Planning and End State: Has Doctrine Answered the Need?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The 1991 Coalition victory in Desert Storm exemplified the awesome capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces weapons and doctrine. The Armys Air Land Battle doctrine was finally used in combat and proven effective. The short campaign ended with the near total destruction of Iraqs army and cost few American lives. Why then, does Iraq still threaten U.S. interests in the region Was the war really as successful as thought or could the Coalition have done more to assure the future stability of the Persian Gulf region. This monograph examines the planning process used to formulate the Desert Storm plan in order to determine what end state planning was done. The essential questions to answer are what, if any, end state planning was done prior to the offensive, and, what U.S. Military doctrine existed to support end state planning at the time The monograph then addresses what end state doctrine exists today and whether this is an adequate improvement over the doctrine existing during the war. The monograph begins with an examination of the overarching political goals and how these were linked to the military objectives. It continues with an examination of the offensive plan to determine how each subordinate unit mission was to support achievement of the stated objectives also noting that end state was not defined or even addressed in the plan. The monograph then moves into examining the actions of the units and commanders during the ground phase and how the decision to cease offensive operations was arrived at. This to determine if any well defined end state was sought, visualized, or recognized by the theater leadership or the National Command Authority. The monograph then proceeds with a short look at the end state doctrine in existence during Desert Storm then a look at the state of that doctrine today. There are four major conclusions of this monograph. First, a clearly defined and recognizable end state was not addressed in the Desert Storm plan.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics