Fratricide, Technology and Joint Doctrine
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Fratricide is not a new phenomenon in warfare it is an unfortunate and tragic occurrence for which the armed forces continue to seek a solution. From World War I through the Vietnam War, what has been generally accepted by many scholars and historians is that two percent of all combat casualties resulted from fratricide. Recent combat operations by U.S. forces such as Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom have had fratricide rates that are considerably higher than those recorded in earlier conflicts. This is despite the fact that there have been significant technological advances in hardware and weapons systems since World War II. The Department of Defense has spent countless dollars on technology in an effort to develop a system that will eliminate or significantly reduce fratricide, but technology alone is not the answer. Doctrine or the basic fundamentals of how U.S. forces are employed in combat is a critical component in reducing fratricide. More specifically, Joint Doctrine is how U.S. forces will conduct operations to accomplish their mission objectives. Current Joint doctrine does not specifically address fratricide prevention at a level or degree that provides operators with useable tools to ensure that fratricide prevention occurs at all levels of warfare. Using the principles of Operational Risk Management and incorporating them with methods within Joint doctrine the U.S. military can improve the tools and products available to operators. U.S. military doctrine must be continually evaluated and allowed to evolve if it is to be relevant in todays fast-paced combat environment. The best way to reduce fratricide is through the synergistic effects of technology and doctrine. 22 refs.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics