Accession Number:

ADA609273

Title:

Mission Command or Mission Failure?: Evaluation Decentralized Execution in Contemporary Stability Operations

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-05-15

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

Since the term first appeared in US Army Field Manual 100-5 Operations, published in 1982, Mission Command has steadily risen to prominence as the US Armed Forces preferred command and control C2 strategy. Yet arguably mixed results and seemingly slow progress in applying the concept to stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of the last decade have called into question the efficacy of the approach and its suitability to Phase IV contexts. As such, this paper seeks to examine more deeply the effectiveness and suitability of mission command as it pertains to post-conflict stability operations, both through a brief historical analysis of decentralized C2 approaches, as well as a detailed examination of more contemporary initiatives in both Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF. In short, it is posited that acknowledged shortcomings in the success of stability operations in OEFOIF are attributable not to underlying weaknesses in mission command as a theoretical construct, or its lack of suitability for Phase IV operations, but in a failure to meet fully the prerequisites so critical to the concept s success.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE