Bridging the Chasm: A Comparison of the Army's 1997 and 2012 Doctrinal Planning Processes
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Between 1997 and 2001, critics stated that the Military Decision-Making Process MDMP did not account for all variables on the battlefield and yielded decisions too slowly. Soldiers experiences during the early years of Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF served as a catalyst for necessary doctrinal changes. Doctrinal updates between 2005 and 2012 addressed these concerns through the advent of Army Design Methodology ADM and the Rapid Decisionmaking and Synchronization Process RDSP. In addition, the Decision Support Template DST and accompanying Decision Support Matrix DSM received renewed emphasis. An examination of the doctrinal updates reveals the integration of alternate decision-making models to accommodate different situational requirements. Army planning doctrine now provides a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of conditions, emphasizes anticipation of change, and outlines a technique to make decisions faster than it did in 1997. However, the frameworks require planners to understand and use them properly. Army units misunderstand key facets of the process and misuse them, but are showing signs of proper incorporation. Similarly, it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of Army education, but the most recent Command and General Staff Officer Course CGSOC classes demonstrated an interest in the process. Recommendations to enhance use of the planning process include creating incentive for analysis and anticipation during planning, improving unit internal education of the planning process, emphasizing continued iteration of the planning process, and areas of future study.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics