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Operational Initiative: What is it and How Do We Get it?


Operational Initiative: What is it and How Do We Get it?

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    Available in PDF Format | Operational Initiative: What is it and How Do We Get it?.pdf | English
    Randall R. Hill (Author)
This monograph examines how AirLand Battle doctrine defines and utilizes the term initiative, and how initiative can be achieved at the operational level of war. It concludes that, while doctrine defines initiative as 'setting the terms of battle by action', the term is frequently used in lieu of, or synonymously, with the terms 'attack' or 'offensive'. This results in doctrinal confusion and an ambiguous doctrinal tenet. To counter this, the author proposes a definition which stresses freedom of action as the manifestation of initiative. The basis for this definition is drawn from the views of several prominent military theorists which are presented in this study. The second half of this document focuses on means to achieve initiative at the operational level. Through analysis of the campaign which pitted Wellington against Messina in Portugal and the Belorussian Campaign in 1944, four means for achieving operational initiative have been drawn out: accurate situation assessment and determination of the type of campaign to be conducted: deception: logistical superiority: and force generation. When comparing these means with the doctrinal guidance contained in the AirLand Battle imperatives, the latter were found lacking as effective tools. The author's suggestion for correcting these deficiencies is not to lengthen the list of imperatives, but to reemphasize the Principles of War in doctrine, since they adequately address these means for achieving operational initiative. A final aspect of achieving operational initiative is considered in an analysis of the operational constraints placed upon the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The author concludes that these constraints led to the operational initiative being abdicated to the North Vietnamese. This resulted in a failure by the U.S. to achieve a favorable conclusion to the war.
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Book details

  • PDF | 52 pages
  • Randall R. Hill (Author)
  • BiblioScholar (13 Nov. 2012)
  • English
  • 5
  • Science Nature
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