Accession Number : ADA425924


Title :   How Critical Thinking Shapes the Military Decision Making Process


Descriptive Note : Final rept.


Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT


Personal Author(s) : Usry, Floyd J , Jr


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a425924.pdf


Report Date : 17 May 2004


Pagination or Media Count : 26


Abstract : A lack of Combatant Commander (COCOM) critical thinking in the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) is a causal factor in military failure at the operational level. However, critical thinking can improve the MDMP of the COCOM. This paper analyzes the effects of critical thinking on the combatant commander's decision making process by: defining critical thinking; illustrating its impact on intuitive and analytical decisions; demonstrating barriers to critical thinking and proposing practical ways to use critical thinking in the MDMP. An historical vignette illustrates the effects of critical thinking on decision making in a major operation. The MDMP is a process and critical thinking is an enabler to that process. Frequently the MDMP solution is plagued by a lack of analytic depth, faulty assumptions, vague analysis and wishful thinking. Two common barriers to clear thinking are psychological and logical fallacies. This paper provides examples of both types of barriers. Critical thinking can improve the MDMP decisions resulting in a higher probability of operational success. Finally, the paper offers a starting point by proposing several critical thinking ideas to use in the MDMP.


Descriptors :   *DECISION MAKING , *MILITARY APPLICATIONS , MILITARY OPERATIONS , STRATEGY , MILITARY DOCTRINE , PROBABILITY , MILITARY COMMANDERS


Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE