Successes and Failures of Operation Odyssey Dawn (OOD) Essay

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The case study and presentation used for this Joint Operations paper was about Operation Odyssey Dawn (OOD). I will describe two operational-level successes and two failures experienced during the operation. I will offer clear proposals, that if implemented could have prevented those failures. One of the operational-level successes during OOD was that the Libyan Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) was quickly degraded and an effective No Fly Zone (NFZ) established. The second success was that maritime forces overcame logistics and target challenges in order to enforce the arms embargo. Offering clear-cut proposals to help prevent some of the failures from occurring is not easy to identify when you consider the operation as a whole.…show more content…
AFRICOM was not prepared or manned to do what they were being asked to do. As Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Robert Gates stated, “AFRICOM represents yet another important step in modernizing our defense arrangements in light of the twenty-first century realities. It is, at its heart, a different kind of command with a different orientation… AFRICOM’s mission is not to wage war, but to prevent it; not to show United States military presence, but to enhance the security forces of our partners”. What could have prevented this failure was for AFRICOM to be set up as a full GCC capable of being able to complete kinetic operations, if needed. The second failure experienced during the operation was that AFRICOM did not have a clear-cut end goal. Without a defined endstate for operations in Libya, AFRICOM was uncertain as to what resources it needed for operations. As Clausewitz wrote, “No one starts a war-or rather no one in his senses ought to do so-without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. The former is its political purpose; the latter is its operational objective.” Even though he stated this back in the 1800’s, Clausewitz’s point is still appropriate. I believe we were clear in our minds when the crisis started what our intentions were. Because the on-going situation was changing at such a rapid pace there was no time to define a clear-cut end goal. This rapid shift in missions
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