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Joint Military Operations Historical Collection: 15 July 1997

Shalikashvili, John M.

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ISBN 10: 1482654636 / ISBN 13: 9781482654639
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Joint Military Operations Historical ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


Joint doctrine’s roots reach back to the commanders who first dealt with the timeless problems of coordinating military operations among land, sea and, later, air forces. The challenges inherent in coordinating different military forces have existed since armies became distinct from navies. The nation-states of ancient Greece that maintained both armies and navies faced the same challenges of joint coordination that General Grant and Admiral Porter addressed at the battle of Vicksburg. As technological developments added air power to the joint coordination equation, multi-Service coordination became even more complex. The nature of multi-Service coordination seen in World War II convinced Congress in 1947 that a permanent institution was required to control its complexities. The result was legislation that created the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Establishing a permanent structure to coordinate US land, sea, and air forces recognized that multiplying force effectiveness through joint action was critical to military success. Throughout history, nations that successfully coordinated simultaneous land and sea actions won their battles. Those that did not, lost. Although the ancients coordinated forces on land and sea, modern military planners must also deal with air and space. These new media change the situation quantitatively, not qualitatively. Multi-Service coordination still seeks to solve problems revealed when Pericles balanced his naval and land forces to defend Athens. Since Athens fought Sparta, technological advances have greatly reduced the time available for military decision making. In the age of sail, governments had months to decide how to coordinate land and sea responses to military threats. W ith modern weapons and communications, the luxury of time has virtually disappeared. The pace of events requires rapid and more effective decision making. Lacking time and facing critical decisions, military planners who know their history can base their choices on useful knowledge. The outstanding characteristic of all joint operations is their relative complexity compared to single Service operations. The increasing capability of today’s forces exacerbates the coordination problem, while the lethality and accuracy of modern weaponry demand a higher standard of control. For example, in DESERT STORM coalition forces dropped more bomb tonnage in 100 days than the allies dropped in all of World War II. Coordinating the logistics, maneuver , and timing of huge forces over great distances increases the opportunities for friction, the fog of war, and enemy action to destroy plans. The case histories each show specific actions taken to handle the coordination of large for ces. These US joint and multinational operations also demonstrate the efforts required to make operational reach over extreme distances work for, rather than against, US goals. Prosecuting the war on the adversary’s territory is always a good plan, but it requires long term investment, enormous planning capabilities, and the ability to synchronize activities on land, on the sea, and in the air for long periods. Leader, planner, and action officer accomplishments demonstrated in these case histories show how the proper use of experience and applied knowledge leads to military success.

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