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Field Artillery And Fire Support At The Operational Level: An Analysis Of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Technical Report,05 Jun 2016,25 May 2017

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph uses the Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitzs method of critical analysis to analyze Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, focusing on how Army and joint fires enabled maneuver at the operational level. The planning and execution of joint fires at the operational level differed in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom primarily due to two factors the differing strategic end states of removing the Iraqi forces from Kuwait in Desert Storm versus removing the Iraqi Baath regime from power in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the increased emphasis in Operation Iraqi Freedom on joint fires supporting operational maneuver versus the largely independent land and air campaigns of Operation Desert Storm. The US Army should continue to study how Army and joint fires, combined with operational level maneuver, enabled land forces to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative in its most recent campaigns. This understanding will both preserve the Armys hard-won institutional warfighting knowledge and inform plans for future unified land operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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