Seeing Through the Fog: The Evolution of Problem Framing in United States Army Decision-Making Doctrine
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
This investigation looks at the evolution of problem framing in U.S. Army decision-making doctrine, and its applicability to the planner at the operational level of war. It contends that operational environments have shaped U.S. Armys decision-making doctrine. Specifically, this investigation looks at the development, and eventual codification, of problem framing in U.S. Army decision-making doctrine from the 1930s to the present. The U.S. Army decision-making doctrine has adapted and evolved over time to help planners address complexities in operational environments. Further, doctrines adaptations and evolutions have influenced how operational planners have framed problems in their respective environments. For the purpose of this inquiry, four doctrinal periods comprise this evolution the Interwar Period 1930s-40s, the Containment Period 1950s-60s, the AirLand Battle Period 1970s-1980s, and the Operation Iraqi Freedom OIFOperation Enduring Freedom OEF Period 2008-present day. In addition to challenges posed by the environment, planners may face cognitive challenges that hinder effective problem framing planning in complexity, the trappings of categorical thought, and overcoming constructed biases. Hence, this investigation illuminates how contemporary U.S. Army decision-making doctrine may assist planners navigating through complex problems. Concerning the continued development of planners as problem framers, three recommendations arose from this investigation. The Army should consider merging of the army design methodology and military decision-making process into a single process, re-titling of Step 1 Receipt of Mission of the military decision-making process, and increasing the feedback mechanics of exercises conducted at the Command and General Staff College. These recommendations foster the cultivation of critical and creative thinking -- qualities necessary for proficient problem framing.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics