Operational Art, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, and the Operational Employment of the U.S. Army's Objective Force United States Army Command an
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This book is about theory and the use of theory to develop doctrine. In light of the dramatic capabilities envisioned for the Objective Force, the organized U.S. military mechanism of physical coercion, and the dynamic operational environment that characterizes the world of 2002, land and naval theory is examined, investigated and analyzed.A common perception is that maritime strategy and land strategy exist in discrete and separate spheres of knowledge. However, closer analysis demonstrates that they do not exist as independent areas of study, rather, they are merely divisions in the overall art of war.To develop and illustrate this concept, a general overview of the future threat/operational environment and the proposed characteristics and capabilities of the U.S. Army's Objective Force are presented. Manifest from this description of the Objective Force and the future threat, an apparent analogy between the Objective Force and a naval force becomes evident, even while it is increasingly apparent that technological advances are blurring the traditional distinctions between the divisions in the art of war - between land, sea and air warfare. The functional divisions are becoming less distinct, increasingly interrelated and integrated.Through this analogy to maritime operations, the following two constructs or paradigms are proposed to help guide the development of doctrine in the theoretical employment of the U.S.Army's Objective Force.1. The object or goal of Objective Force warfare is command of the white space, in other words, freedom of action. Objective Force commanders must act to retain and preserve freedom of action. This must be the theoretical basis for all doctrine.2. The corollary of this is to preserve the force in being. Objective Force commanders must employ maritime concepts to understand and govern the reasoned concentration and dispersal of forces.In combination, the concepts are related thusly, the core object or goal of Objective Force warfare is to control, that is, to exercise and retain ones freedom of action... this is the essence of the maritime concept fleet in being.The arguments presented throughout are based on the demonstration of analogy between naval and Objective Force land warfare. The line of logic to the conclusion reached is that maneuver warfare was developed broadly to counter and defeat the inherent strength of the defense on land. Operational maneuver concepts were the ultimate expression of maneuver and the solution to industrialized, mass attrition warfare between nation-states. Objective Force maneuver is the embodiment and realization of operational maneuver, the basis of which is the exploitation and retention of freedom of action.Freedom of action is therefore the essential, core criteria in any concept or theory that applies to or governs Objective Force employment. Evidence has substantiated the analogy between the characteristics of naval forces and Objective Forces. Theoretical and conceptual reasoning and arguments have demonstrated that freedom of action, that is, control of maritime communications or command of the sea has been the central construct in maritime strategy as well. The analogous core criteria, freedom of action, demonstrate that maritime concepts may be applied confidently to Objective Force employment.Assuming the inherent capabilities of the Objective Force are achieved; given the projected characteristics of the future operating environment... If maritime concepts were applied to Objective Force employment, the resulting operational actions would be consistent, as envisioned, to address and counter effectively the future threats in the future operating environment.


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