Playing Second Fiddle: Conducting the Operational Art in a Secondary Theater of War with a Passive Aim.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper examines the implications for planning and conducting operations in a secondary theater of war that has a passive aim. After developing a framework for analysis, this paper investigates the British June 1940 - February 1941 and the German February 1941 - March 1942 campaigns in North Africa. The two campaigns are of particular interest to todays commander who has a primary focus on Europe while trying to plan for a Southwest Asian scenario. This paper concludes that the requirements to determine what military conditions must be produced to achieve the strategic aim, to sequence actions to achieve that military condition and to apply the allocated resources to accomplish those actions do not change with the assignment of a passive aim. However, the operational commander assigned a passive aim in a secondary theater of war may determine that it is not required nor desirable to concentrate superior combat power in an attempt to destroy the enemys center-of-gravity. This paper suggest that it may be possible to simply neutralize an enemy capability thus protecting ones own center-of-gravity. Additionally, the commander in a secondary theater of war must understand his role in the overall context of the war. This understanding will allow him to design a campaign that will not only accomplish the passive aim but also complement the actions in the primary theater of war.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics