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Talk:Tactics

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Revision as of 22:19, 31 May 2009 by Howard C. Berkowitz (Talk | contribs) (Moved out specific "shock and awe": new section)

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 Definition Military concepts and techniques used to fight a battle once battle is joined. [d] [e]

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The text of this article is taken directly from http://www.militaryspot.com/tactical.htm under the GNU Free Documentation License. --Charles Sandberg 15:53, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

But that website seems to be "all rights reserved"? Yi Zhe Wu 16:51, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
The website does say at the bottom of the article that it's GFDL. The first few paragraphs are identical with the Wikipedia article on Military tactics. Anthony Argyriou 17:03, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Oh, sorry, must have overlooked that. An attribution has been added at the bottom of the article. Yi Zhe Wu 17:07, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
It says "All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License." at the bottom of the text. --Charles Sandberg 18:37, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

It also comes from:

I am therefore going to check the box.

There are also some other things.

From the article:

"The chariot was invented in the 3rd millennium BC and the very first chariots were apparently too slow and cumbersome to actually serve in battle. In about 2000 BC chariots appeared in the Western Steppe, Mesopotamia, Turkey, and Syria and soon spread all over the world."

Compare with:

"Invented in the 3rd millennium BC, the first chariots seem to have been too slow and cumbersome to serve in combat, but about 2000 BC the light, horse-drawn, two-wheeled vehicles destined to revolutionize tactics appeared in the Western Steppe and Mesopotamia, Syria, and Turkey, from which they spread in all directions." From http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-53004/tactics

To the degree that is a copyright matter, I think it is just too close for comfort and should be paraphrased better and attributed.

I have asked Richard Jensen to follow through further on this to the degree it is a content matter.

To those who would import content from WP or elsewhere: caveat emptor.

Stephen Ewen 02:11, 27 June 2007 (CDT)

Tactics vs. operational art vs. strategy vs. grand strategy

While I am a new editor, the emphasis should be on "new"; I'm stil getting a senseof Citizendium and thought I might raise some points before jumping in and editing them.

I'd be very hesitant to call anything "operational strategy", as that is neither common terminology nor unambiguous. In general, there are four levels of abstraction of military (and national effort). While terms such as strategy go back to antiquity, the modern usage of these levels starts from Carl von Clausewitz's definition of strategy, with variations on how it is translated from the German, as "the extension of national politics by military means".

There are levels of abstraction above and below that definition, which itself has refined. Strategy is still considered associated with using military means to influence behavior of other actors, but the term "grand strategy" goes beyond military means as a way to implement politics (or policy). Grand strategy includes, but is not limited to, military means, but also diplomacy, economic measures, covert operations, law enforcement, intelligence collection and analysis, psychological operations, etc. In contrast, [military] strategy is the highest level of how to structure and deploy a nation's military forces. It must first deal with the strength, composition, and capabilities of those forces, and then decide on a command structure, which is often based on geographic areas of operations, and often domestic or military politics. For example, a basic Allied strategic decision in the Second World War was to divide operations into European, Pacific, and Mediterranean, but, in the Pacific, it was necessary to divide into Southwest Pacific and Pacific Ocean areas. The necessity came from the need to manage the notable ego and skills of Douglas MacArthur.

Operational art is a relatively new term, between tactics and strategy. If strategy defines one's areas of operations, operational art defines the priorities and campaigns withi the various areas. A master of operational art sets conditions such that battles happen at the places, times, and other circumstances that give maximum advantage to one's side. The term "preparation of the battleground", or, in more recent jargon, "preparation of the battlespace", applies here.

Tactics deal with how those battles are fought. Unfortunately, the term deals with levels of fighting with organizations ranging from divisions of 25,000 soldiers down to fire teams of 3-5 soldiers.

In World War II, strategy was at the level of theaters of operations, operational art was at the level of ground units from army group to corps, and naval units at the fleet level; tactics were from division to fire team. Howard C. Berkowitz 10:09, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Can anyone suggest a good overall title for an article that covers these broad definitions, with child articles that deal with each individually? In doing so, also consider that I have material about concepts and doctrine for particular kinds of warfare (e.g., air campaigns and guerilla warfare), which have material at several of these levels. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:35, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

Howard raises some good questions -- perhaps an over-arching article can be called "military doctrine." In any case the titles are less urgent than the text and I look forward to the articles.Richard Jensen 08:16, 3 May 2008 (CDT)
I like "military doctrine". Would each separate level require its own article, or should they all be treated as sections of that article?
Now that I think about it for a moment, given that 'tactics' would probably want to cover tactical evolution (primarily driven by weapons technology, but also by other things, such as development of standing, trained armies, etc, etc), 'tactics' at least deserves an article of its own, since there's too much there to put in a 'military doctrine' article. 'grand strategy' also has a long history, even though it may not have been spoken of in those terms (c.f. Luttwak's book on GS of the Romans), so maybe all these have lengthy articles. J. Noel Chiappa 17:51, 3 May 2008 (CDT)
Oh, I agree that an extensive list of articles will be necessary. Arguably, there's something of a matrix. For example, special operations forces have at least a (military) strategic role, help prepare the battlespace for conventional units (i.e., level of operational art), and, when they actually fight, have a wide range of tactics broken down by mission (e.g., guerilla warfare, special reconnaissance, direct action). I'm using direct action here in the U.S. doctrinal sense of an operation conducted by SOF-qualified personnel, but there are raids in direct action and in guerilla warfare.
I should have an article, tentatively titled planning the air campaign, ready to go shortly, which defines the range of air missions. Things like Boyd's OODA loop is a related article, and perhaps Boyd's multiple concepts for fighter combat form additional article topics. The major difference from Wikipedia is that these are addressed systematically, and do not draw from James Bond, Maxwell Smart, etc., or confuse George C. Scott with George S. Patton. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:01, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

A lot of confusion here

Much of the article interchanges things at the levels of strategy, operational art/theater strategy, and pure tactics. For example, the U-2 photography of Cuba was clearly at the strategic level. Shock and awe, blitzkrieg, and other methods are arguably operational, shaping where the battle will be fought rather than how it will be fought.

Much work needed. References are also not in standard CZ form. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Moved out specific "shock and awe"

I don't think a detailed discussion of "shock and awe" from the 2003 Iraq War belongs here, rather than in the articles on that war. In any event, some of the criticism about the high likelihood of collateral damage is questionable; while there was certainly such damage, it was deliberately minimized.

Also, there are a good many paradigms to compare and contrast with "shock and awe", certainly including blitzkrieg, but also the German WWI infiltration and shock techniques that are its ancestor, U.S. doctrines including active defense and AirLand Battle, etc. A number of these doctrines, however, are more a matter of operational art than tactics. Using synchronized air and artillery to facilitate an armor breakthrough is tactical, but where the armor does after the breakthrough (e.g., interfere with communications or strike at rear areas) is operational. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:19, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

====Criticisms and Historical Comparisons====
The doctrine is based on the concept of robbing an enemy of the ability to properly conduct an organized battle. It is not clear that this improves the situation in many instances, as US military force is already dominant to the point that organized defensive maneuvering is likely to simply present its air power with more targets in the open.
Many of the criticisms against the doctrine have been based on an incorrect understanding of the doctrine. It has repeatedly been equated with either a larger and more concentrated general air campaign similar to the one in the Gulf War, or alternately any fast-moving tactics like the Blitzkrieg.
The most significant criticism against the concept is the high tendency for civilians and civilian structures to become targets in the effort to "break the enemy's will," an unnecessary set of actions in an era of precision weaponry. Such actions may in fact be counterproductive, inspiring anger against the invading force from the people on the ground. Brian Whitaker of The Guardian stated in 2003, "To some in the Arab and Muslim countries, Shock and Awe is terrorism by another name; to others, a crime that compares unfavourably with September 11." [1]. In 2003, anti-war protesters sparred with police, one of them stating: "The whole purpose behind shock and awe is the same as terrorism, which is what they're supposed to be fighting." [2]
  1. Whitaker, Brian (March, 24 2003) The Guardian Retrieved 2007-06-11
  2. Anti-War Protesters Spar With Police (March 22, 2003 Washington Post) Retrieved 2007-06-11