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Campaign Planning: A Doctrinal Assessment Through the Study of the Japanese Campaign of 1942,
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph assesses the adequacy of current United States joint campaign planning doctrine within the context of conventional operations between similar forces within a theater of war. The study focuses on five key doctrinal planning concepts -- center of gravity, decisive points, operational reach, balance, and branches and sequels. A case study of Japanese campaign planning efforts at the beginning of 1942 and the retroactive application of selected joint doctrine planning concepts to these efforts is the method and medium of inquiry. Japanese operational planning in 1942 contained a number of complex and difficult challenges. These challenges present a rigorous test for current doctrine. Historically, this process resulted in the disastrous attempt to invade Midway Island. Joint doctrine is assessed as adequate if its application to 1942 Japanese planning would have resulted in the development of a campaign plan potentially more successful than the historical Midway operation. This paper concludes that the rigorous application of current joint doctrine by the Japanese to the planning for the 1942 campaign would have resulted in the production of a more thorough, resilient, and potentially more successful plan. Joint campaign planning doctrine, a way to think about warfare, would have overcome the challenges involved in planning this campaign.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE