Doctrinal Insights Innovation and OEF 4/25 Operations in P2k, Winter 2009-2010
Russell, James A.
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"I [the author] was embedded with the 4/25 from 8-25 January 2010, part of an initial data gathering phase of my ongoing research project on innovation in war, to assess the degree of tactical adaptation and organizational innovation in the brigade over the course of its deployment. This is the start of a new phase of a project that first focused on the COIN effort in Iraq in 2005-06 when the tide of battle was turned, during which U.S. forces showed tremendous tactical innovation in the field during wartime, often innovating COIN solutions months in advance of their formal integration into doctrine. This preliminary research in Afghanistan will result in new work that critically examines U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. The concepts of tactical adaptation and innovation are different, but related. Tactical adaptation is seen as incremental change introduced by units to improve their performance on the battlefield in their quest to defeat enemy. Innovation is seen as broader, more permanent phenomenon that some believe is evidenced by the promulgation of new doctrine. Doctrine is seen by many to be the best example of institutional learning. In the case of the Army, FM 3-24 is pointed to as an example of this phenomenon, in which publication of the manual is seen as evidence that the institution had finally embraced as a core mission a form of warfare for which it has historically shown little interest. Tactical adaptation and organizational innovation happen in learning organizations."
This article was published in Culture and Conflict Review (Fall 2011), v.5 no.3
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