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Approaches to Operational Art Revisited: Theoretical and Practical Implications of Methodology
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för operationskonst (KV Opkonst).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1653-3787
2016 (English)In: 21st International Command and Control Reserach and Technology Symposium (ICCRTS): C2 in a Complex Connected Battlespace, International Command and Control Institute , 2016, Vol. Topic 5, 1-32 p., 47Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

U.S. doctrines have introduced a third approach within Operational Art, called the design approach, which has evoked military professional and academic debate as well as influenced NATO doctrines. Allied Joint Doctrine for Operational-level Planning (AJP 5) states that a Force Commander should choose one out of three approaches when conducting Operational Art and conducting operational planning: a traditional (causalist), a systemic or a design approach. The difference between the causalist- and the systemic- approach concerns the clash between reductionism and holism, but the difference between the design- and the systemic- approach is methodologically vague. Hence the following question concerning methodology and Operational Art arises:

What methodological implications could constitute an argument for choosing the design approach when conducting Operational Art within a battlespace?

Neither NATO doctrine, planning framework nor previous research offer any explicit methodological argument for choosing, or preferring, the design- over the systemic- approach. This article concludes that one possible argument for preferring a design approach is adherence to value-focused thinking, but this requires that the Force Commander can and is willing to focus on stakeholders’ values within the battlespace. This conclusion is implied by two methodological implications identified and discussed in this article. If the design approach is to be a relevant option, then further conceptual development, experimentation and education is required. To conclude, NATO should review the description of their approaches within Operational Art since the argument for preferring one approach over another is lacking and this could hamper the Force Commander’s management of the battlespace.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Command and Control Institute , 2016. Vol. Topic 5, 1-32 p., 47
Keyword [en]
Design approach, Methodology, Operational Art, Operations planning, Value-focused thinking, Battlespace management
National Category
Philosophy Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6407OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-6407DiVA: diva2:1058361
Conference
21th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium (ICCRTS), 6-8 September, London, UK
Available from: 2016-12-20 Created: 2016-12-20 Last updated: 2017-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Erdeniz, Robert
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Citation style
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