An Objectives-Based Approach to Military Campaign Analysis

by Bruce R. Pirnie, Samuel Gardiner

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Analysis of objectives offers the best approach to military affairs and especially to theater-level operations. Objectives should be understood in a comprehensive hierarchy that includes fundamental national goals, national security objectives, national military objectives, missions of combatant commanders, operational objectives, and tasks. This report records a study to help the Warfighting Analysis Division, J-8, identify "key elements" in military campaigns with emphasis on command, control, communications, and intelligence. The authors discern cognitive dominance as a key operational objective for U.S. commanders, using the Persian Gulf War as a paradigm.

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