Force-Application Planning: A Systems-and-Effects-Based Approach
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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This study explores the following question How can current force-application FA planning methodologies be changed or supplemented to provide better linkage between objectives, effects, and targets to achieve more effective applications of military force The USAF has not articulated a clear theory of effects. Yet, in all FA analyses, planning, executions, and assessments, effects are used explicitly and implicitly. Due to this imprecise understanding of where effects fit into FA, the overall planning process for selective FA to achieve objectives suffers a like imprecision. Air powers efficiency and effectiveness can be enhanced by a clear articulation of a systems-and-effects-based approach to FA that will supplement the existing planning frameworks. There is a tension in the theory of operational art between established concepts based on a Newtonian framework and emerging concepts based on complexity theory. This study examines the implications of these frameworks for the nature of warfare and FA planning. At the heart of complexity theory is the concept of nonlinearity, which seems to embrace the dynamic nature of war better than traditional linear concepts. The implication of complexity theory for effects-based FA is that new opportunities may exist for the achievement of results effects out of proportion to the amount of force applied. This multiplication of force is achieved through leverage. The intent of this study is to develop general propositions regarding the nature of FA effects. As part of that development, effect propositions are developed regarding time relationships, major functions of warfare, organizing schemes, levels of war, and simple and complex systems.
- Administration and Management
- Operations Research
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics