The American Expeditionary Force Siberia: A Case Study of Operational Art with Ambiguous Strategic Objectives
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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According to current Army doctrine, operational art is the pursuit of strategic objectives through the arrangement of tactical actions in time, space, or purpose. Furthermore, doctrine and theory agree that these strategic objectives should be clearly defined and attainable. They suggest that the national level leadership will provide the operational commander with clearly defined strategic objectives prior to the commencement of any military operation. However, history shows that may not be the case and commanders should expect ambiguous strategic objects that are subject to change. Current doctrine fails to identify an adequate process for assisting the operational commander in situations with ambiguous strategic objectives. This raises the question can a commander practice effective operational art under such conditions This purpose of this monograph is to provide insights to the operational artist planning a military operation with ambiguous strategic objectives. The monograph begins with a discussion of the theoretical background current doctrine of operational art specifically focusing on the strategic objectives. Having described a theoretical process, this monograph looks at the operational art of American Expeditionary Force in Siberia AEF-S during the Russian Civil War. The paper details the AEF-S operations throughout its twenty-month campaign. This paper concludes with a critical analysis of Gravess ability as an operational artist.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics