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Encyclopedia > Shock and awe

Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of "overwhelming decisive force", "dominant battlefield awareness", "dominant maneuvers", and "spectacular displays of power" to "paralyze" an adversary's perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. The doctrine was written by Harlan K. Ullman and James. P. Wade and is a product of the National Defense University of the United States. Harlan K. Ullman, a retired United States Naval Commander who has written several influential books and op-ed articles on military and geo-political topics. ... For more than 25 years, the National Defense University (NDU)[1]has been the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education. ...


The military operation named "shock and awe" began the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Debate exists as to whether or not this operation was actually a rapid dominance campaign and truly elicited shock and awe. Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ...

Contents

Doctrine of rapid dominance

Rapid dominance is defined by its authors, Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade, as attempting "to affect the will, perception, and understanding of the adversary to fit or respond to our strategic policy ends through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe."[1] Further, Rapid Dominance will

"impose this overwhelming level of Shock and Awe against an adversary on an immediate or sufficiently timely basis to paralyze its will to carry on . . . [to] seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary's perceptions and understanding of events that the enemy would be incapable of resistance at the tactical and strategic levels."[2]

Introducing the doctrine in a report to the United States' National Defense University in 1996, Ullman and Wade describe it as an attempt to develop a post-Cold War military doctrine for the United States. Rapid dominance and shock and awe, they write, may become a "revolutionary change" as the United States military is reduced in size and information technology is increasingly integrated into warfare.[3] Subsequent U.S. military authors have written that rapid dominance exploits the "superior technology, precision engagement, and information dominance" of the United States.[4] 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Ullman and Wade identify four vital characteristics of rapid dominance: "near total or absolute knowledge and understanding of self, adversary, and environment; rapidity and timeliness in application; operational brilliance in execution; and (near) total control and signature management of the entire operational environment."[5]


Shock and awe is most consistently used by Ullman and Wade as the effect which rapid dominance seeks to impose upon an adversary. It is the desired state of helplessness and lack of will. It can be induced, they write, by direct force applied to command and control centers, selective denial of information and dissemination of disinformation, overwhelming combat force, and rapidity of action. Disinformation, in the context of espionage, military intelligence, and propaganda, is the spreading of deliberately false information to mislead an enemy as to ones position or course of action. ...


The doctrine of rapid dominance has evolved from the concept of "decisive force." Ullman and Wade enumerate the elements between the two concepts in terms of objective, use of force, force size, scope, speed, causualties, and technique.


Historical applications

According to its original theorists, Shock and Awe renders an adversary unwilling to resist through overwhelming displays of power. Ullman cites the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an example of "shock and awe.".
According to its original theorists, Shock and Awe renders an adversary unwilling to resist through overwhelming displays of power. Ullman cites the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an example of "shock and awe.".

Ullman and Wade argue that there have been military applications that fall within some of the concepts of shock and awe. They enumerate nine examples: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1246x1468, 760 KB) if you look closely, you can see a japanese person in the bottom right corner TITLE: Mushroom cloud CALL NUMBER: POS 6 - U.S., no. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1246x1468, 760 KB) if you look closely, you can see a japanese person in the bottom right corner TITLE: Mushroom cloud CALL NUMBER: POS 6 - U.S., no. ... The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter. ...

  • Overwhelming force: The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy militarily impotent with as few causualities to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible."
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The establishment of shock and awe through "instant, nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction directed at influencing society writ large, meaning its leadership and public, rather than targeting directly against military or strategic objectives even with relatively few numbers or systems."
  • Massive bombardment: Described as the "precise destructive power largely against military targets and related sectors over time."
  • Blitzkrieg: The "intent was to apply precise, surgical amounts of tightly focused force to achieve maximum leverage but with total economies of scale."
  • Sun Tzu: The "selective, instant decapitation of military or societal targets to achieve shock and awe."
  • Haitian example: The "imposing shock and awe through a show of force and indeed through deception, misinformation, and disinformation."
  • The Roman legions: "Achieving shock and awe rests in the ability to deter and overpower an adversary through the adversary’s perception and fear of his vulnerability and our own invincibility."
  • Decay and default: "The imposition of societal breakdown over a lengthy period, but without the application of massive destruction."
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police: The selective application of force emphasizing "standoff capabilities as opposed to forces in place" to attain military objectives.

The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter. ... The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as Blitzkrieg is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. ... Sun Tzu (孫子 also commonly written in pinyin: Sūn Zǐ) was the author of The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy (for the most part not dealing directly with tactics). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Royal Canadian Mounted Police heraldic badge. ...

Iraq War

Buildup

Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, officials in the United States armed forces described their plan as employing shock and awe.[6] Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ... The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ...


Contradictory pre-war assessments

Prior to its implementation, there was dissent within the Bush Administration as to whether the Shock and Awe plan would work. According to a CBS News report, "One senior official called it a bunch of bull, but confirmed it is the concept on which the war plan is based." CBS Correspondent David Martin noted that during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in the prior year, the US forces were "badly surprised by the willingness of al Qaeda to fight to the death. If the Iraqis fight, the U.S. would have to throw in reinforcements and win the old fashioned way by crushing the republican guards, and that would mean more casualties on both sides." [7]


Campaign

Limited bombing began on 19 March 2003 as United States forces unsuccessfully attempted to kill Saddam Hussein. Attacks continued against a small number of targets until 21 March 2003, when at 1700 UTC the main bombing campaign of the Coalition began. Its forces launched approximately 1700 air sorties (504 using cruise missiles).[8] Coalition ground forces had begun a "running start" offensive towards Baghdad on the previous day. Coalition ground forces seized Baghdad on 5 April, and the United States declared victory on 14 April. March 19 is the 78th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (79th in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: [1]; April 28, 1937[2] – December 30, 2006[3]), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979, until April 9, 2003. ... March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... Sortie is a term for deployment of one military aircraft or a ship for the purposes of a specific mission, whether alone, or with other aircraft or vessels. ... A Tomahawk cruise missile Taurus KEPD 350 A cruise missile is a guided missile which uses a lifting wing and most often a jet propulsion system to allow sustained flight. ... Baghdad (Arabic ) is the capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate. ... April 5 is the 95th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (96th in leap years). ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year (105 in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 261 days remaining. ...


The operation "shock and awe" described the initiation of the Iraqi campaign and not the subsequent insurgency.


Contradictory post-war assessments

To what extent the United States fought a campaign of shock and awe is unclear as post-war assessments are contradictory. Within two weeks of the United States' victory declaration, on 27 April, the Washington Post published an interview with Iraqi military personnel detailing demoralization and lack of command.[9] According to the soldiers, Coalition bombing was surprisingly widespread and had a severely demoralizing effect. When United States tanks passed through the Iraqi military's Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard units outside Baghdad to Saddam's presidential palaces, it caused a shock to troops inside Baghdad. Iraqi soldiers said there was no organization intact by the time the United States entered Baghdad, and that resistance crumbled under the presumption that "it wasn't a war, it was suicide." April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ... Iraqi President Saddam Hussein talks with elite Republican Guard officers in Baghdad on March 1, 2003. ... The Special Republican Guard was formed from the Iraqi Republican Guard founded in either 1992 or 1995 in the nation of Iraq. ...


In contrast, in an October 2003 presentation to the United States House Committee on Armed Services, staff of the United States Army War College did not attribute their performance to rapid dominance. Rather, they cited technological superiority and "Iraqi ineptitude." The speed of the coalition's actions ("rapidity"), they said, did not affect Iraqi morale. Further, they said that Iraqi armed forces ceased resistance only after direct force-on-force combat within cities.[10] 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December A timeline of events in the news for October, 2003. ... Seal of the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives (or simply the House) is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress, the other being the Senate. ...


According to National Geographic researcher Bijal Trivedi, "Even after several days of bombing the Iraqis showed remarkable resilience. Many continued with their daily lives, working and shopping, as bombs continued to fall around them. According to some analysts, the military's attack was perhaps too precise. It did not trigger shock and awe in the Iraqis and, in the end, the city was only captured after close combat on the outskirts of Baghdad."[11]


Criticism of execution

The principal author of Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, Harlan Ullman was one of the most vocal critics of the shock and awe campaign. Ullman stated, "The current campaign does not appear to correspond to what we envisioned." In addition, "the bombing that lit up the Baghdad night skies the next day, and in the following days, did not match the force, scope and scale of the broad-based shock-and-awe plan, Ullman and U.S. officials say." In a question directed to Ullman, asking if it is "too late for shock and awe now?" Ullman responded "We have not seen it; it is not coming."[12]


Ullman noted that plan called for "an attack into the center of Baghdad, taking it over, followed by successive takeovers expanding from the center of the city." Also the "bombing campaign did not immediately go after Iraqi military forces in the field, particularly the Republican Guard divisions and political levers of power, such as the Baath Party headquarters." Instead Ullman, states that the "shock and awe" implementation was more of a siege.[12] A siege is a military blockade and assault of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition. ...


Apparently, the "Bush administration throttle[d] back on the Iraqi bombing" and the original plan was scrubbed days before its implementation as "political concerns over civilian casualties factored into the decision."[12]


According to The Guardian correspondent Brian Whitaker in 2003, "To some in the Arab and Muslim countries, Shock and Awe is terrorism by another name; to others, a crime that compares unfavourably with September 11."[13] Anti-war protesters in 2003 also claimed that "the shock and awe pummeling of Baghdad [was] a kind of terrorism."[14] The radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has also accused the United States of engaging in "terrorism" in Iraq.[15] The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... Brian Whitaker is the Middle East editor for the British newspaper The Guardian since May 2000. ... Muqtada al-Sadr Muqtada al-Sadr (Arabic: مقتدى الصدر, also transliterated as Moqtada Alsadr) (b. ...


Casualties

A dossier released by Iraq Body Count, a project of the UK non-governmental organization Oxford Research Group, attributed approximately 6,616 civilian deaths to the actions of US-led forces during the "invasion phase", including the Shock and Awe bombing campaign on Baghdad.[16] The Iraq Body Count project is an ongoing effort to record those civilian casualties (including journalists) of the 2003 Iraq war attributable to the invasion. ...


These findings were disputed by both the U.S. military and the Iraqi government. Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Boylan, the spokesman for the US military in Baghdad, stated "I don't know how they are doing their methodology and can't talk to how they calculate their numbers," as well as "we do everything we can to avoid civilian casualties in all of our operations." [17] National Geographic researcher Bijal Trivedi stated that "Civilian casualties did occur, but the strikes, for the most part, were surgical."[11]


Popular culture

Following the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003, the term "Shock and Awe" has been used for commercial purposes. The United States Patent and Trademark Office received at least 29 trademark applications in 2003 for exclusive use of the term.[18] The first came from a fireworks company on the day the United States started bombing Baghdad. Sony registered the trademark the day after the beginning of the operation for use in a video game title, but later withdrew the application and described it as "an exercise of regrettable bad judgment."[19] Miscellaneous other uses of the term include golf equipment, an insecticide, a set of bowling balls, a racehorse, a shampoo, and condoms. Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... PTO headquarters in Alexandria The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... Baghdad (Arabic ) is the capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Greg Norman on the 18th tee at St Andrews. ... An insecticide is a pesticide used against insects in all developmental forms. ... Bowling ball and two pins Ten-pin bowling lane Automatic Scorer This article is about the group of games. ... Horse-racing is an equestrian sporting activity which has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times were an early example, as was the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A standard latex condom still rolled up This article is about the contraceptive device. ...


In an interview, Harlan Ullman stated that he believed that using the term to try to sell products was "probably a mistake," and "the marketing value will be somewhere between slim and none." [20]


See also

The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as Blitzkrieg is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade, Shock And Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance (National Defense University, 1996), XXIV.
  2. ^ Ullman and Wade, Shock and Awe, XXV.
  3. ^ Ullman and Wade, Shock and Awe, Prologue.
  4. ^ David J. Gibson, Shock and Awe: A Sufficient Condition for Victory? (Newport: United States Naval War College, 2001), 17.
  5. ^ Ullman and Wade, Shock and Awe, XII.
  6. ^ "Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage" (CBS News, 24 January 2003.
  7. ^ David Martin. "Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage", CBS News, January 24, 2003.
  8. ^ "Operation Iraqi Freedom - By the Numbers", USCENTAF, 30 April 2003, 15.
  9. ^ William Branigin, "A Brief, Bitter War for Iraq's Military Officers", Washington Post, 27 October 2003.
  10. ^ "Iraq and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy", presentation by the United States Army War College to United States House Committee on Armed Services, 21 October 2003.
  11. ^ a b Bijal Trivedi (February 14, 2005). Inside Shock and Awe. National Geographic Channel.
  12. ^ a b c Paul Sperry, "No shock, no awe, it never happened." April 3, 2003 at WorldNetDaily accessed August 3, 2003
  13. ^ Whitaker, B. (March 24, 2003) "Flags in the dust" Guardian Unlimited Iraq special report at guardian.co.uk accessed July 30, 2006.
  14. ^ "Antiwar Protesters Spar With Police", The Washington Post, March 22, 2003.
  15. ^ Escobar, P. (July 4, 2003) "Culture Shock and Awe" Asia Times [1]
  16. ^ A Dossier of Civilian Casualties in Iraq 2003–2005. Iraq Body Count (July 18, 2005).
  17. ^ "Iraq war takes heavy toll on civilians", Reuters/MSNBC.com, July 19, 2005.
  18. ^ Robert Longley, "Patent Office Suffers 'Shock and Awe' Attack", About.com, 27 October 2003.
  19. ^ "Tech Briefs: Sony says it's sorry for 'shock and awe' idea", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 18, 2003.
  20. ^ Agnes Cusack. "US companies battle over 'shock and awe' copyright", The World Today, 16 May, 2003.

CBS News is the news division of American television and radio network CBS. Its current president is Sean McManus who is also head of CBS Sports. ... January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Emblem (subdued desert colors) United States Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF, or informally just CENTAF) is the Air Force component of United States Central Command. ... April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... About. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... January 30 is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Shock and Awe - definition of Shock and Awe in Encyclopedia (2144 words)
Shock and awe is a military doctrine similar to the guerilla Terror doctrine that calls for attempting to directly influence your adversary's will, perception, and understanding of events by inducing a state of shock and awe.
Shock and Awe has been referred to as the official strategy of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and was widely talked about in the press in the weeks leading up to the opening of action.
The magnitude of "shock and awe" that the Rapid Dominance doctrine seeks to impose is the (non-nuclear) equivalent of the impact that some claim the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese at the end of World War II, which remain controversial.
Shock and awe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1498 words)
The military operation named "Shock and Awe" signaled the beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Rapid Dominance and Shock and Awe, they write, may become a "revolutionary change" as the United States military is reduced in size and information technology is increasingly integrated into warfare.
Shock and Awe is most consistently used by Ullman and Wade as the effect which Rapid Dominance seeks to impose upon an adversary.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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