Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence The U.S. Military and by Austin Long

By Austin Long

By way of evaluating smooth counterinsurgency doctrine and operations to these of Nineteen Sixties, this paper exams and finally disproves the belief that doctrine as written and operations as performed are tightly associated. Ingrained organizational innovations and ideology have a far better impact on operations than written doctrine, and changing those ideals would require the U.S. army to reorient itself mentally in addition to bodily.

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Additional info for Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence The U.S. Military and Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 1960-1970 and 2003-2006: RAND Counterinsurgency Study--Paper 6

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These patterns are so deeply inculcated that officers seldom recognize them, much less correct them. S. S. Army of 2003 is instructive on this point. The Army of 1898, with its problematic organization and still-nascent professional education system, was fairly poor at conventional warfare. ) However, it did reasonably well in the Philippines in providing local security, governance, and development. The vastly more professional Army of 2003 has had the opposite problem; though capable of rapidly defeating large conventional armies, it has experienced problems in adjusting to COIN.

Rather than moving from mastery of one end of the spectrum of conflict to mastery of the full spectrum of operations, the IDF may have become a master of none. Of course, one should not draw too many conclusions from a single case. S. high-intensity warfare capabilities may not matter, since the United States is unlikely to face a serious competitor at the high end of land conflict in the near term. Yet it bears considering as DoD tries to make irregular warfare a priority coequal with conventional war.

117 The essence of this argument is that a force that is structured to fight a high-intensity conflict against another nation-state’s military is ill-equipped to adapt to the challenge of COIN. It is not just physically ill equipped but, much more importantly, mentally ill equipped. This is not an indictment of the intellectual capabilities of the military. S. military. S. military develop structures, philosophy, and preferences, together referred to as “organizational culture,” to help them carry out their tasks.

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