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Accession Number ADA562435
Title From Methodical Battle to Shock and Awe: How to Guard Against the Next Great Idea.
Publication Date May 2012
Media Count 109p
Personal Author S. D. Yancy
Abstract The 'Shock and Awe' campaign that brilliantly launched Operation Iraqi Freedom ended with a thud as a right-sized invasion force proved too small to be an effective stability force once it removed Saddam Hussein from power. The Iraqi War highlights the latest example of a senior leader dogmatically advocating the use of an inappropriate doctrine or unproven concept in war. This thesis explores the reasons why this occurs, specifically how mental traps expose senior leaders to decision making errors during war planning and strategy development. The thesis uses the case study method to evaluate such errors in four conflicts. The case studies involve the French Army in World War II (Methodical Battle); U.S. Army in Vietnam (Search and Destroy); U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II (High Altitude Precision Daylight Bombing); and the U.S. Army in the Second Iraq War (Rapid Dominance). The thesis analyzes the propensity of military and political leaders to succumb to individual and group cognitive biases, thereby limiting their objectivity and causing them to support inappropriate doctrine or unproven concepts that lead to a failure to meet national or military objectives. The analysis illustrates how cognitive errors can lead to rigid thinking and a blurring of doctrine, dogma, and concept. This suggests that adaptability, an awareness of cognitive biases, and in-depth understanding of doctrine is paramount for success in the complex, strategic environment. Recommendations focus on institutionalizing organizational adaptability, increasing individual mental flexibility, and reinforcing the primary role of doctrine in war planning and strategy development.
Keywords Anchoring bias
Army
Battle of france
Bias
Case studies
Cognition
Cognitive bias
Cognitive errors
Confirmation bias
Decision making
Errors
France
French army strategy
Groupthink
High altitude bombing
Iraqi war
Leadership
Mental ability
Mental flexibilty
Military doctrine
Military forces(Foreign)
Military history
Military planning
Military strategy
Organizational adaptability
Precision bombing
Rigid thinking
Second world war
Theses
United states army doctrine
Vietnam war


 
Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 92D - Education, Law, & Humanities
92B - Psychology
57T - Psychiatry
74G - Military Operations, Strategy, & Tactics
Corporate Author National Defense Univ., Norfolk, VA. Joint Advanced Warfighting School.
Document Type Thesis
Title Note Master's thesis.
NTIS Issue Number 1225
Contract Number N/A

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