Over the course of history, the strategic environment has changed rapidly and is now more complex than ever before – it is currently characterized by unpredictability and disorder, and may yet manifest itself in the collapse of nuclear armed nations, destabilizing conflict in geo-politically vital regions, and humanitarian crises. A world of disparate actors – not all nation states – now exists. Unpredictable events will continue to cause strategic surprise. The widespread effects of past conflicts such as World War II, Vietnam and the Iraq war are still being felt and have created significant strategic repercussions. The failures of these conflicts are the result of our military and political leaders’ failure to quickly adapt to wartime conditions. This occurs because of a general refusal to commit to a military culture of learning that encourages serious debate, critical assessments of our military operations, and challenges to our doctrine in the face of emerging change. Additionally, leaders have struggled with the critical responsibility of forecasting and providing for a ready force, one that is well-resourced and prepared to conduct future operations. It is the responsibility of our military and political leaders to send our military to war with a ready force, and a strategy that will ultimately result in victory. But understanding war and warriors is critical if societies and governments are to make sound judgments concerning military policy.
However, this external trust has been fraying from the edges for many years – clear and realistic political strategy has been lacking from civilian leaders, a well-meaning yet disengaged public, and an insular military class that fails to organically adapt to emerging technologies. A clear and realistic political strategy determined by civilian leaders addresses the first leg of the strategic triad – government. It is said success begins at the top, with a cohesive vision and unified guidance. One doesn’t have to look further than the 2003 invasion of Iraq - then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed it would require no more than 150,000 troops to secure Iraq, despite the insistence of then Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki that it would take 300,000 troops, a number derived from his experience in Bosnia. (Mills, 2013) However, this detail overshadows the deeper implication – that civilian leaders were not planning for stability operations, or had a plan in place after the conventional phase of the war. The lack of guidance and vision from the nation’s strategic leaders make it extremely difficult, if not impossible for the military to effectively prosecute
Strategy is about the creation and allocation of right resources, to the right place, in the right way over time.
The U.S. Constitution provides power to the President and Congress to develop and enact national security policy (Ulrich, 1). As such our civilian leaders have the right and responsibility to maintain oversight of the military. Two civil-military relations theories, Normal and Clausewitzian, offer competing views. The Normal theory suggests officers are professionals and interference from civilian leaders is inappropriate (Cohen, 4). The Clausewitzian theory contends the statesman may inject himself in any aspect of military strategy since
Strategy is a set of complicated tactics formulated by the executives of a company directed towards the achievement of company’s goal (Salmela, 2002). It is about all the path ways that a company would follow to reach its ultimate goal. It is a company’s strategy which helps to identify what it does better than the other companies in the industries, which may be different from what it does best. For successful strategy formulation and implementation, a company should know the needs of customers and should have knowledge of its competitors. Through a good strategy a company would identify that opportunity which makes it different from the others (Thompson, 2005).
A strategy is said to be a plan that is made for the long term success of a product or brand. It is extremely important to have a strategy in order to figure out a direction towards which any company is able to focus all its resources efficiently and achieve desired outcomes. Formulating effective strategies is a considerably long process in itself that combines analysing several factors, situations and issues that are already present in a company and looking to improve on them alongside trying to implement various innovations and ideas to collectively create a direction towards which they can move and direct the resources available to them.
Originally influenced by the strategic events seen throughout the Napoleonic Wars in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the nine principles of war derived from the United States’ Army’s “Principles of War and Operations” outline a basic strategic guide on waging war. Shortly before the military adopted these guidelines, however, the United States of America saw civil unrest as the Southern states seceded to form the Confederate States of America. As the Union Army of the North battled the Confederate Army of the South, strategic principles similar to those outlined in the U.S. Army’s doctrine began to appear on the battlefield. Although the armies of the Union and the Confederacy both utilized strategic elements outlined in the United States’ Army’s “Principles of War and Operations”, the Union army’s stricter adherence to certain strategic principles resulted in their ultimate success.
2. Facts. The United States military forces has evolved to meet the challenges brought on by the military operations is has been involved in. The concept of being able to seize and exploit in order to gain and maintain a position of control over the enemy is the new Army’s doctrine known as unified land operations. This evolution is a product of a previous operating concept. The concept known as AirLand Battle from 1982 was the U.S. Army’s strategy to focus on winning war. AirLand Battle doctrine was effective in achieving the commander’s goals by imposing our will upon the
In response to the September 11th attacks, the United States launched the Global War on Terrorism, invading both Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite these wars and the necessity for post-conflict stability operations, military leadership, including the Secretary of Defense, had neither desired nor trained its personnel to effectively conduct stability operations, which require effective interagency collaboration. Failing to effectively leverage interagency capabilities during the early phases of the 2003 Iraq War at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels prolonged the achievement of the U.S. military’s objective—transferring power to the Iraqis.
