Auftragstaktik: How Low Can You Go?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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One key to fighting successfully on the AirLand battlefield is a command and control system which minimizes the effects of friction and confusion. Auftragstaktik is an approach to such a command and control system, and the U.S. Army has embraced it as the technique which best supports its new doctrine. To implement the Auftragstaktik leadership style, a number of characteristics must be present and certain prerequisites met. While historical precedents exist within the American military tradition, evidence as to the lower level where it regularly applies is inconclusive. Analysis of the societal influences reveals that, although a common cultural bias which favors Auftragstaktik exists, it may be as much a liability as an asset. The impact which the Army has on its soldiers does not fully promote such a leadership style, as the personnel turbulence and aperceived negative command climate do not foster the cohesion, trust and confidence necessary for implementation of Auftragstaktik, particularly at the lower levels. The paper concludes that battalion is the lowest level of command where we might currently expect Auftragstaktik to be used with any degree of regular success.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Command, Control and Communications Systems