Policy Analysis: US Military Doctrine Strategy, Tactics, and the Operational Art

21 July 2015 – Trento, Italy

By Scott Nicholas Romaniuk

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Executive Summary

Within the prism of contemporary military doctrine, studies have assumed a renewed focus on issues of strategy, tactics, and the operational art. These are the major features of United States (US) military doctrine. Renewed approaches have also taken a front seat in US military practice, including joint frameworks analysis. The pace of doctrinal debate in the context of the US army and joint contexts has continued to increase, particularly with the seeming resurgence of asymmetric threats toward the turn of the millennium (9/11) but this increasing momentum is also driven by analysts conscientious of US military history and a the contrast between US military victory and defeat. In this report, Romaniuk first distinguishes between the highly contested and oft-times obfuscated concepts of strategy, tactics, and the operational art. Romaniuk presents their complexity in the realms of military affairs prior to applying them in a situational context. Romaniuk use the war in Vietnam as the setting for discussing the relationship between these concepts and its possible success.

 

Feature Photo: “An F-16 Fighting Falcon tests the new aircraft arresting barrier at the end of the runway at Balad Air Base, Iraq,” Staff Sgt. Tony Tolley – Wikimedia Commons, 2015

DefenceReport’s Analysis is a multi-format blog that is based on opinions, insights and dedicated research from DefRep editorial staff and writers. The analysis expressed here are the author’s own and are separate from DefRep reports, which are based on independent and objective reporting.


Scott is a Staff Analyst for DefenceReport and a PhD Candidate at the School of International Studies, University of Trento (Italy). His research focuses on asymmetric warfare, terrorism and counterterrorism, international security, and the use of force.


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