Fighting with Fires
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Modern precision firepower does not determine combat against either an entrenched enemy willing to accept losses or one skilled in camouflage, concealment, and deception. In Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Kosovo, liberal use of expensive precision weapons produced important results but still left the national leadership the unpalatable choice of accepting the terms of bombing alone or running up a butchers bill by sending in troops to root out an enemy. The time is right for a new operational concept that blends proven strategic principles of the past with the tactical revolution advanced by precision weapons and mobility. This idea involves forcing enemies from foxholes by seizing politically and materially vital areas, thus confronting them with a choice of their own--do nothing and lose or engage superior precision firepower. The time has come to fight with fires. This concept combines maneuver and fire warfare. Maneuver warfare puts boots on the ground to seize or threaten centers of gravity in the rear, then precision fires destroy enemy forces during the inevitable counterattack. The destabilizing effect of invasion acts as a forcing function. An enemy is compelled to react against an immediate threat to political control, yet it is exactly this reaction that exposes it to destruction from precisely targeted fire. Critical to strategists, fighting with fires answers the basic question of whose side time is on.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics