This concept provides the central theme for our Army's approach to
It extends to both the tactical and operational
The conduct of the AirLand Battle is based on the broad operational concept
of securing the initiative. AirLand Battle requires offensive action. The
initiative should be secured as early as possible. The initiative must be
retained and exercised aggressively to defeat the enemy.
asset, and combat multiplier is employed to gain the initiative.
objective of all military operations is to throw the enemy off balance.
This is achieved with a powerful blow from an unexpected direction.
blow is then followed up rapidly to prevent the enemy's recovery.
whether a force is attacking or defending.
"Rapidity is the essence of war; take advantage of the enemy's
unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack
Whenever possible, the enemy will be defeated by destruction of critical
units or facilities. This method is preferred to overall attrition. This
is particularly true about the operational level.
At the tactical level,
attrition may play an occasionally important role.
Attrition and the
substitution of massed forces for massed soldiers may be used to facilitate
decisive Maneuver at the operational and tactical levels.
This is true
especially in offensive operations.
Our operations must combine speed, violence, and surprise. Our actions must
disorient the enemy and prohibit a counteraction.
requires a combined arms effort on the AirLand Battlefield. The commander
must be flexible in his planning. He must quickly respond to opportunities
to exploit enemy weaknesses.
Four basic characteristics express the essence of the operational concept
and AirLand Battle doctrine:
These tenets apply at both the tactical and operational levels.
at all levels of command.