Inducing Operational Shock to Achieve Quick Decisive Victory: How Does the Airborne Division Contribute?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This paper explores the capacity of an airborne division to inflict operational shock in mid to high-intensity conflict as part of a Joint Task force JTF. The United States faces a multi-faceted and complex security environment in its new role as a dominant world leader. As the U.S. enters the new millennium, it experiences a rapid increase in the frequency and demand to exercise military force in pursuit of vital national interests. The Army intends to maintain a small technologically elite force that can attain quick decisive victory at minimal cost to lives and national resources in order to maintain a viable and flexible response for emerging contingencies. To implement the current National Security Strategy NSS and National Military Strategy NMS U.S. forces must maximize efficiency in resolving conflict due to the shrinking size of the force and the growing instability in the international security environment. Operational shock is a temporary or permanent condition that neutralizes the enemys ability to achieve his aim. Inflicting shock at the operational level can allow U.S., coalition, or multinational forces to increase material andor positional advantages that lead to operational and strategic end states. Inducing operational shock against a hostile military force is a product of bringing force to bear on the opponents entire structure. The condition creates paralysis and the ensuing disintegration that can lead to quick decisive victory. Operational shock is induced through the application of force and activity throughout the depth, width, and breadth of the battlespace, to neutralize the oppositions ability to function coherently or to achieve its aim. The airborne division is a critical component of the shock theory and enhances the JTFs capacity to inflict this operational condition in a contiguous or noncontiguous framework. The airborne division has unlimited reach, responsiveness and flexibility.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics