Applying the "Principles of War" to Cruise Missile Defense
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The U.S. military must assume its future adversaries will possess arsenals that include sophisticated cruise missiles capable of being launched from multiple platforms and engaging both land and sea targets. Having the appropriate force structure and doctrine to counter this threat may mean the difference between victory and defeat. The adequacy of our existing doctrine, rather than the effectiveness of our current force structure, is the focus of this paper. Using the Principles of War as measures of effectiveness, analysis shows that our current doctrine fails to optimize cruise missile defense capabilities at the operational level of war. The Joint Chiefs of Staff JCS has elected to include cruise missiles under the umbrella of theater missiles. Joint Publication 3-01.5, Doctrine for Joint Theater Missile Defense, is the principal source for planning and executing cruise missile defense. Service doctrine is also relevant since Joint Pub 3-01.5 permits each component commander the freedom to use his respective services doctrine when conducting defensive operations within his Area of Responsibility AOR. When examining each of these documents we find that significant progress has been made since the end of the Gulf War. The objective of our defensive strategy has been clearly defined. Service doctrine addresses this objective by capitalizing on maneuver to surprise the enemy and limit his ability to influence our operations with cruise missiles. However, our command and control structure, along with a reluctance to place assets of one service under the command of another component commander, prevents us from achieving the proper application of mass and economy of force.
- Defense Systems
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Air- and Space-Launched Guided Missiles