Future Counterland Operations: Common Lessons from Three Conflicts
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Through the study of past military experiences, especially the examination of common lessons from differing conflicts, implications for future warfare can be revealed. Common counterland lessons from three major US conflicts are the focus of this study. Specifically, this monograph seeks the common lessons from the counterland experiences from the Persian Gulf War, the air campaign against Serbia, and the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaida. To reveal these lessons, this study analyzes the counterland campaigns from three operations Desert Storm, Allied Force, and Enduring Freedom by laying out the counterland thinking behind the initial planning and how counterland evolved and developed during each conflict. Then the effects of counterland operations for each operation, both physical and psychological, are evaluated and compared. From this analysis, four significant common lessons emerge these are described and assessed. These lessons, considered in aggregate, form the output of this study, with specific implications and recommendations for both future counterland and future joint warfare. This study determines that three general lessons emerge from the counterland experiences since the Cold War the value of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance the power of innovation and the dominance of air power over surface forces. The three conflicts in question also reveal the limitations of counterland and how these limitations should be overcome. These lessons suggest a new balance of land and air power when facing opposing land forces. This new balance of power, first seen in Desert Storm and recently validated in Enduring Freedom, reveals a new way of thinking about land warfare and has direct consequences for joint planning, training, and doctrine.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics