Command and Control: Is the U.S. Army's Current Problem with Decentralized Command and Control a Function of Doctrine or Training
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The decentralized command and control system required to execute AirLand Battle Doctrine presents a significant challenge to tactical leaders. Incapable of predicting the critical place on the battlefield or occupying multiple vantage points simultaneously, todays leader depends on the decisions and initiative of his subordinates to win battles. This study examines and compares a successful model of decentralized command and control, Auftragstaktik, with that demanded by FM 100-5 in order to draw conclusions from any significiant differences in regards to the current problem. First this paper uses a historical analysis to identify the principles of Auftragstaktik and how the Germans made their command and control system work. With the principles of Auftragstaktik identified, the principles behind the decentralized command system demanded by FM 100-5. A similar comparison can then be conducted between the application of doctrine in training by the Germans and the U.S. Army. This study concludes that the U.S. Armys problem with decentralized command and control is with application of doctrine, not FM 100-5. In order to be successful, a dynamic decentralized command system must have a cohesive integration of doctrine and training. The U.S. Army has the right doctrine but has yet to make it work. Based on the German experience, recommendations are made on how to train for decentralized command and control.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics