Managing Operational Transitions: A Key to Maintaining the Initiative
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph develops a general model for transitions using Organizational Development concepts that consists of four inter-related aspects. First, organizations must have a clear and accurate picture of the present pre-change state. Second, organizations must have a clear understanding of the desired future post-change state. Three, organizations must understand and be able to identify the conditions indicating the need to transition. And four, organizations must develop a plan for managing the transition state. This general model for transitions highlights the similarities between all types of transitions, and underscores the idea that all effective transitions, regardless of when they occur in a campaign, follow the same general principles. Two historical case studies, Operation DESERT STORM and Operation JUST CAUSEPROMOTE LIBERTY, explore different aspects of transitions. The conclusion is that effective transitions result from having the right capability in the right place at the right time to immediately dominate the situation. The historical case studies illustrate the important role of doctrine, and indicate that U.S. forces will continue to have difficulty transitioning to post-combat operations as long as there is a lack of valid post-combat doctrine to guide planning. It offers several principles to guide planning and execution. First, commanders must adequately resource the planning and preparation efforts for the post-change state in order to facilitate and effective transition. Second, the post-change state planning must be thoroughly integrated with pre-change state planning. Third, the appropriate forces for the post-change phase, in terms of capabilities and size, must be in place to immediately begin operations in order to reduce the time and impact of the transition period.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics