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General Military Strategic, Doctrinal, Operational, and Leadership Concepts

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  1. General Military Strategic, Doctrinal, Operational, and Leadership Concepts Lsn 2 and 3

  2. Agenda • Key Theorists • Principles of War • Elements of Operational Design • Forms of Maneuver • METT-TC • Strategy • Strategic Leadership

  3. Key Theorists Clausewitz Jomini

  4. Clausewitz • Carl von Clausewitz • Prussian officer born in 1780 • Resigned his commission in 1812 and joined the Russian Army to fight Napoleon • Ideas on war were heavily influenced by the mass popular warfare of the French Revolutionary period and Napoleon’s Prussian adversary Gerhard von Scharnhorst • Died in 1831 and his wife published his On War in 1832

  5. Clausewitz • War is neither an art nor a science • It is a continuation of “policy” (or “politics”) by other means. • A form of social intercourse • War is like a wrestling match • It is “an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” • But it is not unilateral. It is a contest between two independent wills.

  6. Clausewitz • Used a trinitarian analysis consisting of (1) primordial violence, hatred, and enmity; (2) the play of chance and probability; and (3) war’s element of subordination to rational policy • Often loosely expressed as “the people, the military, and the government” • Analyzed “absolute war” or “war in theory,” but then noted that factors such as poor intelligence, chance, friction, etc make war in practice different than war in the abstract • Argued one should focus his military efforts against the enemy’s “center of gravity” (“Schwerpunkt”) • Very important concept in American military doctrine

  7. Jomini • Antoine-Henri Jomini (1779-1869) was a Swiss military theorist who sought to interpret Napoleon • Published the Summary of the Art of War in 1838 • Became the premier military-educational text of the mid-nineteenth century and greatly influenced Civil War generals • “Many a Civil War general went into battle with a sword in one hand and Jomini’s Summary of the Art of War in the other” (General J. D. Hittle) • Product of the Enlightenment

  8. Jomini • Very geometrical and scientific approach to war • Stressed interior lines • “those adopted by one or two armies to oppose several hostile bodies, and having such a direction that the general can concentrate the masses and maneuver with his whole force in a shorter period of time than it would require for the enemy to oppose them a greater force.”

  9. Interior Lines Exterior Lines Interior Lines • The benefits of interior lines could be gained either by central position or superior lateral communications

  10. Principles of War

  11. Principles of War • British military officer J. F. C. Fuller developed a list of principles based on the works of Clausewitz and Jomini for use by the British Army in World War I • The US Army modified them and published its first list in 1921 • Objective • Offensive • Mass • Economy of force • Maneuver • Unity of command • Security • Surprise • Simplicity

  12. Objective • When undertaking any mission, commanders should have a clear understanding of the expected outcome and its impact. Commanders need to appreciate political ends and understand how the military conditions they achieve contribute to them. • Ensure that all actions contribute to the goals of the higher headquarters. • Example: The Emancipation Proclamation changed the Federal objective of the war from merely restoring the Union to also ending slavery.

  13. Offensive • Offensive operations are essential to maintain the freedom of action necessary for success, exploit vulnerabilities, and react to rapidly changing situations and unexpected developments. • Offensive actions are those taken to dictate the nature, scope, and tempo of an operation. • Offensive action is key to achieving decisive results; it is the essence of successful operations. • Example: Lee’s two invasions of northern territory represented offensive strategies.

  14. Mass • Commanders mass the effects of combat power in time and space to overwhelm enemies or gain control of the situation. • Time: applies the elements of combat power against multiple targets simultaneously • Space : concentrates the effects of different elements of combat power against a single target • Example: Grant had a huge advantage in mass over Lee toward the end of the war.

  15. Economy of Force • Commanders never leave any element without a purpose. When the time comes to execute, all elements should have tasks to perform. • Economy of force requires accepting prudent risk in selected areas to achieve superiority in the decisive operation. • Economy of force involves the discriminating employment and distribution of forces. • Example: The South decided to make the west an economy of force theater in spite of the arguments of the Confederate Western Concentration Bloc (Beauregard, Longstreet, et al)

  16. Maneuver • As both an element of combat power and a principle of war, maneuver concentrates and disperses combat power to place and keep the enemy at a disadvantage. It includes the dynamic, flexible application of leadership, firepower, information, and protection as well. • Achieves results that would otherwise be more costly • Keeps enemies off balance by making them confront new problems and new dangers faster than they can deal with them. • Example: Chancellorsville represented the classic envelopment while Fredericksburg and Pickett’s Charge showed the costliness of the frontal attack.

  17. Unity of Command • Unity of command means that a single commander directs and coordinates the actions of all forces toward a common objective. • Develops the full combat power of a force • Usually requires giving a single commander authority • Example: Grant and Porter cooperated as an army-navy team at Vicksburg.

  18. Security • Calculated risk is inherent in conflict. Security protects and preserves combat power. • Does not involve excessive caution • Measures taken by a command to protect itself from surprise, interference, sabotage, annoyance, and threat • Example: Fears for the security of Washington influenced Lincoln’s decision-making during the Peninsula Campaign.

  19. Surprise • Surprise results from taking actions for which an enemy or adversary is unprepared. • It is only necessary that the enemy become aware too late to react effectively. • Contributions to surprise include speed, information superiority, and asymmetry. • Example: Sherman’s March to the Sea put the Confederates on the “horns of a dilemma” because Sherman’s true destination was unknown.

  20. Simplicity • Plans and orders should be simple and direct. Simple plans executed on time are better than detailed plans executed late. • Clear and concise plans cut down on misunderstandings • Example: Grant’s orders to Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign are classic in their simplicity and clarity.

  21. Elements of Operational Design

  22. Elements of Operational Design • Synergy • Simultaneity and depth • Anticipation • Balance • Leverage • Timing and tempo • Operational reach and approach

  23. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Forces and functions • Arranging operations • Centers of gravity • Direct versus indirect • Decisive points • Culmination • Termination

  24. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Synergy • Seek combinations of forces and actions to achieve concentrations in various dimensions, all culminating in attaining the assigned objective(s) in the shortest time possible and with minimum casualties • Example: Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign relieved pressure on Lee outside of Richmond. • Simultaneity and depth • Place more demands on adversary forces than can be handled both in terms of time and space • Example: It was not until the end of the war that Grant brought a grand strategy to the Federal effort that pressured the Confederacy and Lee simultaneously from all directions.

  25. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Anticipation • Remain alert for the unexpected and opportunities to exploit the situation • Example: Grant failed to anticipate the Confederate attack at Shiloh and will be surprised and defeated the first day. • Balance • Maintain the force, its capabilities, and its operations in such a manner as to contribute to freedom of action and responsiveness • Example: Trying to defend its entire territory proved impossible for the Confederacy and led it to develop an “offensive-defensive” strategy.

  26. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Leverage • Gain, maintain, and exploit advantages in combat power across all dimensions • Example: Grant’s numerical advantage allowed him to maintain constant pressure on Lee in 1864-1865. • Timing and tempo • Conduct operations at a tempo and point in time that best exploits friendly capabilities and inhibits the adversary • Example: The speed of Sherman’s March to the Sea thwarted any meaningful resistance.

  27. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Operational reach and approach • The distance over which military power can mass effects and be employed decisively • Example: The superior Federal Navy allowed the North to blockade the South. • Forces and functions • Focus on defeating either adversary forces or functions, or a combination of both • Example: Sherman’s March to the Sea targeted Confederate functions of war-making ability and will at the same time Grant’s Overland Campaign targeted Lee’s forces.

  28. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Arranging operations • Achieve dimensional superiority by a combination of simultaneous and sequential operations • Phases: Deter/engage, Seize initiative, Decisive operations, Transition • Example: Grant’s preliminary attempts, his maneuver, his assaults on Vicksburg, and ultimately the siege combined to produce a logical line of operation. • Centers of gravity • Those characteristics, capabilities, or sources of power from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight • Destroying or neutralizing adversary centers of gravity is the most direct path to victory • Example: McClellan fought as if Richmond was the Confederate center of gravity rather than Lee’s army.

  29. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Direct versus indirect • To the extent possible, attack centers of gravity directly, but where direct attack means attacking into an opponent’s strength seek an indirect approach • Example: Longstreet unsuccessfully tried to convince Lee to threaten Washington or Baltimore by a turning movement rather than continuing the offensive at Gettysburg. • Decisive points • Usually geographic in nature, but can sometimes be key events or systems • Give a marked advantage to whoever controls them • Keys to attacking protected centers of gravity • Example: By securing the flank at Little Round Top, Chamberlain saved day for the Federals at Gettysburg.

  30. Elements of Operational Design (cont) • Culmination • Point in time and space at which an attacker’s combat power no longer exceeds that of the defender or the defender no longer can preserve his force • Example: Lincoln was very frustrated that Meade did not pursue Lee after Gettysburg but decisive battles were elusive in the Civil War because of culmination. • Termination • Military operations typically conclude with attainment of the strategic ends for which the military force was committed, which then allows transition to other instruments of national power and agencies as the means to achieve broader goals • Example: The end of the Civil War led to Reconstruction.

  31. Forms of Maneuver

  32. Forms of Maneuver • The five forms of maneuver are the • envelopment, • turning movement, • infiltration, • penetration, and • frontal attack.

  33. Envelopment

  34. Envelopment • The envelopment is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to avoid the principal enemy defenses by seizing objectives to the enemy rear to destroy the enemy in his current positions. • Envelopments avoid the enemy front, where he is protected and can easily concentrate fires. • Single envelopments maneuver against one enemy flank; double envelopments maneuver against both. Either variant can develop into an encirclement. • Example: Chancellorsville

  35. Turning Movement

  36. Turning Movement • A turning movement is a form of maneuver in which the attacking force seeks to avoid the enemy's principal defensive positions by seizing objectives to the enemy rear and causing the enemy to move out of his current positions or divert major forces to meet the threat. • A major threat to his rear forces the enemy to attack or withdraw rearward, thus "turning" him out of his defensive positions. • Turning movements typically require greater depth than other forms of maneuver. • Example: Peninsula Campaign

  37. Infiltration

  38. Infiltration • An infiltration is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force conducts undetected movement through or into an area occupied by enemy forces to occupy a position of advantage in the enemy rear while exposing only small elements to enemy defensive fires • Typically, forces infiltrate in small groups and reassemble to continue their mission. • Infiltration rarely defeats a defense by itself. Commanders direct infiltrations to attack lightly defended positions or stronger positions from the flank and rear, to secure key terrain to support the decisive operation, or to disrupt enemy sustaining operations. • Example: ?

  39. Penetration

  40. Penetration • A penetration is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to rupture enemy defenses on a narrow front to disrupt the defensive system. • Commanders direct penetrations when enemy flanks are not assailable or time does not permit another form of maneuver. Successful penetrations create assailable flanks and provide access to enemy rear areas. • Because penetrations frequently are directed into the front of the enemy defense, they risk significantly more friendly casualties than envelopments, turning movements, and infiltrations. • Example: Sherman’s March to the Sea

  41. Frontal Attack

  42. Frontal attack • The frontal attack is frequently the most costly form of maneuver, since it exposes the majority of the attackers to the concentrated fires of the defenders. • As the most direct form of maneuver, however, the frontal attack is useful for overwhelming light defenses, covering forces, or disorganized enemy resistance. • It is often the best form of maneuver for hasty attacks and meeting engagements, where speed and simplicity are essential to maintain tempo and the initiative. • Commanders may direct a frontal attack as a shaping operation and another form of maneuver as the decisive operation. • Example: Fredericksburg

  43. METT-TC

  44. METT-TC • Mission • Enemy • Terrain and Weather • Troops and Equipment • Time • Civilians

  45. Mission • Seize Vicksburg in order to control the Mississippi River and separate the Confederacy in two

  46. Enemy • Pemberton • Five divisions totaling 43,000 effectives • Pemberton fell under Johnston’s Department of the West • Represented some potential for a relief force • No ironclads and only a few wooden gunboats

  47. Terrain • Vicksburg located astride the railroad that linked Shreveport, LA (and thus the three states west of the river) to the eastern transportation network • Line of bluffs that dominated the river favored defense • Northeast and west of Vicksburg was wetland that would inhibit offensive movement

  48. Troops • Army • Grant had a maneuver force of ten divisions (44,000 effectives) • Navy • Porter’s Mississippi River Squadron had about 60 combat vessels of which 20 to 25 would support the Vicksburg operation at any one time

  49. Time • Pemberton had ample time to prepare his defense • Grant needed to attack before his supplies ran out and before Johnston could reinforce • Once the siege began, time benefited the offense

  50. Civilians • About 5,000 lived in Vicksburg • Pemberton was responsible for their well-being • Other civilians along the Mississippi River posed a guerrilla threat to the Federal Navy • Potential source of intelligence