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Asymmetric Warfare
THE PRINCIPLES OF ASYMMETRY  

Asymmetry is a United States Army doctrinal term. Research indicates that soldiers have a poor appreciation of asymmetry. The concept is often overused or just misused altogether. The cause for this is likely the doctrine itself. The primary Army definition is too encompassing, if not divergent.This monograph builds from prior research to establish the principles of asymmetry. The ultimate goal of producing principles should allow soldiers to better appreciate a difficult, but important concept ...Read more >

71 Pages
753.04 KB
IRREGULAR ENEMIES AND THE ESSENCE OF STRATEGY : CAN THE AMERICAN WAY OF WAR ADAPT  

Today the armed forces of the United States are struggling to contain and defeat an insurgency on the continent of Asia. Does that sound familiar? Strategic history is truly cyclical, a judgment resisted weakly and unsuccessfully by those who believe in progress in strategic affairs.4 This monograph attempts what its title flags: to consider irregular warfare in the light of strategy and—no less important—to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the historically dominant American way in ...Read more >

72 Pages
477.98 KB
ASYMMETRIC WARFARE AND THE FUTURE OF THE WEST  

Asymmetry is as old as warfare itself. Whether through choice, habit, or desperation,combatants in armed conflict often used different technology, tactics, strategies and normative frameworks than their opponents. At times, this was simply because a war involved enemies with distinct military traditions. Each fought the way they understood. During the 19th and 20th century colonial wars, for instance, the Europeans and their enemies did not pick their technologies and tactics because ...Read more >

15 Pages
141.35 KB
THE REVENGE OF THE MELIANS : ASYMMETRIC THREATS AND THE NEXT QDR  

In 416 B.C., the Athenian-led Delian League, then the dominant naval power of the Hellenic World, was locked in a death struggle with its rival, Sparta and its Peloponnesian allies. In the wake of the battle of Mantinea and on the eve of the ill-fated naval expedition to Syracuse, the small island of Melos in the northern Cretan Sea had become an object of strategic concern to Athens which sought to force Melos to join the Delian League and pay tribute.The Melians refused and claimed the ...Read more >

118 Pages
697.21 KB
TOUCHSTONES FOR THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP ENGAGED IN ASYMMETRIC WARFARE  

While asymmetric warfare has undertaken a new and a broader dimension especially in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in the title of this paper it refers to counterinsurgency warfare, wherein terrorism is employed by the irregular adversary as a means to subvert the rule of law and effect change through violence and fear.This war is being waged in some form or the other in almost 71 countries of the world and the perceivable contours of the futuristic international security ...Read more >

39 Pages
138.88 KB
ASYMMETRIC TACTICS AND MILITARY THEORY  

In The Art Of War, Sun Tzu states that,what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.His focus was not purely on defeating the enemy army, but on defeating the enemy’s plan. Defeating the enemy’s army was of lower precedence than disrupting his alliances that were key to his plan. Clearly Sun Tzu appreciated the need to weaken an adversary through many approaches designed to affect his ability and willingness to wage ...Read more >

16 Pages
221.79 KB
THE ASYMMETRIC WARFARE GROUP : CLOSING THE CAPABILITY GAPS  

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have shown that insurgencies can arise out of regime change and can hinder follow-on stability operations. The current enemy has adopted asymmetric strategies and tactics that enable it to mitigate U.S. strengths. U.S. forces must adapt to the new strategic environment and develop proficiencies that counter these tactics.This article outlines the vision and mission of a new Army organization, the Asymmetric Warfare Group ...Read more >

5 Pages
847.61 KB
ASYMMETRIC WARFARE AND THE THREAT TO THE AMERICAN HOMELAND  

America has gotten used to the idea that wars occur elsewhere in the world, not here. When the American armed forces deploy to protect American lives and interests, it has always been over there Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and a dozen other places around the world in recent memory. Even Operations Just Cause in Panama (1989) and Uphold Democracy in Haiti (1994) were seen as taking place in remote countries, far away from America emotionally if not physically. War seems to no longer touch the ...Read more >

17 Pages
73.80 KB
THE ARMYS PREPARATION FOR CONFLICTS OF THE 21ST CENTURY  

This paper poses a serious question about the Army’s future. Has the Army sufficiently thought through the environments the newly devised Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and its more futuristic Objective Force will face in the future? The conclusion: The Army’s thinkers have done a great job in thinking through traditional combat—after all, open, force-on-force, symmetrical combat is precisely what the Army has done magnificently over the years. But the Army hasn’t given sufficient thought ...Read more >

32 Pages
140.69 KB
THE 2006 LEBANON WAR  

To critics of airpower, Israel’s 2006 war with Hizballah exposed the fallacy that targeting centers of gravity, such as population, command and control and infrastructure could coerce the adversary into surrendering and that airpower could obviate the need for land forces and independently win wars. Given Israel’s unexpected challenges in waging the Lebanon war,airpower and then Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, seen as the overzealous proponent of airpower, became easy targets in after-action ...Read more >

13 Pages
209.96 KB
COUNTERING ASYMMETRIC THREATS  

Asymmetric threats are divided into three categories. First, there are vulnerabilities in the complex but fragile information technology (IT)–based systems-of-systems. Such threats as jamming communications that carry targeting information or the Global Positioning System navigation and timing signal, attacking reconnaissance satellites, or erecting decoy missiles to frustrate reconnaissance-strike systems are examples of challenges to the RMA for which countermeasures must be ...Read more >

10 Pages
72.29 KB
A NEW TRANSATLANTIC STRATEGY FOR TERRORISM AND ASYMMETRIC WARFARE  

No one should be surprised by the level of U.S. and European cooperation that followed the tragedy of September 11. The transatlantic relationship has always worked best in a crisis. At the same time, far more ultimately will be involved than a burst of sympathy and European cooperation with the United States in rooting out Al Qaida and putting an end to the Taliban as a sanctuary for terrorism.Dealing with the immediate threat is a vital first step, but the West as a whole has been shown to be ...Read more >

12 Pages
45.21 KB
ASYMMETRIC WARFARE : OLD METHOD, NEW CONCERN  

Strategists define asymmetric warfare as conflict deviating from the norm, or an indirect approach to affect a counter-balancing of force. Such warfare is not new. Combatants throughout the ages have continually sought to negate or avoid the strength of the other, while applying one’s own strength against another’s weakness. Asymmetric warfare is best understood as a strategy, a tactic, or a method of warfare and conflict. Because no group or state can defeat the U.S. in conventional warfare, ...Read more >

6 Pages
22.34 KB
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY : KNOWING AND FINDING THE ADVERSARY IN THE THREE BLOCK WAR  

Recent newspaper headlines may well characterize the future of war as we enter the 21st century. On one hand, the rapid buildup of an overwhelming US (United States) led coalition military force resulted in a seemingly decisive campaign against conventional Iraqi forces. On the other hand, today, those same coalition forces are undergoing a regular cycle of ambushes, rocket attacks and suicide bombings.Despite superiority in both conventional forces and technology, insurgents and terrorists ...Read more >

36 Pages
171.66 KB
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