Doctrine and Vision for Today and the Future

By Linn, Brian McAllister | Army, November 2007 | Go to article overview

Doctrine and Vision for Today and the Future


Linn, Brian McAllister, Army


Doctrine and Vision for Today and the Future

FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency. Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus and Lt. Gen. James F. Amos. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Diagrams; index. Free download at http:/Aeav-www.army.mil/

Doctrine is broadly defined as the concepts and methods a military organization expects to use in its conduct of wartime operations. Doctrine is also historical; it provides a philosophical and practical manual for a service's "way of war" at a particular point in time. For the U.S. Army, doctrine has also served as an agent of transformation, providing a blueprint for a new model combat force. For example, the authors of the Field Service Regulations of 1923 overturned the Army's traditional reliance on light infantry in formulating principles for combined arms warfare. Gen. William DePuy, the author of FM 100-5 Operations (1976), sought not only to define the next conflict, but also to shape Army procurement, force structure and training. As officer-historians such as William O. Odom and Paul H. Herbert have shown, transformational doctrine is inevitably controversial and arouses much opposition. It takes years, even decades, to appreciate the full impact of such radical shifts in concepts and methods. Conversely, doctrine initially innovative and progressive often degenerates into dogma, rigidly constraining a service's outlook on warfare. This happened with the 1923 Regulations. It may have occurred with AirLand Battle.

Counterinsurgency can be read as both a window on comprehending the Army-Marine Corps understanding of the current warfighting environment and as a vision of the future. But the authors have a consciously revolutionary agenda that goes beyond the immediate present. They emphatically reject the Army's traditional neglect, even disdain, of irregular warfare. They challenge the U.S. armed forces' long-standing definition of war as large-unit conventional operations between rival nation-states. They also seek to merge the lessons of historically proven counterinsurgency (COIN) methods with "the realities of a new international arena shaped by technological advances, globalization and the spread of extremist ideologies."

FM 3-24 represents a radical break with post-Vietnam American military thinking, which viewed operational efficiency as an end unto itself. Little remains of such pre-Iraq tenets as "shock and awe" and "full spectrum dominance." Indeed, much of the manual asserts propositions that many officers would have considered heretical less than a decade ago. For example, the authors acknowledge that in COIN, rapid operations may not necessarily be decisive, while decisive operations are seldom rapid. Moreover, FM 3-24 reiterates that vietory on the battlefield is not, by itself, a mark of success. It may even prove counterproductive if, in killing individual enemy combatants, the victor creates a host of new opponents. Perhaps most radical is the insistence that soldiers must consider the political and ethical consequences of their actions. Readers are reminded several times that "all insurgencies ... remain wars amongst the people" in which "the long-term objective for all sides remains ... legitimacy." Combating such a fluid, volatile, complex form of warfare requires both organizations and individuals to learn and adapt.

FM 3-24 takes as a basic premise that while most of its target audienceleaders and planners at battalion level and above-may have personal experience in the subject, they have very little theoretical background. Whereas FM 100-5 (1976) simply stated that the objective was to win the first battle and then went on to explain how to do this, FM 3-24 devotes the entire first chapter to defining and explaining insurgency and counterinsurgency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Doctrine and Vision for Today and the Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.