The transregional, multi-domain, and multi-functional (TMM) environment we face today requires strategic direction and guidance from the President (POTUS), Secretary of Defense (SecDef), and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) to allow the Combatant Commander (CCDR) of the United States European Command (USEUCOM) to employ his Theater Campaign Plan (TCP) across the conflict continuum. In the following paragraphs, the above statement will be supported by the USEUCOM CCDR’s operational approach of developing broad strategic and operational concepts into specific mission tasks to show his TCP is linked to and supports U.S. national interests. To do so, examples of U.S. strategic guidance documents incorporated within the linkage will be presented. Lastly, a current engagement activity that is linked to a U.S. national interest in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey (GAAT) will be discussed to express the range of military operations USEUCOM faces.
Political leaders and civilian advisors usually rely on senior military leaders’ advice and inputs when it comes to use of force. One of many best examples can be General Colin Powell’s well calculated and timely request of sending an extra corps to the Gulf, which eventually helped President Bush and the United States as a whole to achieve national strategic objectives in the first Gulf War . His recommendation to use overwhelming force with definite and attainable objective, and clear exit strategy in that circumstance proved to be the most influencing factor to enable the U.S. led coalition’s swift success . Take away from his brilliant advice to political leaders is that senior military leaders must possess extensive knowledge on military strategy and requirements to succeed as well as they should be courageous enough to express their needs. With that, I really want to improve my knowledge on strategy, strategic level decision making, and factors to shape those decisions while I am here. This will definitely help me to give sound and conversant advice to my national political leaders when time requires to do so in the
These failures ensured a gap between the POTUS’s strategic ends and CENTCOM’s ways and means, this invited strategic risk as defined in JP-5-0. These initial planning deficiencies centered around Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Donald Rumsfeld and CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks. Franks ignored the operational environment addressed in General Anthony Zinni’s OPLAN 1003-98. Zinni and his planners clearly recognized sectarian strife in a power vacuum as a potential Iraqi post invasion problem. , Franks instead relied on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “slices” which, though operationally useful, provided very little strategic value to guide his planners or insight on Bush’s National Strategic Objectives or the needed military end-state to support them. Franks never constructs his own OIF operational design. Without his own original operational design Franks could not refine or develop his own commander’s operational approach. He and his CENTCOM planners never analyzed the elements of operational approach necessary to frame the operational environment or define the problem. These elements included, military end-states, termination, and the center of gravity. Without an original or comprehensive operational approach, neither Franks nor his CENTCOM planners produced a complete or coherent plan that “promoted mutual understanding and unity of effort through out the echelons of command and partner
Since the Cold War, scholars utilizing a military and state centric approach to the study of regime security such as Paul Williams, Joseph Nye and Sean Lynn-Jones, and Stephen Walt have made significant contributions to the literature on security studies. While these authors present unique viewpoints, they all tend share the perspective that major international conflict has been a key factor in the development of this field. Stephen Walt pointed out that the idea of security studies first emerged as a result of “civilians becom[ing] extensively involved in military planning for the first time during World War II.” This surge in civilian interest during the war led to an era of security studies known as the “Golden Age” during which Paul Williams indicated that “civilian strategists enjoyed relatively close connections with Western governments and their foreign and security policies.” The enthusiasm for this area of study was maintained for a substantial amount of time due to what Joseph Nye called the “unprecedented nature of security problems confronting the United States”, which were mostly brought about by the advent of the atomic age. Several forces however, would eventually counteract the uptick in interest; principle among them was the negative perception of the Vietnam War. Walt highlighted this idea stating “the debacle in Indochina … made the study of security affairs unfashionable in many universities.” Fortunately for the progression of the field, this
Giulio Douhet, in his seminal treatise on air power titled The Command of the Air, argued, “A man who wants to make a good instrument must first have a precise understanding of what the instrument is to be used for; and he who intends to build a good instrument of war must first ask himself what the next war will be like.” The United States (US) military establishment has been asking itself this exact question for hundreds of years, in an attempt to be better postured for the future. From the Civil War, through the American Indian Wars, and up until World War II (WWII) the American military’s way of war consisted of fighting traditional, or conventional, wars focused on total annihilation of an enemy. Since that time, there has been a gradual shift from the traditional framework towards one that can properly address non-traditional, or irregular wars. While the US maintains a capability to conduct conventional warfare, the preponderance of operations where the US military has been engaged since WWII have been irregular wars. Therefore, this question articulated by Douhet, as to understanding the character of the next war in order to properly plan, train, and equip, is certainly germane to the current discussion of regular war versus irregular war. In today’s fiscally constrained environment, the questions remains, which will dominate the future and therefore, garner further funding and priority. Based on the current threats and the US role as a superpower, the US
Alfred Chandler(1963) defines strategy as ‘ the determination of the long-run goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals’. And Michael porter(1996) sees it as ‘Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value’.