Checking the Doctrinal Map: Can We Get There from Here with FM 100-5?
PACIFIC COMMAND CAMP H M SMITH HI
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As lieutenants we encountered the delicate protocol of checking the map. Rule 2 was Thou shalt check the map...because Rule 1 was Thou shalt not get lost. At the same time, we soon learned that too much study of the map -- particularly if accompanied by anxious muttering -- could cause considerable restlessness in the ranks. And few can forget that wonderful flash of insight when the platoon sergeant said Please dont make it obvious youre carrying the map, Lieutenant -- it makes me nervous standing next to you. With these concerns in our collective consciousness, some may feel that it is not quite time to scrutinize our primary doctrinal map -- FM 100-5. After all, it was only signed out in June of 1993 Give our new doctrine some time As Colonel Ret. Rick Swain once pointed out Before a war, doctrine is hypothesis, not subject to proof until applied under hostilities. That said, can we possibly assess the 1993 doctrine in this period of peace We can and we must, for we are already under hostilities in a chaotic era of peace, war, and operations other than war, phenomena that the 1993 FM 100-5 resolutely attempts to address. PM 100-5 has been subject to proof for over a year -- hows it doing Thats a tough question, but we are a tough, doctrine-based Army. Furthermore, our doctrine demands high standards. Does it remain adaptable enough to address diverse and varied situations worldwide Has it proved to be solid enough to weather the winds of turmoil and, at the same time, sufficiently dynamic to capture the relevant aspects of change Is this doctrinal map going to guide us through the post-Cold War era Can we get there from here
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