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Innovation and War: Military Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq James Russell Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School June 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation and War: Military Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq James Russell Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School June 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation and War: Military Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq James Russell Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School June 2010

2 Outline Project Background Project Background Iraq, AfghanistanIraq, Afghanistan Focus on empirically built cases of units as they conduct operations. Focus on empirically built cases of units as they conduct operations.

3 Up Front Punch line Analysis of US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan show organizations that can quickly adapt, change, and innovate while closed with the enemy. Analysis of US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan show organizations that can quickly adapt, change, and innovate while closed with the enemy. Nonsense to suggest that insurgents are somehow more creative, flexible, and adaptive. Nonsense to suggest that insurgents are somehow more creative, flexible, and adaptive. I’m not arguing that this wins the war! I’m not arguing that this wins the war!

4 Basis for This Statement? Iraq cases of empirically built cases of 9 Army and Marine Corps battalions in 05- 07. Iraq cases of empirically built cases of 9 Army and Marine Corps battalions in 05- 07. Chronicle field- level adaptive and innovative processes. Chronicle field- level adaptive and innovative processes.

5 Findings from Iraq Research Organizations developed new, indigenous organizational capacities. Organizations developed new, indigenous organizational capacities. Dialectical process that cannot be described solely as top- down, or bottom up – though execution process is generated organically.Dialectical process that cannot be described solely as top- down, or bottom up – though execution process is generated organically. Innovation is the end product of a series of linked processes that builds organizational capacities that deliver outputs that didn’t exist before the unit arrived.Innovation is the end product of a series of linked processes that builds organizational capacities that deliver outputs that didn’t exist before the unit arrived. New capacities required modification to organizational structures. New capacities required modification to organizational structures. S-2 shops, non-kinetic effects working groups, JIATFs.S-2 shops, non-kinetic effects working groups, JIATFs. New small unit tactics to disrupt insurgent ops.New small unit tactics to disrupt insurgent ops. Units gradually built new SOPs to operationalize new capacities. Units gradually built new SOPs to operationalize new capacities. Census Operations.Census Operations. COP construction.COP construction. CMO and IO integration into lethal/non-lethal targeting.CMO and IO integration into lethal/non-lethal targeting.

6 Other Iraq Inferences Role of doctrine miscast by security studies theorists: Role of doctrine miscast by security studies theorists: Capstone operational doctrine is foundation to innovation; lack of specific COIN doctrine not important in these cases.Capstone operational doctrine is foundation to innovation; lack of specific COIN doctrine not important in these cases. Informal doctrine important tool. Informal doctrine important tool. Organizational hierarchy operates differently in war than in peace – no surprise, but… Organizational hierarchy operates differently in war than in peace – no surprise, but… Ad-hoc org structures; flattened organizational hierarchy; authority driven down the chain of command; informal relationships a great source of organizational productivity; embrace of systems-based based perspectives to understand second and third order effects of actions as a guide to decision-making.Ad-hoc org structures; flattened organizational hierarchy; authority driven down the chain of command; informal relationships a great source of organizational productivity; embrace of systems-based based perspectives to understand second and third order effects of actions as a guide to decision-making.

7 Innovation and Adaptation in War: The Case of 4/25 in P2K Gorb uz # Tere Zayi Mat un 4 Jaji Maida n Bak Saba ri Musa Khel Man dozay i Nadir Shah Khot Qal and ar Dow man dah Tani Sper a FOB Orgun-E FOB Curry FOB Boris FOB Tillman Zerok COP FOB Munoz FB Lilley

8 4/25 Adaptation – the Good 4/25 Board of Directors – A Campaign Plan! 4/25 Board of Directors – A Campaign Plan! AID, Agriculture, State, BDE CommanderAID, Agriculture, State, BDE Commander Attempt to involve other USG elements in the stabilization/COIN effortAttempt to involve other USG elements in the stabilization/COIN effort Immense array of additional organizational/TF support – the alphabet soup approach Immense array of additional organizational/TF support – the alphabet soup approach Human Terrain, PRT, Law Enforcement Program, ADTs, JIEDDO, SOF, Intell orgs of every stripe to help in targeting, detainee ops., all built through ad-hoc, JIATF- type organizations.Human Terrain, PRT, Law Enforcement Program, ADTs, JIEDDO, SOF, Intell orgs of every stripe to help in targeting, detainee ops., all built through ad-hoc, JIATF- type organizations. This is one model for how to organize diverse organizational components conduct stability operations in modern era. This is one model for how to organize diverse organizational components conduct stability operations in modern era. Military remains provider and enabler…. Military remains provider and enabler….

9 TF Yukon Leadership Yukon Board of Directors DoSUSAIDUSDADoD Louis Coronado James Story Gary DomianCOL Howard Team Khowst Team Paktika Team Paktya DoS Sarah Groen USAID Teresa Miller USDA Feridoon Mehdizadegan BSO LTC Stephen Smith PRT CDR John Pestovic ADT COL Brian Copes DoS Genevieve Libonati USAID John Koogler USDA Vacant BSO LTC Rob Campbell PRT LtCol Carlos Halcomb ADT COL Jim Moore DoS Trevor Boyd USAID Daniel Weggeland USDA Carolin Clarin BSO LTC Clint Baker LTC Pete Minalga PRT CDR Tim Cauthen

10 The Case of 3-509 in EPaktika Significant initiative at BN levels to structure their own operations. Significant initiative at BN levels to structure their own operations. Organizing for the fight. Organizing for the fight. Driving responsibility down the chain of command – IO, survey data collection. Driving responsibility down the chain of command – IO, survey data collection. Tactical organizational complexity that mirrors command level. Tactical organizational complexity that mirrors command level. FOB Orgun-E FOB Curry FOB Boris FOB Tillman Zerok COP FOB Munoz FB Lilley Districts 9 Sq KM 6204 -About the size of the big island of Hawaii Population ~300,000 125 KM of Border with Pakistan PAKMIL Checkpoints 51

11 Initiative Spotlight: 1-501 Sub-Governor Budget Pilot Program 1.Targets the legitimacy gap at the District 2.Provides Government with a simple means to improve the community 3.Record keeping, dispute resolution, and consultative processes codified in documents 4.Employs the local community and fosters a sense of ownership

12 Preliminary Conclusions from Iraq and Afghanistan Research Process of battlefield innovation is complex mix of top-down, bottom up process: dialectic in nature. Process of battlefield innovation is complex mix of top-down, bottom up process: dialectic in nature. Afghan: top down guidance and doctrine shape approach, but significant variation on unit basis, just like Iraq. Afghan: top down guidance and doctrine shape approach, but significant variation on unit basis, just like Iraq. Iraq parallels: units get it, upper- mid- and lower levels all get it. Educated, experienced work force. Iraq parallels: units get it, upper- mid- and lower levels all get it. Educated, experienced work force. Organizations extremely flexible to build new output capacity.Organizations extremely flexible to build new output capacity. Organizational learning happens but is idiosyncratic; doctrine does not smooth this process. Organizational learning happens but is idiosyncratic; doctrine does not smooth this process.


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