Accession Number : ADA542983


Title :   Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response


Descriptive Note : Monograph


Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA


Personal Author(s) : Smith, Andrew


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a542983.pdf


Report Date : Apr 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 85


Abstract : The threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that has emerged in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 is a contemporary example of conventional militaries being confronted with a tactical surprise with operational--if not strategic--implications. Those implications can necessitate institutional responses to avoid strategic defeat in what, for many countries, are wars of discretion. Operational surprise, as defined in this examination, differs from strategic shocks as described by Nathan Freier, and the necessary responses are distinct from the military adaptations considered by John Nagl. The paper contends that the 6-year evolution of the IED experience from 2003 until 2009 constitutes a complete cycle of surprise and response, of which the most significant part is the institutional response. A case study of this experience illustrates how conventional military establishments recognize and respond to such surprises, with a particular focus on the experience, respectively, of the U.S. and Australian defense establishments. This case study reveals that institutional response is triggered by recognition of the surprise, which then cues organizational, equipment, training and doctrine, research and development, industrial, funding/budgetary, and policy actions.


Descriptors :   *IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES , *RESPONSE , IRAQ , MILITARY STRATEGY , POLICIES , MILITARY DOCTRINE , CASE STUDIES , AFGHANISTAN , MILITARY OPERATIONS , MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN)


Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE