Shifting the Gun Tube in the War on Terrorism: Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Though United States military doctrine evolved for and from conventional wars, the elements of operational art are invaluable in the planning and execution of all military operations. Missions fought in counter-terrorism, special operations or military operations other than war environments also require detailed preparation pursuant to conducting and sustaining strategically successful campaigns. Even in this paradigm-shifting conflict against Al Qaeda, the same fundamental principles, processes and conditions that define operational art remain relevant to Joint Force Commanders and their staffs and therefore remain an essential aspect to the application of military force. Considering lessons learned from Operation Enduring Freedom, critical operational factors were planned in detail despite the fact that the Horn of Africa mission was initially being conducted by elite Special Forces. Pertinent to the design and deployment of all forces to a Joint Force Commander and staff are the elements of command and control, operational intelligence and protection. In this global campaign, political-military and interagency coordination are also important to the success of all operations. In order to defeat Al Qaeda and conclude the War on Terrorism, it is imperative that planning staffs design aggressive strategies, utilize the nexus with other government agencies and take and achieve the initiative. Lessons implemented during Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa should be incorporated to enhance the planning of the next Joint Task Force in the War on Terrorism or other military operations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics