Into Victory (New York: David
ganization and Procedures (Washington, DC: GPO, July 1950), 63-66. McKay Company, 1961), 450.
9. FM 101-5, Staff Officers Field Manual: Staff Organization and Procedures 37. Richard M Cyert and James G. March, A Behavioral Theory of the Firm,
(Washington, DC: GPO, November 1954), 94. 2d Edition, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., 1992), 174.
10. FM 101-5, Staff Officers Field Manual: Staff Organization and Procedures 38. Lussier and Saxon, 3. The authors quote Lieutenant General Leonard P.
(Washington, DC: GPO, June 1968), 6-1. Wishart III when he was commander, Combined Arms Command, Fort Leaven-
11. FM 101-5, Staff Officers Field Manual: Staff Organization and Procedures worth, Kansas: Command is the art of assigning missions, prioritizing resources,
(Washington, DC: GPO, July 1972), 5-5. guiding and directing subordinates, and focusing the entire commands energy to
12. Ibid., 5-6. accomplish clear objectives. Control is the science of defining limits, computing
13. Ibid., 5-14. requirements, allocating resources, identifying and correcting deviations from guid-
14. FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, May ance, and directing subordinate actions to accomplish the commanders intent.
1984), H-1. 39. Ibid., 9.
15. FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, May 40. Ibid., 20, quoting J.C. Madigan and G.E. Dodge, Battle Command: Lead-
1997). ership and Decision-Making for War and Operations Other Than War, ARI, Al-
16. James W. Lussier and Terrill F. Saxon, Study Report 95-01, Critical Fac- exandria, Virginia, 1994.
tors in the Art of Battlefield Command (Alexandria, VA: Army Research Institute 41. Mintzberg, 360.
for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI), November 1994), 32-33. 42. Karl Albrecht, Brain Power: Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills (New York:
17. Ibid., 36. Simon & Schuster, 1992), 191.
18. Ibid., 29. 43. Ibid., 191.
19. Michael J. Bonometti and Colt A. Mefford, An Analysis of Decision-Making 44. Ackoff, 128-38.
in a Military Population, Unpublished Masters Degree Thesis, US Air Force In- 45. Ibid.,150-56.
stitute of Technology, March 1985, 9-2. The authors reflect, based on their study 46. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Coordinating Draft of Joint Vision 2020 (Washington,
data of 43 Air Force and Army captains and majors, that military decisionmakers DC: GPO, 18 February 2000), 11.
generally make their decisions in a standard fashion. This author speculates this 47. Rich Rees and Steve Sorrell, Techniques to Shorten the Decision-Making
may be because the military way of making decisions has become so inculcated. Process at the Task Force Level, Armor, July-August 1997, 41-45; Norbert B.
20. Notes taken during the Teaching Strategy Workshop, 14 April 2000, Elev- Jocz, The Accelerated Task Force Decision-Making Process, Infantry, Novem-
enth Annual US Army War College (USAWC) Strategy Conference, Carlisle Bar- ber-December 1996, 33-36; Gregory T. Banner, Decision-MakingA Better Way,
racks, Pennsylvania, 11-13 April 2000. Military Review, September-October 1997, 53-55; John Leddo, Mike OConner,
21. Strategic Leadership Primer, ed. Roderick R. Magee, (Carlisle Barracks, PA: Julie Doherty and Terry Bresnick, Decision Making Under Uncertainty and Time
USAWC, 1998), 22. Stress, Study, Fort Leavenworth Research Unit, Kansas, January 1996; Ng Kok
22. Russell L. Ackoff, Ackoffs Best: His Classic Writings on Management (New Wan, Using Decision Trees to Direct the Planning Thought-Process: An Enhance-
York: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1999), 138-42. ment to the Planning Methodology, Unpublished Masters Degree Thesis, Fort
23. Lawrence G. Shattuck, Communicating Intent and Imparting Presence, Leavenworth, Kansas: 1995; Richard Day Lawrence, A Study of Quasi-Analytic
Military Review, March-April 2000, 66-72. Models for the Improvement of the Military Commanders Tactical Decision Pro-
24. James E. Driskell and Eduardo Salas, Group Decision-Making Under cess, Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio State University, 1968.
Stress, Journal of Applied Psychology, June 1991, 473-79. 48. March, 262-63.
25. James G. March, A Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen 49. Slim, 460.
Colonel Christopher R. Paparone, US Army, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Army War College
Professorship Program at Pennsylvania State University. He received a B.A. from the University
of South Florida and M.A.s from Florida Institute of Technology and the US Naval War College.
He is a graduate of the US Army War College. He served in various command and staff positions
in the Continental United States and Germany, including deputy G3, 21st Theater Support Com-
mand, Kaiserslautern, Germany; and battalion commander, 47th Forward Support Battalion, 1st
Armored Division, Bad Kreuznach, Germany. His article Piercing the Corporate Veil: OE and
Army Transformation appeared in the March-April 2001 Military Review.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 53
It takes an Army to deter a war.
US Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki The inability to provide assaulting
forces with reliable, tactically responsive,
F THE US ARMY is to deter war in the 21st all-weather fire support prevents the
century, it must embrace its largely ignored am- United States from effectively projecting
phibious warfare responsibilities and focus doctrine power and risks needless casualties,
and capabilities on rapidly projecting power to domi- being defeated or both. . . . In the initial
nate littoral (coastal) regions. The most effective stages of any joint littoral operation,
method for the Army to achieve littoral deterrence until sufficient time elapses to deploy
in the near term is through deploying interim brigade organic artillery, both services must rely
combat teams (IBCTs) as part of an integrated, syn-
chronized joint task force (JTF) to secure port fa- primarily on naval aviation and long-
cilities and airfields. range NSFS, which require more than
Since 1990 US forces have been involved in 50 10 minutes to respond.
crises around the world, most supported by Marine
and Navy amphibious forces deployed to littoral re- US Marine Corps (USMC) and Army forces.2
gions. About 70 percent of the worlds population lives Furthermore, the Navy cannot provide tactically re-
within 75 miles of a coastline. The rapid growth of sponsive NSFS to troops ashore without the major-
megacities in the littorals and resultant avalanche of caliber guns of the Iowa-class battleships, which the
changing demographics, competition for resources Navy refuses to maintain in active service. For lit-
and indigenous tensions have produced regions toral conflicts, the Iowa-class battleships should be
plagued by strife and conflict. Littoral operations are designated and funded as joint national assets.
expected to be the norm for the 21st century. The Army and USMC are implementing strate-
However, successfully performing the littoral com- gic and operational maneuver concepts to meet
bat mission requires tactically responsive naval sur- requirements for increased mobility. The Armys
face fire support (NSFS). Operations in Kosovo near-term response is the Interim Force while the
demonstrated that bad weather can wipe out air Objective Force takes shape. The USMCs near-
support. Global Positioning System (GPS)-guided, term and long-term strategies are Marine Corps
precision-guided munitions (PGMs) could not de- Strategy 21 and Operational Maneuver From the
stroy Serbian ground forces. NATO employed more Sea (OMFTS). These revolutionary maneuver con-
than 10,000 PGMs and destroyed only 14 tanks, 18 cepts could significantly enhance US ability to wage
armored personnel carriers (APCs) and 20 artillery and win strategic and operational war. However, the
pieces.1 However, they proved effective when em- inability to provide assaulting forces with reliable, tac-
ployed against stationary targets such as bridges, tically responsive, all-weather fire support prevents
power plants, railroads and the Chinese Embassy. the United States from effectively projecting power
Unfortunately, The Navy admits that it currently has and risks needless casualties, being defeated or both.
no credible surface fire capabilities to support Regardless of how a force arrives, it deploys on
forced-entry from the sea and inland operations by the ground and fights tactically. Fire support to sol-
diers and Marines ashore require reliable, high-
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do volume, tactically responsive, lethal, all-weather
not purport to reflect the position of the Department of the Army, systems. Neither maneuver concept adequately
the Department of Defense or any other government office or
agency.Editor considers or provides fire support that meets the
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 55
realities of close combat. In the initial stages of any
Floating Fortress joint littoral operation, until sufficient time elapses to
deploy organic artillery, both services must rely pri-
Duringthe1982Falklands-MalvinasWar,Exocetantiship marily on naval aviation and long-range NSFS, which
missiles and conventional bombs struck 16 British war- require more than 10 minutes to respond.
ships, sinking seven and severely damaging three. A Sometimes tactical is so broadly defined that it
containership was sunk with thousands of tons of stores is dangerously imprecise. US Army Field Manual
and ammunition as well as half the helicopters dedicated (FM) 100-15, Corps Operations, defines the corps
to the land force. British carriers were forced to operate at as the largest tactical unit in the US Army, a defi-
theextremerangeoftheinvasionarea. nition unchanged in more than 60 years.3 Everything
The vulnerability of modern, lightly armored warships to from the front-line foxhole to the corps rear area is
determined air attack had changed little since World War
II. Yet, even as the Argentine and British forces fought in the considered tactical. The close battle, main battle,
South Atlantic, work began at the Long Beach Naval Ship- deep battle and rear battle are all tactical operations
yard to modernize a warship largely impervious to conven- but could be up to 90 miles apart. Fire support re-
tional weapons. The USS New Jersey was the first of four sponsiveness for soldiers in foxholes (or Marines on
Iowa-class battleships returned to active service as part of the beach) is clearly different from what a corps
PresidentRonaldReagan’smaritimestrategy. needs for the fight.
Built during World War II, these vessels still had as much The corps- and joint-level task force headquar-
as 20 years of service life remaining. In addition, antiship ters have too many communication layers between
weaponshadbeendesignedoverthedecadestocounterin- them and the shooters to be responsive to the close
creasingly thin-skinned warships. With a 6-inch armor deck fight and main battle. Although we have sensor-to-
and hull and citadel armor ranging up to 14.5 inches thick, shooter connectivity, it is doubtful that high-level re-
the battleships would be able to engage in sustained, all- sponsiveness can be sustained hundreds of times a
weather operations in even the most deadly environments. day across a corps front. These applications are
All four ships were recommissioned by 1988 with state-of-
the-art communications, radar, nuclear-biological-chemical
best suited for high-payoff targets or special opera-
protection, chaff and electronic countermeasures systems. tions but cannot reliably support the volume of re-
Additional weapons included 16 Harpoon and 32 Toma- quests needed for large-scale combat.
hawk cruise missiles as well as four 20mm Phalanx sys- Although the corps operates in the field under tac-
tems (similar to the Vulcan). Today, two ships, the Wiscon- tical environmental conditions, due to technological
sin and Iowa, are maintained, ready for activation under the advancements in command, control, communications
termsofUSPublicLaw104-106. and computers, intelligence, surveillance and recon-
Former US Navy Secretary John Lehman believes this naissance (C4ISR), todays corps and corps-sized
level of readiness is insufficient and that the Wisconsin and JTFs conduct an operational level of war and influ-
Iowa “should be kept in a ready-reserve status, manned by ence an operational battle space. Todays corps can
a cadre of regulars and a majority of drilling reservists.” In influence an area of operation formerly assigned to
this status, says Lehman, “they could do occasional show- numbered US armies in World War II.
the-flag cruises and rapidly deploy in time of crisis.” He Because the range and responsiveness of organic
dismisses arguments that the ships are too manpower- weapon systems is limited, the division should be
with 1,400 officers and men. By manning only two of the designated the largest tactical unit. Additionally, the
four engine rooms, they still make 24 knots and save sev- tactical battle space should be redefined to mirror
eral hundred crew. With other sensible reductions made the zones and sectors assigned to divisions. Associ-
possible by newer technology they could be manned with ated battle areasthe close fight, main fight, deep
fewer than 800. At whatever manning, there simply is no battle and rear battlemust specify responsive
substitute for those 16-inch guns. On the first salvo they can thresholds because time and distance are interde-
be in the wrong county, but with drone or aircraft spotting pendent, defining criteria. Department of Defense
thesubsequentroundshave100-yardorbetteraccuracy.” (DOD) Directive 5100.1 sets forth the Armys am-
Lehman points out that “the Exocet can penetrate only phibious mission requirements: The primary func-
2.75 inches of armor” and that similar missiles “would have tions of the Army are:
no effect against any of the armor of the BBs.” He cautions, 22.214.171.124.3. To organize, equip and provide Army
however, that no amount of protection can prevent all ca- Forces, in coordination with other Military Services,
sualties, particularly if hits are made on the less-armored for joint amphibious . . . operations and to provide
portions of the superstructure. Still, “The only real conven-
tional threat to the BBs,” says Lehman, “is the huge under- for the training of such forces, in accordance with
keel Russian torpedo, but even there, the BBs have triple- joint doctrines.
layered bottoms. In short, compared to the 1/4-inch steel of 126.96.36.199.3.1. [Develop,] in coordination with other
the billion-dollar Aegis ships, the BBs are invulnerable.” Military Services, doctrines, tactics, techniques, and
equipment of interest to the Army for amphibious
56 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
operations and not provided for elsewhere. 4
Although this directive, as worded, is speaking of A ship 1,000 miles away can
World War II, Normandy Beach-like operations, it fire a Tomahawk cruise missile, which
affords the Army broad latitude to Develop . . . doc- takes up to 1 hour, 49 minutes to reach
trines, tactics, techniques, and equipment of interest the target, and still meet requirements
to the Army for [littoral] operations which do not for NSFS if the missile is launched
exist or are not addressed yet are required for suc- 2 minutes, 30 seconds after the request.
cessful amphibious operations.5 The term tactical Tomahawk is
As the USMCs long-range concept for respond- an oxymoron and illustrates a lack
ing to 21st-century littoral conflicts, OMFTS relies of appreciation for the need for
heavily on its ability to launch and support amphibi-
ous assaults from ships 70 to 115 miles inland be-
tactically responsive fires.
yond the horizon. Based on a triad of revolutionary
lift assets such as the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor air- craft. Parallel capabilities would provide a synergistic
craft, the advanced amphibious assault vehicle force multiplier, especially for JTFs trying to surge
(AAAV) and the recently upgraded landing craft, combat power quickly.
air-cushion (LCAC), OMFTS will project power in-
land. On 16 November 2000, the USMC publicly re- TacticalFiresNotConsidered
vealed its first step toward achieving its long-term Unfortunately, as planning to support IBCTs and
vision. Identified as Marine Corps Strategy 21, the OMFTS becomes more definitive, important tacti-
Marines new goals are bold but achievable: two bri- cal requirements remain ill-defined, if not neglected.
gadesalmost 40,000 Marinesdeployed any- In the Armys case, the fire support deficiency is
where in the world, regardless of available infrastruc- highlighted by an October 1999 Deputy Chief of
ture, ready to operate in one week or less.6 Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS) meet-
ing of the Council of Colonels. Transformation work-
AmphibiousWarfareToday shops were conducted to enable early and continu-
Typically, in any littoral scenario, the amphibious ous joint, integrated and overwhelming strategic
ready group (ARG) will deliver the first ground and operational fires and maneuver, throughout the
forces most readily available to respond to a littoral depth and breadth of the battlespace and across the
crisis. Typically a Marine expeditionary unit/special spectrum of operations. 9
operations-capable (MEU/SOC), a reinforced infan- The USMC has understood the need to support
try battalion, can respond within hours to days, de- amphibious operations with tactically responsive
pending on the ARGs proximity to the crisis. How- fires. On 3 December 1996 the commanding gen-
ever, the next available Marine force, the Marine eral, Marine Corps Combat Development Command
expeditionary brigade (MEB), arrives 11 days after (MCCDC), Quantico, Virginia, Lieutenant General
the MEU deploys. For crises requiring a force larger (LtGen) Paul K. Van Riper, submitted requirements
than an MEU and sooner than an MEB, the Armys for NSFS, calling for responsiveness of 2 minutes,
82d Airborne Division and IBCTs are ideal. The 30 seconds from call for fire to rounds striking the
Army should contribute IBCTs to JTFs responsible target.10
for securing port facilities and littoral airfields. However, changes to the wording of the Marine
Employing IBCTs to respond to littoral national requirements document raise doubts. In a letter dated
security interests would not be interpreted as an 16 June 1999 to the Chief of Naval Operations (N81),
encroachment on Marine Corps turf. USMC lead- new commanding general, MCCDC, then LtGen
ers acknowledge that the Corps alone is too small J.E. Rhodes, redefined this requirement. The require-
to adequately respond to large-scale crises. Com- ment now calls for a system response of 2 min-
mandant of the Marine Corps General James L. utes, 30 seconds from the time the fire direction
Jones stated: Marines win battles, the Army wins center receives the call for fire until ordnance is fired
Wars. 7 Testifying before the Senate Armed Ser- or launched.11 A munitions time of flight is excluded
vices Committee during his confirmation hearings, from this requirement. The redefinition has had a
then Lieutenant General Jones said, There has dramatically negative impact on responsiveness. A
never been a crowded battlefield. Our comple- ship 1,000 miles away can fire a Tomahawk cruise
mentary relationship with the Army is an impor- missile, which takes up to 1 hour, 49 minutes to reach
tant force multiplier for the Nation. 8 the target, and still meet requirements for NSFS
USMC doctrine clearly describes surface move- if the missile is launched 2 minutes, 30 seconds af-
ment for ship-to-objective maneuver (STOM). ter the request. The term tactical Tomahawk is
IBCTs, on the other hand, would primarily use air- an oxymoron and illustrates a lack of appreciation
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 57
A Tomahawk cruise missile is launched
from the USS Missouri during Operation
Desert Storm, 17 January 1991.
assisted) is 68.5 seconds, for a total execution re-
sponsiveness of 2 minutes, 23.5 secondsa tougher
standard than the USMC requirement.
If this is the current Army standard for tactical
fire support responsiveness, if the USMC follows the
Armys Artillery School for tactics, techniques and
procedures (TTP), and if the US military is always
to fight jointly, this fire support standard should also
apply to the Navy and support for soldiers and Ma-
rines ashore. Additionally, the tactical battle space
should be limited to the distance at which fires can
range targets and still be responsive in any weather.
This designation applies for all ground operations,
whether in the littorals or in the Balkans. Doctrine
can grow as technology improves so that fire sup-
port remains tactically responsive and be doctrinally
sound but not doctrinally bound.14
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC, commander
in chief (CINC) of US Central Command, detailed
For a relatively small investment, shortfalls in joint fire support capabilities for forced-
several battleship upgrades would entry scenarios. He asked, How do we employ joint
enable tactically responsive, extended- fires when were building up the force? Its easy to
range joint fires and quickly integrate employ joint fires in an exercise where the entire
US and coalition firesair and indirect. force is already in place.15 The inability to perform
Modernized battleships can integrate joint fires is not due to a lack of doctrine. Joint Pub-
lication 3-09, Doctrine for Joint Fire Support, was
and synchronize the joint fires published 12 May 1998. The inability to provide joint
mission end to end. fires stems from a serious lack of weapon systems
capable of providing joint fires. Elaborating, Zinni
for the need for tactically responsive fires. said, What we need going in is a capability to quickly
Even 2 minutes, 30 seconds can seem like a life- integrate US and coalition firesair and indirect
time when you need fire support. Perhaps this is part fires. . . . The first few days are going to be criti-
of the problem. Not enough of todays soldiers have cal, until we can build up to the point where we have
experienced combat, and decisionmakers too often the combat advantage over the enemy.16
fail to listen to those who have. Recently retired In a June 2000 interview, Jones stated, One of
General Barry R. McCaffrey stated, With only a the lessons from Kosovo for me was that weather
handful of exceptions, our soldiers have never wit- still plays an important role in the ability of a plat-
nessed a protracted, high-casualty ground campaign. form to deliver rounds on target, precision or other-
. . . Many of the lessons of Vietnam have been lost, wise. . . . Something like 50 percent of the time we
forgotten, or cast asidedeemed inconvenient or were unable to fly to do below-the-clouds close
irrelevant. . . . It is critical that they learn from, and air support.17
not repeat, the mistakes of the past.12
Testimony of ground combat veterans of Korea WhyNSFSisnotCredible
and Vietnam; after-action reviews (AARs) from In the initial stages of a joint littoral operation, un-
training engagements at the Armys National Train- til sufficient time elapses to deploy organic artillery
ing Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California; and cur- assets, both services must rely heavily on air power
rent Army artillery performance standards reveal that (primarily naval aviation) for fire support because the
the original USMC requirement of 2 minutes, 30 sec- Navy cannot provide credible NSFS to support joint
onds is dead on target. Army fire support perfor- Marine and Army amphibious operations. Even the
mance standards for the Paladin, M109A6, 155mm Navy admits that it currently has no credible sur-
howitzer specify a 75-second (outside the radius) re- face fire capabilities to support forced-entry from the
sponsiveness requirement for a Hip Shoot.13 Time sea and inland operations by Marine Corps and
of flight for 155mm projectiles out to an 18.1-kilometer Army forces.18 A 1999 Navy Report to Congress
(km) maximum range (nonsuper-charged, nonrocket- reaffirmed this, stating, [the] Navy does not pos-
58 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
The USS Iowa fires one of its six starboard
5-inch (127mm) guns during an Atlantic
training exercise. While a battleships nine
16-inch (406mm) guns work to isolate a
beachhead, its 5-inch guns can level precision
direct fires just as effectively as they have
from World War II through Desert Storm.
sess an operational capability that meets current
Marine Corps naval surface fire support require-
ments.19 This statement remains true today. There
are two principal reasons why the Navy cannot per-
form the NSFS mission:
l The Navys departure from heavy, armored,
major-caliber gunships (battleships with 16-inch guns
and cruisers with 12-inch and 8-inch guns) in favor
of naval aviation and todays lightly armored missile
ships, such as the USS Cole, with small, 5-inch
l Its decommissioning of Iowa-class battleships
in the early 1990s without a comparable replacement.
Retired Colonel James E. Lasswell, former head
of experimentation operations, USMC Warfighting
Lab, Quantico, Virginia, wrote: Current [naval fires]
systems are too few, too short in range, and inad-
equate for providing the kind of fire support needed
to support any sizable sea-based maneuver operation.
War games and experiments have identified serious
problems in conducting . . . STOMforcible entry During the Gulf War, on two
operationswithout a robust naval-fire capability. occasions, USS Wisconsins gunfire
Littoral penetration points cannot be adequately iso- forced Iraqis to surrender. Battleships
lated, counter-battery fires are not sufficient, and re- impact on Iraqi coastal defenses did not
sponsive fires in support of maneuver are inad- go unnoticed by the Soviets: Their
equate. . . . Absent the introduction of a significantly salvos are producing a strong impres-
improved naval surface fire system, landing forces sion on the Iraqis: they are abandoning
will continue to rely on air-delivered munitions as their coastal positions and pulling back
the primary fire support instrument during sea-based northward tens of kilometers.
maneuver operations. This situation will persist until
they can drag their own fire support [ashore]. 20
of 10 to 20 meters. The EX-171 relies on a rocket
NavyNSFSSolutionsareInadequate motor that generates 18 megajoules of energy to
Navy solutions to the NSFS gap include two near- reach an altitude of 80,000 to 85,000 feet from
term programsthe 5-inch extended-range guided where it glides to its target.22
munition (ERGM) and land-attack standard missile The program calls for fitting one gun to each of
(LASM) and one long-term program the 29 new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51s)
155mm advanced gun system (AGS) for the DD beginning in 2001. The Navy plans to retrofit two
21 land-attack destroyer. According to Lasswell, of the guns on each of 22 Ticonderoga-class Ae-
these programs, if fully funded and implemented, gis cruisers (CG-47) to give the ships an ERGM
could put a dent in the requirement.21 Soldiers and capability. By Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, there will be
Marines performing the littoral combat mission do 26 5-inch, 62-caliber guns in the fleet on 18 DDGs
not want fire support that only makes dents in their and four cruisers. By FY 09 the program is to be
targets; they want their targets destroyed immedi- fully fielded.23
ately, anytime, under all weather conditions. Program status. The ERGM program is deeply
ERGM is part of a $2.1-billion program to design, mired in technical difficulties, six years behind sched-
test and field a long-range munition for the Navys ule and significantly over budget. Worse, the rate of
new 5-inch, Mk 45 Mod 4, 62-caliber gun system. fire will likely drop significantly from the promised
The EX-171 is a 12-caliber (61 inches long), 110- 12 rounds per minute because of the extreme tem-
pound, rocket-assisted projectile that carries a 19- peratures generated by firing such a hot round. A
pound payload of 72 Army M-80 antimateriel/anti- more realistic estimate is three to four rounds per
personnel submunitions that will produce a circular minute with significant barrel wear.
destructive pattern on the ground to a planned maxi- According to an ERGM program source and con-
mum range of 63 nautical miles in 7 to 8 minutes. firmed by a senior official, during a six-round, rapid-
Relying on an on-board GPS-updated Inertial Navi- fire slug test in February 2001, the barrel warped
gation System (INS), ERGM will have an accuracy due to extreme overheating and caused the fourth
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 59
vulnerability during the early stages of ship-to-
During a six-round, rapid-fire objective maneuver [STOM] when organic artillery
slug test in February 2001, the barrel is afloat.26
warped due to extreme overheating and l GPS vulnerability to jamming. GPS-guided fire
caused the fourth round to stick in the support solutions are problematic. Such projectiles
barrel. The extreme barrel heat melted are easily jammed, and their small payloads (designed
the projectiles on-board GPS/INS, but to minimize collateral damage) ensure that the tar-
incredibly, the Navy ruled the get will not be destroyed when jamming occurs.
test a success. Relatively low-power jammers can distort naviga-
tion out to 120 miles. Iraq successfully used Rus-
sian-made jammers to lead Operation Northern
round to stick in the barrel. The extreme barrel heat Watch aircraft off course, and China is also devel-
melted the projectiles on-board GPS/INS, but in- oping a jamming capability. Things will not get bet-
credibly, the Navy ruled the test a success. Design- ter: GPS jamming is a train wreck waiting to hap-
ing an inertial measurement unit, an essential part pen. And its not a question of whether it will happen,
of the systems GPS guidance package, is also dif- but when.27 Threats could easily and quickly build
ficult because it must withstand the force of 12,000 and deploy cheap but numerous, effective jammers
Gs as it leaves the gun barrel. To make matters to defeat GPS-guided weapons. Russian-designed,
worse, according to a 1997 General Accounting Of- inexpensive GPS jammers are now widely avail-
fice letter, The near-term [ERGM] phase of the ableone such device can even be purchased
[Navys NSFS] program is not expected or designed through the Internet.
to fully meet the fire support requirements recently Land-attack standard missile (LASM). The
established by the USMC. A key deficiency is re- supersonic LASM is installed on Aegis warships and
sponsiveness.24 Moreover, Lieutenant General uses GPS and INS for precision guidance. Program
Michael Williams testified on 2 March 2000 that funding for LASM started in FY 00, and LASM ini-
ERGM will not have the necessary lethality. tial operating capability is planned for FY 03. The
Performance deficiencies. Following are some procurement objective is 800 missiles. There have
serious ERGM performance deficiencies: been three flight demonstrations and two warhead
l Responsiveness. Van Riper said, A consistent arena tests, but missile solutions for fire support are
concern is time of flight, which could be eight to insufficient because they fail to provide the antici-
nine minutes. If the target is mobile, it could disap- pated responsiveness and volume of fire needed by
pear even if terminal guidance were available.25 the landing force.28 Due to their lengthy mission
For instance, an enemy tank traveling 25 miles per planning process, missiles are not tactically respon-
hour (mph) will have traveled 3.1 miles in the time sive and are best employed against stationary or
it takes ERGM to reach the target from maximum fixed C4ISR targets. They also are vulnerable to
range. GPS jamming effects. Exorbitant unit costs
l Destruction fires. The 5-inch ERGM (only ($750,000 to $1.5 million each) and the number of
slightly bigger than a 120mm mortar) holds 72 missiles required to support any real conflict will re-
M-80 submunitions, which are ineffective against sult in a limited production which, in turn, will quickly
hard targets such as tanks, APCs, bunkers, caves be expended, as occurred in Kosovo.
and fortifications that soldiers and Marines typi- Advanced gun system (AGS). The AGS is a
cally face in littoral regions. 155mm gun weapon system planned for installation
l Sustained/subsequent operations ashore. The in the DD 21 land-attack destroyer, which is still in
DDGs on-board storage capacity of only 230 the design stage. DD 21 will carry two 155mm guns
ERGMs cannot support sustained operations ashore. capable of independently firing twelve 200-pound,
At its sustained rate of 10 rounds per minute, the GPS-guided, ERGM-like rounds per minute, out to
DDG is out of ammunition after 23 minutes. 115 miles, from two 750-round automated maga-
l Volume. The DDGs single gun cannot achieve zines. However, one of these guns is projected for
the volume required. Van Riper writes of a need removal in favor of a vertical launch system to sup-
for low-cost, high-volume rounds that can be used port theater ballistic missile defense.
to provide close supporting fires to maneuvering land The first AGS is scheduled for delivery in FY 06,
forces. Quantity of fire, on time and on target, has with an initial operating capability of 2008. However,
a quality all its own. Precision/terminally guided the first DD 21 probably will not be fielded until 2012
munitions are needed but not to the exclusion of in- or produced in sufficient numbers until after 2020.
expensive, volume fire munitions. Both precise and Even when the systems are fully fielded, DD 21
less-precise munitions are critical in the window of will not be able to match the Iowa-class battleships
60 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
The USS Missouri (BB-63) steams alongside the USS Wisconsin
(BB-64) during operations in the Persian Gulf, January 1991.
The Navy has been reluctant to invest in the capabilities of a
small ship class when the equipment developed could not be used elsewhere in
the fleet. However, the 16-inch extended-range ammunition is a special case that
can be justified economically as well as operationally. The investment pays off
during operations that involve a large portion of the Navys amphibious
shipping but only a few of its surface combatants.
in firepower and shock effect.29 In the meantime, Invest in four ships. The Navy has been re-
the absence of NSFS makes the risk to fighting luctant to invest in the capabilities of a small ship
forces ashore very high right now.30 For at least class when the equipment developed could not be
the next 20 years, no options other than modernized used elsewhere in the fleet. However, the 16-inch
battleships will eliminate this very high risk. extended-range ammunition is a special case that can
be justified economically as well as operationally. The
TheSolution investment pays off during operations that involve a
Currently, only major-caliber guns have the all- large portion of the Navys amphibious shipping but
weather reliability, lethality and responsiveness to only a few of its surface combatants.
support tactical operations. Such guns are now found Further, implementing laser guidance could trans-
only on the Navys two mothballed Iowa-class form ballistic projectiles into PGMs that can be
battleships (USS Iowa, BB-61, and USS Wiscon- guided from a wide range of sources, including the
sin, BB-64). The 16-inch Mark VII gun shoots eight remotely piloted vehicles organic to the battle-
1,900-pound, high-capacity, shore-bombardment ship. This capability will give troops ashore highly
projectiles out to 24 miles with flight times under 2 reliable fire support in the close fight that is respon-
minutes. However, with extended-range projectiles, sive, precise and lethal. Extended-range ballistic pro-
like those in development during the late 1980s and jectiles can provide all-weather, lifesaving fire sup-
early 1990s, major-caliber guns could deliver projec- port on timeanytime.
tiles varying in weight (525 to 1,300 pounds) out to Other major-caliber, extended-range projectiles
52 statute miles in approximately 2 minutes. This could be employed to support a proposed division
time of flight still leaves sufficient time to develop a deep-battle responsiveness requirement of 5 minutes.
fire solution and still put steel on target in 2 minutes, In 1991 the Defense Advanced Research Projects
30 seconds. Tight shooting powders such as the Agency proposed an 11-inch sabot projectile, fired
Armys M31 could produce unguided, ballistic cir- from a 16-inch gun, which would have had a 115-
cular error probable (CEP) on the order of 250 mile projected range and a 4-minute time of flight.
meters at 52 miles with a lethal radius of approxi- Since ballistic accuracy decreases beyond 50 miles,
mately 200 meters. Unlike GPS-guided fire support, terminal guidance would be necessary to maintain
16-inch gunfire is timely, not subject to jamming or acceptable accuracy. Large-caliber projectiles fired
inclement weather and cannot be shot down. beyond 52 miles would represent transition to the
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 61
a fire support ship to be configured with TAB ra-
Threats could easily and quickly dar. A maritime version of the AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder
build and deploy cheap but numerous, radar could pinpoint enemy artillery and Scud-type
effective jammers to defeat GPS-guided weapons engaging ground troops ashore for the
weapons. Russian-designed, inexpen- battleships 16-inch guns to destroy immediately.
sive GPS jammers are now widely Vertical-Launch-System (VLS) Tomahawks.
availableone such device can even Plans exist to install 96 VLS Tomahawk missiles.
be purchased through the Internet. The below-deck design significantly increases their
survivability and lethality. These missiles would be
operational battle space because of responsiveness. instrumental in destroying key enemy fixed or sta-
A snapshot of todays sealift and other movement tionary C4ISR, air defense targets essential in blind-
capabilities shows only incremental change from the ing the enemy and rolling back enemy defenses.
way we had conducted amphibious operations in the Deterring war and winning wars when deterrence
1940s.31 For some time, amphibious operations fails is the US militarys defining mission. No single
would be similar to World War II over-the-beach weapon system short of nuclear weapons deters
operations. Unfortunately, without battleships, they aggression like the battleship. For example, during
will be performed with casualties like those on the Iran-Iraq tanker war in the 1980s, every time
Omaha Beach, where there was insufficient battle- the Iowa would enter the Persian Gulf, all the shoot-
ship support. ing would stop and all southern Iran would go
ModernizedIowa-ClassBattleships The battleships effectiveness in winning war is
The battleship, with its major-caliber guns, is the even more impressive. From World War II to the
only system that can be modernized to meet the many Gulf War, battleships major-caliber naval gunfire has
rigorous fire support requirements of 21st-century proven to remove the enemys will to fight. On 10
JTF commanders performing littoral combat mis- June 1944 German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
sions. For a relatively small investment, several complained, Our operations in Normandy are tre-
battleship upgrades would enable tactically respon- mendously hampered, and in some places even ren-
sive, extended-range joint fires and quickly integrate dered impossible by the . . . effect of the heavy na-
US and coalition firesair and indirect. Modern- val guns . . . [which] is so immense that no operation
ized battleships can integrate and synchronize the of any kind is possible in that area.33 Half a world
joint fires mission end to end. away, another enemy faced the same frustration.
Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Sys- General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, commanding gen-
tem (AFATDS). This Army and USMC automated eral of Japanese forces in Iwo Jima, telegraphed the
artillery system plans, executes and tracks fire sup- Chief of the General Staff that the violence of the
port missions. A battleship with AFATDS would fill enemys bombardments is beyond description. . . .
the need for integrating joint fires to support Army The power of the U.S. warships [battleships] . . .
and USMC forces engaged in close combat ashore. makes every landing operation possible to whatever
Target-acquisition battery (TAB) radar. In- beachhead they like.34 During the Vietnam War,
cluded in Van Ripers memo was a requirement for the New Jerseys mere presence so terrorized the
North Vietnamese that they insisted it be withdrawn
in 1969 because it impeded peace talks.
During the Gulf War, on two occasions, USS
Wisconsins gunfire forced Iraqis to surrender.
Battleships impact on Iraqi coastal defenses did not
go unnoticed by the Soviets: Their salvos are pro-
ducing a strong impression on the Iraqis: they are
abandoning their coastal positions and pulling back
northward tens of kilometers. 35
Dominating the 21st-century littoral battle space
will be the US militarys primary mission. Fire sup-
port from the major-caliber guns, like the Iowa-class
battleships, has proven to be an essential enabler to
successfully performing the littoral combat mission
to whatever beachhead desired. Extending the arc
of battleships major-caliber guns with extended-
range projectiles as far as possible makes infinitely
62 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
In 1944, shipyard workers cheer the
launching of the USS Missouri, one
of the last US armored warships.
Currently, only major-caliber guns have the all-weather reliability, lethality
and responsiveness to support tactical operations. Such guns are now found only
on the Navys two mothballed Iowa-class battleships. The 16-inch Mark VII gun
shoots 1,900-pound, high-capacity, shore-bombardment projectiles
out to 24 miles with flight times under 2 minutes.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 63
toolkit was first proposed in October 1998 as a
Sometimes tactical is so broadly workaround to the Navys arguments for not main-
defined that it is dangerously imprecise. taining them in active service.36 First, the Navy
. . . The tactical battle space should must reactivate the battleships. If the bureaucratic
be redefined to mirror the zones and resistance is too great, Congress could step in and
sectors assigned to divisions. Associ- do three things:
l Declare them national assets.
ated battle areasthe close fight, main
l Provide a separate, joint funding line for US
fight, deep battle and rear battle Joint Forces Command, the headquarters with the
must specify responsive thresholds mission to operate and maintain these invaluable
because time and distance are inter- ships.
dependent, defining criteria. l Modify Title III to allow the services man-
power ceilings to be exceeded by the correspond-
good sense and gives US littoral forces performing ing amount of personnel assigned operating and
operational and strategic maneuver the potential to maintaining joint weapons.
achieve Sun Tzus supreme excellence. An 8 July 1995 Senate Armed Services Com-
The Navy has determined that the blue-water mittee report stated that the Iowa-class battleships
strategy does not apply in the 21st century and re- are our countrys only remaining potential source
placed it with a brown-water strategy (littoral war- of around-the-clock accurate, high volume, heavy
fare). The Navy must ultimately realize that with fire support for Marine and Army amphibious and
this shift in strategy comes the primary responsi- forced-entry operations.37 Troops ashore are at
bility to provide troops ashore with accurate, re- very high risk without tactically responsive NSFS
liable, tactically responsive, high-volume NSFS and the situation will continue until the DD 21-
under all conditions. Without it, our troops ashore class destroyers join the fleet in strength [circa
risk needless casualties, being defeated or both. 2020]. 38 Integrating the services warfighting
capabilities achieves a synergy for 21st-century lit-
OneSolution:NationalAssets toral warfare, but synergy will not be achieved
The idea of making Iowa-class battleships joint without the major-caliber guns from the Navys
assets as part of a JTF commanders go-to-war Iowa-class battleships.
1. Interview with a US Joint Forces Command targeting expert, 9 April 2001. 18. GAO/NSIAD-97-179R.
2. General Accounting Office (GAO)/National Security and International Affairs Di- 19. Letter to Honorable John Warner, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
vision (NSIAD)-97-179R, Naval Surface Fire Support (Washington, DC: US Govern- The Honorable Richard Danzig, Secretary of the Navy, Navys Report to Congress
ment Printing Office [GPO], 6 August 1997), 1, <http://www.usnfa.com/articles/gao/ on Naval Surface Fire Support Capabilities, 26 March 1999, 3.
gao1.htm>. 20. Colonel James E. Lasswell, USMC, Retired, Waterborne Warriors, Armed
3. US Army Field Manual (FM) 100-15, Corps Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, Forces Journal International (AFJI), January 2001, 36-41.
29 October 1996), 1-1, <http://www-cgsc.army.mil/NRS/publications/FMs/FM100-15>. 21. Ibid.
4. DOD Directive 5100.1, Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major 22. Tracy A. Ralphs, Where Are the Battleships, AFJI, April 1999, 46.
Components (Washington, DC: GPO, 25 September 1987), 17, <http://web7.whs.osd. 23. Ibid.
mil/pdf/d51001p.pdf>. 24. GAO/NSIAD-97-179R, 2.
5. Ibid. 25. An Interview With Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, Commanding General,
6. C. Mark Brinkley, Punching Up 911: A Brand-New Vision for Tomorrows Ma- Marine Corps Combat Development Center, Surface Warfare, May/June 1996, 30.
rine Corps, Marine Corps Times, 4 December 2000, 14. 26. Ibid.
7. Banner, Army Times, 6 December 1999, cover page. 27. John G. Roos, Ersatz Silver Bullets: US High-Tech Missiles Remain Vul-
8. Excerpts of Q&A From Jones Confirmation Hearing: Senate Armed Services nerable to Low-Tech Jamming, AFJI, April 2000, 36-40.
Committee Confirmation Hearing, 8 June 1999, Advanced Questions for the Record, 28. Lasswell, 40.
Inside the Navy, 14 June 1999, 9. 29. Marine Corps NSFS Letter to Navy, 10.
9. DCSOPS, Power Projection Council of Colonels, 15 October 1999, slide 4. 30. David Brown, Will Delaying New Destroyers Risk Marines? Senators Ask,
10. Memorandum, Commanding General, MCCDC, to Chief of Naval Operations Navy Times, 4 April 2000.
(N86 and N85), Subject: Naval Surface Fire Support for Operational Maneuver 31. Letter to Dr. William Stearman from the MCCDC, Warfighting Development
From the Sea, 5. Integration Division, Quantico, Virginia, 27 August 1996, 3.
11. Marine Corps NSFS Letter to Navy, Inside the Navy, 28 June 1999, 10. 32. American Legion, March 1996.
12. General Barry R. McCaffrey, Return Fire: We Ignore the Lessons of the Last 33. Samuel E. Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War
30 Years at Our Peril, Armed Forces Journal International, August 2000, 15. II, The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944-1945 (Volume XI) (Boston, MA: Little,
13. Army Readiness and Training Evaluation Program (ARTEP) 6-037-30, Mis- Brown and Co., 1957), 169.
sion Training Plan for the Consolidated Cannon Battery (Washington, DC: GPO, 1 34. Appendix to explanation of Japanese Defense Plan and Battle of Iwo Jima, Major
April 2000), appendix A, table A-7.1 Yoshitaka Horie (ex-staff officer to General Kuribayashi), 25 January 1946 (courtesy
14. Interview with Lieutenant Colonel Mike Janay, USMC, Retired, 1 August 2000. Ms. Mullen, Research Archives, USMC University, Quantico, VA).
15. Patrecia Slayden Hollis, Joint Integration: The Key to Combat Effectiveness: 35. Sovetskaya Rossiya, 19 February 1991.
(Interview with) General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC, CINC, US Central Command, 36. Tracy A. Ralphs, Joint Warfare Will Fail Without Joint Weapon Foundation,
Field Artillery, November/December 1998, 7. Defense News, 19-25 October 1998, 29.
16. Ibid. 37. Senate Armed Services Committee Report (S.1026), 8 July 1995.
17. Hunter Keeter, Jones Sets Priorities for Air-, Land- and Sea-Based Fire Sup- 38. Statement of General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Be-
port, Defense Daily, 8 January 2000, 5. fore the House Armed Services Committee Concerning Posture, 1 March 2000, 17.
Major Tracy A. Ralphs is an imagery and intelligence officer, US Army Military Traffic Management
Command Transportation Engineering Agency, Newport News, Virginia. He received a B.S. from the Uni-
versity of Alabama and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. As a US Army
Reserve officer, he is the operations and training officer, Army Element, Joint Forces Intelligence Command
Reserve Unit, Norfolk, Virginia. He has also served as an observer/controller, National Training Center,
Fort Irwin, California, and as an imagery analyst, National Ground Intelligence Center, Charlottesville,
Virginia. He is the deputy executive director and program director, US Naval Fire Support Association.
64 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Your first act against the enemy shouldnt
be a nibble! It should demonstrate determi- Maneuver and firepower
nation and have traumatic impact! should not be considered separate
Sir John Woodward1 operations against a common foe but
complementary. Firepower resources
OINT FIREPOWER synchronized with establish a mobility advantage over the
operational-level maneuver bites with formi- enemy and ease operational maneuver.
dable force and terrorizes the enemy. Precise, brisk, Generally this refers to several tasks:
devastating operational firepower has been around attacking deep force concentrations,
only since World War II, and its place in major op- blinding sensors, disrupting mobility
erations and campaigns is no less important to- and preparing the enemy for
day than at Normandy. Firepower is a fundamental decisive closure.
tool of the operational artist, and every campaign
planner needs a sense of how such devastating gic aims of the conflict and that firepower alone
power can be most effective. could not be decisive without a more integrated
Following the smoothbore age, military opera- and compelling link to the entire campaign design.
tions changed course, and open warfare resolved in- Overwhelming firepower may influence success
to close encounters around fixed points. While ma- in engagements and battles, but to achieve national
neuver was prominent during three of the four years security objectives, overall campaigns must be
of the American Civil War, the fourth was largely successful.3
spent in siege operations. The Franco-Prussian War The lack of integrated firepower and maneuver
began with six weeks of maneuver, followed by a at the operational level during World War I com-
five-month siege on Paris. The Russo-Turkish War pels us to look to World War II for examples of such
of 1877 was basically a single-siege operation, and integration. First the Germans, then the Allies,
the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 closed with learned to integrate firepower with operational ma-
600,000 men consumed in trench warfare. neuver to execute broad-scope, decisive campaigns
Because of this attrition form of warfare, military across Africa, Europe and Russia. They quickly
leaders concluded that heavier firepower was found that operational art is more than planning and
needed. In 1916 during the battle of Verdun, the executing tactics on a grand scale. It is designing
Germans heaped two million rounds on French po- and controlling sequential, simultaneous operations
sitions at the rate of 100,000 rounds an hour. While across a theater that gives direction and meaning to
these are impressive figures and the magnitude of the tactical level. In this context operational fire-
the barrages must have been awe-inspiring, fire- power also becomes more than just fire support. It
power alone did not achieve an operational decision is not driven by targeting at the lowest tactical lev-
in the precursor events to World War I, nor did it els and compiled into target sets to support coming
during the devastating years of the war itself.2 engagements. Operational firepower is compelled by
Actions during World War I repeatedly demon- the overall campaign design and thus the operational-
strated that a single battle was no longer sufficient level tasks and priorities that must be accomplished
to achieve victoryorperhaps any of the strate- within each phase of the campaign.4
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 65
ditions for maneuver. Through disruption, delay or
Operational firepower, while by limiting critical functions, firepower can dictate
a separate element of the concept of the terms of future battle.7
operations, must closely integrate and Balancing competing close and deep de-
synchronize with the CINCs concept of mands is a critical aspect of operational command.
maneuver. At the operational level, Modern operational-level warfare involves meeting
firepower is defined in terms of what it the enemy along the front while destroying forces
does rather than what it is. well into enemy rear areas.8 Since World War I, le-
thal firepower has been a primary option in meet-
ing warfares many demands. Attrition has often
Firepower been a priority requirement, but it should not domi-
The term operational firepower refers to a com- nate the design of a well-orchestrated campaign.
mander in chiefs (CINCs) application of fires to Firepower is often associated with attrition, which
achieve a decisive impact on the conduct of a cam- depends on industrial strength, cumulative effects
paign or major operation. Operational firepower, and destroying target arrays. Overusing this method
while a separate element of the concept of opera- leads to routine target acquisition and repetitive rep-
tions, must closely integrate and synchronize with ertoires to support a preponderance of firepower.
the CINCs concept of maneuver. At the operational While firepower is an effective means of war, it is
level, firepower is defined in terms of what it does neither self-sufficient nor a swift instrument of vic-
rather than what it is. It does not necessarily directly tory. The Vietnam experience affirms this truth: as
equate to attrition warfare and, of necessity, plays firepower and attrition dominate operational design,
a critical role in maneuver warfare.5 maneuver seems less important; yet, without it, a
Operational maneuver and fires may occur simul- decision is improbable.9
taneously within a commanders battle space, at
times for different but related objectives, and at other OperationalManeuver
times maneuver and fires must be synchronized. Decisively defeating an enemy force requires
Lethal operational firepower is not simply fire sup- dominant maneuver throughout the depth of the
port writ large. It is consciously targeting and attack- battle space. Dominance requires seeing activity in
ing targets whose destruction will significantly af- the battle space, moving rapidly through its depth
fect the campaign or major operation. It includes and directing firepower to dominate the maneuver
allocating joint and combined air, land, sea and relationship. Final dominance comes through simul-
space means. Based on the operational commanders taneously applying firepower and controlling ter-
vision of how the campaign will unfold, operational rain.10
fire objectives are established, and targets are des- Relational maneuver creates a decisive impact on
ignated and integrated.6 a campaign by securing operational advantages be-
Operational firepower performs three general fore battle or exploiting tactical success. By avoid-
tasks within the campaign: ing enemy strengths, relational maneuver attempts
l Isolates the battlefield by interdiction. to incapacitate through systematic disruption rather
l Destroys critical enemy functions and facili- than physical destruction. The potential advantages
ties, eliminating or substantially degrading enemy are disproportionate to the effort and resources in-
operational-level capabilities. volved. Facilitating maneuver with firepower can
l Facilitates operational maneuver by suppress- yield astounding results such as Operation Neptune
ing enemy fires, disrupting maneuver and creating to establish the Normandy lodgment or Operation
gaps in defenses. Cobra to break out of the lodgment.11
Operational fires help achieve operational and How does a planner design a campaign to facili-
perhaps strategic objectives while holding enemy tate maneuver? Many operational-level planners are
critical functions at risk throughout the depth of the perplexed by this notion and often rely on their more
battle space. They are more than deep fires because familiar experiences with fire support. To better
they extend the battlefield in space and time. Exist- understand the maneuver-firepower connection re-
ing capabilities permit acquisition and attack at in- quires a fundamental grasp of maneuver forms and
creasing ranges and faster response times than ever historical uses of firepower.
before. Operational firepower can expose or allow At the operational level there are two basic forms
attacks directly on the center of gravity and set con- of maneuver that support sustained land action: cen-
66 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Alert GIs of an M-51 quad-.50 caliber
battery watch as US and German
planes dogfight above them.
Because envelopments and turns are similar, the general character
of operational firepower that facilitates such maneuvers would take on similar
patterns. In fact, many patterns are similar to those required in central maneuvers
with one notable exceptionprotecting a flank. The US XIX TAC supporting
General George S. Pattons Third Army during mid-August 1944 demonstrated
how to protect an operational flank using firepower.
tral maneuver using penetration, frontal attack and directly through the mass of combat power.14
infiltration; and flanking maneuver using envelop- Flanking maneuvers are designed to fall on an
ment or turning movement. World War II illustrates assailable flank, creating the conditions for encircle-
how each form has been applied and how firepower ment or pursuit and forcing the enemy to abandon
facilitated success. For example, Operation Neptune prepared defenses or fight in a direction and on ter-
demonstrated a frontal attack, Operation Cobra a rain we choose. Preferably, such maneuvers would
penetration and Operation Bluecoat an envelop- come from an unexpected direction, and while en-
ment.12 The more clearly defined use of a turning velopments seek to fix enemy frontal defenses, a
movement might be demonstrated by General Dou- turn avoids these altogether.15
glas MacArthurs avoidance of Rabaul. Finally, Maneuver and firepower should not be consid-
British Field Marshal William Slims use of the ered separate operations against a common foe but
Chindits in Burma illustrates an operational-level complementary. Firepower resources establish a
infiltration.13 mobility advantage over the enemy and ease opera-
Central maneuvers are designed to rupture enemy tional maneuver. Generally this refers to several
defenses, create assailable flanks and access rear tasks: attacking deep force concentrations, blinding
areas. Infiltrations covertly move forces through sensors, disrupting mobility and preparing the en-
enemy lines to reconcentrate in rear areas, whereas emy for decisive closure. But, as in synchronizing
penetrations on a narrow front or frontal attacks any operational functions, there is more to consider
on a broad front seek to overwhelm the enemy than this simple list implies, and each form of
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 67
porting bomber attack dropping 800 explosive tons.
While firepower is an effective In the British sector, from 0300 to 0500 hours, more
means of war, it is neither self-sufficient than 1,000 aircraft concentrated 5,000 tons of bombs
nor a swift instrument of victory. The on German defenses.18
Vietnam experience affirms this truth: During all of this there was a major effort to sup-
as firepower and attrition dominate port deception as part of Operation Fortitude. In
operational design, maneuver seems preliminary action to isolate reserves and debilitate
less important; yet, without it, a German mobility, 10 percent of the bomb tonnage
decision is improbable. dropped from mid-April until D-day was directed
against coastal batteries, but only one-third of that
maneuver requires its own set of considerations. Past tonnage was dropped in the invasion area.19
illustrations will help, but they reflect the enemy, Almost two months later Operation Cobra, de-
terrain and available resources. signed to break out of the lodgment area, illustrated
the meaning of tearing gaps in enemy defenses. The
CentralManeuver First US Army was poised to break out of the lodg-
Frontal assaults and penetrations require facilitat- ment with 15 divisions in four corps. Behind it were
ing similar methods. The official US Army history 12 fighter-bomber groups based on the continent
of the cross-channel attack records that the task of to support its effort. During his planning phase,
smashing through enemy beach defenses was to be General Omar Bradley said he wanted to obliter-
facilitated as far as possible by naval fire and air ate the German defenses along the Périers Saint-
bombardment. The Atlantic wall was expected to Lo highway and use an air attack concentrated
contain 15,000 concrete strong points, 15 coastal in mass into the open terrain beyond Saint-Lo
batteries and 300,000 defenders. A frontal assault highway.20
against such defenses required heavily suppressing All Eighth US Air Force heavy bombers and
enemy fire, tearing gaps in the imposing defenses, fighters, Ninth US Air Force medium bombers and
isolating enemy reserves from the lodgment area, fighter-bombers, and the Royal Air Force 2d Tacti-
destroying German mobility and supporting the de- cal Air Force concentrated against a rectangular tar-
ception (Operation Fortitude).16 get south of the Périers-Saint-Lo highway. The tar-
For three months lines of communication (LOC) get was 7,000 yards wide and 2,500 yards deep. For
in northern France were interdicted to sever trans- two hours and 25 minutes, 2,500 planes swarmed
portation links to Normandy. Between 1 March and over the target, dropping 5,000 tons of explosives,
6 June 1944 air forces cut rail traffic by 60 percent, napalm and white phosphorous. From 25 to 28 July,
destroying 900 locomotives, 16,000 freight cars and 2,926 aircraft flew almost 10,000 sorties support-
shooting down 1,000 Luftwaffe aircraft in May alone. ing the First US Army operational objective. Lieu-
All Seine River bridges from Rouen to Mantes- tenant General Fritz Bayerlein, commander of
Gassicourt were rendered impassable. An area the Panzer Lehr division, was astonished by the destruc-
size of Indiana was isolated in the northwest corner tion and characterized the onslaught as Hell. . . .
of France. German reserves were so successfully The planes kept coming . . . my front lines looked
isolated that they had to walk the last 100 miles into like a landscape on the moon, and at least 70 percent
combat. German reserves were isolated from the of my personnel were knocked out of action. . . . All
lodgment area, the supporting mobility network my front-line tanks were knocked out. . . . We could
was neutralized, and the Luftwaffe had only 400 do nothing but retreat. A new SS tank battalion was
first-line aircraft operational. The stage had been coming in with 60 tanks . . . [it] arrived [with] five.
masterfully set for the invasion along the Normandy The destruction was so complete in the target area
coastline.17 that it prompted discouraged Field Marshal Hans
As Operation Neptune began, the tasks of sup- Guenther von Kluge to report, As of this moment,
pressing defenses and tearing selected gaps became the front has burst. Operational firepower facili-
primary concerns. The combined naval forces dedi- tated First US Armys penetration three miles wide
cated scores of ships to this effort. Fifty-two battle- and one to three miles deep and precipitated the
ships, cruisers, destroyers and other ships supported defeat of the German 7th Army.21
the First US Army in the US sector. On 6 June Operational-level infiltrations are somewhat
Omaha and Utah Beaches were bombarded with unique in history; however, operations in Burma by
naval gunfire, including 13,000 rockets, and a sup- Brigadier Orde Wingates special force of Chindits
68 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Bombs from Fifth Air
Force B-25s straddle
a Japanese patrol
boat from a convoy
headed for Rabaul,
16 February 1944. In
the background (see
inset) a cargo vessel
receives a fatal hit
while only the bow
remains visible of
another ship heading
for the bottom. The
convoy was caught
off Kavieng, New
US Air Force
On 12 October 1943, 350 aircraft from the US Fifth Air Force and the
Royal Australian Air Force began concentrating operational-level fires against [the
100,000-man garrison at] Rabaul. . . . The attempt to isolate Rabaul was continuous,
and by February 1944 no Japanese warships remained at Rabaul, and no
fighters opposed Allied air efforts within hundreds of miles.
exemplify how firepower might support such an infiltration into an operational area formed by the
effort. Slim, having retreated from Burma during Mogaung-Indaw-Bhamo triangle. A determined
1941, found himself in an economy-of-force theater Wingate had achieved one of the greatest infiltra-
throughout World War II. As he began to transition tions in history to insert himself in the guts of the
to a theater offensive against Japans 15th Imperial enemy.23
Army in 1944, the security of his northern flank For months the Chindits, dispersing and recon-
became a major concern. Slims objective was to centrating behind enemy lines in classic infiltration
secure his northern flank and prevent Japan from style, accomplished their objectives and prevented
reinforcing its 15th Imperial Army. He used the Japanese use of interior lines against Slims main
Chindits to cut the LOC of enemy forces facing US offensive effort. Operation Thursday and follow-on
General Joseph Stilwell on the northern front.22 operations were among the largest and most suc-
Operation Thursday began on 5 March 1944. cessful infiltrations in history. Firepower facilitated
Wingates force was to cut the Japanese LOC, pre- this maneuver by isolating the operational area, sup-
vent reinforcement of the northern front, deny Japa- pressing Japanese firepower, supporting deception
nese use of the main rivers and cause the greatest to cover the infiltration and destroying Japanese
possible confusion and damage. During March, command and control capabilities.
9,000 men and 1,350 pack mules and cattle of the Britains Number 1 Air Commando and 3d Tac-
British 77th and 111th Brigades were airlanded 200 tical Air Force received the first priority of estab-
miles within Japanese-held territory. Another 3,000 lishing and maintaining local air superiority over the
16th Brigade troops marched 450 miles across operational area. This force destroyed all Japanese
Burmas Naga Hills in six weeks to join the initial air forces that could influence Chindit operations.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 69
southern wing of the invasion force.26
Between 1 March and 6 June Brigadier General O.P. Weylands XIX TAC had
1944 air forces cut rail traffic by 60 per- full responsibility for protecting the extensive and
cent, destroying 900 locomotives, 16,000 vulnerable southern flank along the Loire valley to
freight cars and shooting down 1,000 keep the Germans . . . immobile and off balance,
Luftwaffe aircraft in May alone. All Seine and prevent any massing of enemy strength to op-
River bridges from Rouen to Mantes- pose the Third Army.27 XIX TAC constantly pa-
Gassicourt were rendered impassable. trolled the Loire valley, attacking every target related
An area the size of Indiana was isolated to protecting the southern wing. On 8 September the
in the northwest corner of France. German commander of Biarritz, Brigadier General
Botho Elster, agreed to surrender 20,000 troops at
US Strategic Air Force strikes along the Southern the Beaugencys bridge in Orleans under one con-
Front caused the Japanese to believe Lower Burma dition: Keep the Jabo [fighter-bombers] off my
was about to be invaded from India. Consequently, men. During this period large numbers of enemy
Japanese reserves were not free to oppose Chindits troops attempted to surrender to low-flying aircraft
on the Northern Front. Approximately 750 tons of for the first time in history. Patton, in his direct
munitions were delivered to facilitate infiltration of style, wrote a compliment to General Henry (Hap)
the Japanese 15th Army. Antiaircraft firetraps were Arnold, dated 17 August, which read, For 250
also used against Japanese air forces. Allied air miles I have seen the calling cards of [XIX TAC]
forces would lure the Japanese into these networks fighter-bombers, which are bullet marks in the
to increase attrition and prevent interference with pavement and burned tanks and trucks in the
the infiltration operations.24 ditches.28
Protection of the operational areas right wing and
FlankingManeuver Pattons Third Army illustrates the synergistic ef-
Because envelopments and turns are similar, the fects of orchestrated maneuver and firepowerand
general character of operational firepower that fa- the dilemma facing any foe under such circum-
cilitates such maneuvers would take on similar pat- stances. Firepower afforded protection to Third
terns. In fact, many patterns are similar to those re- Armys flanking maneuver, which catalyzed Ger-
quired in central maneuvers with one notable man countermoves into positions where lethal fire-
exceptionprotecting a flank. The US XIX Tacti- power could concentrate against them.
cal Air Command (TAC) supporting General MacArthurs turn of Rabaul illustrates equally
George S. Pattons Third Army during mid-August well operational fires protecting ones flank. After
1944 demonstrated how to protect an operational the Battle of Coral Sea in May 1942, Japanese pen-
flank using firepower. According to planners, etration toward Australia and LOC into the South-
Never in military history had a ground commander west Pacific region was disrupted, but Rabaul still
entrusted the defense of a flank to tactical aircraft. dominated the region. From this major naval and air
The rapid maneuver during Pattons exploitation base, the Japanese could continue to threaten the
toward the Seine River line and Paris called for spe- LOC to Australia and New Zealand and dominate
cial emphasis ahead of the advance and especially the right flank of any regional operations. Allied
along the vulnerable Loire valley flank.25 forces were held to the Bismarck barrier, where the
When the original envelopment to close the Japanese effectively waged attrition warfare to
Argentan pocket was not successful, Bradley autho- dominate the approaches to Rabaul and contain Al-
rized execution of Operation Lucky Strikes plan B, lied forces.
a wider envelopment to encircle German forces After one year of campaigning, Allied forces had
south of the Seine River. Pattons Third Army ad- advanced less than 200 miles in the Southwest Pa-
vanced to the Seine along three avenues, which took cific. At that rate it would have taken 15 years to
three corps to the Dreux-Chartres-Orleans line by reach Japan. An approach through the Central Pa-
18 August. The Seine River line was forced 35 miles cific looked more inviting as the Japanese began
south of Paris within a week. Third Army made reinforcing Rabaul, eventually assembling 100,000
rapid progress in this effort while protecting 12th well-armed men.29
Army Groups flank along the Loire River. Beyond Allied gains in the Bougainville area during Oc-
this protection was the XIX TAC, whose mission tober and November 1943 caused the Japanese to
was to protect Third Army and thereby the entire further concentrate naval and air forces at Rabaul.
70 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Although Rabaul had been a main objective during was left isolated, bypassed and contained by Aus-
the early stages of the Southwest Pacific campaign, tralian forces in an economy-of-force effort as Al-
it was quickly building beyond Allied capabilities lied forces went westward to Wewak and ultimately
to attack and capture it. Yet, the Allies had to con- the Philippines. Their right flank had been secured
tain forces based there. MacArthur decided to iso- by prudently using operational fires to facilitate the
late and bypass Rabaul and the Japanese Seven- turning movement that avoided Rabauls imposing
teenth Army in the Solomons. A new plan emerged, defenses.31
which called for Allied forces to advance along the Interdicting rear and deep areas of the battle space
New Guinea coast to the Vogelkop Peninsula in is nothing new. It is not warfares medium (air, sea
1944 with Mindanao as the subsequent objective.30 or land) that makes the difference but the opposing
On 12 October 1943, 350 aircraft from the US forces relative mobility and the operational tempo.
Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force The greater the mobility, the less consequential the
began concentrating operational-level fires against locations of the opposing forces. Facilitating man-
Rabaul. From October through December 1943 air euvers mobility and tempo using firepower takes
and naval forces pummeled Rabaul. The attempt on meaning well beyond attrition alone.
to isolate Rabaul was continuous, and by Febru- Maneuver and firepower have rarely stood alone
ary 1944 no Japanese warships remained at Rabaul, as decisive in and of themselves; they are inseparable
and no fighters opposed Allied air efforts within and complementary. While one might dominate a
hundreds of miles. By the end of 1943 the Japanese particular phase of a campaign, the most beneficial
had lost 3,000 aircraft in the struggle for the effects derive from integrating operational-level
Solomons, one of which carried Admiral Isoroku maneuver and firepower relative to the enemy cen-
Yamamoto, the regional commander and one of the ter of gravity. When maneuver and firepower are
original architects of Japanese naval power and the synergistically orchestrated to disrupt the supporting
Pearl Harbor attack. His death alone was a serious structure, unbalance command decisions and impose
loss to the Japanese. In their attempt to reinforce chaotic disorganization, disproportionate success is
Rabaul, the Japanese had fallen prey to devastating possible. Focusing on maneuver or firepower with-
firepower. A well-trained and well-equipped army out the other misses the point altogether.32
1. Admiral Sir John Woodward concerning the preparation and design of the 16. Gordon A. Harrison, US Army in World War II: European Theater of Op-
Falklands campaign in 1982. erations: Cross-Channel Attack (Washington, DC: Office of the CMH, 1951), 137
2. John Keegan, The Mask of Command (New York: Penquin Books, 1988), 247. and 193.
3. Strategic Studies Institute, The Operational Art of Warfare Across the 17. Omar N. Bradley, A Soldiers Story (Chicago, IL: Rand McNally, 1951), 245
Spectrum of Conflict (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College, 1 February and 279; Harrison, 228-30.
1987), 37. 18. Bradley, 255; Carlo DEste, Decision in Normandy (New York: Harper Collins
4. Charles O. Hammond, Operational Fires and Unity of Command, (Fort Publishers Inc., 1983), 112 and 194.
Leavenworth, KS: US Army Command and General Staff College, School of Ad- 19. DEste, 194.
vanced Military Studies, 30 April 1990), 1. 20. Martin Blumenson, US Army in World War II: The European Theater of
5. US Army Field Manual (FM) 100-7, Decisive Force: The Army in Theater Operations: Breakout and Pursuit (Washington, DC: CMH, 1984), 207-40.
Operations (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office [GPO], 31 May 21. Ibid., 221-40 and 333; DEste, 402.
1995), 5-9; Ralph G. Reece, Operational Fires (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air 22. Viscount Slim, Defeat into Victory (London: Papermac, Macmillan Publish-
War College, May 1989), 2-5. ers Limited, 1986), 251-59; Micheal Calvert, Chindits Long Range Penetration
6. Ibid. (New York: Ballantine Books Inc., 1973), 21.
7. FM 100-7, 5-16 and 5-21. 23. Slim, 66-67 and 77; Calvert, 63; Frank Owen, Central Office of Information,
8. James Blackwell, Michael J. Mazarr and Don M. Snider, Center for Strate- The Campaign in Burma (London: His Majestys Stationary Office, 1946), 66-7.
gic and International Studies (CSIS), The Gulf War Military Lessons Learned 24. Calvert, 81; Owen, 66-9.
(Washington, DC: CSIS, July 1991), 17. 25. O.P. Weyland, Tactical Air Operations in Europe, Headquarters (Advanced)
9. Edward N. Luttwak, The Logic of War and Peace (Cambridge, MA: The XIX Tactical Air Command, 19 May 1945, 14 and 48.
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987), 92 and 167. 26. Bradley, 379; Blumenson, 567; DEste, 412-13.
10. Secretary of the Army Togo D. West Jr. and Chief of Staff, US Army, Gen- 27. Weyland, 49.
eral Gordon R. Sullivan, Decisive VictoryAmericas Power Projection Army, A 28. Ibid.; Martin Blumenson, The Patton Papers, 1940-1945 (Boston, MA:
White Paper, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington DC, October Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974), 516; Army Air Force, Wings at War, No. 5, Air-Ground
1994, 18. Teamwork on the Western Front (Washington, DC: Headquarters, Army Air Forces,
11. Ibid., 93-108. 1945), 2.
12. Operation Bluecoat was a British operation from Caumont, France, to get 29. Edward Miller, War Plan Orange: The US Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-
behind German forces trying to swing west to face the Americans. Martin 1945 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991).
Blumenson, Breakout and Pursuit (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief, Center 30. Vincent Esposito, The West Point Atlas of American Wars, Volume II, 1900-
of Military History [CMH], 1961), 289. 1953 (New York, Washington and London: Praeger Publishers, 1959), 290-95.
13. FM 100-5, Operations (Washington, DC: GPO, June 1993), 7-11 and 7-12. 31. Ibid.; R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Encyclopedia of Military History
14. Ibid. From 3500 B.C. to the Present (New York: Harper and Row, 1986), 1161-62.
15. Ibid. 32. Luttwak, 108, 158-67.
Colonel Lamar Tooke, US Army, Retired, is lead instructor, Virginia Community
Policing Institute, Richmond, Virginia. He received an M.A. from Webster University
and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has served
in various command and staff positions in the Continental United States, Vietnam and
Germany. He served as a faculty member at the US Army War College and as director
of Joint and Combined Theater Warfare within the corresponding studies program,
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He has contributed several articles to Military
Review on the subject of operational art.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 71
WO ALLIED military forces operating in the
T Balkans in adjacent zones are similarly
equipped, trained and led. The communities, factions
Numerous references in official
reports support a popular military view that
and problems they face are the same. They speak policy differences among coalition members will
the same language and come from a common mili- be exploited in peace operations to manipulate
tary cultural heritage. They have been allies in war public sentiment against a specific force.
and peace and are members of NATO where they Further, a 1996 IDA study indicates that those
champion the same military positions; they support dealing directly with the disputants and civil
the same NATO doctrine for peace support opera- population in Bosnia saw policy variations
tions. Their national written force-protection doc- among sectors as counterproductive.
trines are nearly the same, and despite disagree-
ments, they are staunch political allies.1 Yet, when
patrolling Balkan streets, US and British soldiers ties. Commanders have historically planned, ad-
present radically different public images. justed, retreated, regrouped and advanced with new
US troops wear helmets and body armorhence strategies to win at the lowest cost. Both US and
their nickname, ninja turtles. They travel in con- British generals are concerned about casualties, and
voys with guns manned and ready. When they stop, they adjust strategy to minimize them but not at the
they disperse to overwatch positions, ready to ap- expense of the mission. Why do these generals with
ply defensive force. At night most retire to fortified very similar doctrine differ in their policies?
camps or outposts as Romans did on campaigns, cut Numerous references in official reports support
off from the people they came to protect. a popular military view that policy differences
British troops wear berets and walk and talk among coalition members will be exploited in peace
with the locals. They travel in small groups, armed operations to manipulate public sentiment against a
but with weapons slung. Some wear ammunition specific force.3 Further, a 1996 Institute for Defense
pouches; some do not; none wears body armor un- Analyses (IDA) study indicates that those dealing
less there is an imminent threat. Off duty they eat directly with the disputants and civil population in
and relax in town; many live there. Single vehicles Bosnia saw policy variations among sectors as coun-
often travel the roads, identifiable only by their terproductive.4
painted military patterns. But, the implications go deeper. Force-protection
Each nation participating in the implementation policy can affect unity of effort, an imperative in
force (IFOR), stabilization force (SFOR) and Ko- military coalitions. Differences may also affect other
sovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) has adopted force- aspects of a coalition, such as orders to open fire or
protection policies based on national doctrine. The induce confusion among the civil population, which
British posture represents most nations approach; could lead to serious incidents. In a highly charged
the US posture is the exception.2 Although popular political environment, policy differences can under-
attitudes and political direction influence policy mine a coalitions mission.
makers, force-protection policy for an operation is Senior military leaders are directly influenced by
based on rational calculations of interest, efficacy orders from above and results from below. They are
and acceptable cost. indirectly influenced by other factors such as doc-
Neither British nor US doctrine implies zero- trine, experience, history and resources. Although
casualty tolerance or places force protection above they receive their orders from civilian leaders who
mission accomplishment. Both restate the traditional represent society, societys mood may also influence
military responsibility to win with minimal casual- them. Presumably, the British, with their routinely
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 73
less-protective uniform, posture and procedures, and differ, but clearly senior military leaders are ex-
claims of mission command, would show greater pected to do no more than their best to accomplish
tolerance for risk. US policy, because it is dictated or the mission with the prudent care and diligence that
influenced from above, should show the opposite. has always been required of democratic militaries.
Leaders have not been subject to orders or overt
BritishCivilianLeadersandParliament pressure to have no casualties.
The Prime Ministers Questions in the House of
Commons and parliamentary debates over Bosnia USCivilianLeadersandCongress
and Kosovo do not indicate a philosophy of casu- As with the British, there is no overt evidence
alty aversion. The prime minister was an early and that the US force-protection policy was a reaction
vocal supporter of maintaining a credible ground to political or social pressure. General George
war option for Kosovo. There was a sober recogni- A. Joulwan was supreme allied commander of
tion of the personal and political effects of casual- NATO forces and the senior US officer in Europe
ties but nothing indicating hesitation on these when US forces crossed the Sava River into Bosnia-
grounds. The debates seemed to concern the level Herzegovina as part of IFOR.9 He framed the force-
of British interests, the ability to field the required protection policy that has served, with modification,
force and civilian casualties in the war zone more in Kosovo ever since. During planning for the op-
than potential British military casualties. In fact, the eration, he personally advised the president and sec-
subject of British military casualties occurs infre- retary of defense that casualties were a risk that
quently and then only as a derivative rather than a could not be eliminated. Joulwan stated in an inter-
primary topic.5 view that politicians never directed or implied that
The same is true of the public. Two major news- he and his chain of command avoid casualties at the
papers, The London Times and The Daily Telegraph, expense of the mission. Nor was he given to believe
reported concern over legalities, national interests that the success of the mission depended on a few
and military casualties. However, as in Parliament, or no casualties.10 Joulwans successors had simi-
public support or criticism hinged on issues other lar experiences. One of them, speaking off the record
than the likelihood of military casualties.6 British to a military audience, stated that he felt no pressure
from political leaders to pursue a zero-casualty
Many commentators seem to presume that In a 1998 speech President William J. Clinton
political guidance to limit casualties is improper. stated, We must, and we will, always do everything
There is also a popular suspicion that senior we can to protect our forces. We must and will al-
military leaders have allowed an inference of ways make their safety a top priority. . . . But we
zero-casualty tolerance to affect mission accom- must be strong and tough and mature enough to rec-
plishment. This leads to two questions: What is ognize that even the best-prepared, best-equipped
improper pressure? What would an action force will suffer losses in action.11 The practical
based on improper pressure look like? expression of this view that Joulwan alluded to can
be seen in the comments of deputy Pentagon press
spokesman Admiral Craig Quigley when he told
casualties in the Balkans, and more recently in Si- reporters, Commanders have authority to raise and
erra Leone, received scant coverage. The tone was lower threat conditions based on the local situa-
not critical, and the largest public and media reac- tion.12 If civilian leaders intended an unrealistic
tion was to favor a pension for the pregnant girl- casualty-tolerance policy, commanders would not
friend of a soldier killed in Sierra Leone. This evi- have any latitude.
dence complements the thoughts of Professor How should we interpret official statements that
Christopher Dandeker, head of the Military Stud- call for minimizing casualties? The US National
ies Department at Kings College, London, who Security Strategy states that humanitarian use of
stated, British imperial history is a key dimension military forces will entail minimal risk to Ameri-
of our armed forces and UK civil-military relations. can lives.13 Former US Secretary of Defense Wil-
Small wars and operations at the interface between liam Cohen publicly stated that force protection
war and peacekeeping (as in Sierra Leone recently) was his number one priority when he sent troops
are part of British military culture. The public are overseas.14 General Wesley Clark, commander of
used to this and used to expecting casualties. 7 US forces in Europe during the Kosovo operation,
The parliamentary record shows some evidence said, My highest priority for the US European
of casualty intolerance in British society, but it is Command theater is antiterrorism and force protec-
oblique, rare and unconvincing.8 British opinions tion.15 These expressions are consistent with long-
74 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
standing US military tradition, practice and doctrine publics calculus of operational merit, is not in and
to minimize casualties while accomplishing a mis- of itself improper. Directing an operation without
sion. It is a leaders inherent responsibility and has being willing to risk casualties, however, inverts the
been the goal for equipping, training and preparing mission-first-at-least-cost principle and constitutes
professional militaries. Along with the presidents improper pressure.
public acceptance of risk and Joulwans statements, Overt pressure has not been a factor in senior
these expressions cannot be taken as pressure for military policy formulation but might have been in-
zero or unrealistically low casualties. ferred. The evidence commonly cited appears to
The Congressional Record from December 1995
through November 2000 indicates significant dis-
cussion of casualties but always in the context of Considering casualties, a central factor in
national interest. Most contention concerned the the publics calculus of operational merit, is not
presidents authority to commit military forces to in and of itself improper. Directing an operation
hazardous situations without consulting Congress without being willing to risk casualties, however,
a reason many gave for not supporting the Kosovo inverts the mission-first-at-least-cost principle
bombing. Risk to soldiers or aircraft did not play and constitutes improper pressure.
prominently in debates outside the context of na-
tional interest. The Congressional Record signals
no intolerance of casualties, only that risk should show this at first but is arguable, fragmentary, of
relate to unimportance and that Congress has a unknown context or not directly to this point.19 This
decisionmaking role. raises the question of what improper pressure might
Sociologists have likewise concluded that the look like. Unless there are detailed inside accounts,
American public will tolerate casualties but require improper pressure, inferred or otherwise, would be
that US interests warrant the cost.16 A study shows manifest as a militarily unjustified decision. If it
that the public did not reduce support for the So- were a rational course of action, no one would presume
malia operation because 18 US soldiers were killed. it to be improper, implied or even overt pressure.
Public support collapsed once politicians said the If a leader adjusted strategy to eliminate casual-
mission could not succeed. It went on to point out ties and still accomplished the mission, he would be
that the public supported the Bosnia mission, despite considered a hero. If he refused to commit forces
the mistaken belief that US soldiers had died there.17 until complementary action had eliminated the risk
We know that casualty tolerance is a product of a of casualties and were still to succeed in the mis-
rational calculation of three variables: interests, re- sion, it would be hailed as a triumph of synchroni-
sults and costs.18 Public reaction indicated casualty zation and politico-military campaign planning. If
intolerance without qualification. he enforced inconvenient security measures but got
the job done without casualties, he would be called
DistinguishingImproperPressure prudent and responsible. Success is success and the
FromPlanningGuidance cheaper the better. The only indicator that inferred
Many commentators seem to presume that politi- political pressure has improperly influenced an op-
cal guidance to limit casualties is improper. There eration would be an inversion of the mission-first-
is also a popular suspicion that senior military lead- at-least-cost formula. As long as the mission is ac-
ers have allowed an inference of zero-casualty toler- complished acceptably with minimal casualties, it
ance to affect mission accomplishment. This leads to is impossible to conclude that political influence has
two questions: What is improper pressure? What would been improper or that military leaders have failed
an action based on improper pressure look like? to do their duty because of what they infer.
Appropriate pressure seeks mission accomplish- To judge negatively the conservative approach of
ment at least cost and considers whether decisions military leaders who successfully accomplish the
accept the estimated risks and costs. Before select- mission is to express personal preference, not an
ing a course of action, parameters such as accept- objective conclusion. Joulwan, speaking of his Bos-
able risk or casualty tolerance are simply planning nia experience, states without reservation that his
guidance. Since military operations in US and Brit- plans and policy were based on military necessity,
ish doctrine support political objectives, such not political or social pressure.20 Senior US and Brit-
political guidance would be proper. Using this guid- ish military leaders selected force-protection ap-
ance, military leaders would prepare the most ac- proaches based on military factors, doctrine and
ceptable courses of action and advise how to bal- mission accomplishment. The political mission re-
ance political and military costs and benefits. mained paramount, and military leaders adhered to
Considering casualties, a central factor in the planning guidance.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 75
Soldier, UK Ministry of Defence
OriginofUSForce-Protection ating working relationships with the local popula-
PolicyintheBalkans tion.23 The force did not exhibit symptoms of
Joulwan states that initial US force-protection unprofessionalism reminiscent of Vietnam; and Brit-
policy was based on military necessity and that he ish General Roderick Cordy-Simpson, UN Protec-
was influenced by two factors. First, many believed tion Forces commander in Sarajevo, suggested be-
that a lack of professionalism contributed signifi- fore Parliament that the US approach had merit.24
cantly to the US failure in Vietnam and that lax uni- In a subsequent report, Parliament stated that pur-
form standards were part of the lost professional- suit of a military doctrine based upon the use of
ism. Enforcing mission-appropriate uniform policies minimum force may not be the most appropriate in
became an underlying tenet of professionalism. coercive scenarios such as Kosovo.25 US generals
Since the mission in Bosnia was peace enforcement, made policy based on military necessity as they
not peacekeeping, the force had to be prepared for knew it, and they saw results that confirmed their
combat. Joulwans uniform policy conformed to that work. In their busy world, there would have been
need. no reason to revisit something that was not bro-
Second, senior US military leaders cited a terrorist kenexcept that the law of unintended conse-
threat to US forces, perhaps greater than that to our quences always applies.
allies. Joulwan held the conviction that strength de- RumorsofUSCasualtyIntolerance
ters attacks and encourages cooperation. He felt that Ambassador for International Religious Freedom
the IFOR peace-enforcement mission must not be Robert A. Seiple, commenting on the emphasis that
confused with the UN Protection Forces peace- US military leaders place on avoiding casualties,
keeping mission. An image of combat readiness said, The safest place on the modern battlefield is
was, in itself, good protection.21 in uniform.26 Although senior military leaders fol-
Joulwans philosophies have been preserved in lowed doctrine and not improper pressure, rumors
the US force-protection policy for the Balkans. Re- persist. US and international military communities
ported results support its soundness. US command- believe that US senior military leaders do fear ca-
ers point to casualty statistics, which include acci- sualties. Conventional wisdom holds that senior
dent victims, that are lower than those for forces military officers, influenced by politicians and the
with other postures.22 The mission was accom- public, have adopted a zero-casualty standard.27 The
plished, and the combat uniform did not hinder cre- US European Commands joint review of the
76 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
A soldier of the British Coldstream Guards plays with
Balkan children (facing page) in stereotypical contrast
to soldiers of the US 1st Armored Division.
ating class that had he told his platoon that there was
The zero-casualty idea must have nothing worth any of them being hurt over.31 A
originated as a popular interpretation of newly arrived major was told that if the mission in-
eventsa grass-roots phenomenon not based terfered with force protection, the mission came sec-
on traditional reading of the policys words. ond. A battalion commander reported, Its simple.
Fueled by observation and constant exposure to When I received my written mission from division,
whispered certainty, the tactical military has absolutely minimizing casualties was the mission
embraced the belief along with the rest of the prioritized as first, so I in turn passed it on in my
world. It now stands as an article of faith. written operation order to my company command-
ers.32 US Army Europes 1997 operation order on
force protection states in the first line of its concept
Bosnia operation concluded that It was gener- of operation, Force protection is the first priority
ally understood that fatalities would not be po- of all forces.33 These examples could be interpreted
litically acceptable in this, a peace implementation as being consistent with zero-casualty guidance.
operation.28 An IDA report on Bosnia found that Raising force protection to the status of a mission
US national commanders were operating under the suggests as much. Clearly those below the senior
implied guidance to incur no casualties although no military level are convinced that the United States
written guidance was ever issued to this effect.29 is casualty-averse. What is not immediately clear is
This conclusion is ubiquitous in literature and opin- the origin of the idea.
ion among the British, Australian, Canadian and US force-protection policy is not stated in zero-
New Zealand armies. A report from an international casualty terms. Written policy uses traditional ways
conference of these nations stated, It was under- to describe commanders responsibility for troops,
stood that domestic political imperatives influence ways analogous to those seen in long-standing lead-
US force-protection thinking, while the UK and oth- ership doctrine and more recent joint doctrinenei-
ers will look for opportunities to reach out to lo- ther of which has a zero-casualty message.34 It fol-
cal communities at the lowest levels and as early in lows that the zero-casualty idea must have originated
an operation as possible.30 as a popular interpretation of eventsa grass-roots
Commonly cited as evidence are anecdotal re- phenomenon not based on traditional reading of
ports. A platoon leader recently returned from Bos- the policys words. Fueled by observation and con-
nia told the United States Military Academy gradu- stant exposure to whispered certainty, the tactical
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 77
The troops did not see a high threat, despite the of-
Factor in Mogadishu, initial US ficial mission of peace enforcement.40 What uniform
political rejection of a Kosovo ground option and operational procedures are most appropriate for
and an air war prosecuted from more than zero-casualty tolerance? Those indicated in the
10,000 feet. The explanation fit the phenomena policythose used for combat. If there were no
and created its own weather. The fact that the tacit zero-tolerance policy in effect, junior com-
United States has suffered casualties without manders would expect flexibility in dress and pro-
any report of adverse action against its tactical cedures, much as the British enjoy. Yet, authority
leaders has not had any discernible effect on the to be flexible was reserved for more senior military
myth. Like paradigms, myths are not replaced, leaders. Local generals commanding the Bosnia di-
even if they are incorrect, until something vision or Kosovo brigade sector were not seen as
having the authority to change the posture. It was
better comes along. thought they had to clear exceptions with generals
outside the zone of operations.41
military has embraced the belief along with the rest Force protection became prioritized above the
of the world.35 It now stands as an article of faith. It tactical mission as confusion over the nature of
appears to be as Thucydides said two millennia ago, the operation conflated combat procedures and
Most people will not take trouble in finding out the noncombat policy.42 Using the term force pro-
truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first tection to describe this uneasy mix only exacer-
story they hear.36 bated the confusion. Cohen reinforced the myth with
statements about force-protection priority. Conser-
Grass-RootsMythology vative tests for committing US forces, such as the
The belief that US force-protection policy is based so-called Caspar Weinberger-Colin Powell doctrine,
on casualty intolerance is a myth that does not ac- complemented the picture by fitting the casualty-
curately describe the policys origins or intent. The intolerance myth.43 Mandated force-protection brief-
artifact of the force-protection policy is interpreted ings and frequent inspections have lent additional
through this myth and misunderstood. What the emphasis. The Army listened to the media and saw
authors of the policy see simply as a more formal its allies next door choose less protection, lend-
articulation of a commanders traditional responsi- ing credence to the interpretation. Factor in
bility for minimizing casualties, agents of the myth Mogadishu, initial US political rejection of a Ko-
see as an exhortation to zero casualties.37 sovo ground option and an air war prosecuted from
This unintended interpretation has gained the more than 10,000 feet.44 The explanation fit the phe-
weight of collective belief, which has colored the nomena and created its own weather. The fact that
interpretation of orders, events and affected deci- the United States has suffered casualties without any
sions. The myth is so widely accepted that it has report of adverse action against its tactical leaders
become folklore and changed US military bureau- has not had any discernible effect on the myth.45
cracy.38 As an example, force protection is being Like paradigms, myths are not replaced, even if they
institutionalized in formal structures, which under- are incorrect, until something better comes along.
scores its importance, provides additional legitimacy Both the grass-roots army and its senior leaders have
to the myth and enhances its usefulness in explain- looked at the same phenomenon, seen a different
ing the world.39 It becomes a self-sustaining cycle. picture and found no reason to change their inter-
The myth then becomes routine. As guidance pretations.
spreads downward, it becomes more elaborate and The zero-casualty myth is built on an assumption
restrictive. The inevitable rise of institutional struc- that outside beliefs are influential within the mili-
tures produces staff officers with checklists, risk- tary.46 The theory is supported by the Center for
assessment methodologies and force-protection Strategic and International Studies that observes,
paragraphs in orders. Force protection rises to the [T]odays armed forces will also be pushed by the
status of a mission from its traditional role as a re- winds of societys pressures and pulled by the cur-
sponsibility. Institutionalizing force protection has rents created by government polices and technologi-
become a cottage industry in the US military; it now cal change. Societys pressures and the ramifications
consumes resources and affects events. Even an in- of government policies have a major impact on the
tentional impression of zero-casualty tolerance could current climate within military units.47
not have been better reinforced. The US Army has redefined a commanders tra-
It is reinforced more directly when observations ditional responsibility for soldiers and skewed the
fit expectations. Interviews with junior military lead- relationship between it and the mission. But, this
ers in Bosnia in 1996 indicated widespread dissat- new understanding refutes the contention that US
isfaction with what was seen as out-of-touch policy. and British approaches to similar force-protection
78 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Consequences of lax
uniform standards go
to functionality here
dirty weapons and
US Army ammunition.
The initial US force-protection policy was based on military necessity and that
he was influenced by two factors. First, many believed that a lack of professionalism contributed
significantly to the US failure in Vietnam and that lax uniform standards were part of the lost
professionalism. Enforcing mission-appropriate uniform policies became an underlying tenet of
professionalism. Since the mission in Bosnia was peace enforcement, not peacekeeping, the force
had to be prepared for combat. Joulwans uniform policy conformed to that need.
doctrine differ because of political pressure on empire for the sake of survival. Because its home
US military leaders. islands have few resources, Britain has been tied to
the sea. Mercantilism became essential to its pros-
TheCalculusofCasualtyTolerance perity, a trend fueled by demands of the industrial
Ultimately societies determine what is worth dy- revolution. The growing need for foreign raw ma-
ing for and, therefore, what is tolerable risk. Assess- terials, labor and markets required subduing com-
ing their militaries requires understanding the un- petitors and protecting freedom of the seas. Britains
derlying social calculus. The United States and history is replete with wars to sustain itself on sea
Britain use the same formula but weigh the factors and shore far from home. Dandeker has also pointed
differently. When side by side, the nations may re- out that the British public is accustomed to casual-
spond to the same threat differently. It appears that ties.49 Perhaps they will flinch less quickly than
both US and British citizens tolerate casualties when Americans simply because, historically, they have
their interests are at stake. However, Britons find not had the luxury.
their interests at stake more often, and their in- On the other hand, principal US experiences have
terests are of higher relative value. Thus, their tol- been directly linked to home defense or protecting
erance for casualties is naturally higher, and as American ideals, not economic survival. The Revo-
members of that society, their military leaders are lution, Civil War, War of 1812, World Wars I and
commensurately shaped. US interests are not di- II, Korea and Vietnam have all been popularly char-
rectly involved as often as British ones and are less acterized as defending home and the American way
often seen as vital. of life.50 The fact that several were fought abroad
The United Kingdom historically views itself in is simply taken as smart strategy designed to avoid
terms of its military interventions.48 It has pursued war on US soil. Small US expeditions, even those
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 79
of the early 20th century arguably pursued for eco- do value soldiers but choose not to risk fixing what
nomic reasons, are largely unknown to Americans, works. If they suffer somewhat more, the calculus
and where recorded, are characterized as either neu- of their societys tolerance will allow it.
trally or idealistically warranted interventions.51
Traditionally, US wars and military expeditions ThePeople’sArmy
have been justified as responses to threats against the US culture has aided the US Armys willing-
United States or its citizens abroad.52 In fact, com- ness to accept an unintended implication of zero-
mentators and politicians hailed the end of the Cold casualty tolerance. The US Army has a reputation
War as containment policy succeeding against an evil as a firepower force to avoid casualties, the
empire.53 The Cold War and minor forays were not United States invented reconnaissance by fire, the
about acute threats of world war or oil cutoffs. Un- daisy cutter and the atomic bomb. US military
like Britain, the United States has seldom been geo- doctrine has always been able to overwhelm its op-
graphically or economically threatened. The term ponent with an overmatching force. It deploys and
casualty tolerance has different meanings for each fights in strength with adequate resources to assure
country, depending on its culture and politics. victory. The basis for this approach has been an ide-
British leaders may consider their interest in the alistic valuation of the individual, along the lines of
Balkans as more vital than the United States does John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The ma-
and not just because of geographic proximity. More- teriel luxury of bombs and bullets substituted for
over, senior British military leaders have been so- soldiers lives reinforces the viewpoint that all men
cialized to a tendency to follow British tradition and are created equal. Philosophy and wealth do not in-
have no immediate reason to jeopardize their tradi- still a zero-casualty cultural attitude but, rather, re-
tional hearts and minds campaign by taking a inforce commanders traditional responsibility to
more US-like approach, even though it could im- avoid casualties at all cost. However, it is a short
mediately reduce casualty risks. The United States step along the spectrum from minimal to zero ca-
would not have the same option of choosing a less- sualties, one the US Army is now taking.
protective posture, not because of casualty intoler- US general officers, like their British counterparts,
ance within US society, but because of the height- respond to their own culture. The US militarys
ened standard set by its cultures focus on indi- symbolic capital lies in its readiness to use over-
viduals and by the expectations set by US history. whelming force. Senior US military leaders under-
stand this without thought and use it just as the Brit-
AnImperialArmy ish use their approach. Force-protection policy
Britain has unapologetically fought wars for eco- developers who examine the major influences on
nomic purposes. The British military serves the US and British militaries rule out direct and indi-
monarch and suffers wounds in service of queen and rect political and public influences as causal. Nearly
country. British military culture is expeditionary; identical doctrines have allowed such different poli-
troops often have deployed in relatively small cies because leaders applying the doctrines are prod-
strength on distant shores.54 As a result, the British ucts of different cultures, experiences and histori-
have long practiced persuasion based on an iron fist cal pressures. Because underlying ways of thinking
in a velvet glove, a policy or perhaps doctrine re- and operating have been effective and codified in
fined during their extensive experience with small- traditions that promise further success, it would be
scale politico-military operations.55 Resources left surprising if US and British generals had arrived at
them no choice. They had to engage hearts and the same policy.
minds immediately, fighting only when no other Successful multinational operations must bridge
choice existed because they have seldom been able such gaps simply by coordinating policy during coa-
to overwhelm an opponent by combat power alone. lition formation and routine military-to-military con-
In doing so, the British have developed a cha- tacts. Better yet, peacetime engagement with other
risma some call arrogance. It is not. This demeanor militaries, including participation in international
enables them to dominate without constant recourse forums, develops practical interoperability tools and
to force of arms and to develop a professional repu- allows people to meet people. There is room for
tation that is a form of symbolic capital.56 Predicated additional research, for instance, to validate or de-
on symbolic capital, the British posture requires cal- bunk the popular notion that policy dissimilarities are
culated, cavalier demonstration for effectiveness. counterproductive. Also, the US Army should exam-
Despite the benefits cited by senior US military lead- ine the balance between mission and casualties, and
ers, the British have not taken up the US posture its potential impact on its warfighting ethic. Armies
because it runs counter to the tradition and culture around the world are transforming. The better they
of British civil and military society. The culture sur- understand these issues, the more promise there is for
vives because it has proven effective. The British compatibility when and where it counts.
80 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
1. UK Force Protection Doctrine, January 1999; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint 25. House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, Fourteenth Report,
Publication (JP) 3-07.3, Joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Peace Op- Section III, The Conduct of the Campaign, 24 October 2000, para 326.
erations (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office [GPO], 12 February 26. Feaver and Gelpi, 1.
1999); US Army Field Manual (FM) 100-23, Peace Operations (Washington, DC: 27. Conversino.
GPO, 30 December 1994); interview with LTC Gary Harrity, Chief, Force Protec- 28. OJE Joint After-Action Review, USEUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany, December
tion Division, Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, US Army Command and Gen- 1995-December 1996, OJE Implementation Phase, Force Protection, 29, accessed
eral Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 6 December 2000. via IDA.
2. US and British force-protection doctrine is similar. The major difference is 29. Buchanan, et al., III-19.
that British doctrine explicitly includes combat while US doctrine covers noncom- 30. FOCUS 2000 Post-Seminar Report, F-3.
bat operations in a combat zone. 31. US Army lieutenant from the 1st Armored Division recently returned from
3. American, British, Canadian, Australian (ABCA) RAINBOW SERPENT Post Bosnia speaking to cadets at the United States Military Academy in January 1999;
Exercise Report, (Rosslyn, VA: ABCA Program, 1998), passim, <www.abca.hqda. quotation provided by Dr. Shubert, US Joint Center for History, Pentagon
pentagon.mil> ABCA FOCUS 2000 Post Exercise Report, (Rosslyn, VA: ABCA Pro- (email@example.com).
gram, 1998) F-3, para 13. 32. Don M. Snider, John A. Nagl and Tony Pfaff, Army Professionalism, the
4. Buchanan, et al., Operation Joint EndeavorDescriptions and Lessons Military Ethic, and Officership in the 21st Century (Carlisle, PA: US Army Strate-
Learned (Planning and Deployment Phases) (Arlington, VA: Institute for Defense gic Studies Institute, 1999), 1-2.
Analyses [IDA], 1996). 33. US Army Europe Operation Order 1-97, Force Protection (Office of the
5. Records of the Parliament Stationary Office: Commons Hansard, Written Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, US Army Europe, March
Answers and Official Reports; Lords Hansard, Written Answers, Official Reports; 1997), para 3a(1).
and Select Committee on Defence reports for December 1995 through Novem- 34. JP 3-07.3; FM 100-23.
ber 2000, <www.parliament.the-stationary-office.co.uk>. 35. Interview with LTC Hodgkins, 10 October 2000, Washington, DC. Hodgkins
6. London Timesarchives, <www.thetimes.co.uk >; Daily Telegrapharchives, was the defense attache in Bosnia from April 1999 to July 2000. He had daily
<www.telegraph.co.uk>, website archives for December 1995 through November contact with policymaking commanders involved with both SFOR and KFOR. He
2000. stated that force protection was the primary effort, with the mission coming sec-
7. Christopher Dandeker, Head of Department of War Studies, Kings College, ond.
London, e-mail to Richard R. Caniglia, 18 Sepember 2000, Subject: RE: your 36. Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (New York: Viking Press,
project. 1986), 1 and 20.
8. British House of Commons Committee on Defence, Minutes of Evidence 37. Joulwan interview.
(Question 11), 5 July 2000, <www.parliament.the-stationary-office.co.uk>, accessed 38. Walter W. Powell and Paul J. DiMaggio, introduction in The New Institution-
17 November 2000. The only indication of casualty aversion found was Dr. Chris- alism in Organizational Analysis, Walter W. Powell and Paul J. DiMaggio eds. (Chi-
topher Cokers testimony before the Select Committee on Defence in hearings on cago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991), chapter 2.
the relationship of the military to the public. In Cokers words, We live in risk- 39. The US military has institutionalized force protection by creating bureaucratic
averse societies. . . . the calculus of risk is the basis on which we elect our politi- organizations to service it. These include staff sections at various levels and doc-
9. Implementation force for the Dayton accords, followed by the stabilization 40. Notes of interviews conducted by Buchanan, et al., Volumes I to VI, passim.
force (SFOR). 41. Hodgkins interview.
10. Interview with General George A. Joulwan on 24 November 2000, Wash- 42. The Joulwan policy was crafted for combat, but the US Army Europe Force
ington, DC. Protection Operation Order 1-97 applied to operations short of combat. For op-
11. Remarks by President William J. Clinton at the National Defense University, erations short of combat, safety is the first priority. For combat the mission is first,
29 January 1998. and force preservation is handled by combat doctrine on security, not force-
12. WAMU FM Radio Station, comments by Admiral C. Quigley, Pentagon press protection policy.
briefing on USS Cole, Washington, DC, 2 November 2000. 43. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said it is the top priority; the Chair-
13. US National Security Strategy for a New Century, The White House, De- man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described it as a top priority.
cember 1999, 20. 44. The loss of US soldiers in a failed operation that is credited with causing
14. WAMU FM Radio Station, Statement of William Cohen, Pentagon press US withdrawal from Somalia.
conference on the USS Cole, Washington, DC, 12 October 2000. 45. Multi-National Brigade (East) Operational Overview, 1st Infantry Division, 3
15. Statement of General Wesley K. Clark, commander in chief, US European May 2000, lists one US soldier dead and 22 wounded during Kosovo operations.
Command (USEUCOM), before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 29 Feb- 46. Feaver and Gelpi, 4.
ruary 2000, 49. 47. American Military Culture in the Twenty-First Century, Center for Strate-
16. Peter Feaver and Christopher Gelpi, The Civil-Military Gap and Casualty gic and International Studies, February 2000, <www.csis.org/pubs/am21exec.html>,
Aversion (Draft), a paper prepared for the Triangle Institute for Security Studies 19 January 2000.
Project on the Gap Between the Military and Civilian Society, provided Septem- 48. Edgar Schein as quoted by Don M. Snider in An Uninformed Debate On
ber 2000, 30; Eric V. Larsen, Casualties and Consensus (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Military Culture, Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, Winter 1999, 11-26.
Corporation, 1996); Michael Alvis, Understanding the Role of Casualties in US 49. Dandeker; Ben Shephard interview with British Broadcasting Company (BBC)
Peace Operations: Landpower Essay Series (Arlington, VA: Association of the US World Update, BBC World Service, rebroadcast by WETA FM, 9 November 2000.
Army, 1999); Mark J. Conversino, Sawdust Superpower: Perceptions of US Ca- Shephard, author of A War of Nerves, a study of 20th-century military psychol-
sualty Tolerance in the Post-Gulf War Era, Strategic Review, Winter 1997. ogy, observed during a discussion of the casualty tolerance of societies that the
17. Feaver and Gelpi, 12. British are relatively tolerant, given their experience in World War I that has set a
18. Erik V. Larson, Ends and Means in the Democratic Conversation: Under- baseline for measuring all casualty rates.
standing the Role of Casualties in Support of US Military Operations, Ph.D. dis- 50. Vietnam, despite its rising unpopularity after 1968, was initially a popular
sertation, RAND Graduate School, 1996, 320; Feaver and Gelpi, 9 and 28. cause based on defending freedom. The later opposition has challenged only the
19. British House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, Minutes of Evi- characterization of the threat as dire and the unproductiveness of the strategy em-
dence (Question 11), 5 July 2000. In the UK, General Sir Charles Guthrie, Chief ployed, not the basic motivation.
of British Defence Staff, said, We only do what the market will allow. What the 51. A review of the Standards of Learning Test results for Virginia high schools
market wants is zero-tolerance of casualties; it wants fewer wounded soldiers indicates that only 39 percent of students achieved a passing score in US history
coming back; it wants, essentially, no casualties at all if you can get away with (Virginia Department of Education), <www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Assessment/
it. In context, this referred to preference, not intolerance. See also Lessons soltests/hs_history.html>; Ellen C. Collier, Congressional Research ServiceLi-
Learned PresentationUK Experiences in Kosovo, Memorandum for Record brary of Congress, 7 October 1993, <www.history.navy.mil/wars/foabroad.htm>.
TEAL XXXIV Meeting, ABCA Armies Standardization Program, Agenda Item 10, The United States has deployed forces on named operations abroad 234 times
5 May 2000, 23, <www.abca.hqda.pentagon.mil>; Wesley K. Clark, The United from 1798 to 1993. A Congressional Research Service report overwhelmingly
States and NATO: The Way Ahead, Parameters, Winter 1999-2000. characterizes these in altruistic phrases such as to protect American interests
20. Joulwan interview. and to protect lives and property.
21. Ibid. 52. The criteria commonly used for just war theories consider the morality of the
22. Operation Joint Endeavor (OJE) after-action review briefing (unclassified object, the risk of collateral damage or casualties and the probability of success.
slide), USEUCOM, Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, 18 March 1997, accessed 53. But my nomination for the most important, lasting, and successful Ameri-
through IDA, Arlington, Virginia; Brigadier General S. Kindred, commanding gen- can initiative in diplomacy during the 1900s has to be the strategic concept of
eral, US National Support Element, notes from interviews conducted by Buchanan, containment, containment of the Soviet Union and world communism. Henry
et al., in preparation of Operation Joint EndeavorDescriptions and Lessons Mattox, editor of American Diplomacy, <www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/amdipl_14/
Learned (Planning and Deployment Phases), Volumes I to VI. Access to these edit_14.html>, 8 Sep 2000.
notes is restricted and must be granted by the authors. 54. Dandeker.
23. Tony Cucolo, Grunt Diplomacy: In the Beginning There Were Only Soldiers, 55. Morris Janowitz, The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait (New
Parameters, Spring 1999, 110-26. York: The Free Press, 1960), 322-25.
24. Remarks before the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, 56. P. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
Minutes of Evidence (Questions 233 and 234), 3 February 1999. University Press, 1977), chapter 4.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard R. Caniglia is assigned to the Strategic and Operational Doctrine
and Maneuver Desk; American, British, Canadian, Australian Armies Standardization Program;
Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA), Washington, DC. He received a B.S. from the Univer-
sity of Nebraska Lincoln and is completing his M.A. at George Mason University. He is a gradu-
ate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has served in various command and
staff positions, including Equipping and Sustainment Policy and Prioritization Desk, Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans Force Development, Washington, DC; Require-
ments, Programs and Priorities Division, Headquarters, DA, Washington; director, Aviation Trades
Training; Aviation Logistics School, Fort Eustis, Virginia; research and development coordinator,
US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Fort Eustis; S4, 207th Military Intelligence (MI)
Brigade, VII Corps, Stuttgart, Germany; and S3, 3d MI Battalion, 501st MI Brigade, Korea.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 81
HE END OF THE COLD WAR marked a
T new era for the US Army. Recent changes
ranging from the geopolitical structure, to the na-
Concurrent with the Army officers
changing role in the westward expansion, an
ture and role of the family, to individual soldier intellectual awakening among some officers
values have significantly affected the US Army. As moved the Army to consider increasing officers
a result, the 21st-century Army is an organization study of the theoretical and practical duties of
in transition. The institutional level has responded their profession. This push led to establishing a
with planned development and force moderniza- school for the application of infantry and
tion efforts that focus on new technology and mis- cavalry, a school for light artillery and the US
sion roles. Likewise, at the soldier level, the Army Army War College in 1901. The new PME
is responding by redesigning efficiency reports System, established just before World War II,
and increasing the length of basic training.1 While gave officers a broad undergraduate education
such changes are impressive, the Army must grapple that continued with specialized training once
with the issue of adequacy. In the rapidly chang- they entered the Regular Army.
ing post-Cold War environment, the Army cannot
merely react to change and risk a large lag effect; that service schools and colleges must do more to
it must continue to pursue a proactive approach help the officer corps adapt to the rapid technologi-
to change. cal advances of the information age and the chang-
One area strained by changes in the nature of war ing mission of the post-Cold War era.3 The com-
is officer education. The comparatively new, rap- mittee noted that an Army captain patrolling in
idly changing role of professional military officers Bosnia not only has several times the information
necessitates their increased understanding and ap- and advanced technology at his fingertips than a
plication of sociological concepts. As a discipline, peer might have had even a few years ago but also
sociology provides a systematic method from which confronts a far more complex operational environ-
to assess and organize social activity. A sociologi- ment. Todays missions require the captain to be
cal background gives company grade combat arms equally peacekeeper, negotiator, diplomat and sol-
officers the necessary conceptual skills to operate dier.4 However, while superbly identifying the di-
on the modern battlefield and prepares them to take lemma surrounding todays junior officers, the
advantage of advanced professional education later committee stopped short of linking a solution to
in their careers.2 In effect, the Army can better pre- proposed changes in the PME System.
pare its officers for adverse and changing conditions
associated with todays missions by using specific OfficerDevelopment
collegiate training rather than relying solely on in- In 1802 the United States Military Academy
stitutional programs. (USMA) was founded, marking one of Americas
Recognizing the dilemma facing todays military earliest attempts to codify Army officer training.
leaders, the Center for Strategic and International Since then officer development has experienced sev-
Studies convened a committee in 1997 to assess the eral significant changes, yet at the same time, such
Professional Military Education (PME) System and associated activities remain one of two distinct but
provide recommendations. The committee found mutually supporting components: ethos and intellect.
82 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Ethos concerns fledgling officers corporate infantry and cavalry, a school for light artillery and
identity, developed through selection, institutional the US Army War College in 1901.14 The new PME
instruction and informal mentoring.5 Ideally, it in- System, established just before World War II, gave
stills in young officers a sense of fraternity and a
commitment to selfless service strong enough to Today, given the magnitude
endure the institutions comprehensive demands.6 In and number of changes affecting the military,
the end, ethos binds all Army officers, regardless postsecondary schools can no longer adequately
of their branch, and directs their conduct and con- fulfill the intellectual component of officer
tinued development throughout their careers. development. While some colleges and
Intellect represents the technical and mechani- universities can meet this need, the Army cannot
cal skills officers require while executing their du- assume that any bachelors degree is
ties. Military revolutions of the 16th and 17th cen- adequate for most officers.
turies redefined the officer corps. Early in the 18th
century it became apparent to the great armies that
it was too costly for all officers to be general prac- officers a broad undergraduate education that con-
titioners who learned their craft solely on the battle- tinued with specialized training once they entered
field. In response, specialized staff schools emerged, the Regular Army. World War IIs mobilization
and the first permanent standing (staff) officer demands disrupted PME, but the Army returned to
school appeared in France in 1780.7 Unlike Euro- it after the war and continued to refine it.
pean military schools that developed seasoned of-
ficers, USMA focused on officer candidates. This CollegeEducation:Historically
arrangement enabled its primarily military faculty The Armys near exponential growth from 1939
to develop both ethos and intellect simultaneously. to 1944 turned PME on its head, largely reversing
A corporate sense of competence grew from mas- advances made over the previous 50 years. USMAs
tering specialized military skills, a condition that college program was compressed and accelerated to
eventually defined commissioned Army service as meet immediate requirements while the size of in-
a profession.8 coming cohorts dwindled.15 Reserve officers, who
Although established as a profession, Army had earned commissions while attending civilian
officership has not been stagnant. Continual colleges, were mobilized while their former Reserve
changes in warfare have forced changes on the pro- Officers Training Corps (ROTC) commissioning
fession of arms, a process readily evident by trac- sources were suspended.16 Instead, the Army relied
ing the changes in officers intellectual development. principally on officer candidate schools (OCS)
USMA spent its first decades providing a terminal which did not require a college educationto meet
professional education and a source of Army doc- its officer needs.17
trine on tactics and strategy.9 As a consequence of Although World War II disrupted PME, it ulti-
westward expansion, the Army officers role changed mately led to two principal refinements: develop-
to include infrastructure development on the fron- ing professional officers to deal with other, non-
tier. In response, USMAs curriculum changed, conventional military affairs (such as political and
resulting in the founding of the civil engineer- economic) and the need to standardize PME across
ing field.10 This precedent marked the first Army the services.18 At wars end USMA continued to
officer training changes in response to officer ac- commission officers with baccalaureate degrees but
tivities unrelated to warfare.11 Continued curriculum could not meet the Armys greater need for career
changes allowed USMAs admission and member- officers.19 As a result, during the Korean War,
ship in the Association of American Colleges in ROTC experienced a large expansion with an ac-
1927. In 1933 Congress authorized USMA and the companying increase in the number of ROTC of-
US Naval Academy to confer Bachelor of Science ficers receiving regular commissions.20 Additionally,
degrees.12 in 1952, ROTC accession programs at colleges were
Concurrent with the Army officers changing role standardized and included a requirement for a col-
in the westward expansion, an intellectual awaken- lege degree in any field for those aspiring for posi-
ing among some officers moved the Army to con- tions within the Active force.21 Training in areas
sider increasing officers study of the theoretical other than conventional military affairs was left to
and practical duties of their profession.13 This push the service colleges at the other end of the PME
led to establishing a school for the application of System.22
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 83
A college education serves the Army officer in changes and provide senior commanders with ap-
several ways. First, a college degree demonstrates an propriate advice on their functions. However, staffs
officers capacity for learning and self-discipline. Like- below division level are comprised of generalists
wise, the process of acquiring a college education rather than specialists. At these lower levels, staff
develops the critical thinking and reasoning skills officers still advise commanders on matters related
to their functions. However, unlike staffers at upper
echelons, these company grade staff officers receive
If the Army implements a force designed nearly identical training in the PME Systemtheir
around brigade-sized units, then the density of specialized training is limited. Additionally, if the
specialized staff officers assisting commanders Army implements a force designed around brigade-
decreases further. Consequently, as modern sized units, then the density of specialized staff of-
warfare pushes critical mission decisions down ficers assisting commanders decreases further.24
on subordinate leaders, the need for greater, Consequently, as modern warfare pushes critical
more specialized education and training at lower mission decisions down on subordinate leaders, the
levels increases. One way to handle this need is need for greater, more specialized education and
to further focus or specialize an officers early training at lower levels increases. One way to handle
development beyond the technical necessities this need is to further focus or specialize an officers
of basic branch qualification. early development beyond the technical necessities
of basic branch qualification.
The Army has responded to changes in the meth-
necessary to address unforeseen and unspecified future ods of war with Force XXI and Army After Next
problems. Additionally, a college education can pro- initiatives, which represent a systematic institution-
vide future officers with specific skills that are un- wide approach affecting everything from strategic
attainable through the Armys institutional training.23 doctrine to individual soldier training.25 However,
Today, postsecondary education (to include USMA) not all of the Armys adaptations to changes in war-
generally offers degrees on a broad-based foundation fare have been as methodical. While the Army ag-
of mandatory classes from which a person selects a gressively and effectively wrestles with changes,
field of study, or major. Historically, evolutionary other aspects relating to the changing nature of war
changes in college education have been sufficient and civil-military relations await review.26
to meet the Armys needs. Until recently, college Changes in the nature of war have altered the
curriculum changes have kept pace with the Armys skills required for its conduct, but the ability to act
changing role and professional officers needs. Re- decisively and employ coercion will remain essen-
gardless of an officers field or branch, almost any tial.27 The potential to employ controlled violence
college degree ensured adequate intellectual officer provides validity to many new military tasks cap-
development and met the Armys needs. tured under the heading of military operations
other than war (MOOTW). Having established its
CollegeEducation:PresentandFuture credibility as a fighting force, the US Army now
Today, given the magnitude and number of finds itself more frequently engaged in actions such
changes affecting the military, postsecondary as humanitarian assistance, nationbuilding and
schools can no longer adequately fulfill the intellec- peace enforcement. For example, on an average day
tual component of officer development. While some during 1998, the US Army had 143,000 soldiers de-
colleges and universities can meet this need, the ployed in 77 countries participating in 214 distinct
Army cannot assume that any bachelors degree is missions.28
adequate for most officers. The Army is undergo- In the past, when the US Armys missions fell
ing significant changes because of internal and ex- under more conventional parameters, junior officers
ternal pressures. While the two components of of- received sufficient specialized education and train-
ficer development remain valid, specific processes ing from institutional sources. Because of todays
and products of these componentsparticularly more diverse missions, wide range of threats and
college educationmust change at a comparable rate. budget constraints, institutional military training
Two significant changes affect the Army and can no longer fully prepare junior officers for the
military leaders: advances in the methods (technol- variance found within the full spectrum of conflict.
ogy) of war and variations in the nature of warfare, Current and anticipated mission profiles require
including peacekeeping and counterterrorism. These military leaders to affect environments defined
two forces, by their very nature, greatly affect jun- by foreign military involvement, nongovernment
ior officers. At higher echelons, specialized offi- organizations, varied local leaders, humanitarian is-
cers fill staff positions and stay current on specific sues and opposing security forces.29 Tomorrows
84 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
Soldiers of the 10th Mountain
Division patrol the streets of
Aquin, Haiti, as local women
continue washing clothes.
Although the upper military echelons may assess a society from a
nation-state perspective, a company commander performing humanitarian assistance for
a village must see that village as a society and act accordingly. Junior officers who apply
sociological imagination to . . . three question sets can assess systematically various
21st-century situations and societies they will confront.
officers require education coupled with training that tively. In terms of academic training, sociology
allows them to assess varied missions and under- meets this need by providing a framework within
stand their human dimensions. One way to pre- which to integrate and synthesize other fields for
pare leaders for this environment is to train them application to social conditions. Sociology integrates
to apply sociology. and draws upon components of several other social
sciences by considering social life and behavior,
SociologyandOfficerTraining especially in relation to social systems, how they
Advocating training and education in sociology work, how they change, the consequences they pro-
does not mean all officers should become sociolo- duce and their complex relations to peoples lives.30
gistsquite the contrary. The increasing complex- Contemporary research on civil-military relations
ity and division of labor calls for a military com- applies sociology to military affairs but routinely
posed of specialists in many areas. Likewise, does not deliberately apply sociology during opera-
because the Army requires various specialists, other tions. Studying sociology produces more effective
academic backgrounds will continue to serve the professional officers. Segal, Segal and Wattendorf
Army through various personnel billets. However, espoused such a position while discussing the util-
for those leaders at the tip of the spear, an academic ity of a sociology program at USMA.31 They argue
grounding in sociology may be the most efficient that this was likely to be the goal of any sociology
and useful collegiate specialization. Junior military program in a professional school setting.
officers who execute the Armys core function
would benefit from an increased understanding of TheNeedforWarrior-Scholars
social sciences, sociological concepts in particular. Changes in the nature of warfare demand that junior
Forward-deployed junior officers face a widen- combat arms officers be warrior-scholars. The pro-
ing array of relevant factors and need tools to orga- fessional officer produced from a military educa-
nize conditions and information to respond effec- tion, complemented with a study of sociological
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 85
concepts, is a warrior-scholar. This concept is a why an effective military establishment must depend
variation of Segals soldier-statesman/soldier- on military elite forces by maintaining a proper
diplomat.32 Warriors must be scholars according to balance between military technologists, heroic lead-
Segal, the range of military activities that military ers and military managers.37 Characteristics of the
professionals will be called on to perform will be latter two leader typologies comprise the definition
of the warrior-scholar.
In defining a constabulary force, Janowitz fore-
Changes in the nature of war have saw a cadre of military elite leading subordinate
altered the skills required for its conduct, but the officers whose duties place them in one of the three
ability to act decisively and employ coercion will typologies.38 As junior officers rise in rank, the he-
remain essential. The potential to employ roic leader and military manager roles merge. As a
controlled violence provides validity to many result, the most senior officers represent a balanced
new military tasks captured under . . . combination of these two types, while subordinates
MOOTW. Having established its credibility as a continue to develop within one of the three distinct
fighting force, the US Army now finds itself typologies.39 The role of military technologists that
more frequently engaged in actions such as Janowitz describes remains largely unchanged to-
humanitarian assistance, nationbuilding day, but the military manager and heroic leader roles
and peace enforcement. have evolved. All combat arms officers must be-
come warrior-scholars by maintaining an internal
balance of heroic leader and military manager. The
broadened . . . [and] is likely to have political im- Army has succeeded with warrior-scholars only at
plications at lower levels of organizational function- the elite level. To be successful in the future, war-
ing.33 This implies that the post-Cold War leaders rior-scholars must exist at every chain-of-command
are scholars because their decisions and actions on level.40 However, the need to develop junior offic-
future battlefields reflect deliberate thought and un- ers as warrior-scholars renders traditional methods
derstanding of larger social and political relation- of officer development obsolete.
ships. The understanding helps identify the second-
and third-order effects of decisions and actions. TheTheoreticalApplicationofSociology
Warrior characteristics are equally critical in post- The development of sociological imagination
Cold War leadersspecifically, lower-echelon provides direction for 21st-century leaders to apply
officers must remain capable of employing tradi- sociology and better understand larger social rela-
tional military force. Suggesting that military tionships.41 Modern persons often feel helpless, iso-
commanders on the ground will be confined to lated and powerless to affect their own courses or
technical military and political matters in a peace- circumstances. These people need more than infor-
keeping environment, for example, indicates a mation: in this Age of Fact, information often
failure to recognize operational ambiguity and dominates their attention and overwhelms their
blended skills.34 It is important that peacekeepers capacity to assimilate it. It is not only the skills of
assert themselves under fire or under pressure to reason that they needalthough their struggle to
forcibly keep combatants from harming others, for acquire these often exhausts their limited moral en-
example, to evacuate an area or to allow a convoy ergy. What they need, and what they feel they need,
safe passage.35 is a quality of mind that will help them to use infor-
Past military missions have been successful with- mation and to develop reason in order to achieve lu-
out warrior-scholars, but the absence did not include cid summaries of what is going on in the world and
the entire military chain of command. In fact, sev- of what may be happening within themselves.42
eral scholars (most notably Morris Janowitz) have The ability to obtain such understanding and rea-
suggested educating military elite forces that already son is sociological imagination. A person develops
possess warrior-scholar values. Based on his re- sociological imagination by recognizing the unique
search on senior Army officers, Janowitz maintains or specific historical circumstances of a given soci-
that military professionals must be given a candid ety and their effect on actors while recognizing the
and realistic education about political matters and actors reciprocal effect, a process frequently ex-
follow career patterns that sensitize them to politi- plained as understanding the intersection of history
cal and social consequences of military action.36 and biography. The knowledge gained from apply-
Early in the Cold War Janowitz explained how and ing sociological imagination reduces an actors
86 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
sense of helplessness and social isolation.43 People sake of specific institution-building within a given
who do not see their roles in the larger social net- social setting.49 In application, warrior-scholars seek
work become myopic and are easily misguided by solutions to immediate situations of which they are
powerful elites seeking to further their own ambi- a part, so officers need sociological training to un-
tions.44 Junior officers should apply sociological imagi- derstand their environment as a larger system and,
nation to see an operations larger social operating
network and respond appropriately to their missions.
Although the upper military echelons may assess While institutional schools have made
a society from a nation-state perspective, a company laudable efforts to broaden curricula to cover
commander performing humanitarian assistance for MOOTW missions, they remain focused
a village must see that village as a society and act primarily on their core functions. Budget
accordingly. Junior officers who apply sociological constraints keep schools from developing the
imagination to the following three question sets can reasoning skills and training to deal fully with
assess systematically various 21st-century situations modern warfares ambiguous environment.
and societies they will confront:
l What is the structure of the society as a whole?
What are its essential components and how do they in turn, educate and serve its members. The com-
relate to one another? How does it differ from other pany grade officer does this by applying sociologi-
social orders? Within it, what is the meaning of any cal imaginationrecognizing the history behind the
particular feature for its continuance and for its current mission and the potential impact current ac-
change? tors have on its future. A focused sociological edu-
l Where does this society stand in human his-
cation can provide combat arms officers with tools
tory? How is it changing? What is its place within to effectively and efficiently reason through various
and its meaning for the development of humanity conditions surrounding next-century missions.
as a whole? How do particular features affect the SociologistsintheArmyToday
historical period in which they move, and how is it, Developing warrior-scholars to meet the chang-
in turn, affected? ing nature of warfare presupposes an increased need
l What varieties of men and women prevail in for them that the current officer accession system
this society and period? What varieties are coming is not already filling. Measuring the presence of
to prevail? In what ways are they selected and formed, these two conditions requires a longitudinal review.
liberated and repressed, made sensitive and blunted?45 Three representative periods provide a basis for ref-
Answers to these questions provide insight into erence:
a society, specifically the interaction between rel- l 1987the end of President Ronald Reagans
evant biographies and social histories. Sociological defense buildup (late Cold War).
imagination visualizes a situations relevant vari- l 1992post-Cold War and Desert Storm.
ables by including participating actors and their l 1997contemporary reference.
perceptions in the algorithm. It allows critical Comparing the number of soldiers deployed each
questioning without being aloof. In essence, socio- fiscal year gauges varying US military involve-
logical imagination calls for transcending individu- ment.50 Since the Cold Wars end, the US Army
alism without sacrificing it as a core value. Warrior- has shifted from a forward-deployed force operat-
scholars can address social problems while being a ing under a bipolar deterrence model to a force-
part of the society. projection Army largely stationed in the Continen-
This pragmatic use of sociology draws from a tal United States (CONUS). Under the new strategy,
distinct domain within the disciplineconsensual the Army deploys overseas primarily for specific
sociology.46 The consensual approach follows a long missions and then returns to CONUS.51 Given this
tradition of applying sociology to an audience out- change and the absence of US involvement in for-
side academia.47 The warrior-scholar would apply mal war during 1987, 1992 and 1997, the change
consensual sociology for practical solutions to spe- in the number of deployed soldiers indicates relative
cific social problems using a methodology called the US Army involvement in new, or nontraditional,
enlightenment model.48 Rather than developing spe- forms of war. Under ideal conditions a proportional
cific cause-effect relationships capable of broader change in the number of officers with sociological
generalization (the engineering model), the en- training would match the Armys involvement in
lightenment model works at problem solving for the nontraditional forms of war.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 87
As the Army has drawn down and shifted to The PME System has responded to 21st-century
force projection, the aggregate number of de- challenges by updating its curriculum and resources,
ployed soldiers has actually declined over the past 10 but these efforts typically do not develop officers
years.52 However, the number and percentage of sol- until at least the senior captain level. Because peace-
diers deployed outside US territories (for reasons keeping efforts are effective only as long as the
other than NATO, Korea and Japan) have con- peacekeeping force remains able to operate in the
sistently increasedroughly doubling every five full spectrum of conflict, combat arms officer ba-
sic and advance courses remain grounded in tradi-
tional functions. While institutional schools have
One course of action has each made laudable efforts to broaden curricula to cover
officer becoming versed in both engineering MOOTW missions, they remain focused primarily
and humanities, while an alternative has on their core functions. Budget constraints keep
officers training deeply in a single field with schools from developing the reasoning skills and
a topical knowledge of the other. The balance training to deal fully with modern warfares ambigu-
in education may not come from training ous environment. Because initial PME schools cur-
individuals but through an officer corps rently cannot address new officers 21st-century
comprised of widely assorted specialists. educational needs and advanced PME schools oc-
cur too late in an officers career, precommissioning
education becomes critical.
years. New diplomatic obligations explain only a The Army currently assesses officers through
small portion of this trend since few officers are OCS, USMA and ROTC programs at colleges and
assigned to embassy duty. A nearly three-fold in- universities across the country. Each candidate has
crease in nontreaty deployments clearly demon- a contractual obligation to obtain a baccalaureate
strates increased soldier involvement in nontradi- degree, and the Army should increasingly specify
tional forms of warfare, a condition that greatly the courses. The idea of increasing specificity in
supports the call for warrior-scholars. precommissioning education is not new. Service
The Army needs to assess whether it has already academy curricula heavy in science, math and en-
responded to mission-profile changes by increasing gineering produce military leaders and top techni-
the number of sociologically trained officers. Poten- cians to deal with rapid technological change.54
tially, the institution, as part of a larger social sys- Unfortunately, hard science addresses only one as-
tem, may have already adjusted and could be pect of change on a narrow front. USMA provides
developing warrior-scholars without deliberate inter- approximately 25 percent of all new active duty
vention. Comparing the number of officers holding Army officers. Additionally, a heavy academic fo-
a degree in sociology as of 30 September (1987, cus on the hard sciences addresses but one of two
1992 and 1997) helps assess whether the Armys significant changes in warfaretechnology. The
accession program has already responded to the new need for further change is apparent at USMA, for
battlefield.53 Under the former PME System, hav- the deans academic goals clearly indicate a need
ing a sociology degree did not guarantee that of- for increased understanding of culture and human
ficers served in warrior-scholar positions or that behavior.55 Overall, the social and cultural aspects
they applied sociological imagination. These limi- of MOOTW missions and future war lacks system-
tations aside, it is still important to explore whether atic treatment under PME, especially at the precom-
the accessions process has responded to the in- missioning level.
creased need for sociologists serving in even a lim- College classes grounded in the humanities may
ited capacity. raise the old debate about whether to value breadth
Despite the increased need for warrior-scholars, or depth. Dick Cheney notes that the right balance
the officer accessions program has not responded between educational paths that stress a broader, lib-
with a matching induction of sociologists. The to- eral arts background versus educational paths that
tal number of officer sociologists has declined as focus on science, math and engineering promises
part of the drawdown, but more important, the per- to prove one of the greatest challenges to the PME
centage of sociologists has remained relatively con- system.56 One course of action has each officer
stant at less than one and a half percent. The Armys becoming versed in both engineering and humani-
officer accessions program has not responded to ties, while an alternative has officers training deeply
warfare changes by providing more officers with in a single field with a topical knowledge of the
sociological training from which warrior-scholars other. The balance in education may not come
can be developed. from training individuals but through an officer
88 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
corps comprised of widely assorted specialists. in 1850 made training in some disciplines more
While the Center for Strategic and International relevant than others, 21st-century warfare demands
Studies panel spoke of education in terms of the training in specific, albeit different, disciplines.
humanities and hard sciences, actual changes require Sociology is an academic field with great tactical
greater specificity. Just as the conditions of warfare value to modern leaders in MOOTW.
1. Gerry Gilmore, Panels: Army to Re-emphasize Leadership Principles, Army University, held in Williamsburg, Virginia, 8-11 November 1998.
News Service (Washington, DC: US Army Public Affairs, 11 September 1997); 27. William Thompson, The Future of Transitional Warfare, The Adaptive Mili-
John Mikos, New Officer Evaluation Reporting System, in General (GEN) Den- tary: Armed Forces in a Turbulent World, 87-114.
nis J. Reimer, CSA Weekly Summary No. 96-50, released for distribution via e- 28. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Management Directorate, Leading
mail, 18 December 1996. Change: Modular Briefing on Total Army Quality (Alexandria, VA: Office of the Chief
2. In this article, we define combat arms as those elements whose mission- of Staff, US Army, 1998).
essential tasks put them in direct contact with the other central actors of the mis- 29. Diane Foley and Alma Steinberg, Operation Joint Endeavor: Research
sion. In 21st-century operations, central actors activities could range from armed Project and Final Report, Army Research Institute Special Report 38 (Alexandria,
adversaries in a traditional combat role to assisting refugees in a humanitarian VA: US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1998).
mission. 30. Allan Johnson, Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: Users Guide to Sociological
3. Dick Cheney, Professional Military Education: An Asset for Peace and Language (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1995), 269.
Progress, A Report of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) 31. Mady Wechsler Segal, David R. Segal and John M. Wattendorf, The Soci-
Study Group on Professional Military Education, ed. Bill Taylor (Washington, DC: ology Program in a Professional School Setting: The United States Military Acad-
CSIS, March 1997), 1. emy, Teaching Sociology, 1990, 56.
4. Ibid., 60. 32. David R. Segal, Organizational Designs for the Future Army (Alexandria, VA:
5. Martin Van Creveld, The Training of Officers (New York, NY: The Free US Army Research Institute, 1993).
Press, 1990); J. Crackel, The Founding of West PointJefferson and the Poli- 33. Ibid., 39.
tics of Security, Armed Forces and Society, 7, 1980, 529-44; Morris Janowitz, 34. Christopher Dandeker and James Gow, The Future of Peace Support Op-
The Professional Soldier (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1971). erations: Strategic Peacekeeping and Success, Armed Forces and Society, 1997,
6. John W. Masland and Laurence Radway, Soldiers and Scholars: Military 327-48.
Education and National Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957); 35. Fred A. Mael, Robert N. Kilcullen and Leonard A. White, Soldier Attributes
James Shelburne and Kenneth Groves, Education in the Armed Forces (New York: for Peacekeeping and Peacemaking, Reserve Component Soldiers as Peacekeep-
The Center for Applied Research in Education Inc., 1965); John P. Lovell, The ers, eds. Ruth H. Phelps and Beatrice J. Farr (Alexandria, VA: US Army Research
Service Academies in Transition: Continuity and Change, The System of Edu- Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1996), 43.
cating Military Officers in the US, ed. Lawrence J. Korb (Pittsburgh, PA: Interna- 36. Janowitz, 428.
tional Studies Association, University of Pittsburgh, 1976), 35-50. 37. Ibid., 424.
7. Van Creveld. 38. Ibid., 6, the highest ranking officer most capable of directing and influenc-
8. Andrew Abbott, The System of Professions (Chicago, IL: University of Chi- ing others.
cago Press, 1988). 39. Ibid., 425.
9. Shelburne and Groves, 54. 40. Military technologists were a distinct population by virtue of traditional re-
10. Ibid. sistance to their innovative efforts to integrate new technology. Current research
11. Changes in instruction as a consequence of technical advances in warfare can determine whether such resistance still exists.
occurred) regularly. 41. C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination: The Promise, Down to Earth
12. Masland and Radway. Sociology: Introductory Readings, 9th edition, ed. J. Hensling, 1997 (New York,
13. Ibid., 81. NY: The Free Press, originally published in 1959), 19-26. Ironically, Mills severely
14. Ibid. questioned the collective military, as well as political and corporate elites, as dis-
15. Ibid. tinct members of the power elite.
16. William P. Snyder, Leaders for the Volunteer Force: Problems and Pros- 42. Ibid., 20-21.
pects for ROTC, in The System of Educating Military Officers in the US, ed. 43. Ibid.
Lawrence J. Korb (Pittsburgh, PA: International Studies Association, Occasional 44. C. Wright Mills, The Causes of World War Three (New York, NY: Simon and
Paper No. 9, 1976). Schuster, 1958).
17. Masland and Radway; Janowitz, 1971. 45. Mills, The Sociological Imagination, 22.
18. Masland and Radway, 104. 46. Edward Shils, The Calling of Sociology, The Calling of Sociology and Other
19. Snyder, 72; Shelburne and Groves, 54; ROTC, ROTC History (Unofficial), Essays in the Pursuit of Learning (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980),
The ROTC Heritage, 30 January 1999, <http://www.usarote.com/History/ 80. Most often sociologists are thought of as working in either the technological
shist01.htm> accessed 18 April 2001. modeserving the government by assessing social policyor the oppositional
Beginning in 1909 a few ROTC graduates were granted Regular Army commis- modeseeking to expose deficiencies of the elite. Neither approach directly serves
sions, but these numbers, up until the Korean War, relegated ROTC to a militia junior military officers.
service. 47. Ibid.
20. Snyder, 72; ROTC History. ROTC is now the largest commissioning source 48. Ibid., 91-92. Consensual sociology is a substantive type of sociological in-
of career officersthose intending to serve longer than the minimum commitment. vestigation that cannot be wholly absorbed into the scientific and theoretical types
21. Shelburne and Groves. Likewise, the Army realized that increasingly tech- of academic sociology.
nical and complex weapons required all officers to have a college education. 49. Morris Janowitz, Theory and Policy: Engineering versus Enlightenment Mod-
Thus, OCS shifted from a commissioning source for skilled enlisted soldiers to els, Morris Janowitz on Social Organization and Social Control, ed. James Burk
another commissioning method for college graduates from within and outside the (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1991), 86-95.
service. 50. Department of Defense, Headquarters Service Directorate of Information
22. Masland and Radway. Operations and Reports, Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Region, Area
23. USMAs ability to produce Army officers with the requisite skills for the artil- and Country, <http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmidhome.htm>, 1999.
lery and engineer branches illustrates this very point. 51. From a regional or macro perspective, the number of soldiers stationed
24. GEN Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, US Army, 99-01 Random Thoughts abroad as permanent liaisons in diplomatic posts is assumed to be relatively con-
While Running, e-mail, Subject: As we close out 1998 and enter calendar year stant or inconsequential.
1999, 1 January 1999; Douglas MacGregor, Breaking the Phalanx (West Port, CT: 52. The force-projection readiness posture maintains most of the Armys com-
Praeger Publishers, 1997). bat divisions in CONUS and deploys units as needed. This condition stands in
25. Reimer, 99-02 Random Thoughts While Running, e-mail, Subject: Senior contrast to the forward-deployed Army of the Cold War, which placed combat di-
Leaders Training Conference at Camp Robinson, Alaska, 26 January 1999. visions in anticipated theaters of operation such as Germany.
26. Thinking Through the End of the Cold War, The Adaptive Military: Armed 53. Army Research Institute-accessed official military personnel files maintained
Forces in a Turbulent World, ed. James Burk, (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, USMA,West Point, New York in 1999.
Publishers, 1998), 25-48; James Burk, What We Should Know About Armed 54. Cheney, 27.
Forces in Democratic Societies, remarks prepared for the Defense Education 55. Office of the Dean, USMA, Educating Army Leaders for the 21st Century
Agenda in the Americas: New Challenges for Teaching and Research Conference Army (West Point, NY: USMA Academic Board and Office of the Dean, 1998).
sponsored by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense 56. Cheney, 60.
Major Scott L. Efflandt is executive officer, 2-12 Cavalry, 2d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division,
Fort Hood, Texas. He received a B.S. from Southern Illinois University and an M.S. from Texas
A&M University and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. He
has served in various command and staff positions, including instructor, Behavioral Science
and Leadership Department, United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, New York;
and commander, B Troop, 1st Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.
Major Brian J. Reed is operations officer, 1-22 Infantry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division,
Fort Hood, Texas. He received a B.S. from USMA and an M.A. from the University of Mary-
land and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has served in
various command and staff positions, including instructor, Behavioral Science and Leadership
Department, USMA, West Point, New York; and commander, Company A, 2d Battalion, 27th
Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 89
Reassessing Strategy: A Historical Examination
Lieutenant Colonel Dominic J. Caraccilo, US Army
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says put down a rebellion and return the reaction to a possible change in
that [v]ictory smiles upon those colonies to the desired status quo. battle would have been detrimental
who anticipate the changes in the Sun Tzu would have criticized the to the military situation in Korea and
character of war, not upon those British for not considering in the pre- to international diplomacy. There-
who wait to adapt themselves after war planning process the colonials fore, while it is important to have
the changes occur.1 Antoine Henri will to resist and ability to prevail. He preplanned, rehearsed contingen-
Jomini, Carl von Clausewitz and Sun would have told the British to antici- cies, it is equally important to reas-
Tzumasters of war strategyoffer pate French and Spanish forces join- sess situations continually and
timeless views of the face of battle. ing the battle. In short, he would adapt to changes as they occur.
Clauswitz argues that perfect pre- have suggested that the British With the US and South Korean
war planning for contingencies is needed a better scriptwriter. armies forced into the Pusan Perim-
difficult, if not impossible, because of Shooting British subjects would eter and the Chinese threatening to
the fog of war. To anticipate the full not win colonial hearts and minds. If join the war, the possibility of using
array of possibilities of changes and they had ascertained that using force nuclear weapons was real. How-
plan a way to adapt to all of them is, would do nothing more than nour- ever, the US ability to reevaluate
at least, futile. Therefore, the strate- ish the rebellion and recognized that the situation and adapt to real-time
gist and his enamored tactician must force was detrimental to their cause, changes prevented it. US Army
be able to properly assess the situ- the British could have designed General Douglas MacArthur, re-
ation, given wartime realities, and courses of action to counter colonial evaluating his possible courses of
adapt to battlefield changes. Revis- reaction. They could have deter- action, chose the bold, impressive
ing the strategic net assessment is a mined whether it was more feasible Inchon landing, which curtailed the
first step on the road to victory. to go for the decisive blow or to ac- North Korean advance.
Clausewitz states, Friction, as we cept a colonial independence while
choose to call it, is the force that maintaining a prominent economic TheAlgerianInsurgency
makes the apparently easy so diffi- existence. While the British did not In 1954, Algerias ruling party, the
cult.2 Idealistically, a strategist believe they would have to resort to Front de Liberation Nationale
wants to anticipate and plan contin- force to put down what they viewed (FLN), attempted a Maoist-type in-
gencies so as to conquer all changes as a weak rebellion, shedding blood surgency in Algeria against French
in the character of war. Sun Tzu in- at the onset should have led them to occupation forces.6 No doubt the
dicates that good intelligence makes reconsider their strategy.4 FLN anticipated French reaction to
it possible to predict the outcome of Ideally, it would be great if the insurgent activities, but it failed to
a war in battle. However, Clausewitz strategist could foresee all changes plan for changes caused by the fric-
says, [T]he very nature of interac- that might occur. But, even Sun Tzu tion and fog of war.
tion is bound to make [war] unpre- would not argue against the fact Initially, FLN actions appeared to
dictable.3 History is rich with ex- that it is nearly impossible to flaw- have failed. No popular uprising fol-
amples which show that prewar lessly script an entire campaign. Be- lowed the November 1954 revolt,
plans do not directly relate to war- cause of such uncertainty, prewar and the French military remained in
time realities. Strategists ability or plans are always marginal, at best. power. However, the FLN had wisely
inability to reassess and adapt to reevaluated the situation and ad-
volatile changesthe friction and TheKoreanWar justed its focus, converting its tactics
fog of warplayed key roles in the The character of the war in Korea to attackingsuccessfullyFrench
American Revolution, the Korean could have led to US use of nuclear political and social vulnerabilities.
War and in the Algerian insurgency. weapons to prevent communist Chi- Ironically, the French inability to
nese intervening between the North properly reevaluate the situation
TheAmericanRevolution and South Koreans.5 Considering helped the FLN succeed. Reassess-
During the American Revolution, the inability to anticipate changes in ment was critical, especially when
the British had a prewar plan of us- the character of war, it is question- the French continually failed to gain
ing coercive measures to force colo- able whether Sun Tzu or Clausewitz Muslim support. The French contin-
nists to capitulate to British empirical would have decided to play the ued to believe that if they could de-
and parliamentary rule. The prewar nuclear trump card. feat the FLN operationally they
British plan was seemingly simple Arguably, a preplanned nuclear could end the insurgency. They were
90 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
wrong. Had they reassessed the situ- no dictum and no proven solution insurgency in Algeria (Indianapolis: Indiana University
Press, 1972), chapters 2 through 7, 12 and 16.
ation, they would have realized that for success in war. But, reassess- 7. Michael I. Handel, Masters of War (London:
Frank Cass, 1992), 141.
reforms and an offer of indepen- ment caveats the best prewar plans
dence would have won the to match desired wartime realities.
Maghribs support. Past wars show that leaders who an- Lieutenant Colonel Dominic J.
ticipate changes are leaders who Caraccilo is the Regimental Plans
CommonSense Officer, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort
lead their forces to victory. Benning, Georgia. He received a
Ideally, strategists would be able B.S. from the US Military Academy,
to foresee all possible contingencies. NOTES an M.S. from Cornell University,
However, while it is important to an- 1. Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Boston, MA: Shambala an M.A. from the Naval War Col-
Publications, 1988), 125.
ticipate changes, it is also imperative 2. Carl von Clausewitz, On War (Princeton, NJ: lege and is a graduate of the US
to reassess and adapt strategy con- Princeton University Press, 1989), 121. Navy Command and Staff College
3. Ibid., 117.
tinually to meet each situations de- 4. The Center of Military History, The American and the US Army Command and
Revolution: First Phase, in American Military History General Staff College. He has held
mands. Author Michael Handel (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office,
various command and staff posi-
writes: [E]very war is rich in unique 1989), 58-67.
5. John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment tions in the Continental United
episodes. Each is an uncharted (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), chapters 2
States, Europe and Saudi Arabia.
sea.7 Therefore, there is no theorem, 6. Alf Andrew Heggoy, Insurgency and Counter-
ULUS-KERT: An Airborne Companys Last Stand
Sergeant Michael D. Wilmoth, US Army Reserve, and
Lieutenant Colonel Peter G. Tsouras, US Army Reserve, Retired
In four days of desperate fight- shouts of Allah Akhbar! the Rus-
ing, from 29 February to 3 March sians would respond, Christ is
2000, a large force of Chechen fight- Risen!
ers wiped out a Russian paratroop After Groznyy fell, Chechen forces
company in the harsh defiles and regrouped in the rough, mountain-
ridges of the Argun Gorge in the ous areas of southern Chechnya. By
mountains of southern Chechnya. late February, a large Chechen force
Although the battle was a cata- of from 1,600 and 2,500 fighters had
strophic tactical defeat for the concentrated in the town of Ulus-
Russian airborne force, the Kert, where the Abazolgul and Sharo-
companys stubborn defense to argun rivers join.1 The area was one
the last man and the concentra- in which the Russians had not dared
tion of Russian relief forces in- enter during the First Chechen War.
flicted a strategic setback on the This time, they did not hesitate to
Chechens. The Russians stumbled follow.
into this catastrophe through poor A Russian Airborne Forces (VDV)
unit leadership, but Russian blood tactical group attacked Chechen
and valor transformed it into victory. forces at Ulus-Kert, forcing them
southeast. One of the VDV tactical
HatredtotheBone groups regimental task forces,
In Fall 1999, the Second Chechen based on the 104th Guards Para-
War began. The Russian Army chute Regiment (GPR) of the 76th
sought to reimpose the Russian Guards Airborne Division (GAD),
Federations authority in lawless, was to block the gorge while the
breakaway Chechnya. The Rus- VDV tactical group encircled the
sians and Chechens shared 200- Chechens.
year history had been punctuated horrific. This second round was the
by convulsions of blood and cru- Russian Armys opportunity to AreaofOperations
elty. The First Chechen War, from show that it had recovered some- The small town of Ulus-Kert is
1994 to 1996, had ended in the Rus- thing of its former ability. surrounded by extremely steep,
sian Armys humiliation and left Nothing expressed the depth of mountainous terrain. Approximately
Russia with its highest loss of re- Russian-Chechen animosity more 6 kilometers south of the town and
sources and professionalism since than the battle cries hurled back and extending far to the southeast are the
the Soviet Unions demise. The loss forth across the firing lines during Dargenduk Mountains. A road lead-
of basic combat skills also had been the siege of Groznyy. To the Chechen ing generally south out of Ulus-Kert
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 91
and up the northeastern edge of the forces and ground forces. Histori- ward the southeast. 104th GPRs 1st
Dargenduks crosses over a 1,410- cally, the VDV had been a separate Company, 1st Airborne Battalion,
meter hill, referred to as Hill 1410. service. Briefly in the late 1990s, it still had not crossed either the
Approximately 1.5 kilometers directly had been subordinated to ground Abazolgul or the Sharoargun. An
southeast of Ulus-Kert is Hill 705.6. forces. Newly appointed commander unidentified 104th GPR company
Just about one-half kilometer south of Russian airborne forces Colonel was on or near Hill 705.6. 4th Com-
of Hill 705.6 is a narrow opening to General Georgiy Shpak had obtained pany and an unidentified 104th GPR
a small gorge. Three and one-half kil- a reversal of this decision and zeal- airborne company, two VDV SPETS-
ometers southeast of Ulus-Kert, on ously guarded the VDVs indepen- NAZ groups and an elite Federal
the gorges easternmost side, is Hill dence. Security Service (FSB)successor
776. Hill 787 is only 1 kilometer far- Shpak streamlined the organiza- to the KGBSPETSNAZ group,
ther south. tion and obtained new missions for known as Vympel, were on Hill
A road leading southeast from it, primarily in peacekeeping opera- 1410. Present at 2d Airborne Battal-
Ulus-Kert over Hill 705.6 turns south tions. By the time operations around ion Headquarters on Hill 776 were
into the gorge. Another road inter- Ulus-Kert were under way, the Commander, 2d Airborne Battalion,
sects the first then leads to the west- grouping of airborne forces had Lieutenant Colonel Mark Niko-
ern edge of the saddle between hills been subordinated to Colonel Gen- layevich Yevtyukhin, and Captain
776 and 787 where it divides into eral Gennadiy N. Troshev, Com- Viktor Romanov, the commander of
mountain paths crossing the saddle. mander of the Eastern Grouping of an artillery battery of the regimental
Hill 787 is approximately 4.3 kilome- Federal Forces, who reported di- artillery battalion who was heading a
ters north of Hill 1410. At the time of rectly to General of the Army Viktor forward observer team. 6th Com-
the operation, the weather was Kazantsev, who commanded the pany, commanded by Major Sergey
foggy and cold, with snow on the Operations Group, Joint Grouping Molodov, was en route to the saddle
ground. of Federal Forces, in the North between Hills 776 and 787. 104th
The Chechens planned to escape Caucasus. The arrangement was not GPR was engaged in positioning
advancing Russian forces by using a happy one; airborne forces felt companies to block escape routes
the advantage of the mountainous they were not being properly sup- over the mountains.
terrain southeast of Ulus-Kert. After ported.3 The Chechen force, retreating to
slipping through the passes, the the southeast of Ulus-Kert along a
fighters could seize the strategic TheBattleBegins road leading over Hill 705.6 away
population centers of Makhkety, The VDV tactical group was a from the main advancing body of the
Elistanzhi, Zaduli, Kirov-Yurt and task force based on divisional para- VDV tactical group, was looking for
Vedeno, which provided a west-to- chute regiments augmented with the first unguarded or weakly held
east corridor in relatively low, flat VDV command-level assets, such as way over the mountains. The 1,600
terrain through which remaining reconnaissance subunits. The 104th to 2,500 fighters wore winter camou-
Chechen forces could withdraw to GPR task force was assigned the flage and were well equipped with
Dagestan.2 From Dagestan, they mission of blocking Chechen escape various small arms, grenade launch-
could renew the struggle on more fa- routes east through the mountains. ers and mortars. They were sup-
vorable terms. 104th GPR, like most Soviet/Russian ported by a logistics train of hun-
The VDV tactical groups mission parachute regiments, had three air- dreds of pack animals.
was to counter the Chechen forces borne battalions, an artillery battalion
objectives by blocking its escape equipped with two S9, 120-millimeter, Day 1, 29 February 2000
through the mountains then encir- self-propelled guns and various Early on 29 February, a 104th GPR
cling it so artillery and combat air support assets. Each airborne battal- airborne company encountered a
support could be used. Engaging in- ion had three airborne companies significant Chechen force on the
fantry soldiers in direct combat was numbered sequentially one through road leading southeast out of Ulus-
to be kept to a minimum. The plan to nine, with the first, second and third Kert. Russian paratroopers engaged
encircle Chechen forcesa common companies composing the 1st Air- the Chechen fighters for control of
Russian tacticreflects the Rus- borne Battalion and so on. Each 104th Hill 705.6. The Russian company,
sians desire to minimize casualties. GPR company was augmented with significantly stressed during the
The First Chechen War had not reconnaissance and/or SPETSNAZ fight, gained control of the hill and
been popular with the Russian popu- subunits from the VDV command to pushed the Chechen force southeast
lace because of the high death rate. form company tactical groups.4 into the small gorge below. The com-
Tension was also rife in the Russian Hills 705.6, 776, 787 and 1410 were pany was most likely heavily sup-
command arrangement. Airborne the main features of the net 104th ported by artillery and helicopters,
forces felt they were being used as GPR used to encircle the Chechen as was the usual Russian operation
cannon fodder to reduce casualties force. The VDV tactical groups main in this war.
among motorized infantry troops. body crossed the Sharoargun and The 104th GPR commander or-
Underlying this tension was the old Abazolgul rivers, pushing the dered 2d Airborne Battalion elements
rivalry between Russian airborne Chechen force out of Ulus-Kert to- to block the saddle between hills 776
92 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
and 787, which was the next pos- saddle and attacked from the rear mander Major Aleksandr Dostovalov,
sible path over the mountains for where there were no defenses.9 with 4th Companys third platoon,
the Chechens. The 2d Airborne With Chechens in the rear and no broke through to the encircled com-
Battalion headquarters was already escape routes through their own pany. While relief forces were being
in place on Hill 776. The 2d Airborne minefield, 6th Company pulled back held back by ambushes, waves of
Battalion element was to be in place and dug in on Hill 776. Their retreat Chechen fighters continued to as-
by 1400. In the early morning, 6th was so precipitous that they aban- sault 6th Company on Hill 776.14
Company, including the third pla- doned mess kits still full of food.10 When Romanovs legs were blown
toon, 4th Company, and two recon- Chechen fighters, laying down off by a mortar round, the battalion
naissance groups, probably from the constant fire on 6th Company, re- commander took over.
regimental reconnaissance platoon, ceived reinforcements as the main While some reports question the
started on foot toward the saddle.5 body arrived. The force encircled 6th lack of artillery and combat air sup-
6th Company, with the other ele- Company and sent waves of fight- port, others indicate that both where
ments, minus the companys third ers into the attack.11 By the end of present throughout the four-day
platoon, arrived by late morning, the first day, 6th Company had suf- engagement. In his report to de-
ahead of schedule. The company fered 31 deada 33 percent killed in fense minister Igor Sergeyev, Shpak
commander established a linear de- action (KIA) rate.12 6th Company states that 2d Airborne Battalion
fense in the saddle between the hills, had barely survived three basic er- was supported by a self-propelled
fronted by a minefield facing west rors: failure to establish an all- artillery battalion of the 104th Para-
toward the gorge. The defense fo- around defense; failure to aggres- chute Regiment and by army avia-
cused on the Chechen forces ex- sively conduct reconnaisance of the tion.15 The presence of an artillery
pected direction of escape. No ac- enemys expected approach route, forward team with 6th Company,
cess routes through the minefield especially given the Chechen repu- which included a battery commander,
were prepared nor were platoon po- tation for tactical skill, reconnaisance indicates that artillery support was
sitions sited to be mutually support- and working around the flanks; and at least adequate. While Shpaks
ive.6 After establishing company po- failure to heed warnings about the statement and other reports make it
sitions, troops began their afternoon Chechen forces approach.13 certain that VDV artillery was em-
meal, leaving their positions and For some reason, 6th Company ployed throughout the engagement,
congregating in the open.7 did not anticipate with sufficient se- it is unclear how effective it was at re-
The Chechen force clearly had a riousness and energy the danger it ducing Chechen numbers. Also un-
better grasp of the situation. The had been assigned to forestall. It answered is whether additional artil-
fighters had been listening to 104th seems likely that weak command at lery assets were employed to support
GPR communications and used this the company level was compounded 6th Company.
advantage and good ground recon- by a lack of timely supervision by Press reports also cite use of
naissance to locate 104th GPR sub- the adjacent battalion headquarters. Grads122-millimeter BM-21 mul-
units and to set ambushes. At 1230, tiple-rocket launchers that VDV units
a 6th Company reconnaissance pa- Day 2, 1 March 2000 do not have.16 Accounts of other
trol encountered approximately 20 Early in the morning on Hill 1410, engagements in the southern moun-
fighters just outside company defen- a reinforcement group of two VDV tains show that the Russians em-
sive positions. That the Chechens SPETSNAZ platoons, one Vympel ployed available artillery from a num-
could approach that close without SPETSNAZ group and two airborne ber of units in coordination with
detection shows that the Russians companies departed on foot for the army aviation helicopters. These ac-
had conducted no deep reconnais- saddle. The group encountered sev- counts stress that artillery continued
sance of the approaches to the eral ambushes while traversing terrain to fire when helicopters disappeared
saddle. as steep as 70 degrees. At approxi- with daylight. Only one Russian hel-
The Chechens, armed with auto- mately 0330, one VDV SPETSNAZ icopter in the Chechen theater had
matic weapons, grenade launchers platoon broke through to Hill 787 but night capability. This supports
and mortars, reacted quickly, seizing was forced to dig in because of stiff Shpaks statement that 6th Company
the initiative. The small force was Chechen opposition. received no aviation support at
probably followed by a combat ele- The 1st Company was also sent night. Helicopter support was further
ment, which would have been con- to reinforce 6th Company. While at- limited by foggy conditions during
sistent with Soviet-style reconnais- tempting to cross the Abazolgul the fighting.17
sance doctrine that places great River northeast of Ulus-Kert, the The Chechens continued heavy
value on immediately seizing the ini- unit encountered a Chechen ambush attacks on Hill 776 from all directions
tiative in any engagement by having force of up to 60 men. Despite re- throughout the early morning. Para-
a strong combat element close be- peated attempts to fight through the trooper officers showed an unhesi-
hind the advance reconnaissance Chechen ambush, the 1st Company tating willingness to sacrifice them-
ele-ment.8 Chechen reconnaissance was forced to dig in on the rivers selves, a trait the Germans had
elements also worked their way bank. At 0300, during a brief lull, 2d frequently noted in the grandfathers
around the Russian position in the Airborne Battalion deputy com- of the men on the hill. Dostovalov,
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 93
already wounded, attacked a group Force your way forward.20 With the 6th Company allowed VDV forces to
of Chechens trying to carry off a remnants of 6th Company still hold- fight through difficult terrain and
wounded soldier and dispatched ing out on Hill 776 and new Russian Chechen ambushes to close off the
them with a grenade. Junior soldiers forces on neighboring Hill 787, the main bodys escape. Most surviving
were equally valiant. After Private Chechen escape route was danger- Chechens were ultimately forced
Aleksandr Lebedev ran out of am- ously constricted. The Russians back into the gorge, where troops
munition, he threw himself and his sent a reconnaissance platoon into from 104th GPR took a number of
last live grenade into a group of the saddle to find a better position. prisoners.
Chechens who had wanted him to Instead, it found an ambush by Arab While no 6th Company personnel
surrender. volunteers, covering an attempt by surrendered or were taken prisoner,
At approximately 0500, the Chech- the main Chechen convoy to escape. the four-day struggle resulted in the
ens breached 6th Company de- Having suffered five wounded, the death of at least 84 VDV soldiers, in-
fenses. Cumulative casualties and Russians committed another com- cluding 13 officers. Even after losing
odds of at least 10 to one were too pany, hoping to stop the Chechen its senior officers, 6th Company held
much for the dwindling Russian escape attempt.21 its final positions against a much
force. As Chechens overran Hill 776, larger force.
fighting became hand-to-hand, and Day 3, 2 March 2000 Chechen casualties included ap-
Chechens began shooting wounded Late in the morning, the 1st Com- proximately 400 dead. According to
Russians. The already wounded pany broke through Chechen forces Krasnaya Zvezda, the official news-
battalion commander took over the and reached the battle area. How- paper of the Russian Ministry of
radio from the wounded Romanov ever, it could not relieve 6th Com- Defense (MOD), this figure was
and called in artillery fire on his pany, which was still under close at- based on radio-intercept data, intel-
own position, shouting into the ra- tack. One officer and 32 men were ligence reports, eyewitnesses, local
dio, I call artillery on myself!18 still alive. Deputy company com- residents and captured Chechens.25
The Chechens suffered grievously mander Captain Roman Sokolov had The Arab volunteers fighting
from the artillery, and at 0610, com- arrived in Chechnya barely 13 days with the Chechens appeared, in par-
munications with the battalion com- before. Wounded in the hand, he or- ticular, to have suffered severely.
mander were lost. ganized the survivors final defense. Heavy Arab casualties would not be
As the second day of fighting He placed the six most junior sol- unusual among particularly fanatical
closed, 6th Company counted an- diers in the care of Sergeant Andrey units, nor would it be unusual for the
other 26 paratroopers killed and Proshev and ordered them to escape. Chechens to have pushed the Ar-
many wounded. Counting the 31 Then, as the Chechens pressed the abs first into harms way. Lobanov
men who had fallen the day before, attack, Sokolov called artillery fire counted 200 enemy dead on Hill 776
6th Company had suffered a KIA rate down on his position as a desperate alone, along with 75 Russian para-
of almost two-thirds57 out of 90 attempt to fend off the enemy. An- troopers. Survivor Viktor Sokirko
men.19 Chechen casualties also con- other 16 paratroopers on Hill 776 stated, I took a notebook from the
tinued to mount. Repeated human- were killed in the continuing fight- pocket of one of the gunmen with a
wave attacks are costly, especially ing.22 roster of 100 people; the bullet had
when the defenders are supported hit him right in his heart; it had gone
by artillery and aviation. Day 4, 3 March 2000 through his Koran.26
The Chechens had been throw- The struggle for control of Hills The bodies of the 84 fallen VDV
ing themselves at Hill 776 to keep 776 and 787 ended on the fourth day troops were evacuated on foot, with
open a path for the rest of their force. of the fighting. The last 11 para- combat aviation providing support.
This movement was interrupted by troopers on Hill 776 were killed.23 It was shaping up to be a bloody
the arrival of the relief force from Hill The relief force found Proshevs month for the Russian Army; it had
1410. Major Andrey Lobanov, com- small band of survivors.24 The sur- a total of 156 deada higher KIA
manding a 45th VDV Reconnaisance viving Chechens, who had not been rate than during the grimmest com-
Regiment SPETSNAZ group, was able to escape over the saddle before parable period in the storming of
with this force. He noted that hun- the reliefs arrival, slipped back Groznyy.27
dreds of pack animals had already down into the gorge pursued by 6th Company accomplished its
passed by. The Russians moved into paratroopers and hunted by heli- mission. The Chechen force was
the saddle and found 6th Companys copters. The Russian pursuit took blocked from escaping the encircle-
abandoned positions and soon en- them about 5 kilometers east to the ment. More important, Chechen
countered a large Chechen group. village of Selmentausen where a commanders realized that they could
The Russians retreated to Hill 787 number of escaping Chechens had not seize strategic population cen-
from which they could cover the concentrated. ters in the low terrain and would be
saddle. forced to stay in the mountains. In
The Russians intercepted the MoppingUp the next few days, a number of
Chechen commanders desperate or- The Chechens won a Pyrrhic vic- Chechen fighters surrendered to the
ders: Do not engage in battle. tory. Tarrying to bludgeon through Russians. The day after the battle
94 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
ended, a Chechen field commander ReconnaissanceandSecurity mander and his deputy. Other Rus-
surrendered with 73 men, including Kazantsev, former commander of sian airborne and SPETSNAZ forces
30 woundedthe largest surrender the Grouping of Airborne Troops in in the area, responding to reinforce
to that date. Made up largely of Chechnya, accurately described the 6th Company, fought their way into
Chechen teenagers, this band had situation: Such heavy losses could the area and eventually stopped the
actually escaped over the saddle be- have been avoided. Reconnaissance Chechen breakout. All this occurred
fore the relief arrived on 2 March. It must be carried out more carefully.32 in enormously difficult terrain and
surrendered on the outskirts of After walking over the battlefield, weather conditions and against tena-
Selmentausen. The young men had Lobanov, who fought forward with cious Chechen resistance. Because
had enough of war.28 the relief, also said pointedly, There the Chechens are notoriously atroc-
is a continual question in my head: ity-prone, especially toward mem-
Recriminations Why was there no information that bers of the more elite Russian mili-
The loss of 6th Company pro- such a horde of gunmen was break- tary organizations, fighting to the
voked an interservice exchange of ing through?33 Compounding this death makes a necessity.
recriminations. At a news confer- failure was the lackadaisical attitude Media reports consistently indi-
ence, Shpak bluntly blamed the di- toward the companys security. 6th cate that no 6th Company soldiers
saster on the Eastern Grouping of Company had blinded itself, allow- were taken prisoner. They refused to
Forces commander, to whom the air- ing Chechens the priceless element give up their position, even while
borne troops had been subordinated. of surprise. Had 6th Company been knowing they would be overrun and
Shpaks subordinates added their fire: properly alerted and ready in proper killed. The VDV is known as an elite
It all began back in Dagestan, when defenses, it might have been able to force composed of soldiers with high
Kazantsev sent the airborne troops hold off the Chechens successfully morale, discipline and a sense of pur-
to their death and protected his own until relief arrived. One elemental fail- pose. Their actions make it clear that
infantry.29 They claimed airborne ure cascaded into another, which this characterization held true. De-
forces had been stretched too thin might explain why the battalion com- spite glaring tactical mistakes in se-
and in isolation from the main mander suddenly emerged as the curity and reconnaissance, the Rus-
forces. . . . [T]he grouping command defenses motivating force once the sian airborne spirit successfully
treats the airborne troops as cannon disaster unfolded. imbued its men with the morale and
fodder.30 However much the Russian offi- courage that come with pride of
By the middle of March, cumula- cial line emphasizes the heroism of corps.
tive airborne casualties gave ammu- 6th Company paratroopers, the re- Despite the bad publicity sur-
nition for their charges. Shpak re- sults of the official inquiry ordered rounding the casualty figures in this
ported that 181 airborne soldiers had by President Vladmir Putin was pro- battle, the Russian Army achieved
been killed and 395 wounded in fessionally blunt. The force was ac- an important victory. By holding Hill
Chechnya out of a force of about cused of slovenliness, laxity and 776 long enough for additional VDV
5,100 men. The total Russian force unprofessionalism. 34 The force troops to fill the area, 6th Company
in Chechnya had averaged about showed a glaring loss of basic tacti- defeated the Chechen strategy to
100,000 and had lost 1,291 Defense cal skills at the company level during break out of the mountains and re-
Ministry troops and 617 Interior the encounters. Such basic tactical gain the initiative. Chechen fighters,
Ministry troops for a total of 1,908, considerations should have been seeing they could not break through
suffering 3,190 and 2,107 wounded. uppermost in the company officers Russian lines, were forced to scale
Airborne forces had numbered five minds. Whether this was a local ab- back their objectives. Instead of em-
percent of the force and suffered 10 erration or indicates pervasive prob- ploying relatively large groups
percent of the deaths.31 lems throughout Russian Army elite against vulnerable population cen-
Shpak had a point. While the op- forces, the VDVs failure poses im- ters, Chechen leaders realized they
erational concept of blocking and portant questions about Russian ca- had to break up into smaller forma-
trapping the Chechens was sound, pabilities. While the VDV performed tions to wage war at a much lower
the net was too weak. 104th GPR credibly and often with distinction in level.
was forced to commit individual the Second Chechen War, there But, this was an expensive Rus-
companies, which could not be eas- have been enough blatant excep- sian victory. Russian blood and
ily reinforced, to oppose the break- tions to conclude that even the valor had to make up for the deficit
through attempt of a lethal brigade- VDVs skills are no longer of a uni- in basic combat skills, an issue larger
size unit. The airborne net should form high standard, despite Shpaks than one small-unit leadership failure.
have been backed up with larger reforms. The entire Russian force has suf-
motorized rifle formations. Shpaks fered too many similar catastrophies
complaints carried enough weight to PrideofCorps for the fate of 6th Company to be
have the Grouping of Airborne On the positive side, 6th Com- just a tragic exception. Still, there was
Forces transferred from Troshevs pany recovered and fought well significant improvement in battle-
command to the Joint Grouping of against enormous odds once it field performance between the First
Federal Forcesthe overall head- moved to Hill 776 under the effective and Second Chechen Wars, although
quarters for operations in Chechnya. leadership of the battalion com- performance levels still remained low,
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 95
which reflected how bad things had Speaking at the funeral, Russian cies require the actual presence of casualties before they
can be reported.
become. The failure of an elite force Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev 13. Bulavinov.
14. Prokopenko, To the Death.
such as the Russian airborne shows stated, This battle for a nameless 15. Prokopenko, Eighty-Four Airborne Troops Die
Holding Back Onslaught of 2.5 Thousand Rebels,
how fragile and perishable such height was the turning point of the Krasnaya Zvezda (11 March 2000), Moscow.
skills are. entire Chechen campaign. It was a 16. Odnokolenko and Shchipanova.
17. Aleksandr Kondrashov, Military Industrial Complex
do-or-die crisis for the fallen, and Has Bled the Country Dry and There is Nothing Left to
Fight With, Argumenty i Fakty (4 April 2000), Moscow;
TheAftermath they chose to follow the paths of Daniel Williams, Russian Admits to Heavy Casualties
in Chechnya, Washington Post (11 March 2000).
The battle of Ulus-Kert was their ancestors in similar desperate 18. Oleg Falichev, They Strode Into Immortality,
quickly enshrined in heroic myth, its straits. Just such decisions were Krasnaya Zevzda (16 March 2000), Moscow.
19. Interfax (0940 GMT, 10 March 2000), Moscow.
theme loudly echoed by Russian made by Russian servicemen on 20. Sokirko, A Toast.
media, the Ministry of Defense and Kulikovo Field, on Lake Chud, at 22. Interfax (0940 GMT, 10 March 2000), Moscow.
23. Michael Wines, Russian City Buries a Hero, Firm
the airborne forces themselves. This Borodino and at Sevastopol. In the in its Faith in the War, New York Times (15 March 2000);
reflects popular support for the war winter of 1941 Panfilovs legendary Interfax (0940 GMT, 10 March 2000), Moscow.
24. Interfax (0940 GMT, 10 March 2000), Moscow.
and the military and a renewal of heroes defended the last line with 25. ITAR TASS (1510 GMT, 9 March 2000), Moscow.
26. Sokirko, A Toast.
Russian nationalism. It also served their lives on the approaches of 27. Williams; Andrei Marychev, ITAR-TASS (16 March
2000), Moscow; Sergey Ostanin, ITAR-TASS (24 March
to distract public attention from Moscow. Nowadays the Argun 2000), Moscow.
manifest failures the catstrophe re- Gorge has been just such a line for 28. Vyacheslav Grunskiy, NTV (1600 GMT, 5 March
2000), Moscow; Sarah Karush, Funeral Captures Mood
vealed. Certainly the results of the the Guards paratroopers.36 of New War, Moscow Times (7 March 2000).
official inquiry commissioned by 30. Ibid.
NOTES 31. Marychev; Ostanin.
Putin will never be made public. 1. Interfax (10 March 2000), Moscow; Oleg Odno-
32. Sergey Bychkov, Stolen Victory, Moskovskiy
Komsomolets (18 March 2000), Moscow. General Viktor
Nonetheless, he issued a decree kolenko and Tatyana Shchipanova, Such an Untimely Kazantsev was the deputy commander of the VDV before
Death: Authorities Cover Up Death of 86 Airborne he was assigned to command airborne forces in
decorating all of the fallen paratroop- Troops, Segodnya (10 March 2000), Moscow. Chechnya. He was injured in a helicopter crash in late
ers, with all 13 officers and nine en- 2. Sergey Prokopenko, To the Death, Krasnaya
Zvezda (11 March 2000), Moscow; Viktor Sokirko, Air-
January and replaced in command on 1 February 2000.
33. Sokirko, A Toast.
listed men receiving Russias highest borne Troops Commander Georgiy Shpak: These Guys
Performed a Feat, Moskovskiy Komsomolets (14 March
34. Nezavisimaya Gazeta (13 March 2000), Moscow.
35. Prokopenko, To the Death.
medalHero of the Russian Federa- 2000), Moscow; Sergey Dyupin and Valerriy Tsygankov, 36. Falichev.
Airborne Troops Called Fire Upon Themselves,
tion.35 Komersant (7 May 2000), Moscow.
3. Ilya Bulavinov, Cannon Fodder Consists of People
A memorial service was held on 14 as Well: Paratrooper Shpak Attacks General Troshev, Sergeant Michael D. Wilmoth, US
March at the Novopasskiy Monas- Komemersant (17 March 2000), Moscow.
4. Airborne company designations refer to company Army Reserve, is an intelligence
tery in Moscow. The service was tactical groups. analyst at the Office of Naval Intelli-
5. Interfax (0940 GMT, 10 March 2000) Moscow.
conducted by Russian Orthodox Pa- 6. Moskovskiy Komsomolets (14 March 2000), Mos-
gence. He received an A.S. from
cow. Northern Virginia Community Col-
triarch Alekisy II of Moscow and all 7. Yuliya Kalinina, Terrible Losses, [Unknown] (10 lege and is continuing his education
Russia, and was attended by Putin, March 2000).
8. The Chechens have shown a remarkable ability to at the American Military University.
Chief of the Russian General Staff maintain and employ the basic military skills they acquired
while in service with the former Soviet Army. Ironically, they
He has served in Korea and Bosnia.
General Anatoliy Kvashnin and na- maintained these skills better than did the Russian Army. Lieutenant Colonel Peter G.
tional and military leaders. It was an
9. TV RTV (1000 GMT, 14 March 2000), Moscow;
Sokirko, Airborne Troops.
Tsouras, US Army Reserve, Retired,
is Division Senior Analyst, National
enormous statement of resolve. Like- 10. Sokirko, A Toast to Russian Soldiers,
Moskovskiy Komsomolets (14 March 2000), Moscow. Ground Intelligence Center. He re-
wise, the funeral of most of the Rus- 11. Prokopenko, To the Death.
12. Odnokolenko and Shchipanova; Interfax (9 March ceived a B.A. from the University of
sian dead at their home garrison in 2000), Moscow, is an interview with General Nikolai Utah and is a graduate of the US
Staskov, deputy commander of the Russian Airborne
Pskov was a heartfelt demonstration Forces. Initial comments of Russian Ministry of Defense Army Command and General Staff
of this sentiment. Most of the dead (MOD) personnel indicated that only 31 members of 6th College. He has served in the Con-
Company had been killed in the entire battle. Although
tinental United States and Germany.
were buried in Pskov where the fu- Russia media speculate that MOD was intentionally try-
ing to cover up casualties, they likely received more ac- He is the author of several books on
neral service was held in the ancient curate casualty figures sooner than did the MOD public
affairs office. This figure accurately represents the first military history.
Trinity Cathedral. day of fighting. Also, Russian casualty accounting poli-
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96 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
The Promise of e-Commerce to Defense:
The Road to Savings
J. Michael Brower
As the Department of Defense help counter Amazon.com CEO Jeff billion) to apply toward acquiring new
(DOD) struggles to keep up with e- Bezos prophecy: It will turn out in weapons systems.7
business, e-tailing, e-everything, it the long term that the US is the
does so not to be in vogue but to worst country for e-commerce.4 Of- ReverseAuctioningand
achieve a definite national-security ten, DOD support for technology SmartCards
goal. That goal remains consistent and government support for techno- To help make up the shortfall, e-
from one major defense review to logical innovation made the differ- commerce shepherded procurement
the nextreduce the costs of ence in profitability. purchase using reverse auctioning
nonwarfighting tasks, and apply the and smart cards. With reverse auc-
savings to the acquisition of new CyberClickskrieg@DOD tioning, all potential vendors can see
weapons systems.1 DODs commitment to e-com- the price for goods and services,
While military missions every- merce principles began in earnest thereby driving the price down. The
where increased during the resource- with the May 1998 Defense Reform reverse-auction process produces
constrained 1990s, leveraging the Initiative Directives. The Joint Elec-
the best price when all merchants
cost savings that the information tronic Commerce Program Office
can see DODs bottom-line costs.
technology (IT) revolution promised (JECPO) was to navigate DODs
Smaller companies join the pro-
became a necessity. Enter e-com- transition to e-commerce.5 The DOD
cess by using the Internet to con-
merce and the concomitant reduc- e-mall, a linchpin in DODs over-
arching e-vision, began with expand- duct business and by adopting e-
tions in the labor expenses that the standards like Extensible Markup
private sector has enjoyed. ing the Defense Logistics Agencys
online catalogue and now provides Language (XML) and Universal De-
Traditionally, e-commerce helps
one-stop shopping to all DOD elec- scription, Discovery and Integration
suppliers sell directly to consumers
tronic and commercial catalogs. (UDDI). Potential suppliers can reg-
and develops ongoing trade rela-
In fiscal year (FY) 2000, the e-mall ister quickly, and technology they
tionships at the speed of cyber-
contained nearly 5 million items and already have is leveraged to help cut
space, cutting costs to middlemen.
processed $78.8 million of transac- their bottom lines, which allows them
As the online marketplace has be-
come commonplace, military leaders tions. JECPOs goal for FY 2001 is to to compete against larger firms.
have capitalized on the lessons of have 12 million items in the e-mall to Competition helps DOD find the
industry and have purposefully generate as much as $143 million.6 best deals. For instance, the Navy is
charted an e-conomic e-commerce Industry powerhouses catering busily reengineering its procurement
course. to DOD see e-commerce as a force precepts, including the cultural
Electronic commerce holds many multiplier. For military managers who change of delegating to the lowest
rewards.2 Fortunately for DOD, ac- must do more with less, force mul- level. The Navys Fleet Martial Sup-
cess to the sharpest minds in e-com- tiplier is more than just a catch ply Office, with the mission of pro-
merce is aided by the fact that e-com- phrase du-jour; it is a requirement to viding IT for Naval Supply Systems
merce remains largely a US-based keep the US military performing amid Command, has partnered with Razor-
phenomenon. However, the balance stagnant budgets. fish Incorporated to put buying de-
is shifting. Internet Dynamics Cor- In countenancing future logistic cisions at the lowest tier.8
poration predicts that by 2003, West- operations, DOD must cut adminis- Software developed for the project
ern Europe and Japan will have com- trative costs and improve efficiency allows Navy personnel to make pur-
bined to lower the US e-commerce in the acquisition arena. Sadly, nei- chase decisions with a greater aware-
share to 44 percent.3 ther acquisition policy nor legisla- ness of inventory and available fund-
US industry sees DOD as a test tion can match the speed of change ing. Reporting transactions to the
bed for developing the best e-com- associated with the technology they comptroller via a client-server envi-
merce solutions because of DODs would regulate. Consequently, acqui- ronment has allowed the retirement
history of technological innovation sition reformthe DOD watch phrase of more-expensive mainframes.
and cost-saving acquisition goods. during the 1990shas not resulted in The DOD Purchase Card Pro-
DODs interest in e-commerce should predicted savings (approximately $60 gram has also produced savings. By
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 97
FY 2000, DOD had met its goal to immense, e-commerce will continue
have 90 percent of all DOD pur- to grow, to the benefit of private 1. Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army,
chases under $2,500 made with economy and national security. The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and National
Defense Panel (NDP) Report Concerns for Resource
government purchase cards. JECPO and Financial Managers, Research Management
provides the infrastructure to sup- IntotheCybersea (Third Quarter, 1997), 16; <http://188.8.131.52/pubs/
port information exchange among When are contracting personnel, 2. Some current leading US e-commerce players
are Ariba, Commerce One and i2Technolgies.
credit card companies and DOD fi- public and private alike, ready to 3. Sandy Portnoy, Foreign Tastes Overseas e-biz
Grows, CRN (Channelweb News Network), 43;
nancial systems. adopt an e-commerce strategy? Gen- <www.crn.com>.
4. Tichakorn Hill, Defense News (23 October
Before the advent of purchase erally, the following factors must be 2000), 62; Jeff Bezos, The Industrial Standard (2 Octo-
ber 2000), 41; <www.thestandard.com>. See also
cards, buying supplies and services determined before bottling and toss- <www.activmediaresearch.com> and <www.idc
was labor-, paper- and bureaucracy- ing the e-procurement message into 5. When conducting e-commerce with DOD, begin
intensive. As of September 2000, the cybersea: with the Joint Electronic Commerce Program Office
more than 10 million purchase card l Are costs for technology and 6. Miles Holtzman, Electronic Commerce (20 No-
vember 2000). Provided by Maria Lloyd, Defense Logis-
transactions had been made$5.5 associated hardware and software tics Agency, Public Affairs Division, 21 November 2000.
See also <www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/May 1997/a19970
billion worth. low, particularly for access to e-com- 516qdr2.html> and <www.acq.osd.mil/jecpo>.
7. The $60 billion figure was the approximate tar-
E-commerce capitalizes on buying merce design kits? get for savings projected by the 1997 QDR, which had
hoped to replace military teeth where tail had thrived.
power that DOD already has and is l Are usable applications and 8. Jennifer Moselli, Navy Finds a Better Way to
an excellent counterweight to effects hardware for end-users and procure- Buy, Information Week (2 October 2000), 111. For more
information on Razorfish, see <razorfish@www.
of personnel and resource austerity ment personnel available? informationweek.com/806/razorfish.htm>.
that characterized much of DOD l Are standards promulgated J. Michael Brower is a program
during the 1990s. E-commerce has and consistent, particularly in terms specialist, Department of Justice,
proved its viability and pays for itself of the application of cross-communi- Immigration and Naturalization
in savings. cation? Service, Eastern Regional Office,
South Burlington, Vermont. He re-
As though by design, but gener- l Do e-commerce transactions
ceived a B.S. from Park College.
ally because market mechanisms are have measurable utility, convenience He served in the US Air Force
functioning in the new economy and value-added? from 1987 to 1991. His Insights
much as they did in the old, DOD is l Will transactions be secure? article DOD Outsourcing and
using e-commerce to offset the pain l Will e-commerce transaction Privatization appeared in the Sep-
tember-November 1998 issue of
of 1990s budget stagnation. With have minimal legal and policy con- Military Review.
potential savings so immediate and straints?
Short-Range Air Defense in Army Divisions:
Do We Really Need It?
Colonel Charles A. Anderson, US Army
Soon after General Eric K. Shinseki Shinseki set the azimuth for a more and capabilities in an era having
became the Chief of Staff, US Army, deployable, lethal force that when fewer resources. White sees this ef-
in June 1999, he stated that his goal properly manned and equipped could fort as involving hellish choices.4
was to provide strategic leadership accomplish National Military Strat- In Fighting for the Future: Will
that [would] keep the Army the pre- egy tasks. Given the continuous, America Triumph? Ralph Peters
eminent land warfighting force in the growing gap between funding and suggests there is a fundamental
world.1 To accomplish this goal, military requirements, Shinseki must asymmetry between the kind of mili-
Shinseki cited six key objectives: look critically at competing programs tary force the United States has and
l To increase strategic respon- and capabilities to make difficult de- the kind it needs.5 Peters theme is
siveness. cisions about the Armys traditional that the United States is preparing
l To develop a clear, long-term roles and enduring capabilities. for the war we want to fight . . , not
strategy to improve operational joint The Armys business is to fight the conflicts we cannot avoid.6 To
readiness and implement Joint Vi- and win wars. However, it is in- avoid this trap, Shinseki is striving to
sion 2010 (JV2010) goals. volved in many other activities. In bring strategic relevance and bal-
l To develop joint warfighting 1997, Assistant Secretary of Defense ance to the Army. Changes in force
leaders. John T. White, addressing the Qua- structure and traditional roles are in-
l To fully integrate Active and drennial Defense Review (QDR) evitable.
Reserve Components. Board, stated, We are at a pivotal Since 1994 the Commission on
l To fully man warfighting units. point in history where the Cold War Service Roles and Missions has con-
l To provide for the well-being recedes . . . and a new century tinually targeted US Army Air De-
of soldiers, civilians and family mem- rushes toward us.3 The QDRs chal- fense Artillery (ADA) for budget
bers.2 lenge is to develop new strategies and personnel cuts. The dogmatic
98 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
objectives of reducing the size of positions, acquiring more capability forces before US heavy forces can
Army divisions and enhancing stra- than their size, economy and capabil- support them.14
tegic mobility while maintaining le- ity would suggest.11 In essence, the The National Research Council
thality and survivability attracts the past and future are colliding. The also suggested that the air threat
force-structure scalpel Army senior United States must deal with rogue would become increasingly diverse
leaders wave toward mission areas nations, declining states, terrorists and lethal beyond 2010. It would no
such as short-range air defense and insurgents whose causes have longer be possible to rely on the air
(SHORAD) forces. The question is, been smoldering. Today these fac- superiority demonstrated during the
should SHORAD be in an Army di- tions are armed with more-sophisti- Gulf War and subsequent conflicts.
vision? Do the threat and existing cated weapons than their predeces- The US militarys ability to antici-
joint capabilities suggest the need to sors could ever have imagined.12 pate the threat and react accordingly
keep the air defense battalion in di- with the appropriate technology is
vision warfighting formations? LessonsLearned not always first rate. Since 1980, bal-
As well as preparing for two listic missiles have been used in six
TheArgument nearly simultaneous major theater regional conflicts.15 Strategic analyst
Why do we have air defense artil- wars, the Army faces significant in- Dennis M. Gormley maintains that if
lery in Army divisions? The last hos- creases in other activities, ranging planners respond to the threat of
tile aircraft shot down by US from humanitarian and relief opera- land-attack cruise missiles as slowly
ground-based air-defense forces was tions to major deployments. The US as they did to ballistic missile threats,
in 1950 when the 507th Automatic military has deterred aggression in Washington and its allies may be on
Weapons Battalion shot down two the Arabian Gulf, restored democ- a dangerous path.16 At the time of
of four hostile North Korean planes. racy in Haiti and stopped war in Iraqs attack on Kuwait in August
Antiaircraft guns and US Air Force Bosnia. The armistice is stable on 1990, the US Army had only three
(USAF) fighters quickly neutralized the Korean peninsula, and the Yu- experimental Patriot Advanced Capa-
the Korean air threat.7 goslavian army has withdrawn from bility Version 2 (PAC-2) interceptors.
Today, the US Air Force is the Kosovo.13 The world is safer, but Fortunately, Saddam Husseins six-
most technologically advanced air current and future enemies are taking month delay allowed the United
force in the world, second only to States to rapidly improve and pro-
notes. Perhaps the next adversary
China in numbers of air frames.8 US duce more PAC-2 missiles.
will not allow the United States to
Marine and Navy air power consti- The Defense Science Boards
build a robust lodgment for generat-
tutes the worlds third largest air 1994 study on cruise missile defense
force. More important, US pilots are ing combat power and logistic sup-
paralleled that of the National Re-
among the worlds most proficient. port. The challenge will be to sustain
search Council. Defense Science
US Air Force and Navy pilot training the political will to fight in remote
Board findings heightened the De-
averages 220 hours a year compared places where the threat to national
partment of Defenses (DODs)
to a NATO average of 170 hours and interests is not clear. awareness of the evolving cruise
about 50 hours in potential enemy air During Operation Desert Storm, missile threat against US forward-
forces.9 97 soldiers were killed in action. The deployed forces and lodgment areas.
It might be presumptive to sug- US public has come to expect such Wishing away cruise missile and un-
gest that air power can protect US low casualty rates, but leaders of manned aerial vehicle (UAV) threats
land forces throughout a campaign rogue nations, failing states and ter- is not prudent. The US almost made
or to presume that high costs asso- rorist gangs are not overly concerned that mistake with ballistic missiles.
ciated with training and maintaining with casualties. They watched US Authors Stefan T. Possony and
a sophisticated air force would pre- forces pull out of Somalia and Beirut J.E. Pournelle cite two common falla-
vent potential enemies from acquir- because of unexpected casualties cies about technologythat the
ing a competitive air force. In 1999 and realized that the most direct way march of technology can be halted
Director of Central Intelligence to deter the US military force was to by agreement and that small advan-
George J. Trent presented the 20th- increase the probable casualty rate. tages are not decisive and probably
century threat assessment to the US In 1992 the National Research not important.17 The first fallacy sug-
Senate Arms Services Committee. He Council identified advanced tech- gests that arms control measures
said, Future challenges to US inter- nologies that most likely would be and policies can prevent developing
ests will flow from new factors such used against the United States in the nations from acquiring weapons of
as the increasing availability of so- 21st century. Adversaries would: mass destruction (WMD) and the
phisticated technology and the ease l Use improved methods for de- means to transport them to military
and speed with which it can be ap- livering chemical and biological war- and civilian targets. History alone
plied by those hostile to the United fare agents. disproves the second fallacy; Paki-
States.10 l Use low-flying cruise missiles. stan and India have nuclear weap-
The 1998 Joint Strategy Review l Use advanced tactical ballistic ons, and Korea is testing a ballistic
supports this notion and maintains missiles capable of surmounting US missile capable of reaching the
that other nations and nonstate ac- defenses. United States.
tors will be able to leverage niche l Attack initially deploying US Currently the USAF can support
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 99
only one major theater of war. During threats includes those that attack unmanned bombers packed with ex-
the Kosovo crisis, it scrambled to ground targets from the air. plosives, piloted remotely via a radio
mass pilots, fuelers and precision The National Air Intelligence link, attacked hardened targets such
munitions required to interdict Center maintains that ballistic and as submarine pens. Current UAVs
Kosovo and Serbian targets. During cruise missiles are a significant threat will be able to destroy WMD pro-
Operation Desert Storm, it had 20 to deployed US and allied forces. duction and storage facilities buried
fighter wing equivalents. When the Cruise missiles have great standoff beneath mountains.
F-22 replaces the aging F-16 and F- as unmanned, armed aircraft that One can easily debate how the
15 fleet, the USAF will be half the can be launched from another air- array of theater missiles and manned
size. craft, ship, submarine, or ground- fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft can be
Action in Kosovo also demon- based launcher to attack ships . . . or used in a given contingency. With
strated the importance of having safe ground-based targets.20 the growing costs required to main-
havens in which to assemble and LACM. Land attack cruise mis- tain aircraft and train pilots, UAVs
launch air operations. Safe havens siles (LACM) are an attractive op- and LACMs are attractive yet effec-
could become more difficult to obtain tion for potential threats because tive aerial platforms. This does not
if adversaries threaten neighbors with they can effectively evade US air de- suggest that manned aircraft will be
WMD. Furthermore, commercial sat- fense systems. LACMs are powered cut from a potential threats arsenal.
ellite imagery and longer-range, more- by jet engines or rockets and are Manned aircraft might not increase
accurate delivery capabilities could equipped with an internal computer in numbers, but they will improve in
expose safe havens. A flash point or remote control for guidance and sophistication.
anywhere in the world coupled with navigation. Although they look like The credibility of US ground-to-
a Kosovo-type crisis could place aircraft with stubby wings, they air and air-to-air defensive capabili-
decisionmakers in a resource-con- move slower than high-performance ties will be challenged. Applying at-
strained dilemma. fighter aircraft and reach targets in a tack or strike operations against
If hostile states and nonstate ac- matter of hours rather than minutes. short-dwell and fixed-launch plat-
tors learn from the past, they will Over 25 countries now have ballistic forms, supply points and command
never permit US forces to freely es- missiles systems. By 2015 the land and control (C2) facilities could re-
tablish a lodgment in the area of op- attack cruise missile market will in- duce or modify the use of theater
erations or a safe haven in a nearby clude from 6,000 to 7,000 missiles. missiles and other aerial platforms.
country. Their objective will likely be Most land attack cruise missiles However, since Operation Desert
to strike quickly with an array of air have effective ranges from 90 to 190 Storm, US efforts have improved at-
and missile threats aimed at forward- miles and can hit within a few feet of tack operations only slightly.
deployed US forces. If that fails to their targets. With UAVs and cruise missiles re-
sway US public opinion, they will Because LACMs are difficult to
quiring smaller operational and logis-
consider WMD use. The best time detect, track and intercept, air de-
tic footprints than ballistic missiles,
to execute such actions would be fense systems will be stressed.
when the United States is already Cruise missiles are smaller than air- the possibility of interdicting such
entangled in Kosovo- or Bosnian- craft and, depending on terrain, can targets is remote. The future threat
type commitments. fly below radar coverage. For ex- will economically gain operational
ample, ground-based radar can de- and strategic advantages by using
FutureAerialThreats tect an aircraft flying at 10,000 feet an array of theater missiles.
Predicting what capability a poten- over 150 miles away. Because of the SHORADandFull-Spectrum
tial enemy might employ is always earths curvature, the same ground-
controversial. Such an endeavors based radar cannot detect a low-fly- Dominance
difficulty is revealed by the fact that ing cruise missile outside 20 miles.21 In July 1996, JV2010 was issued to
the Central Intelligence Agency and UAV. Until recently, many armed provide a conceptual framework
the Defense Intelligence Agency sel- forces regarded the UAV as a sensor within which the US Armed Forces
dom present a consensus, given a platform for conducting reconnais- can view and prepare for the future.
global weapons market, parallel tech- sance and surveillance. UAVs are It also provides a blueprint with
nology and decreasing costs asso- now weapon carriers. Armed UAVs which to leverage military forces and
ciated with high-tech digital systems. are smaller than manned counter- achieve effectiveness in joint opera-
A common fallacy is to interpret no parts and cheaper to operate. They tions. Its intent is to provide direc-
peer threat as no threat.18 In a also function as multirole aerial plat- tion to achieve joint, full-spectrum
Strategic Studies Institute Special Re- forms and can deliver weapons, pro- dominance through four operational
port, Earl H. Tilford Jr. says, Rather vide real-time intelligence, designate concepts: full-dimensional protec-
than facing a single, symmetrical targets, collect signal intelligence tion, dominant maneuver, focused
threat from a known enemy, as was and perform decoy, jamming and in- logistics and precision engage-
the case from 1946 until the end of formation-warfare functions. UAVs ment.23
the Cold War, the nation faces a can be used at high altitudes for Full-spectrum dominance entails
range of multidimensional and asym- long periods or at low altitudes for overpowering any adversary and
metrical threats.19 The array of short periods.22 During World War II, controlling a situation regardless of
100 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
the operation.24 The Concept for Fu- system of systems engages the air Operation Desert Storm. Subse-
ture Joint Operations states that fu- battle with a 24-hour, all-weather ra- quently, it exposed joint air defense
ture military trends will most likely dar that can detect low-radar cross- capability as being segmented by ser-
include WMD.25 WMD delivery section aerial targets and near-real vice and restricted by procedures and
platforms might well be ballistic and time automated C2 architecture that limited interoperability.
cruise missiles, which implies chal- provides situational awareness to JTAMDO also revealed a joint air
lenges to all JV2010 operational con- joint and combined forces. The C2 and missile defense system of sys-
cepts. system integrates horizontal and ver- tems that lacked a timely air picture
To achieve dominant maneuver tical air defense weapons, thereby and a universal combat identifica-
and precision engagement, com- enhancing situational awareness tion capability.29 Most alarming, find-
manders must have freedom of ac- and reducing fratricide. Stingers fired ings revealed joint weapons with
tion. Freedom of action suggests by individual soldiers or from wheeled ranges and rules of engagement that
full-dimensional protection, includ- or track vehicles can provide 24- could not satisfactorily meet threats
ing protection from asymmetric hour, shoot-on-the-move, mobile beyond 2010.
threats, across all phases of an op- protection for maneuver forces.26 The JTAMDO master plan in-
eration. A multilayered defense SHORAD has limitations. The cluded a single integrated air picture
against a range of threats requires forward area air defense (FAAD) (SIAP) that would allow participating
offensive and defensive actions command, control, communications units to observe the same digital air
such as theater-missile defense and and intelligence (C3I) system and battle. Engagement coordination
defensive counter-air operations. the ground-based sensor (GBS) rep- drastically improves when all ser-
Stretching military resources over resent a colossal step from the days vices see only one track for every
numerous missions throughout the of depending on binoculars for early airborne object. A complete, com-
world creates situations in which the warning and voice for tracking and mon and accurate air picture enables
US might not be able to maintain air updating the air battle. FAAD C3I a distributed fire control that can use
superiority. Fighters must be in the and GBS provide air surveillance, remote data to engage a target.30
area of concern to intercept low-fly- target acquisition and targeting in- Continuous, correctly correlated
ing cruise missilesafter receiving formation. GBS information receives tracks improve combat identification.
ample early warning and positive information from joint sensors then JTAMDO also seeks to improve
identification. The smaller the radar integrates the information so com- early identification and destruction
cross-sections of cruise missiles and manders can make timely battle- of aircraft and missile threats. Soon,
UAVs, the more challenging acquisi- management decisions. waiting until the target is visible
tion and combat identification are for SHORAD relies on identification, might be too late to engage. The
the pilot. This problem is further ex- friend or foe (IFF) or visual identifi- SIAP will keep identification on a
acerbated by issues such as the cation and does not include an un- track with a single joint force identi-
availability of sufficient airframes for cooperative target-recognition capa- fication.
offensive and defensive missions, bility. In 1995, the Office of the The next major hurdle is to de-
tankers for refueling operations, C2 Director of Operational Test and velop an integrated fire-control capa-
platforms and safe havens from Evaluation maintained that FAAD bility to allow weapons to fire using
ground and aerial threats. C3I and GBS were operationally suit- data another service sensor pro-
The capabilities of all services able. However, without enhanced vides. This fire-control net would
systems vary according to each combat identification, FAAD C3I reduce the effects of terrain on
aerial targets abilities. However, might be useful only in a self-de- ground- and sea-based sensors and
given a rapid-response requirement, fense role.27 Although positive re- allow engagements against low-fly-
initial-entry forces will rely on garding many operational tasks, the ing, low-radar-cross-section targets.
SHORAD to achieve full-dimen- evaluation did not address the ability Cruise missile and UAV defense
sional protection. Also, as opera- to positively identify a manned or un- lacks a common air picture, a reliable
tions become more nonlinear, forces manned threat as hostile or friendly combat identification (CID) system
will be isolated and subjected to a at a desirable range in difficult ter- and adequate airborne platforms to
host of aerial threats. These threats rain. be able to see low-flying threats. By
have lower radar cross-sections, are In 1996, DOD created the Joint 2010, SIAP benefits, CID and inte-
extremely maneuverable, require less Theater Air and Missile Defense Or- grated fire control will provide early,
logistics than manned airframes and ganization (JTAMDO) to improve long-range detection, continuous
are extremely difficult to destroy on joint air and missile defense and to tracking, long-range engagements,
the ground. SHORAD is easier to in- coordinate all DOD theater air and 360-degree capability and tactical
troduce into the theater, costs less missile defense activities.28 JTAMDO flexibility supported by less-restric-
and can be maneuvered with ground is the warfighters focal point for de- tive rules of engagement.
forces. veloping and validating joint air and Of all the joint air and missile de-
Current SHORAD force structure missile defense architectures and fense systems, SHORAD has the
includes a ground-based sensor, a operational concepts. Its initial as- most advanced C2 and reliability re-
C2 architecture and three platforms sessment sought to uncover short- garding a common air picture.
that fire surface-to-air Stingers. This falls in air and missile defense since SHORAD will significantly benefit
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 101
from improvements in CID and SIAP come more lethal, a longer-range launchers cloaked from aerial detec-
because SHORAD already fuses system is necessary. tion. UAVs, sending real-time infor-
joint sensors within the internal The Stinger is a reliable missile for mation to enemy forces equipped
ground-based-sensor net. SHOR- manned aircraft, but it lacks the with rocket artillery and short-range,
ADs shortfall will remain missile range and lethality to counter more precision ballistic missiles will target
range and the inability to engage sophisticated airborne threats. A soldiers and equipment. Ports and
short-range ballistic missiles. mobile, ground-based system with air bases abroad will be untenable
Future threats will include ballis- 360-degree coverage against all aerial because of attacks or threats of at-
tic and cruise missiles and UAVs. threats would be an appropriate fol- tack, and the US Navy will be forced
Equipped with WMD, these threats low-on system, which could be away from brown water by mines
will need to be engaged at ranges linked to an elevated sensor to gain and low-tech submarines denying
beyond the existing Stinger capabili- over-the-horizon engagements. deployed forces the Navys theater
ties. Currently, force developers are Also, the system should be able to ballistic-missile protection and
examining ways to engage beyond engage short-range ballistic missiles fighter support.
20 kilometers. Additional experiments and rocket artillery. Patriot forces will be overtasked
are being conducted on a suitable, Continued research and develop- protecting ports and coalition popu-
reliable and survivable airborne sen- ment on laser technology will even- lation centers, and the enemy will
sor for both acquisition and fire con- tually produce a lightweight, lethal, use dummy aerial threats to deplete
trol. ground-based laser capable of pro- Patriot and theater high-altitude air
JV2010 goals and the operational viding multiple inexpensive engage- defense missile inventories. Last, the
concepts leading to full-spectrum ments against all aerial threats. When threatened use of WMD on allied
dominance are at risk. The Air Force the SHORAD force brings antirocket nations might deny US entry and
cannot be all things for the joint capability to the maneuver formation, use of ports, air bases and safe ha-
force commander. Its decreasing its relevance will never again be vens.
force structure will challenge its abil- questioned. Cutting air defense out of the
ity to perform defensive and offen- Full-spectrum dominance requires Army division and relinquishing
sive air missions. Full-dimension pro- force protection against all aerial aerial protection of forward-de-
tection and dominant maneuver is a threats. Responsive, mobile, lethal ployed forces to the Air Force would
difficult task when the enemy can le- formations projected on hostile ter- generate casualties in future wars
verage cruise and ballistic missiles rain will need air and missile defense that would far exceed US tolerance.
and UAVs against forward-deployed to guarantee freedom of maneuver. The argument that air defense has
formations, C2 facilities, safe havens Maintaining the air defense battalion not shot down an aircraft since the
and logistics bases. in Army divisions must be a priority Korean War and that US air forces
Shinsekis vision to be on the when assessing the Armys force are the best in the world would not
ground quickly with a relevant com- structure for the 21st century. comfort the families of US casualties.
bat force requires deploying air and Change on the horizon requires
missile defense protection. The Pa- TheFutureWar tough decisions about force struc-
triot force is heavy and requires an All US intelligence projections ture and traditional roles and mis-
investment of strategic lift. As suggest that the future threat to for- sions. As the relevance of air de-
ground forces move to forward op- ward-deployed forces will not come fense in the division is debated,
erating bases, air and missile protec- from an armored vehicles main gun, Army leaders must consider aerial
tion should move forward also. but from the air. For over 50 years threats and the protection of for-
SHORAD can provide this protec- the United States has not been truly ward-deployed soldiers.
tion. Its force structure is suitable for tested from the air, and assessments
use against cruise missiles, UAVs of current capability point out weak- NOTES
and fixed- and rotary-wing threats. nesses in the US Armed Forces abil- 1. Eric K. Shinseki, Beginning the Next 100 Years,
Army (October 1999), 28.
However, as unmanned threats be- ity to perform joint air and missile 2. Ibid.
defense. 3. Earl H. Tilford Jr., National Defense into the 21st
Century: Defining Issues, Strategic Studies Institute
The proliferation of unmanned Special Report (6 June 1997), 8.
4. Ibid., 16.
platforms, commercial satellite imag- 5. Ralph Peters, Fighting for the Future: Will
Colonel Charles A. Anderson, America Triumph? (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books,
US Army, is brigade commander, ery and precision navigation will 1999), 22.
31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, change the nature of future wars, 6. Ibid.
7. Mark K. Megeehee, A Pocket History of Air De-
Fort Bliss, Texas. He received a B.S. which are as likely to be waged in fense Artillery (Washington, DC: US Government Print-
ing Office (GPO), date unknown), 14.
from the US Military Academy, an cities as on open plains and deserts. 8. Tilford, 18.
M.A. from Indiana University and In future wars, enemy C2 facilities 9. Richard A. Chilcoat, 1998 Strategic Assessment:
Engaging Power for Peace (Washington, DC: GPO),
is a graduate of the Command and might collocate with hospitals and 143.
General Staff College, the Armed 10. George J. Trent, Current and Projected National
Forces Staff College and the Army schools. Security Threats, statement to the US Senate Armed
Services Committee, February 1999, 1.
War College. He has served in Aerial platforms such as cruise 11. Henry H. Shelton, Joint Strategy Review (Wash-
various Army command and staff missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets ington, DC: GPO, 1998).
positions. and unmanned aerial platforms will 13. Tilford, 12.
14. Army Science and Technology Board, Commission
be projected into the sky from mobile on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Re-
102 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
search Council, Star 21: Strategic Technologies for the 19. Ibid., iii. 24. Ibid.
Army of the Twenty-First Century (Washington, DC: Na- 20. US General Accounting Office (GAO), Report to 25. Ibid., 9.
tional Academy Press, May 1992), 244. the Chairman, Subcommittee on Military Research and 26. US Army Air Defense Artillery School briefing, Air
15. Why Ballistic Missile Defenses? Ballistics Mis- Development, Committee on Armed Services, House of Defense Capabilities, Fort Bliss, Texas, 1999.
sile Defense Home Page, <www.acq.osd.mil/bmdo/ Representatives, Cruise Missile Defense: Progress 27. Department of Defense, Office of the Director, Op-
bmdolink/html/threat.html>, 8 October 1999. Made But Significant Challenges Remain (March 1999), erational Test and Evaluation, Forward Area Air Defense
16. Dennis M. Gormley, Hedging Against the Cruise 1.
Missile Threat, Survival (Spring 1998), International In- 21. Ibid., 3. Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence
stitute for Strategic Studies, <www.ceip.org/programs/ 22. Department of Army (DA), United States Army (FAAD C3I) and the Ground Based Sensor (GBS) Sys-
npp/gormley%20survival.htm>, 8 October 1999. Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan (Wash- tems (Washington, DC: GPO, October 1995), i-iii.
17. Stefan T. Passony and J.E. Pournelle, The Strat- ington, DC: GPO, 15 June 1999), 2-6. 28. GAO, i-iii.
egy of Technology: Winning the Decisive War (Cam- 23. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Concept for 29. Joint Theater and Missile Defense Organization,
bridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 37. Future Joint Operations: Expanding Joint Vision 2010 Joint Staff, Capabilities Briefing, 1999.
18. Tilford, 18. (Washington, DC: GPO, May 1997), 2. 30. Ibid.
Six Presidents and China
In 1950, because they feared an policy through Democratic and Re- curity adviser for China. Oksenberg
invasion of Manchuria, the Chinese publican administrations, Tyler ob- called Kissingers actions perfectly
Communists fought in the Korean serves that every US president since defensible and recommended that
War and suffered many thousands Richard M. Nixonwhatever his Carter maintain them.
of casualties. In 1962 the Peoples ideological stripe or predilection The book plunges into a narra-
Republic of China fought with India has ultimately engaged China simply tive of bureaucratic warfare inherent
to safeguard a route to Chinese because no other reasonable choice in the policy process. In every ad-
nuclear test sites free from potential was available. Tylers study defends ministration ambitious men battled
Russian interference. In 1979 China pragmatism in foreign policy. with and sought to undermine each
fought a short, violent border war Nixons achievement in opening other for control of US China policy.
with Vietnam that again resulted in China was more operational than Of necessity, the book plunges into
thousands of Chinese casualties. conceptual because using China as a narration of bureaucratic warfare.
This time China fought to express its a strategic counterbalance against One learns that Kissinger regarded
displeasure over Vietnams invasion the Soviet Union had long tanta- the US Department of State as a
of Cambodia. In 1996 this scenario lized US President Lyndon B. John- greater adversary than the Chinese.
was partially reenacted in the Taiwan son. Nixon longed for an opening He flattered Zhou Enlai, fawned over
Straits. No one can doubt Chinas to China, but international political Mao Zedong and curried favor with
willingness to go to war to defend conditions were not right. The Nixon. During Carters administra-
what it considers its vital interests. United States was embroiled in Viet- tion, National Security Adviser
Patrick Tyler, a former Beijing bu- nam, and China was in the throes of Zbigniew Brzezinski regarded Secre-
reau chief for The New York Times, the Cultural Revolution. Tylers de- tary of State Cyrus Vance as danger-
has written a contemporary investi- tailed examination of the ways ous to Carters interests and policy
gative history of the United States Nixon and National Security Ad- conceptions as the Soviets were. He
China policy titled A Great Wall: Six viser Henry Kissinger managed to devoted much time and energy trying
Presidents and China (New York: open China leaves out none of their to defeat Vance. President Ronald
Public Affairs Press, 1999, $27.50). faults and gives them the credit Reagans administration fared no bet-
The book is based on memoirs and they deserve. ter. The duel between Alexander Haig
archival research, declassified US Kissinger approached China with and his adversaries was as hard
government documents and exten- a unique mixture of fawning and ar- fought as the negotiations with the
sive interviews with policy makers. rogance. James Lilley, a CIA career Chinese.
With so much known about the officer and later an ambassador to If this account is to be believed,
policy-making process, it would China, describes Kissingers method: and there is no reason to doubt it,
seem impossible to add anything You embrace them, you make all the US foreign policy was determined
new to the already existing record. right statements about building more by timing and the ebb and flow
Tylers material is fuller on the US strong and genuine relations and all of events than by planning. Policies
side, but he tells as much as he can the while you run espionage opera- succeeded or failed because of exter-
about Chinese actions, detailing the tions against them. The soundness nal events neither side controlled.
complex and complicated story of of Kissingers secret understandings The Carter administration succeeded
recent Sino-American relations with with the Chinese emerged in a review in normalizing relations with China
clarity and dispatch. conducted by Michel Oksenberg, but not because its officials were
Tracing the shifts of US-China President Jimmie Carters national se- any smarter than their predecessors
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 103
were but because Carters tenure co- centrated on human rights. While over this secondary issue. How-
incided with Deng Xiaopings rise to trendy and fashionable, it was not ever, neither has fundamentally
power. Brzezinski is presented as a sensible. Abandoned as unwork- changed its position. In fact, the
fierce bureaucratic warrior and dis- able, its epitaph was uttered in 1993 United States and China now find
sembler eager to negotiate an agree- by US Ambassador to China J. themselves in a position where Tai-
ment that put a premium on decep- Stapleton Roy: If you look at the wan controls both countries poli-
tion and ambiguity. These diplomatic last 150 years since the Opium Wars, cies.
attributes allowed Chinese and US then you cant avoid the conclusion It would be tempting to attribute
negotiators to disagree while pub- that the last 15 years have been the the US position solely to the Repub-
licly insisting they agreed. best 15 years in Chinas modern his- lican right and the Taiwan lobbyas
One is left to wonder at the bu- the Chinese Communists doand
tory, and of those 15 years the last 2
reaucratic maneuvering in the sev- Chinas position on Taiwan to emo-
years are the best in terms of pros-
eral presidential administrations, but tional nationalismas some Ameri-
perity, individual choice, access to cans do. The reality is more and less
to recoil in horror or total disbelief outside sources of information, free-
would be a sterile, self-defeating re- complicated. China believes its na-
dom of movement within the coun- tional security depends on possess-
action. Instead, one should remember try and stable domestic conditions. ing the island. The United States be-
that the power struggle in Washing- When reporters asked Roy whether lieves its position in Asia depends
ton was minor-league when com- China could satisfy Clintons de- on brokering a peaceful resolution to
pared to the power struggle occur- mands for improved human rights, the problem. Events since 1972 have
ring in Beijing, where the personal he said he did not know because the aggravated and combined these stra-
stakes were much higher. administration had never defined tegic dilemmas. As Tyler shows, in-
If US policy makers did not dis- what it meant by significant pro- attention combined with realpolitik
play the naked self-interest they did gress. could lead to a war born out of mis-
and were not the ruthless bureau- In Clintons defense, it must be calculation.
cratic warriors they were, how could added that he eventually moved back
they have hoped to deal with the toward a more realistic China policy. Lewis Bernstein is Assistant
Chinese? In the end, success went But, according to Tyler, Clinton re- Command Historian, US Army
to those with the most developed, mained inattentive toward Chinese Combined Arms Center, Fort
focused, aggressive self-interest. Premier Zhu Rongjis overtures for a Leavenworth. He received a B.A.
Tyler emphasizes that distinctions in compromise on outstanding issues from Brooklyn College of the City
US China policy are not between that were preventing China from en- of New York, an M.A. from Penn-
Republicans and Democrats or liber- tering the World Trade Organization. sylvania State University and an
als and conservatives; they are be- This inattention, plus foreign policy M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the Univer-
tween those who had the rigorous initiatives created solely to satisfy sity of Kansas. He has been a
self-discipline to look at Sino-Ameri- internal political constituencies, was Fulbright fellow and taught East
can relations the way they were the primary characteristic of the and Southeast Asia history at The
Kansas City Art Institute, Brigham
evolving and those deluded by pre- Clinton administrations China policy.
Young University and Boise State
conceptions. The Taiwan issue has long been University. His reviews appear fre-
Tyler presents President Bill Clin- an irritant. China and the United quently in Military Review, Journal
ton as an unfocused president who States have consistently underesti- of Urban History, American Nep-
ignored his foreign policy, national mated Taiwans strategic importance tune, the Journal of Military His-
security and intelligence advisers. to the other. Tyler reveals that each tory and Pacific Historical Review.
He created a China policy that con- thought the other would compromise
Post-Cold War Priorities
Major John A. Nagl, US Army
Although the post-Cold War The Congressional Budget Office port for a larger defense budget.
world has changed the nature of estimates that the Department of Train wreck might be too gentle a
conflict, many argue that the US mili- Defense (DOD) requires an addi- description of the crisis the military
tary cannot adapt quickly enough. tional $30 to $50 billion a year to now faces.
The military is one-third smaller than maintain current force structure with- The National Intelligence Council
it was in 1990, and its budget is out any additional spending on Na- (NIC) does the Central Intelligence
about 30 percent lower. It now faces tional Missile Defense, which is Agencys deep, broad thinking. It
a shortfall significant enough to be President George W. Bushs top de- speaks authoritatively on substan-
described as a coming train wreck. fense priority. Yet, there is little sup- tive issues for the [Intelligence]
104 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
REVIEW E SSAY
Community as a whole.1 In Decem- Certain to be popular in the Washing- ways for DOD to save money on in-
ber 2000, the NIC released Global ton policy community, this book will frastructure:
Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the not make most military readers happy. l Close commissaries and DODDS
Future with Nongovernmental Ex- But, that does not mean it should schools.
perts.2 The report is an unclassified not be read. In fact, no one who l Privatize military housing in
estimate of the most likely threats the cares about the US militarys future the Continental United States.
United States will confront over the can avoid engaging with the argu- l Consolidate basic training
mid-term. It identifies demographics, ments presented. among all uniformed services.
natural resources and environmental The books thesis is that stuck in According to Williams, these rec-
concerns, science and technology, the Cold War pattern of force struc- ommendations would result in $10
globalization, national and interna- ture, organization, equipment and in- billion in annual savingsenough
tional governance, future conflicts frastructure, the US military has frit- to pay the Armys entire procurement
and the US role as major drivers and tered away a decade of opportunity bill for FY2000.13 While Williams
trends that will shape the world of to reshape itself for the future.8 The sees the political roadblocks in store
2015. The results are of great impor- chapter authors propose changes for her proposals, she argues that if
tance to military planners. they feel DOD could adapt to its vi- DOD has to choose between giv-
The NIC suggests that for at least sion of the post-Cold War world ing up infrastructure and reducing
the next 15 years the risk of war while avoiding the coming budget its force structure and moderniza-
among developed countries will be impasse. tion goals, then $10 billion in infra-
low. 3 However, the developing Cindy Williams, who until re- structure savings might be worth
world will see substantial conflict, cently led the National Security Di- fighting for.14
ranging from relatively frequent vision of the Congressional Budget After chapters analyzing the lim-
small-scale internal upheavals to less Office, is the books editor. She is ited savings that might be gained by
frequent regional interstate wars. . . . not afraid to take on the defense reducing US spending on nuclear
Internal conflicts stemming from reli- establishments sacred cows. Her weaponsbrilliantly titled The
gious, ethnic, economic or political January 2000 Washington Post opin- Hunt for Small Potatoesand ask-
disputes will remain at current levels ion piece, Our GIs Earn Enough, ing European allies to improve their
or even increase.4 These conflicts caused a firestorm.9 But, this is not capabilities, comes the most interest-
will not present a substantial US na- a book written by liberals or crack- ing part of the book for military read-
tional security threat. Because of the pots. The authors are highly re- ers. The authors suggest force-struc-
overwhelming US military superiority spected security professionals who ture changes that would shift the
over the developing world, most fu- do not believe that the US Armed balance of power among the armed
ture adversaries will try to circum- Forces have adapted to the sort of services.
vent or minimize US strengths and ex- challenges they will likely face. The current allocation of re-
ploit perceived weaknesses. . . . Such The authors are not decision- sources among the services has re-
asymmetric approacheswhether makers but advise congressmen on mained amazingly steady for the
undertaken by states or nonstate ac- defense budget decisions. They ar- past 35 years25 percent for the
torswill become the dominant gue that it makes no sense to revert Army, 31 percent for the Navy and
characteristic of most threats to the to Cold War levels of defense spend- 25 percent for the Air Force. This al-
US homeland.5 ing [when] threats to national secu- location might no longer be appropri-
The NIC hedges its bet that the rity are as low as they are today, ate in the post-Cold War world.
United States will not face a more se- particularly when the United States Owen Cote, Karl Mueller and James
rious threat than states of concern is marching into the new century Quinlivan suggest strategies and
like North Korea or Iraq. But, it admits, with forces designed for the old force structures that place more em-
[E]stimates of China beyond five one.10 They adhere to this point te- phasis on Navy, Air Force and Army
years are fraught with unknowables.6 naciously. contributions to future US security
The reports clear conclusion is that Lawrence Korb, Assistant Secretary needs. Their recommendations de-
asymmetric conflict and US interven- of Defense under President Ronald mand attention.
tion in failed or failing states are far Reagan, suggests that the FY2000 In Buying From the Sea . . . ,
more likely than conventional armed budget of $300 billion should be more Cote suggests that the major theater
conflicts for which US Armed Forces than adequate to safeguard US inter- wars of the future are likely to occur
are primarily organized, trained and ests in the world.11 He also feels that along the worlds littorals and that
equipped. throwing more money at the Penta- future US access to ports and air-
The reports conclusions provide gon would legitimize the failure of its fields is likely to diminish. This
a starting point for the authors of leaders to come to grips with the would require more emphasis on the
Holding the Line: U.S. Defense Alter- post-Cold War world.12 After that Navys ability to operate without
natives for the Early 21st Century.7 cheery beginning, Williams suggests fixed bases overseas. He argues that
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 105
the Navy does not need more ships division and six National Guard divi- not. But, readers who believe that
to accomplish its missions but sions. He would create seven IBCTs President George W. Bushs admin-
should use existing nuclear missile from four AC brigades and from istration is unlikely to heed these
submarines to carry conventional three National Guard enhanced sepa- recommendations have not studied
guided missiles. Cote would free up rate brigades (ESB). He would retain budget realities or the lessons of
defense dollars for the conversion the Armys four light divisions but history. Traditionally, Republican
by canceling the F-22, Comanche convert three heavy National Guard presidents have been fiscal conser-
and Crusader and by eliminating the ESBs to armored carrier units built vatives unwilling to spend large
82d Airborne Division, the 101st Air from mechanized infantry battalions. sums on defense. In fact, during the
Assault Division, 18th Airborne Doing so would provide more sur- early 1950s, Army Chief of Staff Mat-
Corps Headquarters, all eight Army vivability, lethality and firepower to thew Ridgway resigned in protest at
National Guard divisions, and one light forces. President and former General Dwight
National Guard and two Active Com- Quinlivan would keep the D. Eisenhowers cuts in the Armys
ponent (AC) F-16 wings. He would Comanche but eliminate the Cru- force structure under the New
also convert the 10th Mountain and sadersomething on which all the Look defense policy.19
25th Infantry into interim brigade authors agree. He feels that DOD The authors of Global Trends
combat teams (IBCTs). He says that could save more money by eliminat- 2015 justify the argument that a new
light Army divisions, and the air- ing two aircraft carriers. Quinlivans look at defense policy is warranted.
borne and air assault divisions in argument is based largely on the as- The authors of Holding the Line
particular, make no sense in either sumption that the United States will outline a new defense policy. Both
the near or the longer term security continue to engage in smaller-scale sources should be read by defense
environment.15 contingencies with boots on the leaders responsible for structuring
Muellers Flexible Power Projec- ground. These missions, which the the US military for the demands of
tion for a Dynamic World: Exploiting Army accepts unenthusiastically, are the post-Cold War world.
the Potential of Air Power contin- the only hope the Armys advocate
ues the assault on Army force struc- can find for preserving Army force NOTES
1. National Intelligence Agency, Global Trends 2015:
ture. Mueller argues that techno- structure in the 21st century. A Dialogue About the Future with Nongovernmental Ex-
logical changes of the late twentieth The book concludes with a sum- perts, Publications and Reports, <www.cia.gov>, De-
cember 2000, 7.
century, together with the strategic mary of each authors conclusions. 2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., 20.
conditions of the early twenty-first, Noting that the current two-major- 4. Ibid.
provide the opportunity to use the theater-wars (MTW) strategy is not 5. Ibid., 22.
6. Ibid., 24.
increased potential of land-based air producing the capabilities needed 7. Cindy Williams, ed, Holding the Line: U.S. Defense
Alternatives for the Early 21st Century (Cambridge, MA:
power to provide some of the capa- for the challenges that the military The MIT Press, February 2001).
bilities for which the United States faces [and will continue to face] in 8. Ibid., 8.
9. Williams, Our GIs Earn Enough, Washington
has traditionally relied on land and the future, Williams argues that Post (12 January 2000), A19.
10. Williams, Holding the Line, 2.
naval forces.16 He would eliminate such a strategy no longer makes 11. Ibid., 54.
two AC heavy divisions and reduce sense.18 The US should: 12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., 77.
each of the National Guards eight l Increase readiness for smaller- 14. Ibid.
15. Ibid., 171.
divisions to one independent bri- scale contingencies while assigning 16. Ibid., 225.
17. Ibid., 227.
gade. He would eliminate two 82d a lower priority to preparing for the 18. Ibid., 256.
Airborne brigades and one 101st Air second MTW. 19. Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War: A
History of United States Military Strategy and Policy
Assault brigade. The two remaining l Hold defense spending con- (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1973), 418-
light divisions would become IBCTs. stant in real dollars for the next de-
Muellers underlying philosophy is cade.
that for the scenarios that are plau- l Cut infrastructure. Major John A. Nagl is an armor
sible in the coming decade, the total l Reduce and reshape conven- officer at Fort Riley, Kansas. He re-
combat capability of the US Army is tional force structure by cutting a ceived a B.S. from the US Military
less important than is the amount of number of National Guard and AC Academy, an M.Phil and a D.Phil
capability that can be deployed rea- Army divisions. from Oxford University and an
sonably quickly.17 l Eliminate at least one aircraft M.M.A.S. from the Command and
Quinlivan defends the Armys carrier and remove at least two Air General Staff College. He has
served in various command and
honor in the face of this onslaught. Force wings.
staff positions in the United States,
But, according to several authors I l Severely reduce or cut entirely
Southwest Asia and Germany and
have talked with recently, his is the purchases of the Crusader, has taught international relations
hardest argument to support. In Comanche, F-22, the Joint Strike and national security studies at the
Flexible Ground Forces, Quinlivan Fighter and the F/A-18E. US Military Academy.
would stand down one AC heavy Christmas this most decidedly is
106 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE conflict. Military professionals must ward for La Patria.
SACRED: Religion, Violence, and address root causes and move to- The book is worthwhile for re-
Reconciliation, R. Scott Appleby, ward a vision of the future. While search value alone. It has a compre-
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Boulder, military professionals will never have hensive bibliography of more than
CO, 2000, 429 pages, $65.00. the credibility to foster reconciliation 500 works, yet it remains enjoyable
Violence that ends without recon- that community-based religious orga- and easy to read. It is a must for any-
ciliation will not lead to permanent nizations have, they can facilitate the one having dealings with Latin
peace. Religious organizations, process. Therefore, they should un- American militaries.
rooted in local traditions and culture, derstand how vital reconciliation is, LCDR Al Musgrove, USN,
offer the greatest hope for reconcili- how it occurs and which actors Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
ation between warring factions. The might best bring it about.
pivotal roles for external organiza- MAJ Andrea Crunkhorn, USA,
tions are identifying the credible re- Monument, Colorado STONEWALL JACKSON: A Life
ligious organizations and training Portrait, K.M. Kostyal, Taylor Publish-
them as national mediators in con- ing Company, Dallas, TX, 1999, 214
flict transformation and reconcilia- FOR LA PATRIA: Politics and the pages, $29.95.
tion. Armed Forces in Latin America, Brian On the night of 1 May 1863, Tho-
Reconciliation is the end point of Loveman, Scholarly Resources Inc., mas J. Stonewall Jackson was mor-
a process of finding facts, identify- Wilmington, DE, 1999, 331 pages, tally wounded by friendly fire. The
ing perpetrators, paying reparations, $23.95. statement, Jackson is dead, caused
healing memories and offering and In Latin America La Patria means a collective shudder across the Con-
accepting forgiveness. Religious more than ones country. It encom- federate States of America.
activists are committed to peace passes a community, a culture, a ter- The Confederacys top two gen-
and reconciliation with enemies. ritory and, most of all, a spiritual prin- eralsRobert E. Lee and Jackson
Religious extremists are committed ciple. For Latin American militaries, were trained at West Point and
to reconciliations defeat by any service to La Patria is more than de- served in the Mexican War. During
means. fending the nation against all exter- the first two years of the Civil War,
In The Ambivalence of the Sa- nal and internal threats. They view Leethe master plannerand Jack-
cred, B. Scott Appleby expands the their roles to be above changing sonhis able executorbecame an
definitions associated with religious threats and enemies. They are the invincible fighting team. Jacksons
organizations and clarifies the roles ultimate defendersthe essence of untimely death was a heavy blow to
they play in national politics, conflict La Patriawilling to take whatever the Confederate cause. Months later
and peace. Because they are already action is needed to protect their Lee lamented, If I [would have] had
part of the community, religious or- land. Stonewall Jackson at Gettysburg, I
ganizations have great credibility In For La Patria, Brian Loveman would have won that fight.
and legitimacy in conflict transforma- builds a strong case for this interpre- In Stonewall Jackson: A Life
tion. Their roles in reconciliation in- tation of Latin American armed Portrait, K.M. Kostyal takes a fresh
clude conflict resolution, conflict forces. His systematic use of history look at the legendary Confederate
management and structural reforma- is far more rigorous than any anec- lieutenant general. Drawing from ar-
tion. But, they also must translate dotal evidence. From his discussion chival and period photographs and
the religious language of reconcilia- of Iberian colonial influence, through illustrations, and supporting them
tion into a human-rights discourse European and North American influ- with an easy-to-read, understandable
and a broad picture of hope and ences in the 19th and 20th centuries, text, Kostyal assembles Jacksons life
peace that appeal to all sides. Appleby he tells the logical story of this de- portrait. Jackson was careless in ap-
thoroughly supports his thesis. He veloping mindset. Lovemans follow- pearance, eccentric in habits, devout
establishes clear definitions, argues on discussion applying this idea to in religion and cause and heroic in
powerfully for reconciliation and the 21st-century world environment battle. Jacksonthe man and leg-
clearly delineates the legitimacy that is noteworthy. There is no reason to endlooms large through the mag-
religious activists who pursue it al- think that this driving reason for be- nifying glass of history.
ready enjoy. ing will change among Latin Ameri- Although Civil War scholars will
Military professionals work with can armed forces. It will, however, find little that is new, this deeply
crises around the globe, including continue to develop in new ways as moving collection of Jackson imag-
those that involve centuries of con- new missions appear. And, in what- ery honors the memory of a great
flict. Interposing armed forces be- ever actions arise, Latin American military mind. No one with an inter-
tween factions will not solve the armed forces will assuredly go for- est in Jackson or the Civil War can
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 107
afford to ignore this book. It pro- from the centrality of supply and de- Stokes argues that Chinas quest
vides valuable insight into how Jack- mand to the perceived certainty that for strategic modernization is driven
son learned the art of war. official and unofficial forces within by its emerging doctrine, which em-
LTC Glenn E. Gutting, USAR, societies are committed antidrug ac- phasizes strategic attack against the
Fayetteville, Arkansas tivists. Competing and winning most critical enemy targets. Much of
against these assumptions are four this has been influenced by Chinas
principle advantages narcotraffickers Gulf War Syndrome caused by
leverage to their benefit: the develop- the enormous US success, at least at
ment of anarchy, the globalization operational and tactical levels, which
and politicization of organized crime, has awakened Chinese leaders to
the globalization of international fi- the preeminence of air power, long-
nance, and the potential of narcotics range precision strike and informa-
trafficking as an instrument of state tion-based warfare.
power. Stokes extensively cites Chinese
While essential and relevant, this sources that cover PLA military
book is difficult to read. Many of the space and directed-energy weapon
most important facts are hidden development. He also supports
within wider political theory. But, claims with his experience as the as-
Jordons message is essential in sistant air attaché in Beijing from
the current operational environ- 1992 to 1995. He provides a bal-
ment. He underscores the critical anced analysis and refrains from
and comprehensive security threat painting too rosy a picture of Chinas
that narcotrafficking poses. He also modernization effort. He points out
outlines a way allied and US policy- the obstacles that could complicate
makers could move forward. Chinas ability to modernize the PLA,
DRUG POLITICS: Dirty Money and MAJ Nathan P. Freier, USA, including budgetary constraints,
Democracies, David C. Jordan, Univer- Fort Leavenworth, Kansas technological overloads and the dif-
sity of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1999,
ficulties of integrating systems ac-
288 pages, $24.95.
quired from different sources.
David C. Jordans Drug Politics CHINAS STRATEGIC MODERN- Perhaps Stokess greatest contri-
comprehensively treats the troubling IZATION: Implications for the bution is his illumination of a pos-
connections between the global nar- United States, Mark A. Stokes, Strate- sible blind spot in conventional
cotics industry and power centers in gic Studies Institute, US Government analysis of the PLA. By highlighting
national and international politics. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999, the PLAs strategic modernization,
Jordan asserts that narcotraffickers 229 pages, out of print. which is often overlooked, Stokes
core strength is the ability to subvert Credit Mark A. Stokes for provid- warns that the PLA is a significant
legitimate organs of state power ing an alternative view to the con- force. Still, he cautions against over-
within target societies. That ability, ventional portrayal of the Peoples reaction.
coupled with the globalization of Republic of China Peoples Libera- While providing evidence of
capital markets and organized crime, tion Army (PLA) as a backward con- PLAs strategic modernization,
makes narcotrafficking the worlds tinental force. Stokes posits that the Stokes falls short of qualitatively as-
most influential and pervasive crimi- PLA is poised to make significant sessing how well the US military can
nal enterprise. progress in its long-range precision counter such capability, particularly
Jordan sees current counter- strike capabilities and aerospace de- if both sides square off over Taiwan.
narcotics policy as predestined to fense, primarily backed by the quest Overall, Stokess well-supported, ex-
fail. Policymakers ignore the funda- for information dominance. The tensively documented and balanced
mental character of the illegal nar- United States must not underesti- study contributes a significant new
cotics industry, preferring to apply a mate Chinas ability to make revolu- facet to the analysis of the PLAs ca-
simplistic, liberal, economic template tionary breakthroughs in areas key to pabilities.
to what is a more comprehensive achieving its goals. MAJ Terry M.M. Siow,
sociopolitical problem. Conventional Stokes supports his thesis with Singapore
counternarcotics strategy relies nar- substantive evidence and sound rea-
rowly on limiting the supply and de- soning. His extensive investigation
mand of illicit narcotics. In doing so, traces Chinas technological devel- LEGACY OF HONOR: The Life of
policymakers ignore the roots that opments in indigenous defense in- Rafael Chacon, A Nineteenth-
narcotraffickers weave into the so- dustries that point toward an ag- Century New Mexican, Jacqueline
cial, political and financial structures gressive quest for information Dorgan Meketa, Yucca Tree Press, Las
of producer and client societies. dominance, credible long-range pre- Cruces, NM, 2000, 456 pages, $19.00.
Jordan points out the fallacies in cision strike capabilities and aero- Almost all memoirs written by sol-
prevailing assumptions, which range space defense. diers and officers of the frontier US
108 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
BOOK R EVIEWS
never fully fluent in English, Chacon smashes it with intellectual prose,
contributed more to his adopted which convinces me that Ford might
country than most born with far have known cars but not history.
greater advantages. MAJ John K. Tien, USA,
MAJ Peter Molin, USA, Cypress, California
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
THE SECRET WAR AGAINST
THE EMERGING STRATEGIC HANOI, Richard H. Shultz Jr.,
ENVIRONMENT: Challenges of the HarperCollins Publishers, NY, 1999, 394
Twenty-First Century, Williamson pages, $27.50.
Murray, ed., Praeger Publishers, Westport, In The Secret War Against
CT, 1999, 320 pages, $59.95. Hanoia superb history of US op-
The Emerging Strategic Envi- erations against North VietnamRi-
ronment: Challenges of the Twenty- chard H. Shultz Jr. provides the first
First Century contains relevant, comprehensive look at this extensive
timely essays about the strategic di- adjunct to the Vietnam War. The ac-
rections of Europe and the Middle tions and activities chronicled con-
Army in the 19th century are worthy East as well as how the US military stitute the largest, most complex US
for their literary merit and descrip- is dealing with what many people covert operation since World War II.
tions of Army service. Legacy of believe is a revolution in military af- Shultzs research is supported by re-
Honor continues that tradition, with fairs. Editor Williamson Murray be- cently declassified top-secret docu-
a twist. Major Rafael Chacon wrote lieves strategic thinkers should re- ments. He also interviewed senior
his memoirs in Spanish and tells the ally be focusing on Europe, which in government policymakers and those
little-known story of the Spanish- this case extends to Russia, and the actually involved in the operations.
speaking units and soldiers who Middle Eastnot Asiaas the stra- The organization was established
served on the Union side during the tegic fulcrum for the worlds strate- in Saigon to plan and conduct secret
Civil War. Jacqueline Dorgan Meketa gic balance. operations under its cover name
translates Chacons prose and adds The essays regional and country- the Studies and Observations
significant commentary, notes, maps specific writers showcase changes Group (SOG). Its membership in-
and pictures. in European foreign-policy attitudes cluded representatives from all the
Chacon witnessed the downfall since the end of the Cold War. Al- services and the CIA. SOG evolved
of Mexican sovereignty in New though many of the essayists point from President John F. Kennedys
Mexico and the coming of the Ameri- to economics as key to the emerging dissatisfaction with the CIAs guer-
cans. In true 19th-century fashion, strategic environment, their unwill- rilla operations against North Viet-
he lived a varied life, working as a ingness to see economic globaliza- nam. He gave the responsibility to
rancher, farmer, trader, scout, miner, tion by way of China, Japan and the the Department of Defense, where
clerk, lawyer and holder of many po- rest of Asia is mystifying consider- SOG operated under the direction of
litical offices both before and after ing the current economic power and the Pentagons Special Operations
the Civil War. Born in 1833, his life potential of those countries. Still, by Group.
extended long into the 20th-century. focusing on countries linked by his- SOG had four core missions:
Of greatest interest to the military tory and land mass, the writers offer training and inserting agent teams
reader is Chacons account of his provocative, useful alternatives to and deception programs; conduct-
time as a company commander in the some of the worlds most vexing ing psychological warfare; maintain-
1st Infantry Regiment, New Mexico problems. ing maritime operations against the
Volunteers, during the Civil War. The book also gives military pro- North Vietnamese coast; and dis-
Among other duties, he led his com- fessionals the opportunity to peer rupting activities along the Ho Chi
pany in the Battle of Valverdethe into the soul of a true strategic Minh Trail. How these core missions
biggest battle of the war fought in thinkerMurray himself. His 23- were planned, supported and carried
New Mexico Territory. The regiment page introduction weaves history out constitutes the heart of the
escorted Arizonas first territorial and philosophy into a conclusion book.
governor into the region and partici- that is both interesting and impor- The secondary storylessons
pated in numerous engagements tant. He closes with a too-short for the futureinvolves the politics
with hostile Indians. afterword that attempts to answer of how SOG was directed and used;
Although Chacon certainly suf- the questions of why we do what the restrictions under which it oper-
fered prejudicial behavior from Anglo we do in the military and how the ated; its manning; and military atti-
subordinates and superiors, Legacy 21st century might change this. tudes toward these types of opera-
of Honor demonstrates that he re- A historian of the highest order, tions, particularly the Armys. These
ceived much praise for his service, Murray clearly believes the art of lessons provide valuable guidelines
especially from his immediate supe- looking back is key to looking for- for how not to do things in the fu-
rior, the famous explorer Colonel ward. He uses industrialist Henry ture.
Christopher Kit Carson. Although Fords history is bunk quote then This book publicly acknowledges
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 109
the sacrifice of the thousands of disagree that the term is a good de- If a historian should read docu-
people involved and contributes tre- scriptor, but I believe Winschel is ments until he can hear the people
mendously to Vietnam War literature. the first to use it. speak, J.Y. Wong has been reading
All military and civilians in covert- Also, the description of locating and listening. In this lengthy, well-
operations roles should read this the USS Cairo fails to credit the ma- written, revisionist work he explores
book. jor contributor to the effortWarren some of the reasons nations go to
LTC John Hardaway, USA, Graubau. Graubau, a retired US Army war and describes imperialism in a
Retired, Leavenworth, Kansas Corps of Engineer civilian employee specific context from multiple view-
in the Vicksburg district, has been points. Long used as an epithet, few
long overlooked and neglected for have attempted to depict imperialism
VICKSBURG: Fall of the Confeder- his substantial contributions to the as a historical phenomenon in spe-
ate Gibraltar, Terrence J. Winschel, discovery of the Cairo. cific contexts. Drawing on years of
McWhiney Foundation Press, Abilene, On the plus side, the books maps research, Wong places this small
TX, 1999, 168 pages, $12.95. are fully sufficient for a general un- war in its British, Indian and Chinese
For a conflict that lasted only four derstanding of events, and for those context, highlighting mutual misun-
years and occurred 135 years ago, who are beginning a study of the derstanding, arrogance and xeno-
the American Civil War has Vicksburg Campaign, this is a great phobia.
spawned a publication industry. primer. I also highly recommend it to Wong chronologically narrates
Terry J. Winschels Vicksburg: Fall students who are planning to visit events then analyzes issues. He
of the Confederate Gibraltar, is an- Vicksburg. places primary responsibility for the
other welcomed addition, although I LTC Edwin L. Kennedy Jr., USA, wars outbreak directly on British
rate his book as a good text for a be- Retired, Leavenworth, Kansas consul Harry Parkes and Sir John
ginner or novice. Bowring, the plenipotentiary in
Winschel does an excellent job of Hong Kong. Chinese obduracy on
covering a major campaign with just diplomatic representation in Beijing
enough detail to make sense, but maddened the British government.
several points will raise military read- Yet, this was only one issue con-
ers antennae. Winschel identifies nected with upholding British impe-
only two of three levels of warthe rial prosperity and expansion. The
tactical and strategic. The intermedi- war connected domestic politics to
ate, operational level is post-Vietnam the politics of opium, cotton and
US military vocabulary taxonomy. In teathe pillars of British prosperity.
Wong shows how the British pre-
this book it would have been useful
pared an alliance against China be-
to differentiate it from the strategic fore the Arrow incident and how the
level to provide an understanding of need to safeguard diplomatic, strate-
how Union General Ulysses S. Grant gic and economic power led to a se-
developed his plan in complemen- ries of wars against the Chinese,
tary stages. Sikhs, Russians and army mutineers
One glaring inaccuracy is Win- in India. He restores the wars role
schels discussion of the 13th Infan- as an equilibrium mechanism, believ-
try shoulder patch. The designation ing that while economic and political
First at Vicksburg is an honor, al- DEADLY DREAMS: Opium, Impe- questions are important, Great Power
though I consider this dubious be- rialism and the Arrow War (1856- political conflicts are fundamentally
cause the unit was repulsed! It is not 1860) in China, J.Y. Wong, Cambridge about power.
worn on any US Army patch. The University Press, New York, 542 pages, In the mid-19th century, British
13th Infantry has not been a separate $69.95. imperial power rested on Indian rev-
regimental organization for well over The Arrow War is an important enues, which depended on revenue
50 years and even then it was not event in 19th century Anglo-Chi- from the opium monopoly. Part of
worn as a regimental shoulder patch. nese relations, but scholars have Britains economic problems, which
The slogan is located on the regi- never placed it in a satisfactory his- many scholars trace solely to domes-
mental colors, as is the custom of torical framework. Most view it as a tic causes, might have come from the
regimental mottoes, and it is also lo- part of the attempt to force China to post-1885 growth of Chinese opium
cated on the distinctive unit insignia. accept Western norms in foreign re- production and its deleterious effect
Another oddity is that Winschel lations. Marxists interpret the war on Indian revenue. Everyone who
cites Grants turning movement from according to the evil nature and in- wants to understand the connec-
Port Gibson to Vicksburg as having nate rapacity of Western imperialism. tions between internal politics, diplo-
often been referred to as the blitz- This interpretation fits nicely into macy, strategy and economics
krieg of the Vicksburg campaign. I Chinese preconceptions and empha- should read this book.
am relatively well versed on the cam- sizes the differences between a cul- Lewis Bernstein, Assistant
paign and have only seen the phrase ture steeped in the rule of law and Command Historian, Fort
used oncein this book. I do not one steeped in the rule of virtue. Leavenworth, Kansas
110 July-August 2001 l MILITARY REVIEW
BOOK R EVIEWS
their lifetimes fade in reputation personal diaries, opened in 1998, give
once they pass from the scene. Oth- insight into what Eisenhower really
ers grow in stature. Eisenhowers thought as opposed to what he re-
fame has passed through these vealed publicly. For example, he
stages. He was a respected general, made claims that neither known facts
beloved president and a leader in cri- nor his diaries support, such as his
sis. He was esteemed as a military claim that he was a great proponent
hero but reviled by scholars. Not of armor and willing to take risks. In
surprisingly, there are few objective reality, at the moment risks appeared,
views of Eisenhower. he backed off. When confronted
Perrets Eisenhower emerges as a with difficult situations, he often
real man with all of a real mans compromised his beliefs to advance
foibles. Perret makes no claim that his career.
Eisenhower was a brilliant general or The chapters on Eisenhowers
a brilliant president. Instead, he por- political career are the most useful
trays Eisenhower as a good theater for readers intensely interested in
commander and a good and active military history. Eisenhower led the
EISENHOWER, Geoffrey Perret, Ran- president. way to Soviet containment during
dom House, New York, 1999, 685 pages, Eisenhower was self-effacing but NSC 68. Such massive retaliation
$35.00. possessed an enormous ego, which was pure Eisenhower. Massive re-
General Dwight D. Eisenhower is not surprising to those of us who taliation in practice means first strike,
has long been a favorite of biogra- have served with senior officers. He which explains a great deal about
phers. He is perceived as a hero and had a sense of who he was and the Eisenhowers less-than-enthusiastic
a good president. Geoffrey Perret import of his position, yet he tried to support of Army positions during
does Eisenhower justice without remain Ike of Abilene, Kansas. his tenure. Eisenhowers diminution
succumbing entirely to the legend. Perret ably navigates the rocks and of the Army in the 1950s infuriated
Eisenhower certainly achieved shoals of this complex yet uncompli- his old friends and subordinates. He
legendary status in his own lifetime, cated mans life. made decisions without regard to
but not without critics. Some men Perret also brings new scholar- old loyalties but also without malice
who are perceived as great during ship to the story. Previously closed or romance.
Some readers will find Perret insuf-
ficiently critical of Eisenhower. How-
ever, the book is a well-balanced ac-
count of a man who is deservedly
among the pantheon of great Ameri-
AccessingPastMRIssues Choose the year in which the article cans.
Q. I really enjoyed James B. you wish to see appears. When you COL Gregory Fontenot, USA,
Patricks review essay, A War To find the article you wish to read or Retired, Lansing, Kansas
Be Won in the May-June 2001 is- download, click on the .pdf icon at
sue of Military Review. One foot- the left of the underlined title. NOTE:
note referred to Colonel Dan Bolgers You will need to download the Ado- DISTORTING DEFENSE: Network
Military Review article, Zero De- be Acrobat Reader to access the ar- and National Security, Stephen P.
fects, from the May 1991 issue. Is ticles available for free download. Aubin, Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT,
there a way to access Bolgers article 1999, 262 pages, $62.95.
electronically? Editor’sNote The ability of major US networks
Colonel Jim Danley, USA, In GPS Vulnerabilities by LTC
Thomas K. Adams (Military Re- to report significant events fairly, ac-
US Central Command, MacDill curately and objectively is a topic of
Air Force Base, Tampa, FL view, March-April 2001), the last
sentence on page 11 should read: great debate. This is especially true
Since the FAA also intends to for reports pertaining to national de-
A. To access past issues, go to the fense and security. Given the role of
Center for Army Lessons Learned broadcast GPS correction via geo-
stationary satellites, worldwide air- evening newscasts as principle con-
(CALL) site at <http://leav-err.
army.mil/call.html>. Choose CALL lines will likely take advantage of this veyors of information, watchdogs
Database (Public Access). You highly accurate system for normal en and interpreters of government poli-
might have to click through two route navigation, collision avoidance cies, how accurately do they
warnings before getting to the next and airport ground navigation. present defense and security issues
page. Choose Military Review En- Also, the USAF does not invest to the public they serve? Do they
glish Edition. You can also access $600 million annually for commercial present these issues in the proper
MRs Portuguese and Spanish edi- tracking purposes; it maintains the context without distorting or omit-
tions at this site. GPS that private firms use. MR re- ting facts? Stephen D. Aubin says,
MRs archives go back to 1922. grets any confusion. No.
MILITARY REVIEW l July-August 2001 111
Aubins well-written book, Dis- Aubin attributes the high per- weapons and how industry pro-
torting Defense: Network and Na- centage of shortcomings to the duces them.
tional Security, should be read by medias narrow focus on scandals, Reasons why networks fall short
those who desire fully to compre- corruption and other sensational when covering such issues include
hend how much the CNN effect stories about the misuse of govern- correspondents lack of knowledge
affects US national defense and se- ment funds. These shortcomings and the need for brevity. Other prob-
curity. Targeting the day-to-day net- were noted throughout the presiden- lems include lack of balance, over-
work coverage of national security cies of Ronald Reagan and George emphasis on drama or bad news,
news, Aubin finds that reporters of- Bush. Networks told of the govern- loaded labeling or advocacy and bad
ten violate basic journalistic stan- ment buying expensive, sophisti- news judgment. Aubin recommends
dards. After meticulously dissecting cated weapons that did not work; that networks remedy the situation
national-security news into 12 dis- kickbacks between defense compa- by giving greater attention to special-
tinct topics, he assesses each using nies and part suppliers; and signifi- ists, such as Pentagon correspon-
Society of Professional Journalists cant increases in costs during weap- dents, and avoiding using abbrevi-
standards. He critiques major net- ons systems development because ated reports by anchorpersons.
work news reports from identical time of mismanagement and improper At times, Aubin voices a strong
periods during selected years within charges. Networks seldom addressed personal opinion on investigated is-
four presidential administrations. He the defense budget in terms of pro- sues rather than allowing his well-
superbly supports his findings with curement; operations and personnel documented results to do the con-
concise, concrete examples of net- costs; capabilities of new weapons vincing. However, the book clearly
work coverage that clearly demon- systems and technology to support authenticates the problematic cover-
strate shortcomings. He then offers military strategy; and the acquisition age of defense and security news.
sound recommendations to correct and development processes that de- MAJ Vincent V. Quarles, USA,
patterns of problematic coverage. fine how the government buys new Sutherlin, Virginia
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