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Encyclopedia > Military doctrine

Military doctrine is a level of military planning between national strategy and unit-level tactics, techniques, and procedures. It provides a shared way of thinking about military problems, but does not direct how military problems will be solved. It does not provide specific steps to solve a problem, nor does it direct a commander to take any action. Commanders are always expected to exercise their own judgment in carrying out their missions. A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, as differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand. ... Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ...

Doctrine may be shared among the armed services of a nation as well as be specific to a branch. In addition, doctrine may be shared between several nations.

In general, doctrinal documents state:

  • A nation's national military objectives
  • The general mission of the armed service or branch ("who we are")
  • General concepts of how this service or branch shall perform its mission ("what we do")
  • Concerns and cautions in carrying out this mission ("how we should do it")
  • Historical examples ("how we did it in the past")

Military doctrine changes, or should change, as the nature of warfare and the specific threat to a nation changes.


Relationship between doctrine and strategy

The relationship between military doctrine and national security strategy is highly complex. In principle, military doctrine should complement national security. However, in practice changing or implementing a military doctrine is a highly complex and time consuming activity that can take years or decades, and hence the same military doctrine is often used to attempt to support radically different security strategies. Security measures taken to protect the Houses of Parliament in London, England. ...

In addition, the question of what a nation should do is often influenced by what it can do, so in this sense military doctrine often influences security strategy.

Sources of United States doctrine

United States military doctrine is specified in a set of documents which are intended to support the National Security Strategy of the United States. America's military doctrine is spelled out in the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). It has been suggested that national security strategy be merged into this article or section. ... Quadrennial review by US military of strategic objectives and threat assesment. ...

Most Modern US doctrine is based around the Rapid Dominance doctrine, better known as Shock and Awe. Created by the National Defense University, Shock and Awe is based on "overwhelming decisive force" to dominate and paralyze an enemy force and weaken its will to fight. This doctrine was first unveiled in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Shock and awe is a military doctrine similar to the guerilla Terror doctrine that calls for attempting to directly influence your adversarys will, perception, and understanding of events by inducing a state of shock and awe. ... NASA Landsat 7 image of Baghdad, April 2, 2003. ... For more than 25 years, the National Defense University (NDU)[1]has been the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education. ... Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom Poland Australia South Korea Romania Spain Portugal Italy others. ...

The Department of Defense publishes Joint Publications which state all-services doctrine. The current basic doctrinal publication is Joint Publication 3-0, "Doctrine for Joint Operations. The United States Department of Defense, abbreviated as DoD or DOD and sometimes called the Defense Department, is a civilian Cabinet organization of the United States government. ... Joint warfare is a military doctrine which places priority on the integration of the various service branches of a states armed forces into one unified command. ...

Headquarters, United States Air Force, publishes current USAF doctrine. The lead agency for developing Air Force doctrine is Headquarters, Air Force Doctrine Center; the Air Staff International Standardization Office works on multinational standardization, such as NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGs), and agreements between the American, British, Canadian, and Australian Armies and Navies (ABCA) that affect the Air Force. Currently the basic Air Force doctrinal documents are the 10-series of Air Force publications. Aircraft of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition counterparts stationed together at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in southwest Asia, fly over the desert. ... STANAG is the NATO abbreviation for Standardization Agreement, which set up processes, procedures, terms and conditions for common military or technical procedures between the member countries of the alliance. ... The ABCA Programs purpose is to optimize interoperability between member armies on combined operations. ...

The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is responsible for developing Army doctrine. TRADOC was developed early in the 1970s as a response to the American Army's difficulties in the Vietnam War, and is one of the reforms that improved Army professionalism. Currently the basic Army doctrinal document is Field Manual 1, "The Army". It has been suggested that United States Army values be merged into this article or section. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

The Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) Doctrine Department coordinates development, publication, and maintenance of United States Navy doctrine. Currently the basic unclassified naval doctrinal documents are Naval Doctrine Publications 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. USN redirects here. ...

Headquarters, United States Coast Guard, published Coast Guard Publication 1, U.S. Coast Guard: America's Maritime Guardian, which is the source of USCG doctrine. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States armed forces involved in maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, search and rescue, and national defense, among other duties of coast guards elsewhere. ...

Military Doctrine in the Soviet Union

The Soviet meaning of military doctrine was much different from U.S. military usage of the term. Soviet Minister of Defence Marshal Grechko defined it in 1975 as 'a system of views on the nature of war and methods of waging it, and on the preparation of the country and army for war, officially adopted in a given state and its armed forces.' In Soviet times, theorists emphasised both the political and 'military-technical' sides of military doctrine, while from the Soviet point of view, Westerners ignored the political side. However the political side of Soviet military doctrine, Western commentators Harriet F Scott and William Scott said, 'best explained Soviet moves in the international arena'.[1]

The Soviet Army, especially during and after World War II had the commissar system in place. Any mid-level to senior officer would be paired up with a commisar, or zampolit of the same rank would could countermand any of the officer's orders. (This is clearly depicted in the book Hunt for the Red October in which the commander of the submarine Marko Ramius is forced to work with, but later kills his commissar equivalent Political Officer Ivan Yurevich Putin.) Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom France Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Charles de Gaulle Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian...

These men ensured the military was under the thumb of the Party, but they also provided a serious tactical liebility due to the fact they had no real military ability. Zampolits also worked directly for Moscow and the Kremlin so the were not held responsible for military failure the way the actual commander would be.

Another function of comissars was to enforce Soviet will on the soldiers. There is clear evidence, particularly in the first years of World War II that soldiers would be shot for cowardice by a commissar, though this was also done by the "Green Hats" of the NKVD. The NKVD (Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del )(Russian: НКВД, Народный комиссариат внутренних дел) or Peoples Commisariat for Internal Affairs was a government department which handled a number of the Soviet Unions affairs of state. ...

Soviet military doctrine could be flexible and original, but the large numbers of conscripts and the casualties of World War II often led to an inflexibility of tactics.

British Army doctrine

British Army doctrine is prepared under the supervision of the Chief of the General Staff. Currently the basic doctrinal document is Design for Military Operations: The British Military Doctrine, published in 1996.

See also

Military stratagem in the Battle of Waterloo. ... Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ... It has been suggested that national security strategy be merged into this article or section. ... A foreign policy doctrine is a general statement of foreign policy. ...

References and links

  1. ^ Scott and Scott, 1979, p.37,59

  Results from FactBites:
General Gareyev Says Russia Changing Its Military Doctrine (2318 words)
The military doctrine embodies the government's views on ensuring the country's security, resisting threats, and preventing wars and armed conflicts; it reflects official ideas on military development and on preparing the nation and its armed forces to defend the fatherland.
I believe that the military doctrine, which is the government's declaration of its defense policy, should be openly presented to the nation and the rest of the world.
In this context, the military doctrine should provide for the readiness of the armed forces and other troops to carry out combat missions in local armed conflicts and counterterrorist operations, and to be mobilized for large-scale regional wars.
  More results at FactBites »



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