Learning from Our Military History: The United States Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Potential for Operational Art and Thinking
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis began with a simple question How was the US Army successful in OIF As a US Army officer with two tours in OIF, I had difficulty understanding the change that occurred beginning in 2007 as a product of combat operations. Some tactical organizations, companies included, learned and adapted, whereas others accomplished little and made the environment worse. The interviews conducted as part of the Scholars Program and personal reflections confirmed that a deeper and more historical understanding is required. I concluded that OIF demonstrated the need for operational art and thinking, particularly in commanders of relatively junior rank. Struggling to write this thesis, I noticed my copies of the US Armys Green Book Series on the history of World War II. Clearly, OIF lacks such an effort. After all the effort expended in Iraq, we may ultimately fail in crafting our own military history in OIF in breadth and depth. This thesis offers an explanation on how we learned and adapted in OIF, not for the purposes of a definitive military history, but only as an intellectual way point that may lead us to useful military history for the future of the Army.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics