Combat Power in the Rear: Balancing Economy of Force and Risk.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper challenges the capstone principle of US doctrine for rear battle, economy of force. The paper also seeks to determine if the doctrine accurately reflects the tactics key to successful defense of rear areas in modern war. Case studies from the German Armys defense of its rear areas on the Eastern Front in World War II, refined to consider changes in the modern conditions of war and current Soviet capabilities, are the primary source for successful rear battle tactics. The study suggests that several issues governing the proper use of economy of force are not well expressed in FM 90-14. Most important among these is that the desire to with the need to avoid defeat in the rear. In the study vignettes, contrary to US doctrine, this required some measure of permanent commitment of combat units to the rear to protect critical terrain, or conduct critical operations. Further, while passive security as envisioned in US doctrine was essential to protect key terrain and units, launching aggressive offensive action as often as possible as also necessary to rob the initiative from the forces attacking in support must be integrated throughout the depth of the defense.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics