Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 88

support Army operations. The first element, initiative, is simple; it gives all operations “the spirit, if not the form, of the offense.”26 Although Army formations may be defending, they will defend with an offensive mindset. Seizing the initiative is a critical component of ULO. Decisive action is the simultaneous and continuous combination of offensive, defensive, and stability operations. (Within the United States, defense support of civil authorities replaces stability.) Decisive action doctrine assumes the Army will conduct offensive, defensive, and stability tasks simultaneously against a hybrid threat. Many doctrinal experts use the concept of a three-block war as an example of decisive action. Imagine a three-block area of a city during operations where a company commander has one platoon conducting an (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston) offensive cordon and search, one platoon A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstrates its air-to-ground capabilities 12 November 2011 during the 2011 “Aviation Nation” open house on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. defending a combat outpost, and a third platoon helping restore essential governThe Army doctrine publications (ADPs) and Army ment services. This concept could apply to a town, a doctrine reference publications (ADRPs) represent a province, or an entire country. distinct change from the Army field manuals. ADPs are There are two Army core competencies—combined short, efficient documents that provide an overview of arms maneuver (CAM) and wide area security (WAS). a specific doctrinal concept. ADRPs provide significantCAM uses all elements of combat power to defeat the ly more amplifying information and guidance. As the enemy with offensive and defensive tasks. CAM relies Army changed its doctrine format, it took the opportuon the defeat mechanisms—destroy, dislocate, disinnity to codify two major doctrinal approaches: unified tegrate, and isolate—to accomplish the mission. WAS, land operations (ULO) and mission command (MC). on the other hand, seeks to protect populations and As detailed in ADP 3-0, Unified Land Operations, infrastructure. WAS focuses on stability and leverages ULO “describes how the Army seizes, retains, and exstability mechanisms—control, compel, influence, and ploits the initiative to gain and maintain a position of rel- support—to achieve the mission. ative advantage in sustained land operations through siIn the simplest of terms, a review of the initial days multaneous offensive, defensive, and stability operations of major combat operations, during Operation Iraqi in order to prevent or deter conflict, prevail in war, and Freedom provides an example of CAM. In contrast, the cr eate the conditions for favorable conflict resolution.”24 counterinsurgency effort during the remainder of the ULO is the Army’s means of nesting its doctrine in Joint conflict is an example of WAS. Publication (JP) 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the Finally, mission command is ULO’s guiding principle. United States, under the theme of unified action.25 ULO MC is the Army counterpart to the Air Force’s centralencompasses four main ideas: initiative, the Army core ized control/decentralized execution command model.27 competencies, decisive action, and mission command. MC has six basic principles: build teams through trust, This article is not conducive to a complete description create a shared understanding, provide a clear comof ULO or its components. However, Air Force field grade mander’s intent, use mission orders, and accept prudent officers need a basic understanding of the doctrine to risk. At its root, the distinguishing difference between 82 November-December 2015  MILITARY REVIEW