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Joint Consolidation of Gains: A Theoretical Foundation for Joint Doctrinal Codification

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2018,31 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Against the backdrop of the current operating environment, joint concepts and US Army doctrine recognize that successful execution of dominating activities does not automatically lead to the achievement of desired military and political objectives. Thus, for the first time in US Army history, the 2017 Army operations doctrine has codified consolidation of gains. Despite the US Armys initiative, joint doctrine does not yet account for consolidation of gains. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to help close the joint doctrinal gap. Accordingly, the research question asks how can US joint doctrine and campaign planning best account for consolidation of gains. To answer this research question, the study first develops a theory of joint consolidation of gains second, applies that theory to three historical case studies and third, suggests a doctrinal definition of joint consolidation of gains. The historical case studies analyzed are the Battle of the Bulge from the German perspective, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the campaign to recapture the Philippines leading into the occupation of Japan. The suggested definition of joint consolidation of gains stemming from that analysis comprises two elements, the first being activities to operationally consolidate tactical military gains, the second being contributions to strategically consolidate political gains. This way, the study attempts to establish the missing link in the inherent relationship between temporary tactical and operational gains, military and political objectives, and strategic aims.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

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