A Thinker in Our Midst – 12 New Principles of Warfare

July 10th, 2007 by xformed

Someone is spending a bit of time contemplating the future out there.

A great read in the Armed Forces Journal

12 new principles of warfare
BY LT. CMDR. CHRISTOPHER E. VAN AVERY

Now that dramatic improvements in weaponry, communications, sensors and even the utility of individual combatants have been demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is clear that America must revise and expand its principles of war to effectively plan and execute the more expansive and complex warfare of the future battlefield.

Before redefining the principles of war for future conflicts, three questions must be answered. First, how has the revolution in military affairs (RMA) affected military capability, and how will it affect capability in the future? Second, what types of conflicts and enemies should America expect to confront over the next quarter-century? And third, who will be cooperating with America in military operations of the future? Even these seemingly simple questions have complex answers and significant caveats that must be recognized.

With regard to the effects of the RMA, some historical perspective is necessary. The current principles of war have remained essentially unchanged since at least 1921, when in the wake of World War I, there was a push in the U.S. military to codify doctrine based on the lessons of that conflict. Going into the future, great benefits for, and changes to, conventional military power are expected from the RMA. The Global Information Grid promises to be a leap forward for communications and the collection, analysis and distribution of information. Developing systems will allow a commander on one platform to electronically execute offensive or defensive action using the sensor data from a second platform and weapons from a third. The net-centric battle space will allow for seamless interservice communication, information-sharing, and the rapid fulfillment of support requests. A mistake can be made, though, in assuming that the RMA has an endpoint and the military will return to a static structure following transformation. Therefore, the first assumption when drafting new principles of war is: A new set of principles of war must be broad enough to readily accommodate the fast pace of development in military doctrine, technology and capabilities.
[…]

Yep, there’s more (including the 12 points as the title says)…

Fuel for the synapses. I often heard the discussion of the AEGIS Combat System being able to assign and fire weapons from other platforms back in the early ’90s, and the possibilities of equipping “lesser ships,” at the time the SPRUANCE Class DDs with vertical launch cells full of SM-2s for the cruiser to shoot. I also heard a lot of ship captains bristle at the thought of a seaman out on the foc’sle with a knuckle buster chipping up the bad non-skid being summarily fried by the rocket exhaust when a CG-47 Tactical Action Officer said “SHOOT!” It was hear enough to get most of them to actually use systems in automated modes, the only ones effective against current threat profiles of cruise missiles.

The weaponeering and sensor capabilities are well past what I was trained to integrate into my mind for war fighting, so it’s time for this discussion among the war fighters.

Anyhow, go, read, consider, or, if you like, collect, evaluate/analyze and then, if you have a comment, disseminate!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 at 7:29 pm and is filed under Jointness, Leadership, Military, Military History, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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