"Who Bravely Dares Must Sometimes Risk a Fall." The Balance Between Tactical and Operational Risk in War.
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Recent events in Operation Iraqi Freedom have made it clear that at least on some level the United States has embarked upon a change in policy to reflect the acceptance of greater tactical risk in consequence to reducing operational risk. This represents a change from the way in which United States forces have historically trained for sequential attrition based, vice simultaneous maneuver operations. The transition by the United States to a more risk acceptant posture is a situational approach to risk management and not a doctrinal change. It is intended to break an adversarys perceived patterns of U.S. action and reaction in order to retain both diplomatic and military initiative on the world stage and not as an augury of all future conflicts. Tactical risk can be a necessary consequence of this type of shock and surprise approach, yet only when coupled with careful analysis and operational planning can its full utility be recognized. To win you must risk, but this acceptance of risk cannot be based on bravado. Instead it must be the result of reasoned study by well trained professionals. When training does not match execution, success becomes a casualty.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics