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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 06:25 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 06:25 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Strategy and operations

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1 August 2011 09:53

Roger Fortier (aka Milpundit) responds to Rodger Shanahan:

Mostly agree. But there's also an appellation in the US Army, 'big squad leader', testament to the many highly successful battalion and brigade commanders who cannot think operationally. Ah, the stories I could tell.

There's an old adage that while many things in life can be learned, few can be taught. Academics and civilian/military 'strategists' rarely overcome the limitations of explicit knowledge — book learning, and other data, by nature, easily captured and superficial. Tacit knowledge, on the other hand, is learned on the job, resists codification and has deep meaning in helping explain complex phenomenon.

I wrote a blog post explaining why abolishing joint forces command was the right move (Milpundit: JFCOM and the Unkindest Cut of All). The conversation with the PACOM major charged with our 'certification' should be required reading for anyone who thinks central planning and execution is still a viable approach to complex operations today.

The issue is not time to task that universities may or may not spend exploring downstream consequences of strategic planning; but more that discussion at that level is meaningless to tactical and operational realities.

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