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Theory of War
PATHS OF RUIN : WHY REVISIONIST STATES DIE IN WORLD POLITICS  

Faced with the bulk of the United States military amassing on his borders, Saddam Hussein issued a curious command: dismantle and bury the Iraqi Air Force. In a flurry of subsequent orders, he forbade his armed forces from assuming defensive positions in urban centers, restricted access to ammunition and replaced his most skilled generals with loyalists.1 The predictable result was his regime's rapid collapse, though the aftermath has proven far more difficult. Iraq's quixotic example raises ...Read more >

43 Pages
264.30 KB
EAST MEETS WEST : A COMBINED APPROACH TO STUDYING WAR AND STRATEGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY  

In a world with no true balance of power, where the United States, a unipolar military power, dominates the world stage, it can be argued that all future wars involving the United States will be asymmetrical. If the irregular, unconventional and asymmetric are todays convention, we need to reexamine and broaden our familiarity with components from both the Western and Eastern schools of war theory. Throughout its history, the United States has relied largely on Western, European based war ...Read more >

18 Pages
53.96 KB
A NATION AT WAR : SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL STRATEGY CONFERENCE  

Is America at war? To the soldier under attack today from a roadside bomb or a group of insurgents in Iraq, the answer seems clear: a resounding yes. The same unequivocal response would have emanated from Afghanistan in 2002, although that theater has suffered from inattention in the intervening years. In Afghanistan, the answer to the war question is a bit harder: soldiers in Kabul recognize that they are at something other than peace,” but may not be sure that they are at war . . . and with ...Read more >

218 Pages
768.66 KB
THE RIGHT INFORMATION AND INTELLIGENT NODES  

The concept of Network-centric Warfare is powerful in terms of emphasizing the importance of accessing information by the warfighters, but just accessing information is not sufficient for future warfare. To achieve information superiority, a Warfighter-centric approach is required in addition to the Network-centric concept. In a Warfighter centric approach, we focus on both the individual warfighters informational needs and the needs of decision support information flow across all echelons and ...Read more >

10 Pages
709.95 KB
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINES : MECHANIZATION AND THE DETERMINANTS OF VICTORY IN COUNTERINSURGENCY WARFARE  

Empirical evidence suggests that Great Powers and weak states alike are increasingly unable to wage successful counterinsurgency campaigns. We argue that this decline can be explained by rising levels of mechanization within state militaries. Unlike their earlier counterparts, modern militaries possess force structures that inhibit the creation of information gathering networks among local populations.Mechanized militaries therefore struggle to wield their power discriminately, pushing ...Read more >

35 Pages
375.26 KB
A REACHBACK CONCEPT FOR THE FUTURE COMMAND POST : REPORT  

Contemporary operations are characterised by more local conflicts, more dynamic circumstances and a less predictable enemy. Besides that, commanders must be able to be present at various locations, because of the involvement of different parties. This requires a more agile command post, supporting distributed command and control. A command post with reachback facilities, in which the commander can co-operate with his staff while being on the move, could meet these demands. However, such a ...Read more >

9 Pages
68.53 KB
MAKING THE ARMYS DOCTRINE RIGHT ENOUGH TODAY  

No doctrine is perfect, but getting it right enough is strategically important. Dire consequences followed for France in the spring of 1940 because heavy investments in its high tech Maginot Line failed against the German Blitzkrieg. French doctrine was based on flawed post World War I interpretations of technological change and its impact on the nature of war. We also have learned from recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq that operating without applicable doctrine can have strategic ...Read more >

24 Pages
528.90 KB
TOWARD A STRATEGY OF POSITIVE ENDS  

The emergence of a more dynamic and complex security environment since the end of the Cold War has prompted a comprehensive reevaluation of America’s national security strategy. While defense planners have proposed a variety of alternatives for America’s role in what many see as a New World Coming, few of those proposals go beyond the Cold War paradigm of threat-based strategic thinking. Although undeniably effective under certain conditions, this paradigm has the distinct disadvantage of ...Read more >

39 Pages
109.06 KB
THE WHY AND HOW OF LIMITED WARY  

There are several current perceptions of what limited war is and there is widespread concern about what keeps a limited war from expanding, ezcaIating, or exploding. One concept has had a most profound influence on the way Americans have been permitted to fight the war in Vietnam. It is the theory which holds that, because of the great military capabilities poesessed by the major powers today, rigid rules must be imposed to govern the means employed against a precisely defined target list lest ...Read more >

8 Pages
470.30 KB
TRIBUTE TO THE MEN WHO FIGHT  

This is a most important book to military professionals of all ranks. Col. Baxter carefully, clearly and perceptively lays out the framework of Soviet military thought. He does not presume to teach us to think like Russians, but rather to teach us how they think about the same problems of modem military science with which the West is also struggling. Although there are similarities, it is the differences which stand ...Read more >

98 Pages
5.99 MB
UNIFIED LAND OPERATIONS  

Unified land operations describes how the Army seizes, retains and exploits the initiative to gain and maintain a position of relative advantage in sustained land operations through simultaneous offensive, defensive and stability operations in order to prevent or deter conflict, prevail in war and create the conditions for favorable conflict resolution. ADP 3 dash 0, Unified Land Operations, is the Army basic warfighting doctrine and is the Army’s contribution to unified ...Read more >

28 Pages
4.84 MB
TRANSFORMATION CONCEPTS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY  

This is the second volume of essays written by the students in the Advanced Strategic Arts Program at the U.S. Army War College.Like last year’s volume, it addresses the question of transformation, but this time within the larger framework of joint concepts and capabilities that are likely to drive processes within the Army and other services over the coming decade. Already joint or service concepts such as effects based operations and operational net assessment are having ...Read more >

409 Pages
1.66 MB
RAPID DECISIVE OPERATIONS : AN ASSUMPTIONS BASED CRITIQUE  

Whether one believes that the current transformation of the U.S. military is part of a comprehensive Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) or merely a reasonable response to evolving operational and strategic demands, change is clearly underway. Yet, technological innovation a major driver of such change plays a paradoxical role in military transformation. Today, a growing number of weapons can strike with greater accuracy over extended distances; however, those same or similar weapons in the ...Read more >

29 Pages
81.84 KB
THEORY OF WAR AND STRATEGY  

The U. S. Army War College Guide (USAWC) to National Security Issues is the latest edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, which the college has published sporadically under different titles since 2001. This edition of the Guide is in two volumes that correspond roughly to the two core courses that the Department of National Security and Strategy (DNSS) teaches:Theory of War and Strategy and “National Security Policy and Strategy. Like ...Read more >

350 Pages
2.32 MB
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