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AirLand Battle Redux: Evolutions of Air-Ground Integration from the Gulf War to Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The US Armys newest approach to combined arms integration is Multi-Domain Battle, the ability to create multiple dilemmas for an adversary while securing opportunities in a contested environment. The future battlefield is characterized by challenges to the air, space, and maritime domains largely uncontested since the end of the Cold War. Improvements in air defense systems, cyber capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, and range of conventional munitions threaten US superiority across the domains. This monograph compares the Armys search for a modern theory of warfare against the development of Air Land Battle doctrine and applications of joint firepower over the last twenty-five years. Specifically, this monograph examines three air-ground integration evolutions beginning with the Gulf War, then Operation Anaconda, and finally the drive to Baghdad in Operation Iraqi Freedom. By doing so, this monograph finds that lessons in organization, planning anchored by service interests, application of new technology, and emerging tactics, offers Multi-Domain Battle planners valuable insights for incorporating innovations on the modern battlefield. The challenges of integrating just the air and land domains demonstrate the complexities inherent with operations across multiple domains.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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