The Clash of Opposing Futures: Examining the Role of the Will in Shaping Future Warfare
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING
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U.S. and Coalition forces conducted a lightning campaign during Operation DESERT STORM, shattering Iraqi forces in a 100-hour ground campaign. During the conflict the United States fielded a highly trained force versed in maneuver warfare doctrine and integrated with the latest equipment and technology. Considering the poor readiness of U.S. forces less than 10 years prior, its total transformation was a remarkable feat executed over a relatively short period of time. Were the actions taken by the commander on the scene the decisive factor in achieving success Considering that the force was created as a result of action taken years in advance of conflict, credit for this victory cannot reside solely with the actions of the operational commander. Whether planned or incidental, the decision to create the force may have been the decisive factor in determining victory at the point of physical conflict. The clash of wills as portrayed in Marine Corps Warfighting Doctrine provides a narrow interpretation of the wills full manifestation in warfare, focused primarily on its role in employment of military force at the point of execution. A broader interpretation of will is required to fully recognize the mental struggle to establish ends as an integral part of the conduct of warfare. The Marine Corps failure to account for the volitional act of the will in the conduct of war has restricted its ability to shape future warfare. This paper will examine the nature of the human will within the context of warfare and provide insights on redefining the Marine Corps approach to warfare.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations