Sustaining the Military Arts
AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY BOLLING AFB DC
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In another era, a crusty Texas ranger justified his six-gun with quiet eloquence Better to have it when you dont need it than to need it and not have it. In his own way, Captain Woodrow Call understood the prudent link between deterrence and capability. If he had to expand his views today, ranger Call would probably add ... and you better know how to shoot too. In a larger context, the logic of deterrence, military capability, and military art is enlightened by the same common sense that energized Calls epigram. Military capability isnt just a function of weapons and forces, it must also be underwritten by military art -- the ability to apply theories and principles of usage. There are a host of programs under way today attempting to do just that, insure that military officers know how to use military forces effectively. Many of these efforts have been captured under the rubric of war fighting or warrior preparation. However, when the rhetoric is stripped away, too many of these programs are hollow. Fundamental obstacles to improved performance remain intact. This essay explores the origin of this recent interest in warfighting, examines the obstacles, and suggests some new thinking on sustainability in the world of military ideas.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics