Raids at the Operational Level - To What End?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph addresses contemporary raid warfare and the effect it can produce at the operational level of war. Can operational raids be decisive is the question that is researched and answered in the course of this paper. After establishing raid warfare as an alternative to traditional, persisting campaigns between massed armies, the definitions of operational raid and decisiveness are derived. The current strategic environment is then examined to determine the balance of power, the ends sought and the means available to determine the feasibility of raids as a way to conduct war at the operational level. At the operational level specific conditions are identified and examined that impact on the acceptability and suitability of a raid. The specific conditions that are addressed are the existence of a suitable target, availability of forces to conduct a raid, and the political or diplomatic constraints that impact on the type of operation that is planned. This monograph concludes that operational raids are a viable option for accomplishing limited objectives in a short period of time. The current strategic setting characterized by US military dominance makes raid warfare feasible. The operational commander must evaluate the specific conditions to determine the suitability and acceptability of a raid.
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