Accession Number : ADA606037


Title :   A Framework for Failure? The Impact of Short Tour Lengths and Separate National Command and Control on British Operational Art and Coalition Warfare in Iraq, 2003-2009


Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES


Personal Author(s) : Campbell, Stephen A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a606037.pdf


Report Date : 10 Dec 2013


Pagination or Media Count : 79


Abstract : The British Army that deployed to Iraq in 2003 had a reputation for experience and skill at war-fighting and counter-insurgency (COIN); it also had a doctrine and ethos derived from the philosophy of 'the manoeuvrist approach', mission command, and critical thinking. Yet the campaign that followed stretched the British Army well outside its intellectual comfort zone and resulted in a poor campaign in southern Iraq. The evidence provided by the United Kingdom's senior military leaders, diplomats and politicians to the Iraq Inquiry shows that many things went wrong: poor planning; scarce resources; a shift in strategy towards Afghanistan; and a campaign half-heartedly supported by the rest of the UK government and bureaucracy. However, before gazing out the window should we first look in the mirror? Are there insights for British forces, and our key partners, for coalition operations in the future? This monograph addresses this difficult question by focusing on the impact of the command and control structure chosen by British forces in Iraq. What was the impact on British forces and the wider coalition of the UK's decision to use its own national operational echelon to command UK forces in southern Iraq? How did successive British Commanders of MND (SE) approach the competing pressures inherent within the chosen command and control structure of being a tactical commander subordinate to two operational headquarters: one in Baghdad, the other in London? Did this situation create unnecessary tension, and flaws, that frustrated efforts to better understand the environment and craft an effective, coherent coalition campaign? Were the flaws in this structure compounded by the very different tour lengths between US and UK forces? Finally, how did this structure affect the ability of UK forces to understand the environment they were in, assess the effectiveness of their operational approach and, if needed, change course? Exploring these dynamics offers value for both the Brit


Descriptors :   *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *IRAQ , *JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES , *MILITARY OPERATIONS , *UNITED KINGDOM , COHERENCE , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , MILITARY PERSONNEL , POLITICAL ALLIANCES , POLITICAL PARTIES , TACTICAL WARFARE


Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE