The Forsaken Bond: Operational Art and the Moral Element of War.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Most important of the changes affecting todays Army, probably, is the manner in which the Army conceptualizes the performance of its primary missions-protecting and defending the Constitution and fighting the nations wars. Current institutional changes and projected doctrinal evolution manifested within Joint and Army operational doctrine reflect an increased reliance upon automation and technology as the keys to wartime success and as panaceas to victory. Operational art, reborn in the Army since 1982, is one of the victims of this techno-dominant mindset. What many modem theorists and forward-thinking military writers either de-emphasize or neglect is that operational art is a human endeavor, assisted by man-made inventions but promulgated by uniquely human skill and effort. It also is the method by which the human participant grasps the phenomenon of armed conflict which defies stereotypes and definitive rules--the moral element of war, of which the human element is a major component. The real danger in neglecting this facet of war is that operations will become rigid, solutions to problems predictable and vulnerable, and the final results predetermined to failure. This paper establishes the linkage between operational art and the moral element of war through the definition of each, a description of their relationship to the environment of war, examples of their importance from recent military history, and a deduction of their future role based upon current and projected technological development, doctrine, and organization in the U.S. Army.
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics