Decade of War, Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations

Comme signalé par Stéphane Taillat, la Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis division du Joint Staff a publié récemment un rapport intitulé: « Decade of War, Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations« .

Il s’agit de la réponse institutionnelle à la volonté du Général Dempsey, le Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, de s’assurer que les leçons des dernières guerres ont bien été assimilées par l’institution.

Le rapport est plutôt intéressant, et fait preuve d’une dose d’auto-critique assez élevée. On y trouve notamment une volonté d’institutionnaliser les leçons des guerres irrégulières (quelque chose qui devrait faire plaisir à David Ucko), et une critique acerbe de la transition entre autorités civiles en militaires lors de l’occupation de l’Irak. Il identifie onze domaines principaux dans lesquels les Etats-Unis ont manqué d’efficacité, que je reproduis ci-dessous.

  • Understanding the Environment: A failure to recognize, acknowledge, and accurately define the operational environment led to a mismatch between forces, capabilities, missions, and goals.
  • Conventional Warfare Paradigm: Conventional warfare approaches often were ineffective when applied to operations other than major combat, forcing leaders to realign the ways and means of achieving effects.
  • Battle for the Narrative: The US was slow to recognize the importance of information and the battle for the narrative in achieving objectives at all levels; it was often ineffective in applying and aligning the narrative to goals and desired end states.
  • Transitions: Failure to adequately plan and resource strategic and operational transitions endangered accomplishment of the overall mission.
  • Adaptation: Department of Defense (DOD) policies, doctrine, training and equipment were often poorly suited to operations other than major combat, forcing widespread and costly adaptation.
  • Special Operations Forces (SOF) – General Purpose Forces (GPF) Integration: Multiple, simultaneous, large-scale operations executed in dynamic environments required the integration of general purpose and special operations forces, creating a force-multiplying effect for both.
  • Interagency Coordination: Interagency coordination was uneven due to inconsistent participation in planning, training, and operations; policy gaps; resources; and differences in organizational culture.
  • Coalition Operations: Establishing and sustaining coalition unity of effort was a challenge due to competing national interests, cultures, resources, and policies.
  • Host-Nation Partnering: Partnering was a key enabler and force multiplier, and aided in host-nation capacity building. However, it was not always approached effectively nor adequately prioritized and resourced.
  • State Use of Surrogates and Proxies: States sponsored and exploited surrogates and proxies to generate asymmetric challenges.
  • Super-Empowered Threats: Individuals and small groups exploited globalized technology and information to expand influence and approach state-like disruptive capacity.

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