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(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g.

Matthew Stroup)
1st Lt. Robert Wolfe, security force platoon leader for Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, provides rooftop security during a
key leader engagement 25 February 2013 in Farah City, Afghanistan. Civilian and military representatives from the PRT visited a newly
constructed family guidance center run by Voice of Women in Farah City, an Afghan-operated nongovernmental organization, to discuss
gender issues, conduct a site survey, and monitor programming.

Continuity and Change
The Army Operating Concept
and Clear Thinking About
Future War
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Ph.D., U.S. Army
Anticipating the demands of future armed conflict
requires an understanding of continuities in the nature of
war as well as an appreciation for changes in the character
for armed conflict.
—The U.S. Army Operating Concept
E xpert knowledge is a pillar of our military
profession, and the ability to think clearly
about war is fundamental to developing expert
knowledge across a career of service. Junior leaders
must understand war to explain to their soldiers how

6 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW

cheap. The best way to guard against the tendency to forces to defeat enemy organizations. institutions. —The U. than essential components of campaigns that inte. and physical influ- military operations as ends in and of themselves rather ences affecting human behavior and the mission.5 Military pro- validated their importance. and Iranian proxies subverted the government and omous” rather than “an instrument of policy. cheap. and efficient victo. on his or her understanding forces and their leaders undermined state-building ef- of continuities in the nature of war and of changes in forts. dehumanized as well with precision strike weapons.” and trying to turn war into “something that olence and weakened institutions critical to the survival is alien to its nature. and assesses proxy forces helped topple the Taliban regime.” misun. those operations based. and competed for power and resources within nascent A failure to understand war through a consider. describes. and force development U. Army commanders understand cognitive. or compel human behaviors In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. Senior officers draw on their unanticipated and underappreciated political realities. Army Operating Concept (AOC) observes that stemmed from neglect of continuities in the nature “compelling sustainable outcomes in war requires land of war. War was reduced to a targeting exercise. and consolidate gains.S. directs. Army Operating Concept2 Conventional and special operations forces work togeth- er to understand. In both Afghanistan and Iraq. fessionals should be particularly skeptical of ideas and concepts that divorce war from its political nature and First. defense and perceptions. combined orthodoxy of the RMA. and sense ries. Army forces are prepared to do more than fight and defeat enemies. difficulties encountered in strategic decision making. establish securi- try to turn war into something alien to its nature is to ty. however. and information technologies. leads. In MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 7 .”1 In recent years. political derstanding “the kind of war on which we are em.S. resources. honor. In Iraq. interests. understanding of war to provide the best military In particular. influence. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE their unit’s actions contribute to the accomplishment unrealistic and underdeveloped war plans confronted of campaign objectives. and efficient victories through the application of advanced military technologies. standing and addressing the fears. War is Political promise fast. competition for power.S. In Afghanistan. communi. policies that exacerbated the fears ation of continuity and change risks what nineteenth of the minority Sunni Arab and Turkmen populations century Prussian philosopher Carl von Clausewitz strengthened the insurgency as Shia Islamist militias warned against: regarding war as “something auton. under- opponent and deliver fast. Every Army leader uses his or quately how to consolidate military gains in the wake her vision of future conflict as a basis for how he or she of the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan trains soldiers and units. political. and the Hussein regime in Iraq. they must possess the capability to translate Second. Advocates of what became the People fight today for the same fundamental rea- orthodoxy of the “revolution in military affairs” (RMA) sons that the Greek historian Thucydides identified predicted that advances in surveillance.S. experience in Afghanistan and Iraq fundamental part of campaign design. Mujahideen-era militias pursued narrow agendas the character of warfare. thinking was dominated by theories that considered informational.500 years ago: fear. social. In Iraq and Afghanistan.3 These of honor among communities was essential to reducing conceits complicated efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq as support for insurgent and terrorist organizations. With these lessons in mind.”4 Army forces are prepared understand four key continuities in the nature of war to reinforce and integrate the efforts of partners as a and how the U. Every commander under. many of the of the state. visualizes. the recently published operational planning. would overwhelm any as depoliticized war. in part. nearly 2. coalition forces failed to consider ade- advice to civilian leaders. and interest. training.7 The cations. cultural. —The U. and survival drove vi- barking. Army Operating Concept6 grate the broad range of efforts necessary to achieve campaign objectives. War is Human military objectives into enduring political outcomes. after stands. security forces.

more inclusive and legitimate governance and security The cultural. social. Army and Marine Corps forces “surged” into areas that had become enemy safe havens. regen- erating in safe houses in Pakistan. often acting as mediators between the population and indigenous army and police forces.Afghanistan. religious. and alienated thereby key elements of the popula- tion. and forces helped U.S. Terrorist and insurgent organizations across the 8 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . Later. ethnic. in both wars. Ultimately. economic. perpetuating violence and instability. as U. portrayed themselves as patrons and protectors of aggrieved parties in Afghanistan. fostered exclusionary political and economic orders. and religious drivers of conflict at the local level sometimes led to military operations (such as raids against sus- pected enemy networks) that exacerbated fears or offended the sense of honor of populations in ways that strengthened the insurgency. an inadequate understanding of trib- al. they developed an understanding of local drivers of violence.S. In Iraq. historical considerations that comprise the human nities toward temporary political accommodations that aspects of war must inform wartime planning as removed support for illegal armed groups that were well as our preparation for future armed conflict. Coalition forces some- times unintentionally em- powered predatory and criminal actors. The Taliban. coali- tion forces struggled to understand local drivers of conflict and instability. and Iraqi forces move Iraqi commu.

Special Forces soldier assigned to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force–Afghani- stan direct ANA soldiers during a firefight with insurgents in Gelan District. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE (Photo by Pfc. Afghanistan. Terrorist violence and propaganda to excite historical griev.S. David Devich. Latin America. magnify nationalist or sectarian identities. and Asia use and pit communities against each other. Africa. Middle East. 8 February 2014. and insurgent organizations thrive in chaotic en- ances. 55th Signal Company Combat Camera) An Afghan National Army Commando and a U. Ghazni Province. vironments associated with communal conflict as MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 9 .

east between 2004 and 2009. In Iraq. Understanding the special circum. would deliver rapid objective or goal. reveal a tendency to assume that our plans dictate Moral. Winning in war. requires persuading the continuous interaction with enemies and adversaries enemy that he has been defeated. Neglecting the political and remain mentally and physically agile to capital- and human continuities of war can lead to confusing ize on opportunities. the effect of technol- ogies on land are often not as great as in other domains While the ability to shape security environments through due to geography. In Afghanistan. Concepts or plans that neglect and the need for leaders to “assess the situation con- the human aspect of war are unlikely to achieve tinuously. Winning is and history that war always involves a continuous psychological and moral. Afghanistan. lasting favorable outcomes. adaptive enemies. tenet of depth to highlight the need to “think ahead in time and determine how to connect tactical and Third.S. Pakistan. the interaction with adaptive enemies. Some aspects enemies from popular support. neither requires unconditional surrender 10 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . as Clausewitz observed. ambiguous. influencing neutrals. establishing objectives other than winning human aspects. death. were difficult to predict at the outset. Nigeria. Army the presence of noncombatants. the strategy stances and recent experiences of the people among remained based on rapid transition to Iraqi Security whom wars are fought is essential if military forces Forces even as large percentages of those forces had are to avoid mistakes.”9 The AOC also redefines the military activity with progress. or the practice of announcing pares leaders. consolidate gains. part. in turn. Because war is a competition involving life and Army professionals recognize war’s uncertain. In Afghanistan and Iraq. ethical. Army Operating Concept11 The dominant assumption of the RMA was that Clausewitz defined strategy as a sustained act of knowledge would be the key to victory in future will necessary to master war’s terrible uncertainties. Central African Republic. —The U. Ambiguity was. Thailand. in linear projections did not anticipate enemy adapta. at times. helped determine the course of events in the long however. That war. of those conflicts. cohesive teams that are committed to the Army’s The AOC emphasizes the tenet of adaptability professional ethic. and dissuading adversaries. tions in troops continued even as the Taliban gained Lebanon. and teams for operations in changes in mission and force levels years in advance environments of complexity and persistent danger. and they know from experience can be counterproductive and wasteful.S. Iraq. such as the absence of Understanding the human aspects of war pre. War is Uncertain operational objectives to strategic goals. Coalition plans did Some of the armed conflicts that fit this pattern not always keep pace with shifts in the character today include those in Mali. Yemen. and isolate become party to a sectarian civil war. and the control of territory and populations in the south and Philippines. Near-perfect intelligence would enable precise Strategy begins with establishing a clearly defined military operations that. Army Operating Concept8 —The U. as well as physical. associated with war’s continuities.they endeavor to control territory and populations. planned reduc- Somalia. due to a belief that one can achieve acceptable tions or the evolution of those conflicts in ways that outcomes in war without a commitment to win. Syria. operational reserves. the threat of punitive action will remain important. of the coalition military effort. Libya. develop innovative solutions to problems. war. Ending interaction with determined.”10 Although advances in technology will continue to Fourth. planning based on Iraq were. soldiers. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. and in which each side tries to outdo the ty because they are sensitive to war’s political and other. and psychological preparation for the future course of events and that progress in war combat is critical to building resilient soldiers and is linear and predictable. and other complexities forces conduct positive actions essential to reassuring allies. War is a Contest of Wills influence the character of warfare. Strategic goals in Afghanistan and victory.

of course. Rarely will winning be as but also sowed doubts among friends and neutrals. including the local chief of police. Ken Scar. doubts about character of soldiers and units. Gen. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE (Photo by Spc. 1st Cavalry Division.S. point out an enemy combatant they have spotted on the ridgeline about 500 meters away to Brig. usually a with vital interests is an inherently civil-military political outcome. and enmity” ability and willingness to prevent their return. The Taliban enforcement and rule of law efforts. and cohesive teams capable of operating MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 11 . military. adaptive and sustain commitments for ample duration and in leaders. 20 September 2013. At that challenge the will. the AOC empha- U. and moral times. deputy commanding general–maneuver. professionalism. not only because they were highlights the Army’s role in providing foundational able to receive support from al-Qaida and foreign in. What winning does require is a rational deter. simple as tracking the advance of forces across a Winning in war. the Taliban regime collapsed. Naka District. law of the inevitability of their defeat. capabilities that permit the United States to project telligence organizations in support bases in Pakistan. intelligence. 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) Members of the Afghan Uniformed Police. in both Afghanistan and Iraq. large measure because every Afghan was convinced informational. increasingly. To cope with what Clausewitz described as the about the Afghan government’s and the coalition’s blind natural forces of “violence. national power and “help integrate and synchronize but also because they sowed doubts in the minds the efforts of multiple partners. and members of Company B. task that requires integrated planning and execu- In late 2001. diplomatic. ly task. especially those in the south and east. and. The AOC regenerated after 2004. and partner willingness to consolidate gains sizes the development of resilient soldiers. 172nd Infantry Brigade. is not a military-on- map. nor a MacArthuresque lifting of restrictions on the sufficient scale to win not only encouraged enemies amount of force applied. consistent with vital interests.”12 of Afghans. hatred. Gary Volesky. Task Force 2-28. in tion of political. Achieving sustainable outcomes consistent mination to achieve a sustainable outcome. economic.

it was. opportunities to use existing capabilities in new ways. The result is that more often like a vampire. Concepts with catchy titles that were readily apparent at the end of the such as “shock and awe” and “rapid. past conflicts. militaries have to relearn in com. Army Operating Concept13 What military and civilian leaders learn from recent experi- ence is important because those lessons influence operational planning and force development. Army forces fallacies that portray future war as fundamentally would “see first. study develop joint forces ill-prepared for future threats to what makes them feel comfortable about national security. themselves. an associated belief that future wars will be fun. —The U. decisive opera- last conflict. military to repeat mistakes and itary organizations. enemies. and efficient victories Efforts to learn and apply lessons of recent armed in future war. As historian Williamson Murray has observed: It is a myth that military or- ganizations tend to do badly in each new war because they have studied too closely the last one. cheap. Reemerging than not. not the uncongenial lessons of The vampire fallacy. decide first. and adversaries. The fact is that mil. seems impossible to kill. The Four Fallacies of Future War Thinking clearly about future armed conflict requires consid- eration of threats. emerging technologies. about every decade. and historical observations and lessons learned. That is because four knowledge. Information and communication conflict consistent with continuities in the nature of technologies would deliver “dominant battlespace war will not go unchallenged.S. act first. Earlier manifestations go back 12 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW .”16 Those who argued that these concepts were have become widely accepted. nothing could be These fallacies are dangerous because they threaten farther from the truth. The first of these fallacies. anticipated missions. and finish deci- different from even the most recent experiences sively.”15 Under the quality of firsts. for the most part.S. The vampire fallacy is much older than the or- damentally different from current and past wars. Those fallacies are inconsistent with the nature of war were dismissed based in unrealistic expectations of technology and as unimaginative and wedded to old thinking.effectively and morally in en- vironments of uncertainty and persistent danger. to consign the U. in its last manifestation.14 tions” promised fast. thodoxy of the RMA. bat—and usually at a heavy cost—lessons the RMA in the 1990s.

arms teams and special operations forces to provide lem of future war. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE credible ground forces are avail- able to compel an outcome. By placing valuable enemy assets at risk. informa. the vampire is back. they are operations of short dura- tion. joint force capabilities. Because 21 March 2010. strikes The Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom falla- often embolden rather than dissuade enemies unless cy. to the level of strategy. operating as part of joint teams. and planned to strategic bombing theory in the 1920s. it is insufficient to solve the complex prob. comes consistent with vital interests. based on even better surveillance. concealment. the a complement to. as Army forces capable of defeating enemy organiza- tions with strategy. limited purpose. For example. What is withdrawal. off range can disrupt enemy organizations. Afghanistan. and precision strike technolo. raids often embolden rather than dissuade range. create multiple dilemmas for the enemy. In short. raids are often unable to affect the hu- common across all that time is the belief that tech. the enemy and leave populations vulnerable not tion. Army forces may force enemies to reveal them- selves as they concentrate to de- fend those assets.17 It is for these reasons that the AOC stresses that American military power is joint power. elevates an important military capability. conventional start of spring and the traditional new year celebrated in Afghanistan. and decep- tion).18 The capability to conduct raids against networked terrorist or in- surgent organizations is portrayed (Photo by Rafiq Maqbool. Although the vampire fallacy is based on a suite and disinformation. Army forces make joint fires more effective because they compensate for enemy efforts to avoid detection (e. but also to enemy propaganda gies. The Zero Dark 30 fallacy. multiple options to the joint force commander as well This fallacy confuses targeting enemy organiza. rather than A line of Afghan policemen try to control a crowd during the celebration of Nowruz. Like precision promising victory delivered rapidly from standoff strikes. It is for these reasons that the of military capabilities vitally important to national AOC calls for dynamic combinations of combined defense. dispersion. and other countries of central Asia. raiding. Army forces. from the hilltop at the Kart-e-Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. Iran.only to enemy action. Today. The Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom fallacy MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 13 . The Zero Dark 30 fallacy. Although targeting from stand.. tions and consolidating gains. man and political drivers of armed conflict or make nology and firepower are sufficient to achieve lasting sufficient progress toward achieving sustainable out- strategic results in war.g. like the vampire fallacy. intermingling with civilian populations. communications. Associated Press) as a substitute for.

or certain forms of armed conflict. Jim Fowler. He usually left close contact with the wild- life to his assistant.requires explanation for those of younger generations. While the AOC scale and in ample duration to win. problems in war leaves decision making in the hands Like the vampire and Zero Dark Thirty fallacies. of the enemy. As George Washington observed in his first first order capability. commitment interest. That is because the forward such as fighting on land. introduced the topic of the show and provided commentary throughout.19 and remain capable of compelling outcomes. U. The fundamental problem positioning of capable ground forces elevates the cost with this RSVP fallacy is that it fails to give due of aggression to a level that the aggressor is unwilling consideration to enemies in wars or adversaries in to pay and prevents the aggressor from doing what between wars. and deterrence is likely petency and identifies security force assistance as a to fail. If Western militaries do not possess the Mutual of Omaha fallacy confuses an important ready joint forces capable of operating in sufficient capability with defense strategy. it is difficult to imagine future operations that will not require Army forces to operate with multiple partners. the fourth fallacy forces are particularly valuable in deterring those solves the problem of future war by opting out of who might be tempted to wage limited war to accom- armed conflict. Marlin Perkins. however. In the 1960s on Sunday nights. Primary reliance on proxies. but he rarely placed himself in proximity to dangerous animals. is often problematic the other way around. The host. families with young children gathered to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on television. Finally. Under the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom fallacy.S. likely to become emboldened. western mili- taries assume the role of Marlin Perkins and rely on proxy forces in the role of Jim Fowler to do the fighting on land.”20 but also be prepared to exert influence and convince Ready Army forces play a vital role in preventing those partners that actions or reforms are in their conflict because they communicate U. adversaries are recognizes special operations as an Army core com. and combat advisory missions will increase in importance to national security. And the application of exclu- due to insufficient capabilities or lack of will based sively standoff capabilities to complex land-based on incongruent interests. plish limited objectives. foreign internal defense. Wars often choose you rather than Russia has in Ukraine—posing to the international 14 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . There is no doubt that security force assis- tance. Army The RSVP Fallacy.S. it also acknowledges that Army State of the Union address: “To be prepared for war is forces must not only operate with multiple partners one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

CONTINUITY AND CHANGE them. and cyber domains be. These shifts. occur more rapidly than in the past due to advances in technology. interorganizational. missions. and multinational teams to prevent conflict.” And last. in space. Army professionals Shifts in the geopolitical landscape caused by compe. professionals should develop what community a fait accompli and then portraying its reac. Army Operating Concept21 Fallacies persist. and in cyberspace. But Army professionals must also consider changes in the character of warfare. depth. and history and lessons armed conflict. and the associated increased momentum of human interaction.S. consulting original sources will become more important.” Wars and and preserve the joint force’s freedom of movement at warfare must be understood in context of their sea. To understand continuity and change.” Study campaigns and come more contested.” Observe Moreover. “study in context. the deterrent value of land forces explore them thoroughly. “theory” of war. —The U. period. Preparing Army forces to operate as part of joint. human. as joint force freedom of movement and how “warfare has developed over a long historical action in the maritime. cultural. “study in width. in the air. because they define war as one might like it to be.” As we consider war and warfare in width. in large mea- sure. Hanscom Air Force Base. social. Eric Petosky) an Sir Michael Howard’s 1961 Personnel provide command and control information at the 612th Air and Space Opera. Army pro- fessionals might begin by rejecting fallacies that are inconsistent with continuities in the nature of war.22 First. and violence associated with learned during recent operations. the proliferation of information.” Next. moral. “study in depth.. space. may have to control territory not only to deny its use to because as the “tidy outlines dissolve.S. Clausewitz describes as their own tions as escalatory. Howard observes. seminal essay on how military tions Center. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. win in war requires clear thinking. and. Mass.16 February 2010. and psychological dimensions because “the roots of Thinking Clearly about War and victory and defeat often have to be sought far from the Future of Warfare the battlefield. if necessary. it is hard to improve on the approach found in histori- (U. might consider change and continuity in four areas: tition for power and resources influence the character of threats. MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 15 . Land forces operating in and applying various theories and interdisciplinary areas such as the South China Sea or the Persian Gulf approaches. technology. and context. economic. political.” we can “catch the enemy but also to project power from land across a glimpse of the confusion and horror of the real multiple domains to restrict enemy freedom of action experience. This is important. shape security environ- ments. air.

and hybrid strategies to threaten U. strengths. nonstate organizations have unprecedent. often in application of joint. Moreover. they will make every effort to avoid U. tization of destructive power. such In contrast to “rapid decisive operations. unconven. and disrupt U. and multi- combination with their own special operations or national capabilities in the conduct of joint com- conventional forces. emulate advanced U. nation-states such as Russia and more arms or elements of one service to include the Iran employ unconventional proxy forces. Army Operating Concept27 16 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . Technology mies will not be passive.S. Army forces develop prepared to fight and win against state and nonstate situational understanding through action in close actors. security and the Army to be a learning organization. military—asymmetrically and stupid. nonstate actors. retain. capa. adversaries between wars. That interaction requires tional. industry. political subversion. advantages. When vital interests. of perception.S.”25 Future Army forces ed financial resources and access to sophisticated extend the “concept of combined arms from two or weapons. and ed only with the fielded forces of nation-states.S.” Army as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and forces are capable of sustaining high-tempo opera- Hezbollah possess capabilities previously associat. As the historian Conrad Crane bined arms operations. tions while consolidating gains to seize.S. interorganizational. contact with the enemy and civilian populations. They will ex.” To defeat It is clear that Army leaders and units must be elusive and capable enemies. derives. —The U. Army Operating Concept First Principles for Technological Development The Army works with joint partners.S. Due to what some have called the democra. in the shortest time span.S.S. The U. in part. and criminality.”26 has observed.24 Future ene. Enemies.S. ●● Emphasize integration of technology with soldiers and teams ●● Simplify systems and integrate soldier training into design ●● Maximize reliability and reduce life cycle costs ●● Design redundant systems that improve effectiveness under conditions of uncertainty ●● Develop systems that degrade gracefully ●● Maintain foundational knowledge to reduce the opportunity for surprise ●● Reduce logistical demands ●● Anticipate enemy countermeasures ●● Ensure interoperability ●● Consider scale and organizational implications Threats. allies. from the integration of advanced tech- pand operations to other battlegrounds such as those nologies with skilled soldiers and well-trained teams. Army’s differential advantage over enemies bilities. there are two ways to fight the U. For exploit the initiative and achieve “lasting outcomes example. engaged with determined enemies. Army leaders —The U. and other key stakeholders to develop future force capabilities with the following technological first principles in mind. Army Operating Concept23 “think ahead in time to gain and maintain positions of relative advantage over the enemy. and Adversaries The AOC acknowledges the continuous interac- tion with enemies in war and the interaction with Diverse enemies will employ traditional.

protection. and technology. and physical development” while fitting are likely to increase as threats overseas generate simul- weapons and machines to soldiers and units rather than taneous threats to the homeland. The The Army is not a boutique force. and informed cam- will require Army forces capable of conducting missions paigns.28 Army technological develop. skilled soldiers. the other way around. organization. There are no technological silver bullets.29 To shape security environments and prepare for a broad range of missions. of combat effectiveness. therefore.”31 The theater security cooperation activities MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 17 . security cooperation activ- pend in large measure on advanced technology. And the Army places soldiers at the center of varied and simultaneous demands on the joint force. warning. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE (U. winning ities. and other elements sion areas in which the Army plays a significant role. Missions will often overlap and place lethality. While the U. Army differential support of civil authorities. indigenous solutions. Army Operating Concept30 of leadership. well-trained units. demands on all components of the Army cognitive. Army “conventional Missions and special operations forces contribute to a glob- al land network of relationships resulting in early The complexity of future armed conflict. or large-scale operations. Science and technology will continue to influence the in the homeland or in foreign lands including defense character of warfare.S. international disaster relief advantages over potential enemies will continue to de. crisis response.S. in a complex world requires powerful combinations —The U. pursuing “advances in human sciences for future crises. personnel.S. Army forces must be prepared to conduct operations ment emphasizes the need for all formations to possess successfully in the context of future enemy capabilities the appropriate combination of mobility. In that effort. leader development. social. Vazquez) The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke launches Tomahawk cruise missiles at ISIS targets 23 September 2014. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos M. and humanitarian assistance. train. and and technology. Soldiers and units Army must integrate new technological capabilities with must be prepared for a broad range of activities. 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review identified 11 mis- ing. The complementary changes in doctrine.

commented in 1901 on “the wide range Regional engagement as well as the Army’s abil. of responsibilities which we have seen devolving ity to conduct expeditionary maneuver and joint upon officers charged with the civil government combined arms operations are critical to demon.S. more accurately. The Army’s Missions and Contributions to Joint Operations The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review identified 11 enduring Armed Forces missions in which the Army plays a substantial role: ●● Provide for military defense of the homeland ●● Defeat an adversary ●● Provide a global stabilizing presence ●● Combat terrorism ●● Counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ●● Deny an adversary's objectives ●● Respond to crisis and conduct limited contingency operations ●● Conduct military engagement and security cooperation ●● Conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations • Provide support to civil authorities • Conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response of regionally aligned Army forces as well as the future commander. Elihu Root. or. not to accompany him vide to the joint force set “favorable conditions for to the battlefield. for example. history can help military be prepared to conduct expeditionary maneuver. To cope with the complexity of war in the early twentieth century. above all others. observed.”34 operations enthusiastically but often has difficulty Similarly.”35 In short. It is for that reason that and warfare “is meant to educate the mind of the the AOC (Appendix B) establishes a framework 18 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . the father while maintaining mutual support and the ability to of the Army War College. combined arms air-ground formations will see and On the need to consolidate gains or integrate fight across wider areas.”36 not study history to make us “clever for the next Our Army pursues lessons of recent and ongoing time. the delicate relations which strating U. and constantly arise between military and civil authority. but leaders must “the rapid deployment of task-organized combined consider the unique context and local realities of a arms forces able to transition quickly and conduct particular conflict to develop answers. leaders ask the right questions.32 Because future enemies will attempt to deny but is careful not to lead him by the hand for the access to the joint force. resolve. operations of sufficient scale and ample duration however. should be Sir Michael Howard warned that we should familiar with history. him in his self-education. of occupied territory. operating widely dispersed efforts of multiple partners.” but instead to help make us “wise forever. the study of war applying these lessons. Clausewitz. to guide foundational capabilities that Army forces pro. former Secretary of War concentrate rapidly. amplify many of the lessons relearned in to achieve strategic objectives. just as a wise teacher guides and commitment of forces if diplomacy and deterrence stimulates a young man’s intellectual development. fail”.”33 Highly mobile recent and ongoing conflicts. future Army forces must rest of his life. deterring adversaries. Root highlighted the “manifest History and Lessons Learned necessity that the soldier. History does.” encouraging allies and partners.

honesty and the free flow of ideas between superiors Lessons from recent armed conflicts. op interim solutions to warfighting challenges.S. Nadia Schadlow of the innovation was open-ended experiment and exer. U. moderniza- tion. and commander. As historians Williamson Murray and and capabilities development) activities that help MacGregor Knox observed in a seminal book on leaders integrate future capabilities and devel- military innovation. The U.37 Our Army is innovating under Force 2025 Maneuvers. Dr. and learning about war. and Peace.S. militaries that prepared suc.S. Army Operating Concept: Winning in a Complex World for learning around the 20 first-order capabilities aiming at the validation of hopes or theories. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE The Army Warfighting Challenges The Army Warfighting Challenges provide an analytical framework to integrate efforts across warfighting functions while collaborating with key stakeholders in learning activities. McMaster has served as a U. can now inform had allegedly failed. Revolution. Gen. R. amined recent military events in careful. Lt. His previous assign- ments include commanding general. Smith Richardson Foundation and John Wiseman of the cises that tested systems to breakdown rather than Army Capabilities Integration Center. He holds a Ph. TRADOC Publication 525-3-1. H. ing what capabilities our Army and joint force must vated between 1919 and 1940 without exception ex. the problem of future armed conflict. concept. Army. Afghanistan. modeling. Army Training and Doctrine Command. and determin- “The military institutions that successfully inno. U. thinking. “the physical (experimentation. the increased overlaps between military purpose of experiments and exercises was to im- and law enforcement operations. And the overriding finance. simulations.D. and as a senior consulting fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. The author wishes to express gratitude to those who and realistic fashion. is the deputy commanding general. Simple the Army must possess to win in a complex world. McMaster. considering continuities and changes.”38 interim solutions to warfighting challenges. or the criticality prove the effectiveness of units and of the service as of mobile protected firepower and combined arms a whole. Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. The key technique of for this essay—in particular. Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul. They cultivated sustained collaboration among Army professionals in their leaders the ability to think clearly about committed to reading. MILITARY REVIEW  March-April 2015 19 . eval- Defining the Future Army: Force uations. analysis. exercises. Analysis of the past was the generously reviewed and provided helpful suggestions basis of successful innovation. and war 2025 and Beyond games) and intellectual (studies. Successful innovation will require focused and sional military education seriously. such as the and subordinates—key components of all successful need to put politics at the center of security force military cultures—were centrally important to the assistance. the growing importance of counterthreat ability to learn from experience. Futures. in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. rather than singling out commanders who capabilities in urban operations.S. thorough.”39 cessfully for the demands of future war took profes. Army War College Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War. develop to win in a complex world. and future force design. and director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center.

Ibid. (New York: Free Press. Johnson. Williamson Murray. Arms and Influence (New Haven.. TP 525-3-1. On War.. Lifting the Fog of Peace: How Americans ing the War with Spain. 10. S09-03. Stuart E. Ibid.. 18. 16. with permission of the Royal United Service Institute (R.. 26. 2014). 2006). 1989).google. November 2003. Ibid. NJ: Princeton University January 2015). 11. TP 525-7-1. “The Use and Abuse of Military 3. William A. 19 and 46. 33. TP 525-3-1. 17.U. 19. 4. Finding the Target: The Transforma. http://founders. 20. U. Five Years of the War Department. Ibid.: National Defense University Press. “Introduction. Zero Dark Thirty. Ibid. The U. 21. 21. Ibid. see also H. 35. Kagan. CT: The 2008 Battle for Sadr City (Santa Monica. 31. Ibid. Mark Boal. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRA. Johnson and originally appeared in College. Win in a Complex World (Fort Eustis.pdf (accessed 23 January 2015). 1996). TP 525-3-1. 30. 2nd Edition tion of American Military Policy (New York: Encounter Books.. Ibid. CA: RAND Cor- Yale University Press. Ibid. 144-175. “Crack in 23. McMaster. TP 525-3-1. Army Operating Concept: maneuver and secure land areas for the Nation. Years+of+the+War+Department&source=gbs_navlinks_s 2024. Carl Von Clausewitz. “The Lure of the Strike. SpecialCommentary.” ed. 27.” Parameters 11(1) (1981): 13. VA: TRADOC. 19. Center for Strategic Leadership. The Causes of Wars. 10. and trans. institute. http://www. History. Michael Howard. and 36.” Parameters Assumption of Dominant Knowledge in Future War..C. 36. Schelling. 17. 7. 33. 2007). J&dq=Five+- ity Plan for Unit Protection for the Future Modular Force. 5. sive Guide to the Peloponnesian War.I. Strassler 29. 4. 36-41. Elihu Root. 22. available at https:// 16. VA: TRADOC. 4-8. Ibid.S.. Journal 107 (February and Martin C. (Cambridge. Thucydides. October 2008). Issues Paper. D. National Archives Founders Online.S.S. Crane. Clausewitz. The ing of a New Era of Financial Warfare (New York: PublicAffairs. 33. 2001). The United States Army Concept Capabil. 1899-1903. howard. Conrad C.pdf (accessed 23 January 2015). TP 14.” 1. Digitized July 2008. Notes Epigraph. David E. 10. the Foundation: Defense Transformation and the Underlying 24. Ibid.strategicstudiesinstitute. 9. 2-7. Follow- Janine Davidson. 15. 30. Dominant Battlespace Knowledge. Press.R. Tom C.. Michael Howard. 20 March-April 2015  MILITARY REVIEW . and Brian Shannon. provide and which are fundamental to the Army’s ability to DOC) Pamphlet (TP) 525-3-1.” in Michael Howard.S. 2013).) 15. Juan C.U. 188. see also H. 12-32. Michael gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0361 (accessed 23 Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton. Libicki. 28. 43. 17. 8. 1904). 16. 1300-2050 (New York: Cambridge indispensable contributions in terms of capabilities and University Press. 8. 57-73. ed. Owens.archives. Article was reprinted val College Review 54(2)(Spring 2001): 122-123. M. movie depicts the raid that resulted in the death of al-Qaida 2013). Zarate. http://strategicstudies- 13. 32.. The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehen. Macgregor Knox and Williamson Murray. “Crack in the Foundation. Ibid. Robert B. MA: Harvard Uni- Michigan Press. 1996). Army War army. 2010).S. Treasury’s War: The Unleash- 18. George Washington.” Student 43(2)(Summer 2013): 5. George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives. ed. 4. “Thinking About Innovation. versity. MA: Harvard University Press. Sony Pictures.” Na. Wade Markel. McMaster. TP 525-3-1. capacities beyond what other services and defense agencies 39. 38. leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011. 28 February (accessed 23 January 2015). 9. 1983).. 160. Vol. 2. 8.R. The Dynam- 19. 2012. Ibid. 8 January 1790. U. 37. “The Use and Abuse of Military 12. TP 525-3-1. 188. Frederick W. Ibid. (Washington.I. History. 2012. 22. Core competencies are those ics of Military Revolution. 1962). 141. 34. TP 525-3-1. books.0 (Fort Eustis.. as shown in the annual Learned to Fight Modern War (Ann Arbor: The University of reports of the Secretary of War (Harvard. 6. Ibid. Version 1. poration.

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