Operational Design that Synthesizes Art and Science
Final rept. Feb-May 2011
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The divide between operational art theorists and systems-type thinkers became evident in 2008 when General Mattis, then commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, halted the championing of the Effects Based Operations concept. Gen. Mattis concluded that EBO was not understood nor properly utilized, and sent a memorandum to his command ordering it to be removed from joint lexicon. Even after its removal, EBOs allure has continued to spark debate. This paper acknowledges the shortfalls of EBO, but identifies the need for the incorporation of a systems-type approach into operational design. It explains the asymmetric nature of twenty-first century conflicts requires a design process that encompasses operational art and systems-type approach. Arguments against the systems-type approach are outlined first followed by examples and reasons why this approach must be acknowledged in current and future operations. The papers main discussion provides new definitions for previous EBO terms, and describes their utility in todays operational environment via an illustrative example. Finally, the paper concludes that the systems-type approach to operational design needs to be reinvigorated, and incorporated into joint doctrine, in order to keep pace with the lawless enemies of the twenty-first century.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics