The Sequel to Major Combat Operations - Applying Critical Factors Analysis to OIF
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The conflict in Iraq continues to plague the American administration. After winning the war with an astounding performance of major combat operations, America continues to have difficulty winning the peace and accomplishing one of the administrations prewar goals, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government. Although the June 30, 2004 deadline to hand over authority to a provisional Iraqi government is fast approaching, it is debatable whether current security conditions will be conducive for a smooth transition. As the United States continues to improve its ability to achieve victory in major combat operations more quickly, our ability to nation assist those we defeat continue to elude us. This paper will use the operational art concept of critical factors analysis to identify the objectives, critical strengths, critical weaknesses, critical vulnerabilities, and centers of gravity in this phase of post major conflict. Critical factors analysis is a powerful tool that can be used to analyze the sequel to major combat operations in order to develop courses of action COA for winning the peace . Even though we are well into the Iraqi post conflict period, recommended actions will be developed for the entire period. The COAs resulting from this analysis will support the U.S. administration s explicit stated goal to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for the transition to a government representing and serving all the people. More importantly, they will provide a vision, structure, and organization to enhance the capabilities in our future responsibilities conducting post conflict operations. Using critical factors analysis to develop actions with post conflict operations in Iraq as a model, demonstrates the value of this tool.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics