Fighting in the Medium of Time: The Dynamics of Operational Tempo
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This paper analyses the concept of operational tempo from the Soviet perspective. It examines the nature of high tempo operations, the dynamics of these operations, and proposes ways to counter a future Soviet high tempo operation in Europe. By nature, high temp operations are designed to defeat the enemy primarily in the medium of time. That is, they aim at depriving the enemy of time in order to preempt his actions. Physical attrition and seizure of terrain are of secondary importance when compared to gaining of time over the enemy. Soviet organizations, operations, and tactics all support a doctrine where time is of primary importance. Echelonment, deep operations, OMGs, deception, and the emphasis on achieving surprise are outward manifestations of this doctrine and share the primacy of time as a common denominator. Countering high tempo operations in Europe will be difficult. The nature of theater, the operational constraints imposed by a strategy of deterrence, and the political constraints present drive NATO forces into an operational pattern based on attrition at the operational level and maneuver at the tactical level. The implications are that in order to overcome their operational shortcomings NATO forces must be greatly superior tactically to Soviet forces. Keywords Military operations, Military organizations, Military tactics, Military doctrine, Military forcesForeign.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics