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Three Kinds of Initiative: The Role of Initiative in AirLand Battle Doctrine
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Three Kinds of Initiative: The Role of Initiative in AirLand Battle Doctrine

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ISBN-13:
9781288325054
Einband:
Paperback
Seiten:
52
Autor:
David J. Oberst
Gewicht:
109 g
Format:
246x189x3 mm
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

This monograph examines the role of initiative in AirLand Battle doctrine as contained in the 1986 edition of Field Manual 100-5 Operations. It concludes that although the tenet of initiative is clearly defined as setting the terms of battle by action, this concept is never fully developed. The "terms of battle" are never defined and most of the manual treats initiative as if it were an exclusive attribute of offensive action. For instance in discussing the defense, "seizing the initiative" invariably means conducting a counterattack. A review of military theory indicates that there are three basic concepts of initiative as a characteristic of military operations. The most common is to treat initiative as an attribute of the attack. Others, including Mao Tse Tung, have used initiative to mean exercising freedom of action. Finally, theorists such as Liddell Hart developed the concept of initiative as imposing your will on the enemy by causing him to react to your actions. The definition of initiative as setting the terms of battle by action contained in FM 100-5 corresponds to this third concept. Despite the inconsistent usage of initiative in the body of manual, the majority of the authors of contemporary journal articles on AirLand Battle doctrine interpreted the tenet of initiative in this light. The monograph concludes that the concept of initiative as setting the terms of battle needs to be more fully developed in future AirLand Battle documents. This is especially important with respect to the emphasis on the counterattack which needs to be offset by other examples of the exercise of initiative in the defense.