Operational Art in NATO: How will Politically Motivated Restrictions Affect Operational Maneuver
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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FM 100-5, Operations, published in May, 1986, contains AirLand Battle doctrine which our Army will use into the next century. the new doctrine is considerably different from the Active Defense doctrine of the 1970s. Supported by the Armys top leaders, AirLand Battle is being integrated into the OPLANs of our NATO forces. This integration will not be completed without difficulty as the political restrictions imposed by the concept of forward defense and the prohibition of crossing the international border may limit the operational commander. This study examines the extent of these restrictions and what, if any, impact they will have. The study summarizes the main concepts of operational art from FM 100-5 and historical examples of operational maneuver being restricted. Mansteins campaign into Russia during 1941-43 provides excellent examples of a commander proficient in developing a campaign plan and using operational maneuver. His campaigns are also relevant to this study as Hitler imposed restrictions which adversely affected operational maneuver. Contemporary articles are reviewed to determine US and Allied interpretations of AirLand Battle in NATOs defense. A Federal Republic of Germany FRG White Paper stipulates the concern of their government with the political implications of our new doctrine. We must recognize this disconnect between doctrinal theory and application in the NATO theater of operations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics