Phases III AND IV: A Dangerous Overlap
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The recent war in Iraq has demonstrated that contemporary and future wars are likely to increase the overlap between the decisive combat phase III and transition operations phase IV of a campaign. The presence of this overlap requires operational commanders to ensure their forces are trained to and equipped with both lethal and non-lethal means in order to be able to use the correct level of force necessary to accomplish the mission. While Shock and Awe operations may quickly achieve decisive military results, they may also place US forces in a position where the local populace, comprised largely of non-combatants, may be energized into becoming part of an unruly, even riotous, mob. US combat forces placed into situations like this will need the capability provided by non-lethal weapons NLW. An operational commanders combat forces need this ability to operate across the use-of-force continuum, and they need this capability, which must be both light and relevant, right now. In addition, ensuring US forces minimize non-combatant casualties, and thus do not further alienate the local populace, will be an important objective of phase IV operations. In the end, NLW gives the operational commanders combat forces the ability to make a positive difference that of using the right amount of force for the specific situation.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics