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Title: Sound Military Decision
Author: Naval War College (U.S.)
Language: English
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SOUND MILITARY DECISION

U.S. Naval War College



Naval Institute Press                   Annapolis, Maryland

This book is the 1942 edition of a book originally published in 1936
by the U.S. Naval War College.



CONTENTS

   _Sound Military Decision_                                 1

   Index                                                   227



Sound Military Decision



U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE Newport, Rhode Island

                                                November 30, 1941


SOUND MILITARY DECISION was first published at the Naval War College
in 1936. It included the essential features of THE ESTIMATE OF THE
SITUATION which, since 1910, had been issued at intervals in a series
of revised editions. The new material that was added in 1936 was
intended to assist in enlarging the viewpoint and in broadening the
basis of professional judgment.

Primarily intended for the purposes of the Naval War College, this
work is the cumulative result of years of untiring and loyal effort on
the part of the College staff and student body. Equally important have
been the advice and assistance contributed by other officers of wide
professional experience and attainment.

The objective has been a brief but inclusive treatment of the
fundamentals of the military profession, i.e., the profession of arms.
The emphasis, naturally, is on the exercise of mental effort in the
solution of military problems, more especially in our Navy. An
enormous literature has been consulted, and research has included all
available and pertinent military writings. Care has also been taken to
include, from civil sources, the findings of those authoritative works
which deal with related matters and with the applicable underlying
truths.

In a work of this type and scope, it is manifestly not possible to
illustrate the abstract text by historical examples and analogies.
These are complementary features of the War College resident and
correspondence courses; provision for the necessary historical
background is otherwise the concern of the individual student.

In this edition of SOUND MILITARY DECISION no radical changes have
been made; the revision has been confined to rearrangement and
amplification of the subject matter.

                                               E.C. KALBFUS,
                                        Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy,
                                                  President.

    [Illustration: SOUND MILITARY DECISION
    THE SOLUTION OF MILITARY PROBLEMS

    Through the studied employment of the Natural Mental Processes

    (Foreword) The Scientific Approach to the Solution of Military
      Problems

    PART I

    PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT
    in its relation to the successful Conduct of War

    (Chapter I) Command and its Problems

    (Chapter II) Mental Processes and Human Tendencies

    THE FUNDAMENTAL MILITARY PRINCIPLE

    (Ch. III) leading to SOUND MILITARY DECISION

    (Ch. IV) THE APPLICATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL MILITARY PRINCIPLE
    The Two Major Applications, i.e.,--
      THE SELECTION OF OBJECTIVES
      THE DETERMINATION OF OPERATIONS

    (Ch. V) THE FOUR STEPS IN THE SOLUTION OF A MILITARY PROBLEM


    Part II--PLANNING

    (Ch. VI) THE FIRST STEP The Estimate of the Situation The Decision

    (Ch. VII) THE SECOND STEP The Detailed Plan


    Part III--EXECUTION

    (Ch. VIII) THE THIRD STEP The Directives

    (Ch. IX) THE FOURTH STEP The Supervision of the Planned Action]



TABLE OF CONTENTS

(See Chart on page XXXX)


                                                                  Page

FOREWORD                                                             1

    Science of War--Scientific Investigation--Fundamental
    Considerations--Art of War--Scientific Method--Leadership
    and Training--Sound Decision--Judgment--The Approach to
    the Solution of Military Problems--Fundamental
    Philosophy--Technique of Solution--Process of
    Education--Outline of the Discussion.


PART I. PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT IN ITS RELATION TO THE SUCCESSFUL
        CONDUCT OF WAR.

Chapter

   I Command and its Problems                                        7

    The Implementation of National Policy--The Primary Function
    of the Armed Forces--Military Strategy and Tactics--Command
    of the Armed Forces--Unity of Effort--The Chain of
    Command--Mutual Understanding--Indoctrination.

  II Mental Processes and Human Tendencies                          19

    Natural Mental Processes--The Necessity for Logical
    Thought--Principles in their Relation to Logical
    Thought--Value and Limitations of Lists of Principles
    of War--Formulation and Use of Principles--Summary of
    Fundamental Considerations.

 III Basic Principles Applicable to Military Problems (The
     Fundamental Military Principle)                                29

    Review of Conclusions--Procedure--Suitability,
    Feasibility, and Acceptability--Fundamental Principle for
    Attainment of an End--Interdependency of Factors--Special
    Nature of War--Factors in War--The Objective in
    War--Military Operations--Salient Features--The Fundamental
    Military Principle--Corollaries.

  IV The Application of the Fundamental Military Principle
     (Objectives--Their Selection and Attainment)                   43

    The Basis for Solution of a Military Problem--The Major
    Components of a Military Problem--Essential
    Elements--Selection of Correct Military Objectives--
    Determination of Effective Military Operations--Physical
    Objectives--Relative Positions--Apportionment of Fighting
    Strength--Freedom of Action--Summary.


   V The Four Steps in the Solution of a Military Problem           79

    A Situation--The Incentive--The Assigned Objective--The
    Motivating Task--The Natural Mental Processes--The Approach
    to the Solution--The First Step--The Basic Problem--Tasks--
    The Mission--Survey of Factors of Fighting Strength--Courses
    of Action--Reflective Thinking--Naval Operations--Analysis
    and Selection of Courses of Action--The Decision--The Second
    Step--The Third Step--The Fourth Step--Sequence of Events in
    the Four Steps--The Use of a Form in the Solution of
    Problems--Conclusion.


*PART II. THE EXERCISE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT IN PLANNING.

  VI The Selection of a Correct Objective (Including the
     Determination, in Proper Detail, of the Action Required
     for its Attainment) The First Step--The Solution of a
     Basic Problem (The Estimate of the Situation)                 117

    Process of solving a Problem--Sections of the Estimate
    Form--Establishment of the Basis for Solution of the
    Problem--Determination of Suitable, Feasible, and
    Acceptable Courses of Action--Examination into the
    Capabilities of the Enemy--Selection of the Best Course
    of Action--The Decision.

 VII The Resolution of the Required Action into Detailed
     Operations (The Second Step--The Solution of Subsidiary
     Problems)                                                     155

    Assumptions--Alternative Plans--Application of the
    Essential Elements of a Favorable Military Operation--
    Testing for Suitability, Feasibility, and Acceptability--
    Formulation of Tasks--Organization of Task Groups--
    Application of the Fundamental Military Principle to the
    Determination of Objectives embodied in Tasks--Assembly
    of Measures for Freedom of Action--Preparation of
    Subsidiary Plans.


*PART III. THE EXERCISE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT IN THE
EXECUTION OF THE PLAN

VIII The Inauguration of the Planned Action (The Third
     Step--The Formulation and Issue of Directives)                183

    Scope of the Third Step--Military Plans and Military
    Directives--Essentials of Military Directives--
    Restatement of the Decision--Standard Forms for Plans
    and Directives--The Order Form--Types of Naval
    Directives.

 IX The Supervision of the Planned Action (The Fourth Step)        197

    Nature of the Discussion--Goal of Planning--Importance
    of Execution--The Incentive--Conditions in War--
    Recognition of New Problems--Nature of Readjustments
    Required--Importance of the Will of the Commander--
    Problems Involving Modification of the Basic Plan--
    Problems Challenging Integrity of Basic Plan--Further
    Procedure Applicable to such Problems of the Fourth
    Step--The Running Estimate of the Situation--Journal
    and Work Sheet--Special Remarks as to Entries--Summary.

*CONCLUSION                                                        217

*APPENDIX

    Outline Form of an Operation Plan                              219
    Tabular Form of the Estimate of the Situation                  222

*INDEX                                                             227

* Not included in the limited issue for use in Part I of the
  Correspondence Course.



FOREWORD


From the earliest days of recorded history, the facts associated with
military operations of the past have been constantly studied. The
result has been the accumulation of a mass of information from which
conclusions have been drawn as to the causes of success and failure.
Although scattered through countless volumes, and nowhere completely
systematized and classified, this accepted body of knowledge
constitutes the basis for the science of war.

Scientific investigation--that is, the collection, verification, and
classification of facts--follows the recurrent procedure of successive
analysis, hypothesis, theory, and test. The application of this
process to the campaigns of history reveals fundamentals common to
all, irrespective of whether the sphere of action has been land, sea,
or air. In the ceaseless struggle for supremacy between the offense
and the defense, great technological changes have taken place. The
successful conduct of war, however, has always depended on effective
operations for the creation or maintenance of favorable military
situations, whose essential elements have remained unchanged
throughout the years (see page 46).

These fundamental considerations (see page 28), whatever the detailed
form of their presentation, are the basis for the successful conduct
of war. The need of such a basis has been felt from very early times.
It was not, however, until the early part of the Nineteenth Century
that students of warfare appear to have recorded the view that the
conduct of war is susceptible of reduction to scientific analysis, and
that only through a reasoned theory can the true causes of success and
failure be explained.

Such a scientific analysis of any subject has for its chief practical
aim the improvement of the art, or practice, of that subject. Forming
an important part of the science of war are those new developments in
weapons and in other technological fields which, with the passage of
time, have brought about great changes in methods of waging war. It is
only through founding the art of war--the application of the science
of war to actual military situations--on the fundamental truths
discovered through the science of war, that changes in method, due to
technological evolution, can be made most effective.

In preparing for war, the only practicable peacetime tests are usually
restricted to those afforded by examples of the past, by problems such
as chart (map) and board maneuvers, and by fleet and field exercises.
While the military profession can afford to neglect none of them,
such tests can never be conclusive. This fact, however, far from
justifying resort to any other procedure, emphasizes the necessity for
utilization of the scientific method in order to arrive at conclusions
which are as exact as possible.

An exact result is, of course, the aim of all scientific research, but
exactitude necessarily depends on the establishment of correct
relationships among facts which have so far come to light.
Consequently, there is great variation in the degree of accuracy which
actually characterizes the several sciences. If it be maintained that
only those studies which have resulted in exact conclusions may
properly be regarded as sciences, then it can hardly be said that many
sciences, now regarded as such, exist; for the findings of medicine,
biology, chemistry, and even physics are continually being revised in
the light of new data.

The science of war necessarily includes knowledge gained in other
fields. In war, as in medicine or any other practical activity, the
more inclusive and dependable the body of knowledge available as a
basis for action, the more probable it is that the application of this
knowledge, the art (page 1), will be effective.

Realization of these facts has led to renewed emphasis on the
scientific approach to the solution of military problems. The fallacy
of staking the future upon the possible availability of a military
genius in time of need became clear when it was appreciated that more
than one nation, hitherto victorious in arms, had been defeated and
humiliated when genius no longer led its forces.

There followed in the military profession a conviction that, although
extraordinary inherent capacity can be recognized and utilized when
known to exist, it is safer and wiser to develop by training the
highest average of ability in leadership than to trust to untrained
"common sense" or to the possible advent of a genius. History has
abundantly proved the folly of attempting, on any other basis, to cope
with the unpredictable occurrence of genius in the hostile leadership.
With the actual exercise of leadership in war restricted to the
reality of war, there is emphasized the need of peacetime
training--training of subordinates in efficient performance, and, more
important, training of those who will be placed by the State in
positions of responsibility and command.

Campaigns of the Twentieth Century reflect the intensity of mental
training among the armed forces of the greater powers; the planning
and conduct of war have acquired a precision, a swiftness, and a
thoroughness before unknown. The study and analysis of past campaigns,
the sifting of technical details from fundamental truths, and the
shrewd combination of the theoretical and the practical form the basis
of this training.

The proper solution of military problems requires the reaching of
sound decision as to what is to be done. Upon the soundness of the
decision depends, in great part, the effectiveness of the resulting
action. Both are dependent on the possession of a high order of
professional judgment, fortified by knowledge and founded on
experience. Theoretical knowledge supplements experience, and is the
best substitute in its absence. Judgment, the ability to understand
the correct relationship between cause and effect, and to apply that
knowledge under varying circumstances, is essential to good
leadership. Professional judgment is inherently strengthened by mental
exercise in the application of logical processes to the solution of
military problems.

The approach, presented herein, to the solution of military problems
is intended to assist the military profession in reaching sound
decisions as to (1) the selection of its correct objectives, the ends
toward which its action is to be directed under varying circumstances;
(2) planning the detailed operations required; (3) transmitting the
intent so clearly as to ensure inauguration of well-coordinated
action; and (4) the effective supervision of such action.

The student of war will find in these pages a fundamental military
philosophy whose roots go down to very ancient times. In the technique
described for the solution of military problems, experienced officers
will recognize a system with which they are already familiar. This
system, constantly under study to improve its details, has been in use
in our military Services for many years.

The foundation of this philosophy and of the system for its practical
utilization rests on the concept of relative or proportional values.
In the military environment, change, rather than stability, is
especially to be expected, and the relationships existing among the
essential elements of a military situation are, in fact, the
significant values. Such values, themselves, vary with the viewpoint
of the person concerned. Accordingly, because of the difference in
objectives (defined above), what is strategy as viewed by a commander
on a higher echelon may have more of a tactical aspect to those on a
lower (page 10). Immediate objectives and ultimate objectives (page
54) can scarcely be understood in their true proportions unless the
point of reference is clear. The point of view of the commander, as
established by the position he occupies in the chain of command, is,
therefore, to be taken into consideration in every phase of the
solution of a problem,--in the determination of the appropriate effect
desired (page 43), of relative fighting strength (page 35), and of
courses of action and the detailed operations pertaining thereto (page
88).

On the basis of these facts, instantaneous and easy understanding of
all the elements involved is not to be expected. Were such
understanding possible, the expert conduct of war would be one of the
easiest, instead of one of the most difficult, of human activities. It
is only through a gradual assimilation of its fundamentals that the
profession of arms is to be mastered. A process of true education is
involved,--that of enlarging the viewpoint and broadening the basis of
professional judgment (see page i),--and its essentials are the proper
foundation for any system of self-improvement in the exercise of
mental power. There is no easy road to the goal of military effort.

Part I, hereafter, discusses professional judgment in its basic
relation to the successful conduct of war. This treatment examines the
responsibilities of the armed forces, discusses the role of the
commander, indicates the natural mental processes employed in the
solution of military problems, formulates and explains the Fundamental
Military Principle, and concludes with an outline of the procedure for
its further application in Parts II and III.

Part II is concerned with the solution of the problems encountered
during the planning stage.

Part III discusses the execution of the plan,--the directives and the
supervision of the action,--but the treatment as to details is chiefly
from the standpoint of the mental effort. During hostilities the vital
issues which hinge on alert supervision create an accentuated demand
for the intelligent exercise of professional judgment. Its possession
to a highly developed degree and its exercise on a foundation of
knowledge and experience, are prerequisite to attainment of the
highest standards in the conduct of war.

The following pages are intended, therefore, to provide a fundamental
basis upon which the commander, by thoughtful study and reflection,
may develop his professional judgment to the end that its exercise
result in sound military decision, essential alike to wise planning
and to consistently effective action.



PART I

PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT IN ITS RELATION TO
THE SUCCESSFUL CONDUCT OF WAR



CHAPTER I

COMMAND AND ITS PROBLEMS

    The Foreword, preceding, has explained the scientific
    approach to the solution of military problems. It has been
    brought to notice that the science of war can be utilized to
    further sound military decision and, so, to improve the
    practice of war, i.e., the art of war, whether under assumed
    or actual conditions. The Foreword has also stressed the
    importance of education for the development of judgment in
    the application of mental power to the solution of military
    problems.

    Chapter I, which now follows, deals with the armed forces in
    their relation to national policy, and discusses,
    specifically, the role of the commander with respect to the
    use of mental power as a recognized component of fighting
    strength. Emphasis is placed on the important subjects of
    military strategy and tactics, unity of effort, the chain of
    command, authority and responsibility, organization, mutual
    understanding, loyalty, and indoctrination.


The Implementation of National Policy. Organized government exists for
the purpose of bringing into systematic union the individuals of a
State for the attainment of common ends. The primary national
objective (page 3) is the ensurance of envisaged prosperity and of
essential security for the social system which is the fundamental
basis of the community. Whatever the form of government, the power and
authority of the State are vested in an individual, or in a grouping
of individuals, whose voice is the voice of the State. In the
prosecution of the chief aim of organized government, the State
crystallizes the many conflicting desires and views of its people into
policies, internal and external. Each policy is a method of procedure
for attaining one or more national objectives.

Internal policies are rendered effective by enforcement of the laws of
the State.

External policies, to become effective, require recognition by other
States, tacitly or by agreement. When there is conflict between the
policies of one State and those of another, peaceful means of
settlement are usually sought.

If peaceful (diplomatic) means fail to settle the point at issue, the
State abandons the policy in question, defers action to enforce it, or
adopts stronger measures. Such measures may take the form of
psychological, political, or economic pressure. They may even include
the threat to employ armed force before actually resorting to the
imposition of physical violence. During actual hostilities, also,
every means of pressure known to man, in addition to physical
violence, may be employed.

Whether the use of armed force to impose or to resist the imposition
of policy constitutes a legal state of war is a political question
which does not affect the tasks the armed forces may be called on to
perform. War, therefore, is to be understood herein as any condition
in which one State employs physical violence against another, or
against an organized part of itself which may be in rebellion.

By agreement among nations, effort has been made to discountenance
aggressive warfare. The distinction between aggression and
self-defense is, however, not a matter of agreement. War is still
employed as an instrument of national policy. No nation has, as yet,
manifested willingness to relinquish the right to employ armed force
in resisting aggression, nor the right to decide what constitutes
self-defense. States still maintain and employ armed forces as a means
of promoting and expanding, as well as of defending, their welfare and
interests.

The Primary Function of the Armed Forces. Whether war is an ethical
institution is not a matter within the purview of the armed forces.
Their primary function is, when called upon to do so, to support and,
within the sphere of military effort, to enforce the policy of the
State. The performance of this function constitutes the chief reason
for their existence.

The fundamental objective of the armed forces is, therefore, the
reduction of the opposing will to resist. It is attained through the
use of actual physical violence or the threat thereof (page 7). This
fact constitutes the underlying motive of every military plan, whether
for the conduct of a minor or contributory operation, or for the
prosecution of a major campaign. The final outcome is dependent on
ability to isolate, occupy, or otherwise control the territory of the
enemy, for land is the natural habitat of man (page 46). Since
opposition is to be expected, the military problem is primarily
concerned with the application of power--mental, moral, and
physical--in overcoming resistance, or in exerting effort to resist.

The application of power implies effort, i.e., the exertion of
strength. The mental, moral, and physical power at the disposal of the
armed forces depends on the effort which can be exerted by the human
and material components of their fighting strength.

The skillful employment of fighting strength, as a weapon more
effective than the enemy's under a given set of circumstances, is the
goal toward which the armed forces direct their effort. The elements
of the material component--arms, ammunition, and other equipment--are
indispensable. They are impotent, however, without the direction and
energy supplied by the human component, its moral and mental elements
nicely balanced and judiciously compounded with physical fitness. A
true concept of the art of war will insist that the necessity for the
achievement of a high standard of technical and administrative skill
not be permitted to outweigh the need for maximum development of other
mental attainments, and of the moral components of fighting strength.

The moral elements include all the essential attributes of personal
character, and more especially those qualities of courage, loyalty,
decisiveness, modesty, patience, tolerance of the opinions of others,
and fearlessness of responsibility which are characteristics of true
military leadership. The maintenance of a high ethical standard is
essential to the establishment and continuance of mutual confidence.

The qualifications essential to the proper application of the mental
elements include a creative imagination and the ability to think and
to reason logically, fortified by practical experience and by a
knowledge of the science of war. An unmistakable mark of mental
maturity is the ability to distinguish between preconceived ideas and
fundamental knowledge. Intellectual honesty, unimpaired by the
influence of tradition, prejudice, or emotion, is the essential basis
for the effective employment of mental power.

The numerical size of the armed forces, in their correct perspective
as an instrument of the State, as well as the extent to which they are
supplied with material components of fighting strength, are matters to
be determined by the State after consultation with the responsible
military authorities. The development of the essential military
qualities of the instrument is the special charge of the armed forces.
It is their task to weld the assemblage of men, armed and maintained
by the State, into an harmonious whole, skilled in technique and
imbued with a psychological and mental attitude which will not admit
that any obstacle is insuperable.

The Advisory Function. Understanding between the civil representatives
of the State and the leaders of the armed forces is manifestly
essential to the coordination of national policy with the power to
enforce it. Therefore, if serious omissions and the adoption of
ill-advised measures are to be avoided, it is necessary that wise
professional counsel be available to the State. While military
strategy may determine whether the aims of policy are possible of
attainment, policy may, beforehand, determine largely the success or
failure of military strategy. It behooves policy to ensure not only
that military strategy pursue appropriate aims, but that the work of
strategy be allotted adequate means, and be undertaken under the most
favorable conditions.

These considerations require that the military profession be
qualified, through the possession of mental power, clear vision, and
capacity for expression, to advise the State in military matters.
There is thus accentuated the need for mental training, as set forth
previously in the Foreword.

Military Strategy and Tactics. Military strategy as distinguished by
objectives (page 3) representing a larger, further, or more
fundamental goal, is differentiated from tactics in that the latter is
concerned with a more immediate or local aim, which should in turn
permit strategy to accomplish its further objective.

Consequently, every military situation has both strategical and
tactical aspects. The nature of the objectives to be attained at a
particular time, and the action to be taken to that end, may be
governed chiefly by strategical, or chiefly by tactical,
considerations. Whether an operation is distinctively strategical or
tactical will depend, from the standpoint of the commander concerned,
on the end which he has in view.

To attain its objective, strategy uses force (or threatens such use)
(see page 8) as applied by tactics; tactics employed for a purpose
other than that of contributing to the aims of strategy is unsound.
Proper tactics, therefore, has a strategic background. Definition of
tactics as the art of handling troops or ships in battle, or in the
immediate presence of the enemy, is not all-inclusive. Such a view
infers that the field of battle is the only province of tactics, or
that strategy abdicates when tactics comes to the fore.

Actually, while tactical considerations may predominate during battle,
their influence is not confined to the immediate presence of the
enemy. Tactical dispositions are frequently adopted for convenience,
for time saving, or for other reasons, long before entry into the
immediate presence of the enemy. Nor do strategical considerations end
when battle is joined. Tactics, unguided by strategy, might blindly
make sacrifices merely to remain victor on a field of struggle. But
strategy looks beyond, in order to make the gains of tactics accord
with the strategic aim. Strategy and tactics are inseparable.

It is thus the duty of tactics to ensure that its results are
appropriate to the strategic aim, and the duty of strategy to place at
the disposal of tactics the power appropriate to the results demanded.
The latter consideration imposes upon strategy the requirement that
the prescribed aim be possible of attainment with the power that can
be made available.

Consequently, while the attainment of the aims of strategy, generally
depends upon the results gained by tactics, strategy is initially
responsible for the success of tactics. It is therefore in the
province of strategy to ensure that the attainment of tactical
objectives furthers, exclusively, the aims of strategy, and also that
the tactical struggle be initiated under conditions favorable for the
attainment of the designated objectives.

Command of the Armed Forces. The initial requisite to the effective
use of the armed forces is an agency authorized to direct them.

Command directs the armed forces. It is vitalized and personified in
the commander, the human directing head, both of the whole and of
organized groupings in descending scale of importance. Its
responsibility, during peace, is the perfection of the armed forces to
the point of readiness for war and, during the conflict, their
effective employment.

Training for command, to be effective, is necessarily dependent upon
an understanding of the position occupied by the commander, and of the
role which he plays. Accordingly, this understanding is an essential
in the study of that aspect of command training which has as its
purpose the development of ability to reach sound decision.

The ideal of military command combines the best of human qualities
with sound knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the armed
forces. It recognizes in war a form of human activity whose conduct,
like that of all other human activities, is subject to natural law. It
applies to the mastery of the problems of war, therefore, the natural
mental processes of human thought (see Chapter II); it adapts these
natural processes to a specific purpose, and consciously develops
their use to the maximum degree for the attainment of this end. As
command ascends the scale, its viewpoint broadens. Experience and
added knowledge, with increasing authority and responsibility, lead to
a concept of war more and more comprehensive, with the resultant
growth in ability to evolve and put into effect a general plan for
the effective control of collective effort.

Unity of Effort. An objective is best attained by effective
application of properly directed effort, exerted by a single
individual or by groups of individuals. Where individuals are
collectively concerned, unity of effort is the most important single
factor contributory to the common success. The basic condition to be
sought by the armed forces is an harmonious whole, capable of putting
forth combined effort, intensified in strength because of the
collective feature, and rendered effective by its unity.

The Chain of Command. Within the limits of human capacity, an
organization can exert its combined effort with greater effect the
more closely the exercise of command represents the act of a single
competent commander. To divide the supreme command in any locality, or
to vest it in a body rather than in an individual, is necessarily to
diffuse responsibility. In that degree there is then incurred the
danger, through confusion of wills and ideas, of delaying decision and
of creating corresponding diffusion of effort.

Realization of this danger has led the military profession to entrust
command, subject to justifiable exceptions (see page 71), to a single
head, while ensuring, by careful selection and training of personnel,
that competent individuals are available for this duty. Although this
method is in seeming conflict with the restriction imposed by
recognized limitations of human capacity, the difficulty is
effectively met through the chain of command, whereby responsibility
is assigned and authority is transmitted without lessening of ultimate
responsibility. Responsibility and authority, the latter properly
apportioned to the former, are inseparably inherent in command, and
may not justifiably be severed from one another.

In the abstract, the chain of command consists of a series of links,
through which responsibility and authority are transmitted. The
supreme commander is thus linked with his successively subordinate
commanders, and all are disposed on, so to speak, a vertical series of
levels, each constituting an echelon of command.

By means of the chain of command, a commander is enabled to require of
his immediate subordinates an expenditure of effort which, in the
aggregate, will ensure the attainment of his own objective (page 3).
He thus assigns tasks to his immediate subordinates, whom he holds
directly responsible for their execution without, however, divesting
himself of any part of his initial responsibility. The accomplishment
of each of these assigned tasks will involve the attainment of an
objective, necessarily less in scope than that of the immediate
superior but a contribution to the attainment of the latter.

The character and magnitude of the objective of the highest echelon
involved will have considerable bearing upon the number of echelons
required for its attainment. Whatever the number, a commander on a
particular echelon occupies the position of an immediate subordinate
to a commander on the next higher echelon, and that of an immediate
superior with relation to a commander on the next lower echelon.
Within these confines, authority is exercised and accomplishment
exacted, both to the extent calculated to ensure unity of effort.

There may frequently be found two or more commanders occupying
coordinate positions on the same echelon, all with the same immediate
superior, and all charged with loyalty to him and to each other in the
attainment of a common objective. In no case, however, will a
commander be directly answerable to more than one immediate superior
for the performance of the same duty. Thus is fulfilled the
requirement that the command, although relatively narrower in scope as
the scale is descended, be reposed in a single head.

The experience gained and the knowledge acquired during early service
on the lower echelons provide a basis for later expansion of
viewpoint, a better understanding of the position occupied by the
subordinate and of the obligations of higher command, including its
dependence on subordinates. As the echelons of command are ascended,
the details involved become more and more numerous, because of the
increased scope of the problems. On the higher echelons, therefore,
staff assistance is provided so that the commander may be left free to
consider matters in their major aspects. The staff of a commander is
not, however, a part of the chain of command; its members, as such,
exercise no independent authority.

A chain of command is not created by the subdivision of the officer
corps into grades on a basis of relative rank. Such subdivision is for
the purpose of classification from the standpoint of potential
competency and capacity for responsibility, and carries no authority
to command by virtue of rank alone. Organization, systematized
connection for a specific purpose, is first necessary.

The armed forces, during peace, are usually subdivided into permanent
major organizations for the purpose of attaining and maintaining
readiness for action. From the several grades of the officer corps, a
permanent chain of command is instituted by the process of organization,
the supreme command being reposed in a commander-in-chief. The basis of
the permanent organization is that chosen as best suited to attain and
maintain readiness. Its choice requires consideration of many factors,
such as the types of weapons and vessels, their intended uses, and their
capabilities, severally and in combination. Further specific demands are
met by temporary arrangements effected through "task organization".
Whether the organization be permanent or temporary, its establishment
places in effect a chain of command applicable to that organization
throughout its continuance.

Habitual and studied adherence to the chain of command in
administrative matters, in consultation, in the exchange of
information, and in the issue of directives is essential to mutual
understanding, and therefore to unity of effort. The right of a
commander, however, because of the responsibility he shoulders, to
deal directly with subordinates more than one echelon removed is not
relinquished because of the existence of the chain of command.
Circumstances may arise which require him to issue orders directly to
any person under his command. Fully aware, however, of the value of
unity of effort, and recognizing that failure to deal through his
immediate subordinate, no matter what the exigency, cannot but tend to
weaken the chain of command, he will, as soon as the state of the
emergency permits, inform intervening commanders of the action he has
been compelled to take.

Mutual Understanding. The chain of command, though providing the
necessary linkage, does not of itself ensure that the command
organization will be adequate, nor can it ensure that unity of effort
will result. To meet the requirement of adequacy, there is needed in
the person of each commander not only the ability to arrive at sound
military decision, to plan, and to direct the operations of his
command, but also an appreciation of the position which he occupies in
his relationship to his immediate superior, on the one hand, and to
his own immediate subordinates on the other. To meet the requirement
of unity of effort, it is also essential that there exist a state of
mutual understanding throughout the chain of command.

Loyalty is not merely a moral virtue; it is a great military
necessity. To establish and to cultivate a state of mutual
understanding from which will flow mutual loyalty born of mutual
confidence (page 9) are prime obligations of command. Within the
limits of responsibility and resultant authority, individual
initiative will follow. On a foundation of intelligent cooperation and
resolute determination, the acts of the lowest commander will be in
accordance with the desires of the highest. This, in effect, will
constitute unity of effort, accomplished through the vesting of
command in a single head.

The final aim of mutual understanding is attained when, in the absence
of specific instructions, each subordinate commander in the chain acts
instinctively as his immediate superior, if present, would have him
act, and also cooperates intelligently with commanders occupying
coordinate positions on the same echelon. For this reason there is
need, on all echelons, of a complete grasp of the significance of the
relationship between immediate superior and immediate subordinate, and
of the obligations of each to the other.

The proper relationship is such that a subordinate, even though
separated from his commander, can confidently take action as if the
latter were present. To this end, the competent commander will earlier
have cultivated the personal relationship between his immediate
superior and himself, and between himself and his subordinates. It is
through such close relationship that mutual understanding is best
developed and harmony promoted, so that intelligent and cordial unity
of effort may exist among the personnel of a command.

The commander, however competent, necessarily relies on his
subordinates. Recognizing the psychological factors involved, he will
therefore manifest confidence in their abilities, display sympathetic
interest in their efforts, and evince pride in their achievements. He
will also exercise patience with the mistakes which will inevitably
occur, without condonement, however, of disaffection, neglect, or
carelessness. The commander may reasonably expect, by the same token,
that this attitude will characterize his immediate superior.

In the absence of his superior, and faced with a changing situation, a
commander may be forced to the conclusion that his assigned task
requires modification or alteration. Conditions permitting, he will of
course communicate with proper authority, and will make constructive
representations. If he is without adequate communications facilities,
or if circumstances have imposed restrictions on communications
facilities otherwise available, he takes action according to the
dictates of his own judgment, guided by the known views of his
superior. On occasions when he believes that the immediate situation
so requires, he may even depart from his instructions. He realizes
that in so doing he accepts the gravest of military responsibilities.
At the same time, however, he recognizes that to fail to take the
indicated action may disclose a lack of the higher qualities of
courage, judgment, initiative, and loyalty (page 9). He will, of
course inform his superior of his action at the first available
opportunity. In the meantime, he has been enabled to act intelligently
and fearlessly because of the existence of a state of mutual
understanding.

Indoctrination. Both the necessary process and the final result of
establishing a state of mutual understanding are sometimes known as
indoctrination.

The word carries the dual meaning of "the act of indoctrinating" and
"the state of being indoctrinated". In common with the word doctrine,
it has its root in the Latin verb which means "to teach". A doctrine,
in its pure meaning, is that which is taught, or set forth for
acceptance or belief.

It does not follow that every doctrine is necessarily sound, nor that
it is founded on conviction reached as the result of intelligent
thought. Nor is the encouragement of a belief, by means of the spread
of a doctrine, necessarily inspired by good motives. The preaching of
doctrine known to be false is frequently encountered in many human
activities. The deliberate spread of false propaganda is an example.
But, whatever the motive and whether the doctrine be sound or false,
the act of indoctrination is intended to shape opinion and thus
influence action.

Manifestly, to be along permanently useful lines, indoctrination flows
from sound philosophy, i.e., is rooted in truth. All teachings, all
opinions that may be advanced, all expressions of viewpoint, i.e., all
doctrine, is therefore to be scrutinized, first from the standpoint of
validity, and then from that of usefulness of application. It is the
responsibility of command to ensure that these conditions are met
before doctrine is pronounced.

Military doctrine, in its broad sense, is a digest of the accepted
beliefs of the military profession. In a narrower sense a military
doctrine may be confined to the views of a single commander on a
specific subject. The object of military doctrine, however, is always
to furnish a basis for mutual understanding to the end that prompt and
harmonious action by subordinate commanders may ensue without the
necessity for referring every problem to superior authority before
taking action (page 15). Doctrine thus provides a basis for action in
possible situations when, for whatever reason, precise instructions
have not been issued.

The term "doctrine" is inappropriate as a description of the content
of orders or instructions prescribing specific methods of action for a
particular tactical operation in a situation existent or assumed under
circumstances of the moment. The precise instructions thus issued,
though they may be the result of doctrine, and may themselves
constitute a basis for development of doctrine, are manifestly of the
nature of something ordered rather than presented as authoritative
opinion.

In the broad field of the conduct of war, with its diversified
demands, a common viewpoint as to the application of fundamentals is
an essential to unity of effort. If the members of the military
profession have this common viewpoint, their reasoned beliefs as to
the best general methods of waging a particular war may be expected
more nearly to approach unanimity. The attainment of unity of effort
therefore calls for an understanding of fundamentals (page i), a basic
indoctrination which is not only sound but also common to all
commanders of the chain of command.

Wars come and go. Their effects are painful, but when their wounds are
healed mankind is prone to forget and to hope, even to assume, that
peace will henceforth be unbroken. Psychological and economic forces
then not infrequently impel the State to subordinate the national
defense in favor of other interests. During such periods the burdens
of command are enlarged. Its responsibility is not lessened, but the
means for effective discharge thereof are withheld.

The effective conduct of war thus requires that understanding exist
(see pages 9 and 10) between the civil representatives of the State
and the leaders of the armed forces in the coordination of policy with
the preparation and the use of power to enforce it. Of the leaders of
the armed forces, as a whole or in combinations, such conduct of war
demands the expression of the highest of human qualities, coupled with
intimate knowledge of fundamentals, an appreciation of the capacities
and limitations of the technique, and the ability to fit the
practical details into the general plan in their true relation
thereto.

The need for these qualities is manifestly not restricted to the hour
of supreme test, when the weapon of the State, the armed forces, is
wielded with hostile purpose. The forging of the weapon, and its
adequate preparation for use, are not matters susceptible of deferment
until the crucial hour. The exacting requirements of war are
essentially such as to preclude the readiness of the requisite
intricate instrument and its skillful use without previous studied
effort during peace.

It follows that where the peacetime effort of the armed forces is
directed toward the attainment of a war time objective of a specific,
rather than of a vaguely general character, and the necessary
components of fighting strength are provided accordingly, the
readiness of the instrument is more likely to be adequate, and the
application of power more likely to be successful. History records, as
facts, that certain States have given their armed forces great
stimulus by early clear definition of policy while, in other cases,
failures and disappointments have resulted from a lack thereof.
Military problems are not confined to those presented after war is
begun.

Mental power (see pages 8 and 9), which includes the ability to solve
military problems in peace and in war and to arrive at sound
decisions, is a recognized essential component of fighting strength
because it is the source of professional judgment. The development of
such ability in those who may be charged with the successful conduct
of war (page 4) may not safely be postponed.



CHAPTER II

MENTAL PROCESSES AND HUMAN TENDENCIES

    The discussion in Chapter II deals, first, with the natural
    mental processes employed by the normal mature human being
    before taking deliberate action.

    With the necessity for logical thought thus established, there
    arises a need for valid statements of cause and effect, i.e.,
    of relationships resulting from the operation of natural laws,
    for use as reliable rules of action. The discussion of this
    subject explains the dangers inherent in the use of faulty
    rules, emphasizes the role played by the various factors
    applicable in particular cases, and describes the method of
    formulating reliable rules, i.e., principles.


All living beings and their surroundings are understood, on the basis
of informed authority, to be governed in their characteristic
activities by natural law (page 11). The natural forces inherent in
living things and in their environment are continually reacting upon
each other, either maintaining the existing condition or creating a
new one, each of which is a situation or state of affairs. There is
thus always a relationship (page 3) existing between such natural
forces and the resultant condition which they produce. The natural
forces are causes; the resultant conditions are effects.

It is a recognized natural phenomenon that every effect is the result
of a certain cause, or of a combination of causes, and that each
effect is itself, in turn, the cause of additional effects. Action and
reaction are the basis of natural law. Cause and effect, the latter
being the cause of further effects, follow each other in ceaseless
succession in the world of human affairs.

Except by putting proper natural causes into action, it is impossible
to produce the effect desired. It follows that specific knowledge of
causes is necessary for the planned production of specific effects.
Toward the accumulation of such knowledge the methods of science
(pages 1 and 2) are constantly directed.

The uncertainties of war are largely the outgrowth of the fact that
the minds of men are pitted against one other. Because of this, a
knowledge of the manner in which the human mind seeks its way out of
difficulties is a great military asset. Consideration is next given,
therefore, to the natural mental processes employed (page 11) and to
certain human tendencies which have been known to militate against
their successful employment.

The mental processes employed by the normal mature human being before
taking deliberate action, or in making studied provision for possible
future action, are natural procedures, in that they employ the
intellectual powers bestowed by nature, without artificial
modification or embellishment.

When the individual concerned has a background of adequate knowledge
and experience, his ability to solve problems is limited only by his
native intellectual endowment. That he falls short does not
necessarily indicate, however, that the limit of native endowment has
been reached. It happens frequently that latent powers have not been
cultivated, or have not been utilized.

A problem is, by definition, a perplexing question. In any human
activity, a problem appears when a perplexity arises as to a way out
of a difficulty inherent in a situation. The question involved then
is, what is a way, more especially the best way, out of the seeming
difficulty?

To determine the best way out of the difficulty, i.e., the best
solution of the problem, involves:

        (1) The establishment of the proper basis for the
    solution of the problem,

        (2) The actual solution of the problem through the
    employment of the reasoning power in the consideration of
    various possible solutions and the selection of the best
    solution, and

        (3) The conclusion, i.e., the decision, embodying the best
    solution.

Considered in greater detail, the process has its inception in a
combination of circumstances, existent or assumed, which, constitutes
a situation. No problem will result however, unless the situation
involves an apparent difficulty. Even in such a case, a problem will
result only if such involvement exists and gives rise to a perplexity
as to a way, more especially as to the best way, out of the seeming
difficulty.

The problem will require solution only when accompanied by an
incentive which demands a changed situation or resistance against a
threatened change. A recognition of the incentive thus necessarily
involves realization of a desire or need to maintain the existing
situation or to change it into a new one.

Such realization may come on the initiative of the person confronted
with the situation, or because he has received instructions from
someone in authority. In either case, the effect so indicated is the
outcome of a desire for change or for resisting change, and may
therefore be regarded properly as an effect desired (page 19).

As so far outlined, therefore, the establishment of the correct basis
for the solution of the problem involves (1) a grasp of the salient
features of the situation, (2) a recognition of the incentive, and (3)
an appreciation of the effect desired.

The "appropriate" effect desired will necessarily be suitable to the
further effects (page 19) which are inherent in the situation. An
effect to be attained is accepted as appropriate when, after due
examination, its relationship with the further effects involved, in
all their pertinent implications, has been found to be in accordance
with the dictates of sound judgment.

The establishment of the basis for the solution of the problem will
also require an understanding of the resources involved, as influenced
by the conditions obtaining, for the maintenance of the existing
situation or for the creation of a new one.

The resources available, as influenced by the conditions obtaining,
are correctly considered on a relative basis as compared to those of
any persons who may oppose the effort.

With the basis for the solution of the problem established in this
manner, the actual solution involves the consideration of one or more
plans, i.e., proposed methods of procedure, and the selection of the
one considered to be the best.

The person concerned, taking cognizance of the present condition,
i.e., the existing situation, first considers whether this situation,
if maintained, will be suitable to the appropriate effect desired.
Then, unless satisfied that he desires no change, he creates one or
more images of future conditions, i.e., mental pictures of new
situations, which will also be suitable to this end. The maintenance
of the existing situation, or the creation of a new one, will in each
case involve a plan.

Necessarily, each such plan includes provision for (1) an effect to be
produced by the person solving the problem, which effect will be the
maintenance of the existing situation or the creation of a new one as
visualized by himself, and (2) the action required to produce this
effect and so to attain the appropriate effect desired, already
established as an essential part of the basis of his problem.

After systematic examination of such plans, those retained for further
consideration can be subjected to a comparison as to their relative
merits.

The best plan, selected accordingly, is then incorporated into a
decision as to the procedure to be adopted.

This decision is then available as a general plan, or may be developed
into one, to serve as a basis if necessary for a more detailed plan
for the attainment of the appropriate effect desired.

Later development, herein, of the details of this procedure will
disclose many ramifications. The treatment, so far, points to the fact
that the best method of reaching sound decision is through systematic
thought which employs logic, i.e., sound reasoning, as its machinery.

The Necessity for Logical Thought. Logical thought separates the
rational from the irrational. Its use avoids the wastefulness of the
trial-and-error method. By its insistent employment, dormant powers of
reasoning are awakened, and the danger that attends instinctive,
spontaneous, impulsive, or emotional acceptance of conclusions (page
9) is lessened. The evil effects of an inclination to dodge the issue
or of a disinclination to face the facts are thus also avoided. The
fallacy of employing the reasoning power to justify conclusions
already reached, whether on the basis of tradition or habit, or
because of the bias or bent of a school of thought, or because of the
tendency of human nature to accept plausible suggestions, is also made
apparent. Through the deliberate practice of testing and weighing, the
faculty of arriving swiftly at accurate decisions is strengthened and
is brought more quickly into play when time is a matter of immediate
concern.

Principles in their Relation to Logical Thought. Because of the
necessity for the exercise of judgment (page 3) in the systematic
arrangement of thought, the relationship between cause and effect, as
expressed in principles, is of great assistance in applying logical
processes to the problems of human life.

A principle establishes a correct relation between cause and effect.
The word, derived from the Latin "principium", meaning a foundation,
beginning, source, origin, or cause, has, because a cause implies an
effect, acquired in correct usage the significance of a true statement
of relationship between cause and effect. A principle, so formulated,
is a natural law (page 19) because it expresses a fact of nature; it
thus becomes a reliable rule of action and may be confidently adopted
as a governing law of conduct. If basic in its field, such a rule or
law becomes a general or fundamental principle with respect thereto;
each such basic truth may be the basis for the determination of many
corollary or subordinate principles dealing with the details of the
particular subject.

The formulation of a principle, therefore, requires the determination
of the causes that generate a particular effect (or effects), and the
accurate expression of the resultant relationship. Such expression
frequently takes the form of a proportion. In the mathematical
sciences the proportion may represent a precise balance; its statement
may be an exact formula. In other sciences, a definite relationship
between cause and effect has likewise been established in many cases,
though not always with mathematical precision. Comparable exactitude
has not been attained, in some cases, because the field has not been
so thoroughly explored; moreover, greater difficulty is experienced,
at times, in isolating the cause, or causes. The balance represented
by such equations, therefore, is based on quantities whose weights
vary within wide ranges. (See page 3.)

Human conduct does not lend itself to analysis as readily as do
mathematical and physical phenomena. The advance in the psychological
and sociological sciences is not so marked as in the physical, and the
actions and reactions of the mind of man have not yet proved to be
susceptible of reduction to exact formulae. Nevertheless, man, in his
intuitive search for valid guides for his own action, has been able,
with the advance of time, greatly to improve his own lot through the
medium of the scientific approach to human problems.

The insistent search of the human mind for reliable rules of action is
a recognized natural phenomenon. As understood on the basis of expert
investigation of the subject, this trait results from the recognition,
conscious or otherwise, by countless generations of mankind, of the
relationships between cause and effect as evidenced in the workings of
the laws of nature (page 22). A logical outcome, therefore, of
experience, this instinctive demand of the mind constitutes a force
which defies opposition. Properly utilized, this force affords a
powerful and natural aid in the solution of problems.

Inasmuch as a valid rule, or principle, is of great assistance in
arriving at sound decisions and in formulating effective plans (see
page 22), this demand for reliable guides is logical, as well as
natural. In any event, the demand for such guidance, if not met by
provision for reliable rules of action, may result in the adoption of
faulty rules, with frequent unfortunate consequences.

The formulation of principles, already referred to in this connection,
constitutes in itself a recognized problem (see also page 27) of great
difficulty; for it is a human failing to avoid the mental effort
involved in thinking through such a problem, and to rely on rules
whose plausibility and seeming simplicity are frequently a measure of
their incompleteness and inaccuracy.

Since the earliest days, man has attempted to formulate the
relationships between causes and effects without, however, always
possessing the specific knowledge essential to accuracy. Pithy
statements have always had great appeal to man, as evidenced by the
existence of proverbs, maxims, and adages preserved from times of
great antiquity. Frequently, however, such statements are not
expressive of the truth. Sometimes, again, they state facts, without,
nevertheless, expressing the whole truth.

Only when the relationship between cause and effect has been
demonstrated to be always true can the trained, inquiring mind receive
its statement as a valid guide, acceptable as a principle in the light
of the knowledge of the day.

To rely upon rules of action which do not express the whole truth is
to court the danger of encountering exceptions which may entail
serious consequences. The value of those rules known to be
inexpressive of the whole truth lies in the fact that they may invite
attention to circumstances which are sometimes encountered, or may
suggest methods of action which are sometimes appropriate. Danger lies
in the fact that such rules may fail to give proper emphasis to other
circumstances or other methods which are encountered or are more
appropriate in other cases.

Such a rule may fail to consider the entire problem. Its use,
therefore, implies the necessity of recognizing cases to which it is
not applicable. This may frequently be difficult in the active
operations of war, when nervous strain and the urgency of events are
handicaps to quick and accurate thinking (see page 22).

To express the whole truth, a rule of action calls to attention all
circumstances, or causes, which may ever influence the result. The
saying that "the exception proves the rule" is properly interpreted
only in the older sense that an exception "tests" the rule, indicating
by the mere fact of exception that the rule is to such extent
incomplete.

Subject to variations of phraseology, the old adage "circumstances
alter cases" is the sole reliable and fundamental rule of action. A
corresponding maxim of the military profession, "It depends on the
situation", has its root in recognition of the same fact, i.e., that
the action taken in any situation depends, properly, on the
circumstances of the case, and that the relationship between cause and
effect (page 22) is always the governing consideration. The principles
deduced hereafter (Chapter III) have these irrefutable findings as
their foundation.

Factors. A situation is by definition (page 20) a combination of
circumstances, which are the effects of certain causes. To these
causes, the term "factors", long in use in the military profession, is
customarily applied in many other activities. Through their influence
as causes, these factors operate to produce, as their effects, the
circumstances which, in combination, constitute the situation. A
combination of factors, therefore, gives to each situation its
distinctive character, differentiating it from other situations.

To maintain an existing situation, it is necessary to preserve, in
total effect, the influence of factors already present, or to
introduce new factors to offset the influence of any which tend to
cause a change. To change the situation, it is necessary to introduce
factors which will exert the desired influence; or, change may be
effected by altering the influence of factors already present. To say,
therefore, that "It depends on the situation", as in the maxim cited
(above), is to state that under all circumstances, the proper action
depends on, or is determined by, the influence of the factors
involved. Any valid rule, or principle, will accordingly take into
account the factors applicable to the case.

The application of any rule will similarly take into account the
influence of the particular factors involved. The danger of the
application of such factors to all circumstances, without due
circumspection as to their value in the existing situation, lies in
the fact that, in any particular combination of circumstances, they do
not necessarily carry equal weight.

If this view be accepted, it follows that in many situations certain
factors may, after mature deliberation, be rejected, or relegated to a
relatively inferior status, without detracting from their potential
value as fundamental considerations (page 1) in all situations.

Value and Limitations of Lists of Principles of War. The human
preference for catchwords has, by many writers on the science and art
of war, been extended to the attempted condensation of a principle or
of several principles into a single all-inclusive word or phrase. As
a result, varying lists of abstract nouns and phrases have been
advanced to constitute epitomes of the principles of war. Subject to
minor differences in number and in designation, the list most
frequently encountered comprises The Objective, Superiority, The
Offensive, Economy of Force, Movement, Cooperation, Surprise,
Security, and Simplicity.

To rely on a list of this nature, as a condensation of the
fundamentals of war, has been known to cause confusion and to result
in failure to recognize the principles which are intended to be
brought to mind.

For example, misunderstanding has resulted from the designation of the
single word, surprise, as a "principle of war". On the one hand, it
has been denied that surprise embodies a principle, the reason being
advanced that it is neither always necessary, nor feasible, nor even
desirable to attempt to obtain surprise. On the other hand, the
acceptance of the word surprise (see page 73), as itself expressing a
universal truth (which it of course does not except by inference), has
been known to result in the incorrect belief that surprise is always
essential to success. Action based on such a viewpoint is the
equivalent of applying general treatment to specific cases, regardless
of circumstances.

Thus there have resulted distortions of the simple fact that a
relationship exists between the employment of the unexpected, and the
creation of a disadvantage which will hamper an opponent. The correct
formulation of a principle, or of several principles, governing the
employment of surprise, will result in a definite statement that its
appropriate employment is dependent upon the various factors (page 25)
that make up the situation, the influence of each of which requires
evaluation in each separate situation.

Analysis, in like manner, of the so-called "principle of the
objective" as a "principle of war" will show that the objective of a
military force is, in itself, no more a principle of war than the
direction of a physical force is, in itself, a principle of mechanics.
Both concepts, however, involve certain matters of fact which can best
be explained by principles. Such principles take note of the factors
pertaining to the subjects, and indicate the underlying relationships
in a manner to be later shown herein.

Certainly the preceding list (above) of isolated expressions includes
no item which, in the abstract, may not properly be considered as
possibly vital from the strategical and tactical standpoints. But
that these expressions are always vital, and that there are no other
considerations, can scarcely be accepted as final. Even if this
objection could be removed by the inclusion of all factors well known
to be vital, the fact would still remain that these expressions,
standing alone, fail to satisfy the real need; i.e., they fail to
indicate any practical application of the concepts which they are
intended to imply. They do no more than provide a useful point of
origin for further inquiry. When understood on this basis, they
possess a certain value.

       *       *       *       *       *

The concept underlying the application of principles is correct with
respect to military problems, as well as for all others (page 22).
This purpose, however, cannot be served by a mere collection of nouns
or noun-phrases. Such expressions make no statements of cause and
effect. Their meaning is therefore left to inference and to the
idiosyncrasy of individual interpretation. The formulation, moreover,
of useful principles cannot be satisfactorily established by the
more-or-less random selection of matters, however important,
pertaining to the subject at hand. What is required is a systematic
analysis of the essentials of the subject, with resultant emphasis on
the fundamental causes and effects whose relationships are to be
expressed.

Formulation and Use of Principles. The formulation of a principle,
referred to previously (page 24) as itself a difficult problem,
requires a citation of the factors pertaining to the subject. On the
basis of these factors as causes, the principles, when properly
formulated, also state the effects which may properly be expected.
(See page 22.)

The relationship between causes and effects, or between effects and
their causes, may be expressed in various ways. The requirement is
that the expression be one of fact and that, if the principle purport
to cover the entire subject, all of the pertinent facts (page 24) be
stated, though not necessarily all the details involved.

       *       *       *       *       *

In addition to the principles of general application (Chapter III),
the later discussion herein includes numerous other principles, with
reference to matters of detail (pages 22-23). To some of these
principles the treatment invites special attention. All principles
included have been phrased with due care, to ensure conformity with
the requirements above stated. The preferred form, herein, for the
usual statement of cause and effect is through the use of phraseology
such as that certain effects "depend on" or are "dependent on" certain
causes, or that certain causes "determine" certain effects, or that
the latter "are determined by" certain causes.

From the standpoint of the exercise of judgment, it is a principle
that the due determination of effects to be produced depends on the
proper consideration of pertinent factors. Once the principles
applicable to any subject have been formulated in necessary detail,
the evaluation of the cited factors with respect to a particular
situation becomes the vital procedure as to any problem where that
subject is involved. In the course of this evaluation, corollary or
subordinate principles may be of assistance (page 22). In military
problems, however, the evaluation usually involves many factors not
susceptible of reasonably exact determination by the use of formulae
(see page 23). In such cases, experience, education, and training
afford the only secure basis for judgment which will produce reliable
conclusions. The principles, therefore, provide reliable guides by
citing the factors to be evaluated in order to arrive at desired
results, but the principles cannot replace logical thought in the
evaluation of the factors.

In formulating principles (see also page 23) as practical guides for
action, as well as in using them when formulated, failure to give
consideration to all pertinent factors may result in vitiating the
effort based on their application. Danger also lies in the fact that
any particular factor will infrequently have the same value--the same
influence on the situation--in any two problems (page 25). Therefore,
in each situation, each factor requires to be weighed in connection
with the others. The soundness of the resulting conclusion will depend
on the extent of the knowledge available (page 2) and on its useful
employment.

Summary of Fundamental Considerations. The factors (page 25) involved
in determining the nature of an effect and of the action to attain it
become fundamental considerations (page 25) when it is desired to
arrive at such a result under a particular set of circumstances.

The relationships obtaining between the desired effect and the action
to attain it, on the one hand, and the factors involved, on the other,
are best expressed in the form of principles. The next chapter is
therefore devoted to the development of basic principles applicable to
military problems.



CHAPTER III

BASIC PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO MILITARY PROBLEMS

(The Fundamental Military Principle)

    On the basis of the previous discussion as to the natural
    mental processes and as to principles useful in their
    employment, Chapter III discusses the requirements for the
    attainment of an end in human affairs.

    The fundamental principle thus derived is then applied to the
    needs of the military profession, so as to develop the
    Fundamental Military Principle. This Principle indicates the
    requirements of a correct military objective and of the action
    for its attainment.


Review of Conclusions as to Principles. On the premise that all human
activities and their environment are governed by natural laws (page
22), the preceding chapter has been devoted to an analysis of the
natural mental processes employed in meeting the problems of human
life. This analysis has stressed four fundamental truths:

    (1) That a valid rule, or principle, when complete, embraces
        all known phenomena pertinent to the relationship
        established.

    (2) That the logical application of principles to particular
        incidents will take account of all the factors of the
        principles, and of all known conditions of the incidents.

    (3) That such principles afford great assistance in arriving
        at sound conclusions, and that the human mind, if without
        access to such valid guides, tends to adopt faulty rules
        in the effort to serve the same purpose.

    (4) That rules of action, however, even though they be valid,
        cannot be depended upon to replace the employment of
        logical thought.

Procedure for Developing Military Principles. Logically, the next
stage in the treatment of this subject is to develop certain basic
principles applicable, more especially, to the solution of military
problems.

The development of such principles starts, on the basis already
established in this discussion, with a reference to the natural mental
processes used by the normal mature human being before taking
deliberate action (page 19). Under such circumstances, the person who
is to solve the problem has first to establish a basis for his
solution.

To arrive at this basis, which involves an understanding of the
appropriate effect desired, the person concerned requires a grasp of
the salient features of the situation, a recognition of the incentive,
and an appreciation of the effect which he has been directed to
produce or has adopted on his own initiative. To complete the basis
for his solution, he also requires an understanding of comparative
resources as influenced by the conditions obtaining at the time.

During the actual solution of the problem, the person concerned takes
cognizance first, of the existing situation, picturing it in his mind.
Then, unless satisfied that he desires no change, he creates for
himself mental images of future situations. The pictured condition
decided upon after consideration of the pertinent factors involved, be
it the situation to be maintained or a new situation to be created,
constitutes an effect he may produce for the further attainment of the
appropriate effect desired, already established as an essential part
of the basis of his problem. (See page 25.)

With the existing situation and a new situation now clear, what action
is he to take to change the one into the other? Or, if no change is
desired, what action is he to take to maintain the existing situation?
What acts or series of acts should he decide upon, plan in detail,
inaugurate, and supervise (page 3), to attain the effect which he has
envisaged for the further attainment of the appropriate effect
desired?

The correct solution of problems therefore hinges on the requirements
involved in the effects to be produced and in the action to produce
them. If these requirements are ascertained, a principle can be
formulated as a valid guide for the solution of human problems.

Requirements for the Attainment of an End. The discussion to this
point has established the fact that an end in view, a result to be
produced, an effect desired, is very closely connected with a further
effect which the attainment of the former is intended to produce.
Human motives spring from deep-seated incentives often derived from
distant sources, so that, even when the person concerned is acting
wholly on his own initiative, he will rarely, if ever, be uninfluenced
by some further effect desired, inherent in his situation (see page
19).

An end in view, therefore, from the viewpoint of the person who is
endeavoring to visualize its accomplishment as a method for attainment
of a further aim, will necessarily achieve such further aim, or at
least contribute to its achievement. The first requirement,
accordingly, of such an end in view is that it be suitable to any
further aim, whatever that aim may be. It may be said, therefore, that
a correct end in view satisfies the requirement of suitability as to
the appropriate effect desired, whatever this further effect may be.

Important as suitability is, however, a reasonably responsible person
will recognize that this consideration, alone, does not satisfy all
requirements. An end in view remains a mere desire, without
possibility of attainment, unless such a result is practicable of
accomplishment. A correct end in view, therefore, satisfies also the
requirements of feasibility.

Consideration of feasibility calls for a survey of comparative
resources (page 30). Such a survey will cover the extent of the
resources (means available) of those making the effort, as compared to
the resources (means opposed) of those who may oppose it. Full account
is also to be taken, as to feasibility, of the natural and artificial
conditions which the effort will encounter before it can produce the
contemplated result. The responsible person will ask himself where the
effort is most likely to be successful, and what obstacles, in
addition to those represented by opponents, he will be required to
surmount. The effects of such conditions may alter the ratio otherwise
presented by comparative resources.

Consideration of the characteristics of the field of action may thus
disclose features which will greatly influence the possibility of
accomplishment, as well as the character of the effort to be made,
from the standpoint of feasibility. The second requirement, therefore,
is that of feasibility with respect to comparative resources, i.e.,
the means available and opposed, as influenced by the physical
conditions prevailing in the field of action.

Although believed to be both suitable and feasible, the requirements
for the attainment of an end are not yet completely established. There
is still required a reckoning of a profit-and-loss account of the
whole undertaking, to estimate whether it will be advantageous. What
will be the cost, and what will be the gain? Is the effort worth
while? Or should one be content with venturing less and gaining less?
What is the bearing on possible future action? The consequences as to
costs, always important considerations in dealing with human problems,
are frequently the paramount determinant. The third requirement,
therefore, is acceptability with respect to the consequences as to
costs.

These requirements invite attention to the factors, already
discussed, whose influence (see page 25 as to factors) determines the
character of the effort required to attain an end.

The Fundamental Principle for the Attainment of an End. Here, then,
are the broad fundamental considerations which affect the solution of
every human problem. In a narrower field, the considerations may fall
within more specific limits, but a principle sufficiently broad to be
applicable to all cases appears to comprehend those inclusive factors
mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.

A review of these paragraphs will disclose that the factors pertaining
to the several requirements may be so grouped as to constitute a
single fundamental principle governing the attainment of an end in
human affairs,--as follows:

In any human activity, the attainment of a correct end in view depends
on fulfillment of the requirements of

    Suitability of the end in view, as determined by the factor
        of the appropriate effect desired,

    Feasibility of the effort required, on the basis of
        comparative resources, as determined by the means
        available and opposed, influenced by the factor of the
        physical conditions prevailing in the field of action, and

    Acceptability of the results of the effort involved, as
        determined by the factor of the consequences as to costs,

    which factors are in turn dependent on each other.

The Interdependency of the Factors. As previously observed (page 28),
the factors cited in the foregoing principle are themselves
interdependent. This fact results from working of natural law (page
22), for it is a recognized phenomenon that every effect is the result
of certain causes, and that every effect is itself, in turn, the cause
of further effects (page 19).

Accordingly, when the evaluation of any factor is under consideration,
its value as an unknown quantity can be determined to the extent that
the values of the other pertinent factors are known. (See page 23, as
to the discussion of the quantities in an equation.) The significance
of each, in any situation, is therefore determined by the influence of
the other factors. The relationships existing among them can best be
expressed in the terms of four corollary principles (page 27), next to
be discussed.

       *       *       *       *       *

For example, questions frequently arise as to what is the appropriate
effect to be desired in a particular situation. Whether a desired
effect is feasible of attainment, and whether certain consequences,
though undesirable, will be acceptable, in view of the gains, can be
determined by evaluation of the means available and opposed,
influenced by the physical conditions prevailing in the field of
action, and of the consequences as to costs. If a desired effect is
thereby found to be not feasible of attainment, or to be unacceptable
as to consequences, deferment of such effort is indicated. A proper
solution in such case would adopt some lesser effect, in conformity
with the further aim, feasible of accomplishment, and acceptable as to
its consequences.

If (with respect to the further aim, mentioned above) the person
concerned is acting under the instructions of another, there will
frequently be injected into the equation, in addition to the factors
already noted, a further effect desired, indicated by higher
authority. Such an indication will often operate to narrow the limits
of the problem. This is true even if the person concerned is acting
wholly on his own initiative and responsibility (pages 29-30).

These considerations lead to the formulation of what may be called the
corollary principle for determination of the appropriate effect to be
desired in human affairs,--as follows:

  In any human activity, the appropriate effect to be desired
  (i.e., an end in view, a result to be accomplished) depends on
  fulfillment of the requirements of

    Suitability of the end in view, as determined by the factor of
        the further effect desired (if such further effect is
        indicated),

    Feasibility of the effort to attain the end in view, on the
        basis of comparative resources, as determined by the
        factors of the means available and opposed, influenced by
        the factor of the physical conditions prevailing in the
        field of action, and

    Acceptability of the results of the effort involved, as
        determined by the factor of the consequences as to costs.

       *       *       *       *       *

If, to take a further example, the known factors include the
appropriate effect desired, the means opposed, the physical conditions
prevailing in the field of action, and the consequences as to costs,
the only unknown remains the means available. The question then is,
what means need be made available for the accomplishment of the
contemplated effort? The answer to this question may be found in the
application of what may be called the principle for the determination
of the proper means to be made available in human affairs,--as
follows:

  In any human activity, the proper means to be made available
  depend on fulfillment of the requirements of

    Suitability of the means (in kind and amount) to accomplish
        the end in view, as determined by the factor of the
        appropriate effect desired,

    Feasibility of the effort to make such means available on the
        basis of comparative resources as determined by the factor
        of the means opposed, influenced by the factor of the
        physical conditions prevailing in the field of action, and

    Acceptability of the results of the effort involved, as
        determined by the factor of the consequences as to costs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The influence of physical conditions in the field of action may be
illustrated by any case where ends otherwise feasible of attainment
cannot be achieved without effecting changes in such conditions. The
resolution of the uncertainty then requires study to determine what
suitable changes can be made. Changes for such a purpose may take
various forms, such as the construction of physical features in the
area involved, or the destruction of such features already existing;
or, again, both methods may be employed. Examples of such changes have
existed and still exist in profusion, some of them, military and
non-military, being on such a scale as radically to alter the previous
status with respect to entire nations. The question as to what changes
ought to be effected in the prevailing physical conditions, in order
to attain a certain objective, can be answered by the application of
what may be called the principle for the determination of the proper
physical conditions to be established in the field of action,--as
follows:

  In any human activity, the proper physical conditions to be
  established in the field of action depend on fulfillment of the
  requirements of

    Suitability of such conditions to the end in view, as
        determined by the factor of the appropriate effect
        desired,

    Feasibility of effort to establish such conditions, on the
        basis of comparative resources, as determined by the
        factors of the means available and opposed, influenced by
        the factor of the physical conditions existing in the
        field of action, and

    Acceptability of the results of the effort involved, as
        determined by the factor of the consequences as to costs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The factor of consequences as to costs also calls for special notice.
The influence of this factor frequently justifies abandonment of
suitable ends in view, even though their attainment has been
determined to be feasible, because the loss involved would out-weigh
the gain. Immediate success may be attained at such cost as to prevent
the attainment of larger ends (see the discussion, pages 9 and 10, of
the relationship of strategy and tactics).

On the other hand, the circumstances of the case may well justify
loss, however great, because the alternative is unacceptable, even
though the consequences involve complete destruction. Moreover, the
need for swift and aggressive action in many activities (notably in
war), for resolute prosecution of the plan, for timely seizure of
opportunity, and for acceptance of justified risks, requires that
consideration of consequences as to costs never be emphasized beyond
its proper weight. To determine such proper weight calls, frequently,
for judgment of the highest order, and is, in the military profession,
a direct responsibility of command. This responsibility can be
discharged by the application of what may be called the corollary
principle for the determination of acceptable consequences as to
costs,--as follows:

  In any human activity, the acceptable consequences as to costs
    depend on fulfillment of the requirements of

    Suitability of the end in view, as determined by the factor
        of the appropriate effect desired, and

    Feasibility of the effort to attain the end in view, on the
        basis of comparative resources, as determined by the
        factors of the means available and opposed, influenced by
        the factor of the physical conditions prevailing in the
        field of action.

Special Nature of War as a Human Activity. A principle found, by
careful analysis, to be governing as to human activities of any
nature, is also applicable to the problems of war. This is true
because war is a human activity, differing from other human activities
only in the specialized character of the factors that enter.

The effect desired in war has a character distinctly military and,
ultimately, through the reestablishment of a favorable peace, a
political character (see pages 7-9).

The means available (or opposed) in war are the human and material
components of fighting strength (page 8). The physical conditions
prevailing in the field of action are, in war, the characteristics of
the theater of operations. Fighting strength is thus derived from the
means available (or opposed) in war, as influenced by the
characteristics of the theater. Relative fighting strength
(comparative resources in war) involves a comparison of means
available with means opposed, due account being taken of the influence
exerted on both by the characteristics of the theater. In war,
relatively large masses of human beings oppose each other with hostile
intent, while the means available and opposed, and the physical
conditions established by the operations of war in the theater of
action, tend more and more to acquire a highly specialized character.

The consequences as to costs, in war, also assume a special
significance, inasmuch as they may materially influence the
development of entire nations or of the world situation.

Factors as Universal Determinants in War. Tabulated for convenient
reference and expressed in terms in general use in the military
profession, the factors governing the attainment of an end in war are
therefore:

  (a) The Nature of the appropriate Effect Desired,
  (b) The Means Available and Opposed,
  (c) The Characteristics of the Theater of Operations,
      and
  (d) The Consequences as to Costs.

These factors, thus expressed in abstract form, are the universal
determinants of the nature of the objective and of the character of
the action to attain it. Their further resolution into factors of more
concrete form is indicated hereinafter (see Chapter VI, in the
discussion of Section II of the Estimate Form).

The Objective in War. The objective (page 3), a term long in use in
the military profession in connection with the "objective point", has
acquired by extension the significance of something more than the
physical object of action. The latter, as explained later (page 37),
is properly denominated the "physical objective".

In the abstract, an "objective", in present general usage as well as
in the military vocabulary, is an end toward which action is being
directed, or is to be directed; in brief, an end in view, a result to
be attained, an effect desired (pages 19 and 30). An objective is an
effect to be produced for the attainment of a further objective,
itself a further effect. As already demonstrated (page 30 and
following), the attainment of an end, in any human activity, requires
action to maintain the existing situation or to create a new one.
Therefore, in war, a special form of human activity, the attainment of
an objective requires that action be actual imposition of an outside
agency. The attainment of a correct military objective (discussed in
detail in Chapter IV) requires, accordingly, the creation or
maintenance of a favorable military situation.

An objective, in the sense of an end in view, a result to be
accomplished, is manifestly an objective in mind. As already indicated
(page 36), however, military usage also assigns to the term
"objective" an additional meaning, a meaning exclusively concrete.
Results in war are attained through the actual or threatened use of
physical force (pages 8 and 9) directed with relation to something
tangible, such as, for example, some physical element of the enemy's
strength.

Action as to this tangible feature (e.g., if it is destroyed,
occupied, neutralized, or otherwise dealt with) will result in, or
further the attainment of, an effect desired. Thus the physical
objective occupies a sharply defined position in warfare, in that it
establishes the physical basis of the objective and indicates the
geographical direction of the effort. Since the physical objective is
always an object--be it only a geographical point--, it is more than a
mental concept; it is an objective in space.

For example, the objective being "the destruction of the enemy
battleship", the physical objective is the enemy battleship.

As used herein the expression "the objective" or "the military
objective" (page 55), when unqualified, ordinarily indicates the
mental objective. The term is properly applicable to a physical
objective when the context makes the meaning clear. Ordinarily, and
always when clarity demands, a tangible focus of effort is herein
denoted a "physical objective".

Military Operations. Appropriate action to create or maintain a
situation will take the form of a military operation. An operation, in
the basic sense, is merely an act, or a series of acts. The word is
derived from the Latin opus, meaning "work". A military operation is
therefore an act, or a series of included acts (i.e., work), of a
military character. A military operation may consist of an entire
campaign, or even of several such, constituting a clearly defined
major stage in a war; or such an operation may consist of portions
thereof. The term is also applied, properly, to entire series of acts
on the part of successive commands, from the higher to the lower
echelons, to and including distinctive military actions which relate
to the merest routine.

A plan of action to attain a military objective is, therefore, a plan
of military operations, including supporting measures (see page 167),
considered or adopted as a method of procedure for the achievement of
that end (see page 21). Such a plan or method of procedure requires
action with relation to correct physical objectives in such a manner
as to attain the objective, i.e., to maintain the existing situation
or to create a new one, conformably to the appropriate effect desired.

A plan of military operations may be regarded as reasonably effective
if the direction or geographical trend of the effort provides for
proper action with relation to the correct physical objectives; if the
force concerned utilizes positions advantageous in relation to those
of the opponent; if the fighting strength is so apportioned as to
provide for requisite power at points likely to be decisive, without
undue weakening at other points; and if future actions, in seeking the
effect desired, will be unhampered by obstacles with which the force
cannot cope. These essentials apply to all of the various combinations
of circumstances, i.e., situations (page 20), which may materialize as
action progresses and the original situation unfolds.

A properly conceived plan of military operations therefore makes
provision, necessarily, for certain salient features of such
operations, as follows:

  The physical objectives involved,
  The relative positions utilized,
  The apportionment of fighting strength, and
  The provisions for freedom of action.

As will later be observed (Chapters VII and VIII), the content of
plans for naval operations may be classified under the headings listed
above. In such plans the salient features noted will be observed,
also, to occur, subject to certain exceptions, in the sequence above
indicated. Similar observations are applicable as to plans
systematically prepared for direction of forces operating on land and
in the air.

A military operation which is progressing favorably, whatever the
medium of action, may therefore be justifiably stated to include
provision for the following salient features:

      Effective action with relation to correct physical
  objectives,

      Projection of military action from advantageous relative
  positions,

      Proper apportionment of fighting strength, and

      Ensurance of adequate freedom of action.

Since, at any moment of its successful prosecution, a military
operation presents, inherently (page 38), a favorable military
situation, the salient features of such an operation constitute, also,
the salient features of a favorable military situation. Manifestly,
any deficiencies in these respects will indicate that in certain
particulars the situation is not entirely favorable, if not actually
unfavorable.

Determination of the Salient Features. Because the form which a
military operation takes, in the effort to attain a military
objective, depends upon the factors which are the universal
determinants (page 36) of the character of the effort, the salient
features of such an operation are determined by the same factors. A
valid guide as to determination of the salient features of a favorably
progressing military operation, seen (above) to be identical with
those of a favorable military situation, may therefore be formulated
as a principle for determining these salient features, as follows:

The determination of

                             }         { Suitability, as determined by
                             }         { the factor of the appropriate
Correct physical objectives, }         { effect desired.
                             }         {
Advantageous relative        }         { Feasibility, by reason of
 positions,                  }         { relative fighting strength,
                             } depends { as determined by the factors
Proper apportionment of      } on      { of the means available and
fighting strength, and       } their   { opposed, influenced by the
                             }         { factor of the characteristics
Provision for adequate       }         { of the theater of operations,
freedom of action            }         { and
                             }         {
                             }         { Acceptability, as determined
                             }         { by the factor of the
                             }         { consequences as to costs.

Since the particular character of each salient feature of a situation,
or of an operation, is determined by the influence, exerted by the
identical factors (as noted), there is a resulting interdependency,
important though indirect, among the several features. This
interdependency is explained hereafter. (Chapter IV).

The Fundamental Military Principle. The Fundamental Principle for the
Attainment of an End in human affairs (page 32) has invited
attention to the factors, pertinent to suitability, feasibility, and
acceptability, seen to be applicable, as well, to any military effort
(page 35). As also noted, a military effort will necessarily consist
of military operations, whose salient features depend upon the same
factors. The factors, in turn, have been observed (page 32 and
following) to be interdependent.

[Illustration: THE FUNDAMENTAL MILITARY PRINCIPLE (diagram)]

These considerations lead to the formulation of a derivative of the
Fundamental Principle for the Attainment of an End in human affairs,
in the form of


The Fundamental Military Principle

The attainment of a military objective (the creation or maintenance of
a favorable military situation) depends on effective operations
involving the salient features of

    Effective action with relation to correct physical
        objectives,

    Projection of action from advantageous relative positions,

    Proper apportionment of fighting strength, and

    Ensurance of adequate freedom of action,

    each fulfilling the requirements of

    Suitability, as determined by the factor of the appropriate
        effect desired,

    Feasibility, by reason of relative fighting strength as
        determined by the factors of the means available and
        opposed, influenced by the factor of the characteristics
        of the theater of operations, and

    Acceptability, as determined by the factor of the consequences
        as to costs,

    which factors are in turn dependent on each other.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Fundamental Military Principle, as a valid guide, encounters no
exception in the field it purports to cover. As a practical guide, it
brings to attention, in broad outline, all the causes and effects
which are involved. The principle affords a proper basis for the
formulation of corollary principles for the determination, in any
particular situation, of any element noted therein whose value may be
unknown but may be ascertained by reference to other pertinent
elements which constitute known quantities. (See pages 21-27.)

As later explained (Chapter IV), the two major applications of the
Principle relate to the selection of a correct military objective and
to the determination of effective military operations to attain an
objective (see page 28).

A corollary Principle of the Correct Military Objective will
accordingly state that the selection of a correct military objective
depends on the due consideration of the salient features and the
factors cited in the Fundamental Military Principle. The application
of this corollary is discussed in Section II of Chapter IV.

A corollary Principle of Effective Military Operations will similarly
state that the determination of effective operations for the
attainment of a military objective depends on the due consideration of
the salient features and the factors cited in the Fundamental Military
Principle. The application of this corollary is explained in Section
III of Chapter IV.

These principles can be used as a basis for formulating the plans of
the commander concerned, and, accordingly, for determining his own
action. They can also be used as a basis for rendering sound opinions,
when requested of the commander, as to plans and actions contemplated
by higher authority. The principles are in like manner applicable for
purposes of historical study involving analysis of operations of the
past.



CHAPTER IV

THE APPLICATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL MILITARY PRINCIPLE

(Objectives--Their Selection and Attainment)

    Section I of Chapter IV discusses the major components of all
    military problems.

    Section II deals with the fundamental considerations having to
    do, generally, with the first of these components, i.e., the
    selection of correct military objectives; the application,
    more specifically, is reserved for Chapter VI.

    Section III deals with the fundamental considerations having
    to do, generally, with the second of the two major components,
    i.e., the determination of effective military operations for
    the attainment of such objectives; the application, more
    specifically, is reserved for Chapter VII.

    The selection of objectives has a secondary application, also,
    to the discussion in Chapter VII, while the determination of
    operations has a similar application to that in Chapter VI.
    Both subjects, i.e., as to objectives and as to operations,
    have application also to Chapter IX.

    The chart on page ii shows these relationships.


I. MAJOR COMPONENTS OF MILITARY PROBLEMS.

In the two preceding chapters, the study of the natural mental
processes has brought to notice that, to meet the requirements of
suitability, feasibility, and acceptability as to consequences in the
proper solution of a military problem, it is first necessary to
establish a sound basis for that solution. Such a basis involves an
understanding of the appropriate effect desired and of relative
fighting strength (see pages 29 and 30).

In each situation an understanding of the appropriate effect desired,
from the standpoint of suitability, requires:

        (1) A grasp of the salient features of the situation,
    favorable and unfavorable, including the perplexity inherent
    therein,

        (2) A recognition of the incentive to solution of the
    problem, i.e., a realization of the desire or need for
    attaining a certain effect, an objective (page 36) which will
    be the maintenance or creation of a favorable military
    situation, and

        (3) An appreciation of this objective in its relationship
    to the next further result to be accomplished by its
    attainment.

An understanding of relative fighting strength involves consideration
of the means available and opposed, as influenced by the
characteristics of the theater of operations. With this understanding
there is provided a sound basis for the determination, later, of the
feasibility of courses of action and of their acceptability with
respect to consequences as to costs.

In the premises, the ability to understand the nature of a military
problem is dependent on the knowledge, experience, character, and
professional judgment of the commander. These qualities enable him to
grasp the significance of the salient features of the situation. The
same personal characteristics are instrumental in the recognition of
the incentive. Analysis indicates that an incentive may arise (1) by
reason of a directive issued by higher authority, or (2) from the fact
that a decision already reached by the commander has introduced
further problems, or (3) because of the demands of the situation.
However, the primary consideration in understanding the nature of the
problem is the appreciation of the objective from which the problem
originates, i.e., the just estimation or accurate evaluation of this
objective. Such consideration is primary because appreciation of this
objective involves, as necessary concomitants, a grasp of the salient
features of the existing situation (to be maintained or changed) and a
recognition of the incentive.

Correct appreciation of this objective, in its relationship to the
further effect to be produced, is thus the principal consideration in
reaching an understanding of the appropriate effect desired. It is, to
repeat, through an understanding of this factor and of the factors of
relative fighting strength that the commander establishes the basis
for the solution of his problem. (See Section I of Chapter VI, page
118).

The Solution of a Military Problem. When the commander has thus
obtained an understanding of the basis of his problem, the actual
procedure of solution is undertaken through the consideration of the
factors involved in their influence on the various plans for the
attainment of the appropriate effect desired, as thus established. The
best plan, selected and embodied in outline in the decision, can then
be further developed, if necessary, into a general plan for the
commander's force and, finally, into a detailed plan, as the solution
of the problem. (See page 22.)

The Major Components of a Military Problem. Each plan considered by
the commander will involve (page 21) two major considerations:
namely--an effect to be produced and the action required to produce
it; or, in military terms, a correct military objective (or
objectives) and effective operations for its attainment. The selection
of correct military objectives and the determination of effective
operations for their attainment are therefore the two major components
of a military problem, because they are the principal considerations
on which depends the soundness of military decision. To meet these
requirements is a prime function of command, one which demands
professional judgment of the highest order.

The major components of a military problem are of course intimately
connected, because a purposeful action, accomplished, is equivalent to
an objective, attained. Furthermore, the attainment of an objective
involves the accomplishment of effective operations.

Because of the importance of the subject, the relationship between
these two major components deserves very careful analysis. As has been
observed (page 30), the action to be taken depends, in the first
instance, on the effect to be produced. Therefore, the objective is,
as compared to the action to attain it, the paramount matter.
Moreover, there is necessarily included, in the procedure of selecting
a correct objective, a consideration as to whether the action to that
end will be feasible and as to whether the consequences involved will
be acceptable on the basis of the costs which will be exacted. If,
then, the objective has been correctly selected in any situation, this
procedure will have included, as a necessary incidental, the
determination also, in the proper detail, of the operations required
for its attainment.

Of the two major components involved in the selection of the best
plan, the primary relates, therefore, to correct objectives.
Accordingly, this consideration is most aptly expressed in terms of
the "selection" of objectives. The "determination" of necessary
operations is a proper expression of the procedure therein involved,
because this procedure, though also involving a major component of the
problem is dependent on the primary consideration of objectives.

A valid guide for practical use during the process of solving military
problems will therefore provide a basis, primarily, for the selection
of correct objectives. However, the procedure for such selection,
though requiring consideration of the action involved in attaining
objectives, will seldom call for a complete analysis of such
operations. Therefore, it is also desirable, for the solution of
military problems, to provide a valid guide for the determination of
effective operations, in detail. This guide may be used on occasions
when, the correct objective having been selected, the only remaining
problem is to work out the detailed operations involved.

The Fundamental Military Principle, developed in the preceding
chapter, has been formulated to fulfill the requirements described in
the preceding paragraph. Through the exhaustive analysis of the
elements involved, there has been provided, in the form of a single
fundamental principle, a valid guide for the selection of correct
military objectives and for the due determination of effective
operations for their attainment.

In the present chapter, the abstract application of the Principle is
discussed in terms of fundamental considerations. Section II of the
chapter deals with the selection of objectives; this subject, in more
specific terms, is later expanded in Chapter VI. Section III of the
present chapter deals with the determination of operations; this
subject, in more specific terms, is expanded in Chapter VII. The
present chapter affords a treatment applicable to military problems of
any nature. Later expansion is applicable, more especially, to naval
problems.

This arrangement of the subject matter has been adopted for two
reasons. First, discussion of fundamental considerations, thus taken
up at the present point, immediately follows the formulation of the
principle (in Chapter III). Furthermore, a fundamental treatment,
prior to Chapters VI and VII, permits maximum brevity in the
discussion, therein. The commander, having mastered the fundamentals
dealt with here, can later follow the detailed procedure with minimum
distraction due to reference to the preceding discussion.

Essential Elements Involved. As previously stated, the problems of war
differ from those of other human activities with respect, only (page
35), to the specialized character of the factors that enter.

The final outcome is dependent (page 8) on ability to isolate, occupy,
or otherwise control the territory of the enemy. The sea, though it
supplements the resources of land areas, is destitute of many
essential requirements of man, and affords no basis, alone, for the
secure development of human activities. Land is the natural habitat of
man. The sea provides routes of communication between land areas. The
air affords routes of communication over both land and sea.

These facts inject into military operations certain factors peculiar
to movement of military forces by land, sea, and air (page 60). There
are also involved the specialized demands of a technique for the
imposition of and the resistance to physical violence. In addition
there appear those factors related to the psychology of human
reactions to armed conflict.

In any situation involving opposing armed forces, the problem, as in
any human activity (page 30), is, from the standpoint of each
opponent, a matter of maintaining existing conditions or of bringing
about a change. The method employed, if the action is to be effective,
will follow lines calculated to shape the ensuing progressive changes
in circumstances toward the attainment of the end in view. The action
to be taken will be ineffective if it does not support the calculated
line of endeavor, i.e., if it is not suitable or adequate forcibly to
shape the course of events either toward the creation of a desired new
and more favorable situation, or the maintenance of the original
conditions.

The analysis of the principal components of a military problem--i.e.,
the military objectives and the military operations appropriate to the
effort for their attainment--therefore requires a study of such
objectives and operations in terms, respectively, of a favorable
military situation (page 37) and of a favorably progressing military
operation (page 38). As has been observed, the salient features of
such a situation or operation are, from the abstract viewpoint,
identical, as are also the factors which determine the character of
such features (page 39). As a covering word for such features and
factors, alike, the term "elements" appears especially suitable,
inasmuch as it properly comprises the constituent parts of any
subject, as well as the factors which may pertain thereto.

Accordingly, the analysis, following, of the procedure for selection
of correct military objectives is made in terms of the essential
elements of a favorable military situation. For like reasons, the
analysis of the procedure for determining the character of the
detailed operations required is made in terms of the essential
elements of a favorably progressing military operation. (For these
elements, see the salient features and the factors cited in the
Fundamental Military Principle, page 41.)


II. SELECTION OF CORRECT MILITARY OBJECTIVES

Nature of Military Objectives. In the previous discussion (page 36),
the military objective has been defined as the end toward which action
is being, or is to be, directed. As such it has been noted as an
objective in mind. The tangible focus of effort, the physical
objective toward which the action is directed, has been observed to be
an objective in space. The physical objective is always an object, be
it only a geographical point, while the objective, being a mental
concept, is a situation to be created or maintained.

The term "objective" requires circumspection, not only in the manner
of its expression (see page 53), but in its use. The latter is true
because the purport of the objective under consideration will vary
with the viewpoint of the echelon concerned. For instance, the proper
visualization of an objective, as an "effect desired" (page 19), calls
for a correct answer to the question, "Who desires this effect to be
produced?" (See page 4).

A variety of viewpoints is thus a natural characteristic of the chain
of command (pages 11-13), whose functioning creates what may be called
a "chain of objectives".

Necessary exceptions aside, the commander expects to receive, from his
immediate superior, an assigned objective, which that superior thus
enjoins the commander to attain. The commander, in turn, through the
use of the natural mental processes already explained, decides on an
objective, for the general effort of his own force, to attain the
objective assigned by his immediate superior.

As a subordinate, a commander to whom an objective has been assigned
is responsible to his immediate superior for its attainment. The
commander may, however, also occupy the position of an immediate
superior to one or more commanders on the next lower echelon. In such
capacity, he may assign objectives to these immediate subordinates. By
attaining such an assigned objective, each of these subordinates thus
contributes to the success of the complete effort planned by his
immediate superior, to the extent represented by his own assigned
share of the effort.

A commander can scarcely expect to receive in full the intelligent
support of his subordinate commanders, unless he makes clear to them
the character of his own planned effort. It is customary, therefore,
when assigning an objective to a subordinate, also to inform him of
the purpose which its attainment is intended to further. Stated
differently, a commander, when imposing upon an immediate subordinate
an effect which he is to produce, informs him, at the same time, of
the nature of the military result which he, the immediate superior,
has determined to bring about.

This is the part of wisdom, not merely of choice. It acquaints the
immediate subordinate with the objective of the immediate superior and
thus enables the former to comprehend wherein the attainment of his
own assigned objective is expected to contribute to the attainment of
the effect desired by his superior.

Since the attainment of the assigned objectives will represent the
consummation of the general plan of the immediate superior, the
purpose of each of these assignments is to assist in the attainment of
the objective announced, for his entire force, by the immediate
superior (see also page 12).

From the viewpoint of the subordinate, the objective thus assigned by
the immediate superior becomes the appropriate effect desired,
essential to the determination of the accomplishment which the former
is to effect by his own effort. On occasion, also, the full scope of
the appropriate effect desired may require consideration of the
objectives of higher echelons in the chain of command, so far as such
objectives may be known or deduced.

The responsibility of the immediate superior, in the matter of
ensuring that his immediate subordinates understand the purpose of
their assigned objectives, is in no respect less than that which falls
upon these subordinates in the execution of their own assignments. By
failing to provide subordinate commanders, through whatever methods,
with a knowledge not only of the details of his plan but of the
general objective which their integrated effort is calculated to
attain, the superior may actually subject his undertaking to the risk
of failure.

The decision as to the general plan (page 44) for the attainment of
his assigned objective provides the commander with an objective which
he himself has originated. With the plan for the attainment of his
general objective clearly fixed in mind, the commander may now proceed
to the selection of one or more objectives of a specific nature, the
integrated attainment of which will ensure the attainment of his
assigned objective. The instructions which he may then give,
severally, to his immediate subordinates in a detailed plan of
operations, thus indicate to the latter their assigned objectives.
(See also page 22.)

The source of the incentive (page 44) has an intimate connection with
the assigned objective. Furthermore, whatever the origin of the
incentive, the ability to select correct objectives is an essential
element in the mental equipment of the commander.

For example, if the incentive arises by reason of a directive received
from higher authority, such directive will presumably assign an
objective, specific or inferred. The commander to whom such an
objective is assigned is responsible for a correct understanding of
all the implications involved, including the relationship between the
assigned objective and the general objective of the next higher
commander, which represents the purpose of the assigned objective. On
occasion it will also be necessary for the commander to consider the
relationships involved with the further objectives of the higher
command (page 49). Again, without any suggestion of cavilling at
orders received, the commander may also find occasion to examine, with
care, the implications of his assigned objective, because of his
responsibility for taking correct action in the premises (page 15).

If the incentive arises from a decision previously made by the
commander, it follows that such decision will have embodied an
objective, selected by the commander himself.

If the incentive arises because of the demands of the situation, the
commander is responsible for recognition of the necessity for action
and for the correct selection of an appropriate objective, to be
adopted by him as a basis for his own action as if it were assigned by
higher authority.

An assigned objective having been established with respect to the
basis for his problem, the commander is always responsible for the
correct selection of an objective to serve as the end in view for the
general, integrated action of his subordinate commanders.

Once such an objective has been selected, the commander is further
responsible for selecting, on the basis provided thereby, correct
objectives to be assigned to his subordinate commanders.

For various practical reasons, therefore, the responsibility of the
commander requires of him the ability to select correct objectives. On
the basis of classification with respect to the authority making the
selection, analysis will demonstrate the existence of two types of
objectives.

These two types of objectives are (see page 30 as to effects and
further effects), namely, (1) the assigned objective (page 48)
ordinarily indicated by higher authority, exceptionally determined by
the commander for himself, and (2) the objective typically selected by
the commander, himself, as the end in view for the integrated effort
of his subordinates. It will be noted that in the latter category
there will fall, not only the general objective referred to
immediately above, but numerous other objectives for whose attainment
provision may be needed during the actual prosecution of the effort or
in anticipation thereof.

Procedure for Selection of Correct Military Objectives. The
Fundamental Military Principle (page 41), properly applied, is the
basis for the selection of any or all of such objectives. The
procedure involves the direct application of the corollary Principle
of the Correct Military Objective.

According to this principle, the selection of a correct military
objective depends on due consideration of the salient features noted,
i.e., correct physical objectives, advantageous relative positions,
proper apportionment of fighting strength, and provision for adequate
freedom of action. These features, discussed in greater detail
hereafter (in this chapter), are determined by factors cited in the
Principle (pages 41-42).

The first factor being the appropriate effect desired, a correct
military objective is selected, in the first instance, by reference to
the requirement of suitability as to this factor. This appropriate
effect desired may be indicated by the higher command (page 44), or
may be determined by the commander himself as hereinafter explained
(page 52).

When the appropriate effect desired has been established, the next
consideration is, "What physical objective (or objectives) can be
found, action with relation to which will, if successful, attain this
effect?"

For example, if the appropriate effect desired were the "reduction of
enemy battleship strength" in a certain area, then an enemy battleship
appearing therein would manifestly be a correct physical objective. A
suitable action with relation thereto would be "to destroy the enemy
battleship", in which case the objective involved in the action would
be "the destruction of the enemy battleship".

Any lesser accomplishment, such as infliction of damage on the enemy
battleship, or its repulse, or its diversion elsewhere, would also be
suitable to the appropriate effect desired, though not in the same
degree. Each such visualized accomplishment, suitable to the
appropriate effect desired, may properly be considered as a
tentatively selected objective.

An objective having been tentatively selected on the basis of the
appropriate effect desired, its final selection will naturally depend,
as indicated in the Principle, on the feasibility of the effort
involved in the attainment of each such objective, and on the
acceptability of the consequences as to costs.

In investigating such feasibility, account is taken of the relative
fighting strength. With relation to the enemy battleship, for example
(see above), the commander would consider the means available to him
and the means opposed (including the enemy battleship and any
supporting forces), as influenced by the characteristics of the
theater.

This investigation will include, necessarily, a sufficient analysis of
the salient features of the operation required to attain each
objective. Such features include the nature of the physical objectives
(the battleship and any other forces, for instance), the possibilities
of relative position, the problems involved in apportioning the forces
on either side, and the proper considerations as to freedom of action.

A similar study with respect to the acceptability of the consequences
to be expected, as to the costs involved in the operation, will
provide a basis for a conclusion as to that factor.

If the attainment of an objective is found to be infeasible, or
feasible only at the expense of unacceptable consequences, the
proposed objective will naturally be rejected, and some other
objective will be considered (page 33).

The objective finally adopted as the best will be that which, all
things considered, is best adapted to the requirements of suitability,
feasibility, and acceptability, as outlined in the Fundamental
Military Principle.

The Appropriate Effect Desired, as the Basis for the Objective. As
will be appreciated from the foregoing discussion, the first factor in
the selection of a correct objective is the "appropriate effect
desired". The evaluation of this factor is not always easy, for
reasons which will be explained.

The procedure (as indicated by the Principle of the Appropriate Effect
to be Desired--page 33) is the same as for the selection of an
objective. This identity of procedure is natural, because the
appropriate effect desired, used as a basis for selecting the
commander's general objective, itself involves the appreciation of an
objective. The latter is, in fact, one of the "chain of objectives"
previously mentioned (page 48).

Under conventional conditions this objective is selected by higher
authority, and is assigned to the commander in his instructions from
the next higher echelon (page 48). The objective so indicated will of
course, under sound procedure, have been selected by higher authority
on the basis embodied in the Fundamental Military Principle.

When an established chain of command (page 11) is in effective
operation, the path to the appropriate effect desired will therefore
normally be indicated through an assigned objective, by the immediate
superior. This assignment, however, or the failure to receive such an
indication, does not relieve the commander from the responsibility for
taking correct action on his own initiative. Such necessity may arise
should he find, in the exercise of a sound discretion, that his
instructions need modification or alteration, or even that it is
necessary for him to depart from his instructions under circumstances
of great emergency (page 15-16).

Furthermore, the objective may be adopted by (rather than assigned to)
the commander concerned, on his own initiative, in order to meet the
demands of a situation (page 50) as to which the higher command has
not yet had time or opportunity to act.

Moreover, even when an objective is assigned by higher authority in
the usual course, it may be expressed in such terms as to require
examination in order to enable the commander to appreciate it (page
43), as to its bearing on his operations. In fact, studious analysis
may be necessary for this purpose.

For example, if the objective so indicated does not specify a
clearly-defined goal, the commander will need to make a thorough study
in order to appreciate the full implications intended. He may find it
necessary to analyze his immediate superior's instructions pertaining
to the entire force of which his command is a part, and to consider,
also, the objectives indicated for other commanders, on his own
echelon, who also belong to that force.

On occasion, also, higher authority may acquaint the commander with
the general plan adopted by the superior, and may order action--such
as movement in a certain direction or to a certain locality--without
assigning a more definite objective. Should it happen in emergency
that later developments prevent higher authority from making such an
assignment, the commander may find himself under the necessity of
selecting, for himself, an appropriate objective, to be adopted by him
as if it were assigned.

Should the commander find that his instructions do not clearly
indicate an objective, or should he find that the one indicated is not
applicable under the circumstances of the case, he will select an
appropriate objective for his own guidance as if it were assigned by
higher authority. He will make such selection through use of the same
procedure already described herein as applicable to the selection of
an objective of any sort. In such case he puts himself in his
superior's place, in order to arrive at a reasoned conclusion such as
the higher commander, if apprised of the circumstances, would desire
to adopt. Circumstances permitting, the commander will of course
communicate with higher authority, and will make constructive
representations. (See page 15.)

The appropriate effect desired, as the first factor to be applied in
selecting such an objective, will naturally involve the objective
indicated in the general plan for the immediate superior's entire
force. This general plan is normally announced by the superior for the
guidance of the commander and of other commanders on the same echelon.
If, however, this further objective is not known to the commander, he
will endeavor to obtain a proper point of reference. To this end, he
will use his knowledge of the objective assigned to his immediate
superior, or of the further intentions of the higher command with
respect to the conduct of the operations, or of the campaign, or of
the war.

The provisions for the formulation of plans and orders (Chapters VII
and VIII) take account of the fact that the commander may require
definite information as to the objectives of higher echelons. In
organizations where a state of mutual understanding has been well
established, the commander will rarely be without some guidance in the
premises (see also page 33), by reason of the chain of objectives
indicated in plans and orders of the higher command (page 48).

From the viewpoint of the commander, this relationship among
objectives presents to him a series, from the present or immediate
objective to others more distant in time. Thus there may be one or
more intermediate objectives, leading away from the immediate one to
the ultimate objective, so far as the concern of the moment is
involved.

This relationship of immediate, intermediate, and ultimate objectives
may also exist in situations where the commander, operating on his own
initiative and responsibility, determines such a chain of objectives
for himself.

Such a situation frequently arises in a campaign or a major operation,
and is normal, also, as to minor operations (see page 56, as to
physical objectives).

As already observed, the relationship of objective and further
objective is the criterion for distinguishing between strategical and
tactical considerations, from the viewpoint of the commander concerned
(pages 9 and 10).

What has been noted in the foregoing as to the objective (singular) is
also applicable to situations where such an objective involves two or
more objectives collectively considered.


III. DETERMINATION OF EFFECTIVE MILITARY OPERATIONS

As noted with respect to the Fundamental Military Principle (page 41),
the effort required for the attainment of a military objective
involves military operations (page 37), whose salient features are
listed in the Principle. These features, including physical
objectives, relative positions, apportionment of fighting strength,
and freedom of action, will now be discussed to indicate how they are
correctly determined by the factors, also cited in the Principle,
pertaining to suitability, feasibility, and acceptability. Such
determination is accomplished through application of the corollary
Principle of Effective Military Operations (page 42).


Physical Objectives

Fundamental Considerations. An operation, however splendidly conceived
and faultlessly executed, involves waste of effort if directed with
relation to wrong physical objectives.

Since a physical objective constitutes the tangible focus of effort
(page 47) toward the attainment of the effect desired, its correct
determination is of paramount importance both before and during the
prosecution of operations.

As has been demonstrated (page 51), the consideration of possible
physical objectives (in space) is essential to the selection of
suitable objectives (in mind). Moreover, action with reference to one
or more physical objectives is the necessary basis for determining the
feasibility and acceptability of a plan.

Military objectives can be achieved only through the application of
power, actually or by threat (page 8), with reference to physical
objectives.

The determination of correct physical objectives is followed, if more
than one such objective is found, by the selection of the one or more
which are best adapted to the requirements of the situation. The
procedure for determination and for selection is a matter for
painstaking mental effort, based on the considerations now to be
presented.

The term "military objective" is frequently used in military
literature to distinguish physical objectives which are combatant in
character from those which are noncombatant. The considerations which
follow are applicable to physical objectives of all categories.

Procedure for Determination and Selection of Correct Physical
Objectives. In a particular set of circumstances, the field wherein
correct physical objectives may be found and the best selected, is
that of an existent or probable theater of action.

The determination of a physical objective, when correct, initially
satisfies the requirement of suitability with respect to the nature of
the objective,--this being, in such case, the appropriate effect
desired (page 31). Physical objectives not suitable, with relation to
the objective to be attained, are manifestly incorrect physical points
of orientation with respect to the operations involved in the effort
to attain such an objective.

It may be found, however, that the selection of a single physical
objective will not fulfill this requirement. A commander may find it
necessary to direct his effort simultaneously, or in succession, with
relation to more than one physical objective.

When a succession of physical objectives has to be dealt with, the
selection will necessarily include such a series. Such a case might
occur where a campaign has been found necessary in the form of
successive stages as essential features. The visualized termination of
each successive stage may be marked by the successful application of
effort with respect to one or more physical objectives. Such a series
of physical objectives may frequently also occur in operations on a
smaller scale; even in very minor actions such a succession of efforts
is normal. (See page 54, as to objectives.)

The choice as to the specific nature of physical objectives will
extend, for example, from the enemy's organized forces as a whole to
the physical body of an individual combatant. Within this range will
be included all manner of physical elements of enemy fighting
strength, singly and in combination, such as troops, ships,
geographical points, lines and areas, fortifications, bases, and
supplies.

The physical objective may take the form of a fixed geographical
position, the occupation of which, because of its inherent
advantages, may be, for example, an essential preliminary to further
progress. The position may, for instance, be merely a point in the
ocean (page 47), a rendezvous beyond which, although its occupation
may be uncontested, it has been deemed unwise to proceed without
further information or additional strength.

The physical objective, therefore, does not always take the form of
some element of the enemy fighting strength; not infrequently, the
occupation of a correct physical objective may be uncontested by the
enemy. However, intervening armed forces of the enemy may constitute
the physical objective for application of successful effort before a
further physical objective may be dealt with. The possibility of enemy
opposition may, therefore, place the selection of one or more physical
objectives on an indeterminable basis at the time of the original
solution of the problem. This may require a commander to defer his
choice until the situation has become more fully developed.

For example, his objective may be the occupation of a certain harbor,
preliminary to the establishment of a base. The harbor is then a
correct physical objective, perhaps the only physical objective which
need be dealt with, if there are no other obstacles to prevent or
interrupt the operation. Armed forces of the enemy may, however, stand
as an obstacle to the undisputed occupation of the harbor and,
therefore, to the attainment of the objective. In such case they
become, for the time being, the correct physical objective.

While the armed forces of the enemy may frequently present appropriate
physical objectives, this is not always the case (see above). It is
true that, in war, the armed forces of the enemy, until they can no
longer offer effective resistance, prevent the full attainment of the
objective of the State. Accordingly, from the broad viewpoint, they
may constitute the legitimate and proper physical objective of the
opposing armed forces. Armed forces of the enemy which are present in
opposition to any projected operations are likely to offer proper
physical objectives.

These facts, however, do not restrict a commander, in his choice of a
physical objective, to the armed forces of the enemy. Nor do these
considerations require him to search for and destroy the enemy forces
before directing his effort toward the attainment of an objective
under circumstances where the enemy is seen to be incapable of
presenting effective opposition.

The correct physical objective may change several times during the
course of an operation. This is particularly to be expected in a naval
tactical engagement of considerable scope. While the enemy fleet, as a
whole, may properly be considered in such a case to be the physical
objective, the component parts of each fleet, the types of vessels and
their combinations, may, from time to time, find in their opponents a
variety of physical objectives, the particular identity of which can
scarcely be predicted with assurance. It is here that the importance
of the correct selection of physical objectives stands out in bold
relief.

Infliction of loss on enemy forces, or support of own forces hard
pressed, may always seem tempting immediate objectives in war.
However, there may be occasions when disengagement or refusal to
engage an enemy force, even though it be of manifestly inferior
strength, may be appropriate to the attainment of the end in view.
Necessity for speed or secrecy, or other demands, may make the
required operations unacceptable. (See page 75 as to the offensive and
the defensive.)

Land, as the natural habitat of man (page 46), is always the principal
store-house of his indispensable resources, as well as the primary
scene of his activities. Naval operations, therefore, have always in
view the eventual maintenance or creation of a favorable military
situation in critical land areas. From this fundamental viewpoint, the
eventual physical objective of military operations is always a land
objective.

       *       *       *       *       *

The suitability of a physical objective having been determined, the
next consideration is the feasibility (page 31) of taking such action,
with relation thereto, as will, if successful, attain the objective in
mind. Feasibility is determined by evaluation of the factors of means
available and opposed, as influenced by the characteristics of the
theater, in order to assess relative fighting strength (see page 52).
In connection with the effort involved with relation to any physical
objective, questions of feasibility may make it desirable or necessary
to visualize the detailed operations which arise from considerations
of relative position, of apportionment of fighting strength, and of
provision for freedom of action.

Of particular interest with respect to such operations, it is noted
that the premature disclosure of a selected physical objective is a
military error. By appearing, however, to operate against more than
one physical objective, a commander may lead the enemy to overstrain
his resources in the effort to protect them all. Thus the commander
may reduce the resistance to be encountered in dealing with what have
already, or may finally, become the selected physical objectives.
Feints in several directions may even divert all of the enemy's
effective defense from the vital points (see also page 68).

       *       *       *       *       *

After the suitability of a physical objective has been established, as
well as the feasibility of the contemplated action with relation
thereto, such action is next considered from the standpoint of
acceptability with reference to the consequences as to costs. The
specific factors involved in acceptability as to consequences have
previously been mentioned (page 31).

       *       *       *       *       *

When the requirements of suitability, feasibility, and acceptability
have been satisfied, the locality, the opposing force, or other
subject of consideration may be regarded as a correct physical
objective.

When more than one correct physical objective has been determined and
a choice is indicated, such selection will also be founded on the
foregoing requirements.

No doctrine, no advance instructions, can replace the responsible
judgment of a commander as to his correct physical objectives. On
occasion, higher authority may request recommendations (see page 42,
as to opinions) with respect to such objectives. The duty of a
commander to depart from his instructions under certain conditions,
and the grave responsibility which he thereby assumes, have also been
referred to (page 16).


Relative Positions

Fundamental Considerations. The relative positions occupied or
susceptible of occupancy by armed forces are matters which demand
constant and intelligent attention before and during hostilities.
Being fruitful sources of advantage or disadvantage, such relative
positions assume primary importance where enemy forces are concerned,
and are scarcely of less importance from the standpoint of the correct
apportionment of the subdivisions of one's own forces, and from the
viewpoint of their freedom of action.

During periods of actual tactical contact, the successful delivery of
the decisive thrust against selected physical objectives is greatly
furthered by the occupancy and maintenance of advantageous relative
positions.

The fundamental significance of relative position lies in the fact
that position is the basis of movement, for movement is merely a
change of position. Speed is the rate at which movement takes place.
The particular factors to be reckoned with are, therefore, time and
space. In skillful utilization of these elements lies the successful
employment of relative position in the creation or maintenance of a
favorable military situation, whether the movement be by land, sea, or
air (page 46).

The necessity for movement may be an important consideration in
determining possible or likely theaters of operations. Where
transportation between two or more positions within a certain area is
essential to the successful conduct of a war, the area which includes
the routes between these positions, or a portion of such routes,
becomes at once a possible or likely theater. Such an area may be
normally within the control of one or the other of the belligerents,
or the control may be in dispute. Certain of the positions themselves
may belong to neither of the belligerents. The area itself may be a
land area, or a sea area, or a combination of the two. It may be an
area which borders upon the sea, or an island area. In any case, the
air is a common characteristic.

The movement of a force is properly regarded, not as an even flow, but
as a series of steps from one position to another. The movement may or
may not be continuous. Pauses are usual, their occurrence and duration
being a matter dependent upon circumstances and calling for the
exercise of sound professional judgment. Intermediate positions may be
utilized, successively, so as to facilitate occupancy of the final
position which is the goal of that phase of operations (page 56). This
procedure often effects an ultimate saving of time. In many cases,
other advantages also may accrue.

The foregoing considerations are applicable to changes of position
whether in the direction of the enemy, toward a flank, or to the rear.
Flanking maneuvers and retrograde movements, both sometimes profitably
employed to decoy the enemy, may frequently be utilized to gain
advantageous relative position. The proper objective of each is the
maintenance of a favorable situation, or the alteration of an
unfavorable one, either locally or with reference to the larger phases
of operations, through measures involving apportionment of fighting
strength, or obtaining advantages of position, or retaining or gaining
freedom of action. Combinations of forward, flanking, or retrograde
movements are frequent in war, the skillful combination of the
offensive and the defensive (see page 75) being no less applicable to
the problem of relative position than to the other elements of a
favorable military operation.

Procedure for Determination and Selection of Advantageous Relative
Positions. Since the various positions to be occupied become physical
objectives for the time being, their proper determination and
selection are governed by the same considerations which apply to
physical objectives (see page 55 and following).

Thus, it becomes necessary to consider, first, as to suitability,
whether the position, once gained, will permit the attainment of the
appropriate effect desired.

Secondly, consideration is required as to feasibility. Are the
available means adequate to gain or to maintain such position? In
answering this question, due regard is paid to opposing means and to
the characteristics of the theater.

Finally, there is to be considered, as to acceptability, whether the
consequences as to costs, in terms of relative fighting strength, will
be such, if the position is gained or maintained, as to permit the
attainment of the objective. The possible effect of these consequences
on future action, whether the attempt succeeds or fails, may be
vitally significant.

       *       *       *       *       *

With regard to suitability, the factor of the appropriate effect
desired calls for special consideration of the requirements with a
view to future action. This is true because of the relationship which
naturally exists between successive positions (page 60) if changes of
location from one to another are to be integrated into movement
calculated to accomplish the effect desired. Each position, itself for
the time being a physical objective, offers certain advantages or
involves certain disadvantages with relation to a further physical
objective. The position of the latter, in turn, presents possibilities
(or denies them) with respect to future movement. The influence of
considerations with respect to time (in addition to those noted above
with regard to space) is also a factor whose importance increases when
urgency is a matter of immediate concern.

With regard to feasibility, the technical capabilities and
limitations of the armed forces (page 67) are, of course, among the
principal factors. These capabilities and limitations are respectively
promoted and imposed primarily by considerations peculiar to the
particular medium of movement involved.

With specific regard to the areas within which military operations may
suitably be undertaken, the fundamental distinctions created by
recognized political sovereignty require attention. That part of the
surface of the earth which comprises its land area is recognized as
the property or the charge of one or another of the sovereign states,
although in certain cases the title may be in dispute. The air above a
nation's territorial domain is generally understood to be part of that
domain. The point to be observed is that there are no land areas which
belong equally to all nations. Accordingly; because of the factor of
neutral sovereignty, both land and air forces of belligerent States
may be under the necessity of following indirect routes to their
physical objectives.

In the case of the sea, however, all those portions of the earth's
surface which are covered by water (exclusive only of the recognized
territorial waters of the several nations), i.e., the high seas, are
presumably common property. The same applies to the air above the sea.

These considerations, and the fact that the surface of the sea is a
broad plane, permit open sea areas to be traversed by a variety of
routes to an extent not applicable in the case of land areas and the
air above them. In addition, the fact that technological developments
have been such as to permit movement, not only on the surface of the
sea and through the air above but also beneath the surface, gives
distinctive characteristics to the sea when considered as a theater of
operations.

The surface of the sea has, from the earliest days to the present,
provided roads over which human beings in greatest numbers and the
resources of the world in greatest weight and volume can be
transported in single carriers. From the standpoint of any belligerent
it is imperative that, during war, these roads be kept open to the
extent demanded by the needs of the State. It is equally imperative
that an enemy be deprived of the advantage which their use might
otherwise afford. In both cases localized (even though temporary)
control, not only of the surface but of the water beneath and the air
above, may be essential. It is pertinent, also, to note at this point
the interest of neutrals, or of unneutral nonbelligerent Powers, in
keeping open the trade routes via the high seas. Such interest may
constitute an important factor in the calculations of a belligerent
State.

Considerations of maximum capacity for speed represent the utmost
possibilities with respect to movements (i.e., change of positions)
(page 60) in a given medium within a given time limit. A knowledge of
maximum speed potentialities, one's own and those of the enemy, is
required if changes in position are intelligently to be made. A
knowledge of the variety of conditions, controllable and otherwise,
which affect or preclude the employment of maximum speed, is likewise
a requisite. Poor material condition, inadequate training, and
incorrect methods of operation are preventable or correctable. The
limitations on speed which are imposed by logistics, and by natural
obstacles such as the hydrography, the climate, the wind, the weather,
and the state of the sea, are susceptible of greatest possible
adjustment to circumstances only by the exercise of foresight and
judgment. All these conditions indicate the close relationship that
exists between relative position and freedom of action (page 70).

The same observations apply to considerations of maximum capacity for
endurance, the ability to operate without necessity for replenishment
from an outside source. Radius of action is decreased or increased
accordingly with resultant restrictions, or otherwise, on freedom of
action.

With respect to the freedom of action of armed forces, also a
consideration in relation to feasibility, the logistics of a military
operation, of whatever scope, constitutes a problem which begins when
the plan is in process of formulation. This problem ends only when the
necessity for sustaining the movement, and for retaining the position
gained, no longer exists.

Ships and other means of conveyance, surface, subsurface, and air, are
incapable of providing the necessities of life and the implements of
warfare beyond the capacity built into them. Operations which extend
beyond the limits of such capacity must cease unless replenishment and
support, possible only from other sources, are provided. The logistics
problem may be so difficult as to cause rejection of a course of
action involving distant operations. From the standpoint of supply,
military movements by land, sea, and air are, therefore, vitally
associated with positions on land and with their relation to the area
of operations (see also page 58).

The same observations apply in larger scope to the State itself,
which, because of economic vulnerability with respect to certain
essential raw materials, may be compelled to seek support from outside
sources lest supplies on hand become exhausted. In all cases, great
importance attaches to the geographical location of sources of supply
in their relation to a required point of delivery and to the routes
which lie between.

It follows that enemy sources of supply may be suitable physical
objectives (see page 56). Their destruction or capture, or the
severance of the enemy's lines of communication with them, may
seriously restrict his freedom of action.

From the standpoint of the relative position of its features, and
apart from their inherent military value, the characteristics of the
theater of military operations may exert an important influence upon
the shaping of events. Each characteristic merits consideration as a
potential means of facilitating or obstructing movement. Some
localities may have been developed as repair, supply, or air bases.
Others may be sources of essential raw materials. Certain points may
be heavily fortified. Island formations may be valuable to either
opponent, or to both, because of the capacity and security of their
harbors, the character of their terrain, or their positions relative
to each other. The inherent military value of the several features of
the theater may be enhanced or vitiated by the relative position which
each occupies with respect to other features, and with reference to
the location of the armed forces involved.

So-called "strategic points", historically significant in connection
with military operations, derive their importance by reason of their
relative position with reference to routes of movement.

The possibilities of utilizing or of changing the characteristics of a
theater of operations, to assist, hamper, or deny movement, are
governed by considerations previously discussed (see the Principle of
the Proper Physical Conditions to be established in the Field of
Action--page 34).

In planning the creation or maintenance of a favorable military
situation from the standpoint of relative position, there may,
therefore, profitably be included an examination into:

(a) The relation which may exist between the geographical location of
the subdivisions of one's own forces and

      (1) Those of the enemy,

      (2) Geographical areas under one's own control, and
          positions within those areas,

      (3) Geographical areas not under one's own control, and
          positions within those areas,

      (4) Areas coveted or in dispute,

      (5) Fixed actual and potential repair and operating bases
          and sources of supply and replenishment, own and enemy,
          controlled or otherwise.

(b) The relation existing among the geographical locations listed
immediately above, including the effect of possible changes in
control.

(c) The bearing of the sun and moon, and the direction of the wind and
sea.

(d) The length and vulnerability of possible lines of communication.

(e) The time and distance, and resulting relative speeds, involved in
movements necessary to change or to maintain an existing relation.

(f) The measures incident to adequate freedom of action.

A more detailed analysis of the factors influencing relative position
is made in Section I-B of the Estimate Form (Chapter VI).

       *       *       *       *       *

In connection with the factor of consequences as to costs, the
requirement as to acceptability is a weighing of expected gains and of
reasonably anticipated losses, a balancing of the one against the
other, with due attention to the demands of future action, (see page
61).

Military movement normally involves an inescapable expenditure of
military resources. The characteristics of the theater, alone, will
exact their due toll, even if no enemy be present. In the presence of
the enemy, such expenditures may increase with great rapidity. The
fundamental consideration here is whether the resultant losses are
disproportionate to the gains.

Avoidance of movement is frequently the correct decision, because
movement, if it offers no advantages, is scarcely justifiable even if
it entails no material loss. Movement, merely for the sake of moving,
is not a profitable military operation. However, the conduct of
military operations without major movement is a concept inherently
defensive (page 75), even apathetic, whose outcome, against an
energetic enemy, can rarely be other than defeat. In the execution of
advantageous movement to achieve correct military objectives, the
competent commander is always ready to accept the losses which are
inseparable from his gains.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing considerations as to advantageous relative positions are
applicable, not only in the realm of the commander's decisions as to
his own action, but also to his judgments rendered when higher
authority calls for recommendations (see page 42).


Apportionment of Fighting Strength

Fundamental Considerations. The assignment of a task may be expected
to carry with it availability of fighting strength deemed adequate by
higher authority for accomplishment of the operation involved.

In appropriate instances, the higher command may call for
recommendations as to the amount and character of the means deemed
adequate by the subordinate for performance of the task with which he
is, or is to be, charged (page 42).

In any case, means having been made available, it remains for a
commander to whom an objective has been assigned to apportion these
available resources in such manner as to provide the requisite
strength at points likely to be decisive, without unduly weakening
other points. In effect, he is charged with a practical adjustment of
means to ends. This responsibility is discharged by the effective
utilization of means and prevention of waste nicely balanced through
full consideration of all essential elements of a favorable military
operation. The procedure involved has been indicated (see the
corollary Principle for the determination of the Proper Means to be
Made Available--page 34).

The relation between the strength to be brought to bear in dealing
with a selected physical objective, the tactical concern of the
moment, and that necessary to the attainment of the strategical aim
(see pages 9 and 10), constitutes a fundamental consideration in
effecting such a balance.

In making a correct apportionment, there will be involved not only the
physical elements of fighting strength, but the mental and moral as
well. With respect to mental and moral factors, the capabilities of
particular commanders and organizations may be an important factor in
apportioning forces to tasks. In the physical field, numbers and types
occupy a prominent position, each however, requiring consideration
from the standpoint of the existing situation.

Thus, forces composed of appropriate types and suitably equipped and
trained may exercise greater effect than numerically larger forces not
so well adjusted to the requirements of the situation. On the other
hand, numerical considerations become predominant under conditions
otherwise substantially equal.

These considerations, viewed in the light of the relationship of naval
operations to land areas (page 63), indicate the importance which may
attach to immediate availability, with a naval force, in addition to
its own air strength, of a proper complement of land forces (with
appropriate air strength) which are organized, equipped, and trained
for amphibious operations.

The same considerations point also to the vital importance of due
provision, with respect to the armed forces of a State, for joint
operations involving concerted action on land, by sea, or in the air.

In connection with the capabilities of particular commanders (page
66), it will be appreciated how important it is, more especially in
amphibious or joint operations, for responsible officers to have a
correct understanding of the powers and limitations of the several
types of military forces involved, be their primary medium of movement
the land, the sea, or the air.

Factors of dispersion and concentration are also involved in
apportionment of fighting strength.

While undue dispersion may result in lack of adequate fighting
strength where required, a certain degree of dispersion may be
necessary to meet the demands of movement and of freedom of action.
Serious errors in this regard, however, may result in inability to
furnish support where needed, and in consequent punishment or
isolation of one or more valuable detachments.

In distant operations some dispersion is required to safeguard long
lines of communication. The requirements for this purpose may
sometimes be so great that, unless the total available strength is
adequate, a due apportionment to the guarding of long lines of
communication may so weaken the main force as to prevent the
attainment of the objective. (See also page 63.)

Proper dispersion is, therefore, a requirement to be met, while undue
dispersion is to be avoided. But realization is also necessary, in
this connection, that there is an equal danger in over-concentration.
An undue concentration of means at any point may subject such a force
to unnecessary loss. Another disadvantage may be lack of adequate
fighting strength elsewhere.

Accordingly, axiomatic advice that it is unwise to divide a total
force, while containing a sound element of caution, is misleading and
inadequate, for division is often necessary or desirable. To be
adequate, a maxim or rule relating to division of force should
indicate when, and in what measure, such division may or may not be
necessary or desirable. (See also page 25.)

Similarly inadequate, however true as a generality, is the statement
that the requirements of effective warfare are met by bringing
superiority to bear at the decisive time and place. Such an injunction
is of little assistance in solving practical problems as to the
appropriate degree of superiority, and as to the proper time and
place.

In like manner, any rule is faulty which advises a commander to seek
the solution of his problems by always bringing to bear his elements
of strength against the hostile elements of weakness. It may be found,
on occasion, that it is necessary or desirable to act with strength
against strength.

But it is equally faulty to maintain that action, to be effective,
seeks always to deal with the enemy by first destroying his elements
of strength. Even when the strongest opposition cannot be defeated by
direct action of this nature, success may still be possible by first
disposing of elements of weakness. When the stronger elements of a
hostile combination cannot be defeated without undue loss, yet cannot
stand without the weaker, consideration may well be given to an
apportionment of fighting strength on the basis of seeking a decision
against the latter. The defeat of a relatively small force at a
distance from the area where the main forces are concentrated in
opposition, may hasten the attainment of the ultimate objective.

The main effort, where the greater force is employed, may be identical
with the effort contributing most directly to the final result. This
identity, however, does not always exist, and the decisive influence
is frequently exerted by a relatively small force, sometimes at a
distance from the principal area of action.

Diversions (see also as to feints, page 59) are not likely to be
profitable unless constituting a sufficient threat, or unless offering
apparent advantages to the enemy which he feels that he cannot forego.
Success will attend justified diversions if they lead the enemy to
reapportion his fighting strength to meet the threat, either because
he expects repetitions (see page 73, as to raids), or because the area
involved may become a new theater of action, or for other pertinent
reasons.

Means which are inadequate for the attainment of an objective if used
in one effort may sometimes be rendered adequate by utilizing them in
a series of successive impulses. Similarly, the effect of employing
means otherwise adequate may be intensified by the delivery of attacks
in waves.

Procedure for Determining Proper Apportionment. The fundamental
considerations outlined above as to apportionment of fighting strength
have application both to the offensive and the defensive (see also
discussion on page 75). As to all of these considerations, the
solution for the particular situation is to be found only through an
analysis of the factors applying to the particular problem.

Thus, the first consideration relates to suitability, and requires
that the apportionment of means be suitable both as to type and as to
amount, in order to produce the appropriate effect desired in view of
the means opposed and of the influence of the characteristics of the
theater. The fundamentals involved, applicable in all human activities
(see the Principle of the Proper Means to be Made Available--page 34),
are the factors cited above. These are also, of course, indicated in
the Fundamental Military Principle.

The correct apportionment may also be influenced by any military
changes to be effected in the characteristics of the theater (as
indicated in the Principle of Proper Physical Conditions to be
Established--page 34). Thus, the establishment of a well defended base
may operate, properly, to reduce the requirements for apportionment of
a force for a particular duty in that locality. Similarly, the proper
use of fortifications, obstacles, demolitions, and routes by land,
sea, and air, as well as facilities for exchange of information and
orders, all operate to increase fighting strength relative to that of
the enemy.

The next consideration, that of feasibility, takes account of the type
and of the amount of means that can be apportioned in view of the
means available.

In connection with the foregoing there will be appropriate
requirements for the operation as a whole and for its component
operations. All of these requirements may call for analysis of the
relative positions to be utilized, with reference to the selected
physical objectives, and of the requirements for adequate freedom of
action.

Finally, the requirement of acceptability as to the factor of
consequences will call for consideration of the results of the
allotments of forces to particular tasks. This is necessary in order
to arrive at reasonable conclusions as to the military costs involved
either in event of the success of the effort or in event of its
failure, and with respect, more especially, to the effects on future
action.

The attainment of the objective, however suitable as to the effect
desired, may be found, on the basis of due study, to be infeasible or
to involve unacceptable consequences. The inescapable conclusion is
then that an increase in relative fighting strength is required or
that another objective, feasible of attainment and acceptable with
respect to consequences, is necessarily to be adopted (see page
52-53).


Freedom of Action

Fundamental Considerations. In providing for proper apportionment of
fighting strength, a commander may attain the end in view by
increasing the physical, mental, or moral elements of his own
strength, relative to the enemy's, or by decreasing the enemy's
strength through imposing restrictions on hostile freedom of action.

Freedom of action will enable a commander to prosecute his plan in
spite of restrictive influences. That enemy interference will, to a
greater or less extent, impose restrictions on freedom of action is to
be expected. Restrictions may also be imposed by physical conditions
existing in the theater of operations, and by deficiencies and
omissions which are within the field of responsibility of the
commander to correct.

Even with fighting strength adequate to overcome enemy opposition and
physical handicaps, deficiencies and omissions within a commander's
own field may become effective checks to further progress unless
avoided through the exercise of foresight. To this end, it is
desirable to consider certain possibilities which are likely to
promote freedom of action if properly exploited, and to restrict it if
neglected.

To a considerable extent, a commander has within his own control the
degree of influence which his force will exert in the creation or the
maintenance of a favorable military situation. The power applied by a
military force is determined not only by the fighting strength of its
component commands, but also by the degree of coordination of their
several efforts in the attainment of the objective (see also page 12).
Whatever the inability of the commander to influence the other aspects
of a situation, the ability of his command to act unitedly is a matter
largely in his hands.

When time permits, subordinate commanders, apprised of contemplated
tasks in general terms, may be called upon to submit recommendations
as to the detailed instructions to be issued them, as well (page 66)
as to the means to be allotted for the purpose. By this procedure,
individual initiative (page 15) is fostered and the higher command
enabled to utilize the first-hand knowledge and experience gained on
lower echelons without, however, divesting the higher command of any
of its responsibility.

The command system may provide for unified action through unity of
command or through cooperation resulting from mutual understanding. On
the assumption that commanders are competent and that communications
are adequate, unity of command is the more reliable method. However,
it cannot be obtained everywhere and at all times, because of the
necessary decentralization of the command system in areas distant from
the commander. In such areas, unity of effort may sometimes be assured
by provision for local unity of command. At other times, unity of
effort may depend entirely on cooperation between adjacent commands
within the same area. (See page 12.)

Organization (see page 13), the mechanism of command, is most
effective when, through the establishment of authority commensurate
with responsibility (page 12) and through the assignment of tasks to
commanders with appropriate capabilities (see also page 66), the
highest possible degree of unity of command is attained. The command
organization and mutual understanding are of primary importance as
methods of ensuring maximum power with available fighting strength,
and of affording consequent maximum contribution to freedom of action.

Deficiencies in technical training are capable of imposing grave
restrictions upon freedom of action. Material equipment, even though
it may represent the acme of perfection in design and construction,
will not surely function unless skillfully operated and maintained.
Even though mobility and endurance be otherwise assured, the capacity
which they represent is not susceptible of effective employment unless
the methods of movement, i.e., of effecting change in relative
position (page 59), are intelligently planned and are developed to a
point which assures facility of operation when in the hands of skilled
personnel.

Tactical training, not omitting that required for joint operations
(page 67), is one of the vital factors of fighting strength, with
respect, more especially, to its contributions to freedom of action.

A state of high and stable morale (page 9), founded upon sound
discipline, is an invaluable characteristic of fighting strength. An
understanding of the human being is therefore an important feature of
the science of war.

Discipline, in its basic meaning, is the treatment suitable to a
disciple. The objective of discipline is therefore the creation and
maintenance of the spirit of willingness to follow where the commander
leads. The exercise of leadership is not restricted, however, to those
occasions when the commander can be physically present. The exigencies
of war and the requirements of control prevent the commander from
being always, personally, in the forefront of action. These
restrictions as to considerations of space however, impose no
limitations on leadership in terms of time.

The influence of the competent commander is a factor always acting to
shape the situation according to his will (page 47), though the
necessities of the moment may compel his presence elsewhere. The
ability to create and maintain a faithful following who will execute
the commander's will wherever he may be (page 15) is, accordingly, a
primary attribute of command.

With this objective in mind, the true disciplinarian runs no risk of
confusing harshness with the exercise of justice. He understands the
difference between an overbearing arrogance, arising from unconscious
ignorance, and the pride which springs from a justified self-respect.
He appreciates the distinction between mere stubbornness, which would
alienate his followers, and the necessary firmness which binds the
bonds between the leader and the led. He realizes that comradeship,
without presumptuous familiarity, is the firmest foundation for mutual
loyalty (page 14). He knows that kindness and consideration, without
suggestion of pampering, will not be mistaken for weakness by any
subordinate worthy of the name.

Military subordination, which implies a proud obedience without trace
of servility, is the essential basis for the development of the
qualities of command. It is an old adage that, to know how to command,
one must know how to obey. In the profession of arms, every man is at
once a leader and a follower; the uncertainties of war may suddenly
confront any individual, even on the lowest echelon, with the call to
exercise command.

The requirements of sound discipline are thus the correct basis for
all training. By proper training of his command, by instilling in it a
spirit of resolute determination and by otherwise fostering its
morale, and by weakening the morale of the enemy, a commander may
increase his own fighting strength and reduce that of the opposition.
When a command is inured to the ill effects of fear, despondency, lack
of confidence, and other weakening influences, it may more effectually
employ measures calculated to upset the morale of the enemy.

In connection with these measures, surprise, when judiciously
conceived and successfully employed, may be a most potent factor.
Surprise (see page 26) is the injection of the unexpected for the
purpose of creating an unfavorable military situation for the enemy.
Its effect is particularly telling when it results in disruption of
enemy plans, and thus promotes the execution of one's own.

The raid, an offensive measure swiftly executed, often by surprise,
and followed by a withdrawal, may be a valuable operation when
employed to attain objectives within its capacity. The collection of
information, the destruction of important enemy equipment or supplies,
the neutralization of enemy positions, the severing of physical means
of communication and transport, and the like, are suitable objectives.
The attritional effect of repeated raids may be very great. Skillfully
executed raids frequently produce panic among the populace and thus,
by political pressure, cause a change in the existing apportionment of
fighting strength to the extent of upsetting military plans in other
theaters. This is particularly likely to occur when there is fear,
justified or otherwise, of repetition (see page 69).

However, because a raid necessarily includes a withdrawal and cannot,
therefore, accomplish the occupation of territory (see page 46), it
can have only indirect bearing, however important, upon the final
outcome of the hostilities against a strong and competent enemy. Like
other forms of surprise, the raid, injudiciously employed, may serve
only to disclose one's presence, and thus to betray more important
future plans. If the raid fails to attain its objective, it may even
strengthen enemy morale.

The form which surprise may take is not confined to the stratagem, the
ruse, or the sudden appearance. Any unexpected display of novel
methods or of fighting strength, moral, mental, or physical, the
last-named sometimes assuming the character of new and especially
effective weapons or equipment, is included in the category of
surprise. The potential value of such methods or weapons is, however,
reduced or even completely vitiated by the leakage of advance
information concerning them, not only as to their details, but as to
the fact of their existence.

Other conditions remaining unchanged, an offensive surprise measure is
therefore more likely to be effective when the opponent has not been
given time to prepare a defense against it. On the other hand, where
there is knowledge that an opponent or possible opponent is taking
steps of a new or unusual nature and no adequate defense is prepared,
the equivalent of surprise has been granted him.

Security measures are necessary in order to minimize or prevent
surprise, or to defeat other efforts aimed at disruption of plans.
Protection brings security; its basic objective is the conservation of
fighting strength for future employment. Primarily requiring the
maintenance of secrecy and the exercise of vigilance and foresight,
security may be furthered by efficient scouting, by appropriate
dispositions and formations within the command, and by the use of
protective detachments and of various types of works in the sphere of
engineering. Previous discussion (pages 64 and 69), with respect to
relative position and to the apportionment of fighting strength, has
indicated how, through fortification and related measures, the
commander may increase relative fighting strength and thereby promote
his own freedom of action while restricting that of the enemy.

A commander will be hampered in maintaining his fighting strength at
its maximum unless he has arranged for, and has at his disposal,
adequate logistics support. Because of its intimate relationship to
mobility and endurance, such support is an essential to freedom of
action. Logistics support requires provision for procurement and
replenishment of supplies, for evacuation, proper disposition, and
replacement of ineffective personnel, and for material maintenance.
Freedom of action is restricted beyond those limits to which logistics
support can be extended. (See page 63.)

The initiative is of paramount importance in ensuring freedom of
action. If the initiative is seized and maintained with adequate
strength, the enemy can only conform; he cannot lead. If initiative is
lost, freedom of action is restricted in like measure.

The offensive, properly employed, is a method of seizing the
initiative, and of regaining it if lost. Even though there be an
actual numerical superiority in fighting strength, an offensive will,
however, seldom assume practical form unless founded on an offensive
mental attitude, which ever seeks the favorable and suitable
opportunity to strike. Completely to abandon the offensive state of
mind is to forswear victory.

Whether physically on the defensive or the offensive, the competent
commander is always engaged in a mental and moral attack upon the will
of the enemy commander (see page 8). By effective attack upon the
hostile will, the commander disintegrates the enemy's plan, i.e., the
enemy's reasoned decision, as well as the detailed procedure on which
the enemy relies to carry this decision into effect.

It does not follow that offensive action is possible or even desirable
under all circumstances. Even with superior strength the most skillful
commander will scarcely be able, always, to apportion forces in such
manner as everywhere to permit the assumption of the offensive.
Without adequately superior strength, it may be necessary to adopt the
defensive for considerable periods. If the offensive mental attitude
is retained, together with fixed determination to take offensive
measures as soon as appropriate to do so, the calculated and
deliberate adoption of the defensive, for the proper length of time,
may best promote the ultimate attainment of the objective. It is of
the utmost importance, however, that a static defensive be not adopted
as a settled procedure (see page 65) beyond the time necessary to
prepare for an effective offensive.

Both the offensive and the defensive have their places in an operation
whose broad character is primarily either defensive or offensive. In
operations which involve movement over a considerable distance, a
combination of the offensive and the defensive is usually found
necessary (see also references to distant operations on pages 63 and
74). Though the movement itself be offensive, the ensurance of freedom
of action may require both defensive measures and tactically offensive
action. The enemy, primarily on the defensive, may be expected to
seize every opportunity to employ the offensive.

Thus, a judicious combination of the offensive and the defensive has
been found to be sound procedure (see also page 61), provided that the
general defensive is always viewed as a basis for the inauguration, at
the proper moment, of the offensive. The methods employed during the
period of the defensive are best calculated to promote freedom of
action if they are designed to facilitate a ready assumption of the
offensive as soon as conditions favorable to the offensive have been
created.

Familiarity with the physical characteristics of the actual and
possible theaters of operations, and accurate intelligence of the
strength, distribution, and activities of enemy forces likely to be
encountered, are of primary importance in the promotion of freedom of
action. Additions to this store of knowledge may be made by a
continuous interpretation and dissemination of new information
collected, analyzed, and evaluated by persistent effort. Of equal
importance is the denial of information to the enemy.

In connection with counter-information measures (see page 127), the
scrutiny of information of a military nature intended for popular
consumption demands the exercise of sound professional judgment prior
to publication. A resourceful enemy is ever alert to evaluate and turn
to his own advantage all available information, including that
ostensibly innocuous.

As to all of the foregoing considerations, a fund of professional
knowledge, previously acquired through study, or experience, or both,
and coupled with a sound concept of war, is the best basis for
devising suitable, feasible, and acceptable measures for freedom of
action.

With a given fighting strength, the ensurance of freedom of action,
within the field of responsibility of a commander, requires
consideration of such matters as:

  (a) Efficient provisions for exercise of command,
  (b) Effective training,
  (c) A state of high and stable morale, founded on
  (d) sound discipline,
  (e) The offensive spirit,
  (f) The initiative,
  (g) Surprise,
  (h) Security,
  (i) Adequate logistics support,
  (j) Adequate intelligence and counter-intelligence.

A more detailed analysis of such factors is provided hereafter
(Chapter VI, as to Section I-B of the Estimate Form). With proper
provision made in these respects, the commander will be better able to
deal with those restrictions on freedom of action imposed by the enemy
and by adverse geographical conditions. With respect to restrictions
that in a particular situation may be due to the latter cause, it will
at once be appreciated how greatly freedom of action may depend on the
selection of correct physical objectives, on utilization of
advantageous relative positions, and on an effective apportionment of
fighting strength.

Each measure, or each operation, for freedom of action, if it is to
meet the requirements of suitability, feasibility, and acceptability,
will be planned on the basis of the foregoing considerations and will
take account, also, of the inherent requirements of that measure, or
operation, for freedom of action for itself.

On occasion, higher authority may request the recommendations of the
commander (see page 42, as to opinions) with reference to provision
for freedom of action. Such recommendations will properly be based on
the elements considered in the preceding discussion.


IV. SUMMARY

All these considerations involve the proper evaluation of the factors
applicable (page 25) to the particular problem. Each objective, prior
to its selection, and each operation, prior to its adoption, will
require examination of its suitability with regard to the appropriate
effect desired; of its feasibility with respect to the action
contemplated as to physical objectives, relative positions, the
concurrent apportionment of fighting strength, and freedom of action;
and, finally, of its acceptability with reference to consequences as
to costs.



CHAPTER V

THE FOUR STEPS IN THE SOLUTION OF A MILITARY PROBLEM

    Chapter V discusses the four steps in the application of
    mental effort to the successful attainment of a military
    objective. Emphasis is placed on such matters as: the Estimate
    of the Situation in basic problems, together with certain
    details as to tasks, the mission, courses of action, and the
    Decision; the formulation of detailed plans, including
    subsidiary plans; directives; the Running Estimate of the
    Situation; and the use of Forms in the solution of problems.


In Chapter II it has been brought to notice that every problem,
regardless of its type and scope, has its source in a perplexity
created by an apparent difficulty inherent in a situation. Where there
is a sufficient incentive to change or maintain the situation, the
problem is one which requires solution. (See page 20.)

A situation may be actual or assumed. In broad outline, an actual
military situation is always likely to present a picture of opposing
organizations of human beings, each possessed of fighting strength and
disposed in a locality or localities which constitute relative
positions with reference to each other.

This picture may be expected to assume various aspects as action
progresses (see page 38). The concern of the commander is to control
the unfolding of the original situation, to the end that he may attain
the effect he desires (page 72). (See also Chapter IX.)

The incentive to solve a problem is provided by a realization, on the
part of the individual concerned, of a need to make provision for the
attainment of an objective. In the ease of a military problem, such
incentive may result (1) from a directive issued by higher authority,
usually in the form of an assigned task, or (2) from the fact that a
decision already reached by the commander has introduced further
problems, or (3) from a recognition of the demands of the situation.
(See page 44.)

An objective is best attained by the successful application of
properly directed effort. There is thus an essential and continuing
relationship between the incentive to solve a problem, and the task
which assigns the objective (or objectives) and thus motivates the
procedure necessary for the attainment of the objective(s) so assigned
(page 50).

Such a task may, therefore, be referred to as the motivating task.

The natural mental processes which normal human beings employ in
solving their problems of business, public affairs, or even personal
matters, have been previously described as the natural processes for
employment in the solution of military problems (see Chapter II). In
adapting these natural processes to military requirements (page 43),
the only difference imposed is that of studied insistence that the
factors peculiar to the conduct of war, as recognized in the
Fundamental Military Principle (page 41), receive thorough analytical
treatment from the professional viewpoint.

The same observations apply when the field of military operations is
restricted to that which primarily concerns the naval branch of the
military profession. No fundamental difference in the solution of
problems is introduced thereby. The only variations in the application
of the Fundamental Military Principle are those due to the fact that
the sea provides the theater of naval operations with distinctive
characteristics (see page 62).


The Approach to the Solution

Studies of the subject indicate that the successful attainment of an
assigned military objective involves the application of mental effort
in four distinct steps (see page 3), in fixed sequence, as follows:

    (1) The selection, by the commander, of a correct objective
        (or objectives) by achieving which he may attain his
        assigned objective(s). Such selection includes the
        determination, in proper detail, of the action required.

    (2) The resolution of the required action into detailed
        military operations.

    (3) The formulation of a directive, or directives, with the
        intention of immediately inaugurating planned action.

    (4) The supervision of the planned action.

In the chapters which follow, the fundamental procedure distinctive of
each of these steps will be treated separately and in the sequence
shown. The sequence of the steps is fixed because of the consequential
nature of the relationship among the procedures distinctive of the
several steps. The complete solution of a problem involves,
necessarily, all four steps. Each step deals with a distinctive type
of problem, or problems, pertaining to an aspect of the comprehensive
problem whose solution requires all four steps. No step after the
first can properly be undertaken unless the included problems involved
in the preceding steps have been solved.

It does not follow that the completion of one step necessarily
requires that the next step be undertaken immediately. It will be
seen, for instance, that the first two steps are concerned with
planning, the latter two more especially with execution. It is not
always necessary that a plan be executed; it may be drawn up as a
precautionary measure.

It is possible, therefore, that the first step only may be taken;
i.e., that the procedure for the attainment of a particular assigned
objective may be determined for the sole purpose of making provision
against a contingency, at that particular time merely an obscure
probability. Or, as may frequently be the case during peace, the
procedure may terminate, for the time being, with the completion of
the second step. In such cases, certain of the necessary military
operations are worked out in the desired detail as a provision against
future possibilities, are listed, and filed for reference as needed.

Parts II and III, which follow, deal primarily with the solution of
those problems of the naval commander which require familiarity with
the entire process, i.e., all of the four steps given above.

For simplicity of presentation, the procedure is described throughout
from the mental standpoint of the same commander. The arrangement of
subject matter conforms to this basis. The several types of problems,
classified according to the source of the incentive (page 79), are
discussed in connection with the appropriate step. When a problem
typical of a previous step arises during the process, the sequence of
steps is interrupted thereby, but is resumed by a mental return, on
the part of the commander, to the proper earlier step.


The First Step

The mental procedure distinctive of the first step (more fully
discussed in Chapter VI) deals with the usual case where a commander
becomes acquainted with the nature of his assigned objective through
receipt of a directive from his immediate superior, ordinarily in the
form of an assigned task or assigned tasks. In the discussion of the
first step, this most likely type of problem is chosen for
description, i.e., the one where the motivating task (see page 80)
comes directly from the immediate superior.

For purposes of reference, this problem may conveniently be termed a
basic problem. In such a case the original situation which gives
character to the problem may be similarly referred to as the basic
situation. The full solution of a basic problem always involves a
basic estimate of the situation, a basic Decision, a basic plan of
operations, and one or more basic directives. It may, as will be
shown, also require certain additional directives.

The military Estimate of the Situation, based on the natural mental
processes (pages 19-20 and 43), is introduced in the first step. The
reason for making such an Estimate is to provide a basis for a plan to
accomplish the assigned task. The Estimate constitutes a systematic
procedure for selection of a correct objective (or objectives),
suitable to the appropriate effect desired, feasible of attainment,
and acceptable as to the consequences involved in its achievement. The
selection of such an objective or objectives involves, incidentally
(see page 44), the determination, in the proper detail, of the action
required.

This estimate procedure is founded on the Fundamental Military
Principle (page 41). The procedure is the same as previously indicated
for the correct selection of objectives (Section II of Chapter IV).

On the basis of a summary of the situation, a recognition of the
incentive, and an appreciation of the assigned objective(s) (page 79),
the estimate of a basic problem enables the commander to obtain,
first, an understanding of (page 43) the appropriate effect desired.
As a result of this procedure, he can then correctly formulate his
mission (discussed hereinafter).

For the further understanding of all details pertaining to the
situation (page 43), the estimate next determines relative fighting
strength through a survey of the means available and opposed, as
influenced by the characteristics of the theater.

With the basis for solution of the problem thus established, the
actual solution (page 44), conforming to the system indicated in the
Fundamental Military Principle, starts with consideration of pertinent
methods of procedure, as tentative solutions of the problem. These
take the form of military operations, each denominated a course of
action (discussed in detail hereinafter). Each such course embodies,
specifically or inferentially, an objective to be achieved for the
attainment of the appropriate effect desired. Each course also
indicates, in proper detail, the action to be taken. Every pertinent
course of action is tested to determine whether it meets the
requirements of suitability as to the appropriate effect desired, of
feasibility on the basis of relative fighting strength, and of
acceptability with respect to the consequences as to costs.

Enemy courses of action are subjected to the same treatment.

Each course of action which passes the tests is compared with each
retained enemy course, after which those courses of action not
rejected on this basis are compared with each other. The best is then
selected and embodied in the Decision.

The Decision, accordingly, expresses a general plan of action (or
provides a basis therefor), including the commander's general
objective (page 49) for the attainment of the assigned objective. The
Decision also indicates, in proper detail, the action to be taken.

The estimate procedure is applicable not only to the problem of the
first step, viewed as a whole, but also to the numerous included
problems. These present themselves during the procedure of solution,
and call for "estimates within the estimate".

For example, the proper nature of the objective embodied in the
assigned task (discussed hereinafter), if not clear in the directive
received, may be determined by the use of the natural mental
processes. This is done through the application of the Fundamental
Military Principle, as previously described (page 52).

Similarly, the solution of the included problems as to the salient
features of the operations involved (correct physical objectives,
etc.) can be arrived at through the same processes. The procedure is
that indicated previously (in Section III of Chapter IV).

The estimate procedure may, however, be somewhat varied, as to
details, in accordance with the nature of the problem. Such adaptation
is applicable, for example, as to the special features which
distinguish certain types of strategical and tactical problems.

Every military situation has both strategical and tactical aspects
(see discussion of strategy and tactics, pages 9 and 10). The
character of the effort to be exerted at a particular time, and the
nature of the objectives to be attained, may be governed chiefly by
strategical, or chiefly by tactical, considerations. This fact may
affect details in the estimate of the situation, e.g., as to the
weight to be given various factors.

The essential difference between strategy and tactics has been shown
to lie in the end in view. It follows, then, that estimates of broad
strategical situations and of localized tactical situations tend to
differ from each other. The former lead to decisions as to such
matters, among others, as whether a battle shall be fought. The latter
lead to decisions, among others, as to the comprehensive tactical
methods to be followed in furtherance of strategical aims. Certain
distinctions of method as to such estimates are noted hereinafter with
respect to the analysis of fighting strength and with reference to
courses of action.

Tasks. The assignment of tasks to subordinates is an essential
function of the chain of command, applicable to all of the echelons of
command, from the highest to the lowest (page 12). On the lowest
echelons, such as that of a gun's crew or a fireroom watch, operations
thus prescribed involve numerous small specialized tasks, each
requiring the performance of a simplified routine by a few trained
men. Although earlier training in the performance of such tasks is
calculated to remove the necessity of solving the problems of the
lowest echelons in the four studied steps stated above, it is only
when the same methods of logical thought have previously been applied
to the solution of these problems that this state of affairs can be
brought about.

Properly conceived, each assigned task indicates, either specifically
or inferentially, an objective (or objectives). The relationships
existing among the echelons of command, with reference to objectives,
have previously been noted. (See page 48.) These relationships,
because a correctly conceived task specifies or infers an objective,
are equally applicable as to such tasks.

The manner of expressing tasks calls for special comment (see also
page 53, as to expressing objectives).

The commander may find in the expression of his task a statement,
only, of the action required. For example, the order "Proceed toward
the enemy battle line" involves movement, indicating merely a change
in relative position. No provision appears as to a future condition or
state of affairs.

Again, the task may be expressed as an order to "Attack the enemy
battle line." In this case, the enemy battle line is the physical
objective, but no specific future condition to result from the attack
is indicated. Here the action and the physical objective are given,
but the objective is left to be inferred.

If the commander can ascertain, from the directives he receives, his
task expressed in terms of accomplishment, he may be able to
visualize the action, the physical objective, and the condition to be
created. The order "Destroy the enemy battleship" (indicating, as the
objective, "the destruction of the enemy battleship"), results, when
successfully completed, in a new condition which is the objective of
the action against the physical objective.

Accordingly, a task expressed in such terms of accomplishment conveys
precise information as to the objective; yet such an expression of the
task does not prevent freedom of action, with opportunity for exercise
of initiative. The commander who is assigned such a task can clearly
visualize the results demanded of him, and may feel at liberty to
employ any one or all of the methods at his disposal.

However, it is not always possible or even desirable to express tasks
in terms of accomplishment.

For example, where the future situation cannot be adequately
visualized, either because of the doubtful values of certain factors
or because of possible changes in circumstances, it may be
impracticable to assign a definite task in terms of accomplishment.

Under such conditions, and sometimes for other proper reasons, it may
be desirable to afford a trusted and competent subordinate a
corresponding measure of freedom of action. In such a case, the
indication of the commander's general objective for his entire force,
together with a directive for action along a certain general line,
without prescription of a definite objective, may be especially
appropriate to the situation. Such is the frequent usage in the issue,
for example, of directives of the type known as letters of instruction
(Chapter VIII).

Again, where immediate response is desired, and where the objective
may be understood by implication, the task may be better expressed in
terms of action, rather than of accomplishment. This is frequently the
case where the task is assigned by word of mouth, by memorandum, or by
signal. In the last-named instance, the signal, when it constitutes a
command fully understood by previous usage or experience, may convey a
practically instantaneous comprehension of the objective. In many such
instances, however, an inferred objective will require more analysis.

The expression of the task in terms of action is frequently desirable,
more especially during an engagement, when tactical considerations are
uppermost. Under such circumstances, two or more objectives may be
suitable to the appropriate effect desired, but their degree of
suitability, and the influence of the factors pertaining to
feasibility and acceptability, may vary rapidly with the course of
events. In such conditions, an order such as "Attack" without
indicating a specific physical objective, may be best calculated to
attain desired results, for the reason, more especially, that it
affords the subordinate a proper freedom of action.

In many cases, the instructions received by a commander will set forth
more than one task, often of varying importance. The proper bearing of
such a double or multiple task upon his future action is set forth,
together with other relevant matters, in the discussion of the
mission, which follows.

On occasion, a higher commander, in assigning a task, may elect to
specify, also, the course of action to be pursued by a subordinate for
the attainment of the assigned objective: for example--

    "Deny enemy bases in area ABCD by capturing X Island".

Here the task is to deny the enemy the use of available bases in the
area described; in addition, the higher commander has specified that
this be accomplished by the adoption of a predetermined course of
action (page 88), expressed in the words "by capturing X Island."
Higher authority has in this case made the subordinate's estimate of
the situation for him, and has thus arrived at the decision which the
subordinate would ordinarily reach for himself.

Such procedure may be deemed advisable under certain circumstances:
for example, when time is pressing; when a close control of the
situation is an important factor; when the qualifications of the
subordinate are unknown, as yet doubtful, or known to be inadequate
for the operation in hand; or, for various other reasons which may
suggest themselves according to the nature of the problem.

Occasionally, higher authority, for similar reasons, may also
prescribe the action to be taken, in considerable detail. Examples
occur during operations of unusual complexity, or when the personnel
factors call for special care in coordination of the action.

Sometimes, higher authority, instead of announcing both the task and
the predetermined course of action, may indicate only the latter; in
the example given above, the higher commander would then direct,
"Capture X Island". The directive might also include, in some detail,
the action to be taken to this end.

Procedure such as noted in the foregoing examples involves certain
special considerations from the viewpoint of the subordinate. These
considerations are discussed hereafter (page 96).

The Mission. In our naval service an assigned task, coupled with its
purpose, is known as a mission. As explained previously (page 48), the
purpose indicates the larger aim which is to be served by the
execution of the task. The task indicates the assigned objective,
i.e., what is to be accomplished; the purpose, the further objective
to be served thereby.

The word mission is a derivative of the Latin verb, "to send". Its use
implies the act of sending someone, or of being sent, as an agent for
some special duty, a duty imposed by one in authority. Although an
individual, free to do so, may select his own mission, and thereby
send himself on a special duty, this is not usually the case where an
effective military chain of command exists. Normally the sending
authority is the immediate superior; the agent, the immediate
subordinate.

The mission, once assigned, does not change until it has been
accomplished or until it has been modified or revoked by higher
authority, usually the immediate superior by whom it was assigned.

As previously explained in this connection, the designation of a
purpose, linked with a task, is an essential element of a mission as
treated herein. It is essential to unity of effort that the purpose of
the mission of a commander be common with that of other commanders of
the same echelon who are to participate in the effort enjoined by
their superior's directives. Directives expressed in the Order Form
(page 112 and Chapter VIII) facilitate clear recognition of this
purpose, which appears in the general plan of action prescribed in the
second paragraph of that form. The commander may consider the
relationship thus:

My assigned task is to be accomplished for the purpose of carrying out
my designated part of my immediate superior's general plan.

It is customary to simplify the foregoing to the statement that the
mission is:

(Task) (statement of the assigned task),

(Purpose) in order to assist in the successful execution of (statement
of the superior's general plan).

The words "assist in", etc., may frequently be understood and
therefore omitted.

The foregoing expression of a mission affords, as later explained
(Chapter VI), a method for clear visualization of the effect desired
by higher authority. (See also page 84.)

All of his assigned tasks which materially influence the commander's
Decision (hereinafter discussed) are properly included in his mission;
other tasks, naturally, may be omitted in this connection. In the case
of a double or multiple task (page 86), all the tasks may be related
to a single purpose, or the included tasks may each, or in certain
combinations, be linked separately to appropriate purposes.

Survey of Factors of Fighting Strength. The feasibility and
acceptability of action for the attainment of an objective are
dependent (see the Fundamental Military Principle--page 41) on the
factors of fighting strength. Fighting strength (page 35) is derived
from the means available and opposed, as influenced by the
characteristics of the theater of operations. A survey of these
factors, in proper detail according to the nature of the problem, is
therefore a necessary phase in the process of its solution. Such a
survey completes the basis for the study of courses of action.

Courses of Action. The estimate process naturally takes account (page
80) of methods for attaining the objective indicated in the assigned
task. The military profession has, from time to time, applied a
variety of terms to designate such methods. Terms so used include,
among others, "plans open to us" (or "to the enemy"), "lines of
action", and "courses of action". The last-noted, having been standard
in our naval service for many years, is the term used in this
discussion.

Each course of action is thus a plan of military operations for the
attainment of the assigned objective, and each thus indicates (page
37) "an act or a series of acts" which may be undertaken to that end.
Until a final selection is made for embodiment in the Decision, each
course of action is a tentative solution of the problem. For the
reason given below, a course of action, while under consideration as a
tentative solution of the problem, is also correctly conceived as
indicating an objective and, in proper detail, the action for its
attainment.

When embodied in the Decision, the adopted course of action or
combination of courses becomes the commander's general plan (or the
basis thereof) for the employment of his force; such a general plan
will naturally indicate the commander's general objective (page 49)
and, in proper detail, the action to be taken for its attainment (page
44).

The objective may be specifically stated or may be inferred (see page
82; also page 84 for the corresponding discussion of the expression
of tasks); but, in any event, clear thinking demands that the
objective be definitely envisaged. There is a manifest advantage in
such definite envisaging of the objectives involved in courses of
action. Suitability as to the appropriate effect desired--the first
requirement in the selection of a correct objective (page 51)--is much
more readily tested on this basis. The practical bearing of this fact
becomes apparent during the early stages (Chapter VI) of the process
of solving military problems.

Frequent examples of naval courses of action include (see page 92):

(1) "To destroy the enemy force." Here the objective, "destruction of
the enemy force", is specifically indicated.

(2) "To divert the enemy force." Here also the objective, in this case
"diversion of the enemy force", is specifically indicated.

(3) "To evade the enemy." Here again the objective, "evasion of the
enemy", is specifically indicated.

(4) "To cover friendly and neutral trade." Here the objective,
"protection of friendly and neutral trade by the utilization of
advantageous covering positions", is more or less inferred.

(5) "To escort trade." Here the objective, "protection of trade by
escorting it in convoys", is more or less inferred.

(6) "To patrol the trade routes." Here the objective, e.g.,
"protection of trade by patrolling the trade routes", is inferred.

(7) "To raid." Here the objective, e.g., "infliction of loss and
damage by raiding", is inferred.

In the foregoing instances, the action to be taken is indicated in
general terms. The extent to which the action may properly be
indicated depends on the nature of the problem and is necessarily left
to the judgment of the commander. Two possibilities, between which
there may be various intermediate cases, are as follows:

        (a) To destroy the enemy force by simultaneous attacks on
    the escort and convoy.

        (b) To destroy the enemy force by an attack with the main
    force on the escort, following this immediately by an attack
    on the convoy with a flanking force before the convoy can
    scatter so widely as to make ineffective the pursuit of any of
    its units.

For a further application, it will be noted that the national policies
referred to early in this discussion (page 7) are national courses of
action, considered and adopted as methods of attaining national
objectives.

The expression "courses of action", in the sense of a plan considered
or adopted as a solution of the problem, has the defect that it
appears to emphasize the action, rather than the paramount component,
i.e., the objective. So long as this fact is borne in mind, the
limitations of the term "courses of action" need not operate to
influence, adversely, the solution of the problem.

As noted above, the commander brings to mind courses of action by the
mental act of "envisaging", i.e., "viewing with the mind's eye or
conceptionally", "seeing as a mental image", bringing fully and
distinctively to view. How is this done?

Although the time available for the process depends on the particular
problem, the process itself is the same for all. During the
clarification of the problem, the commander will have entertained
certain ideas,--ideas as to such matters as the existing situation,
the desired new situation, the possible physical objectives, the
relative positions and movements of the forces involved, and related
matters. His training and experience cause these ideas to evoke
others, which are associated in his mind with problems of the
past,--in particular, with the bearing of such ideas on the outcome of
those problems.

This process of thinking, if it is to be effective as well as
reflective, requires mental access to certain sources of ideas. These
sources may lie in the study of history, or in the wealth of doctrine
and instructions gathered into official manuals and into other
professional writings, or in the commander's own practical experience.
Logicians who have investigated this natural process point out that
suggested solutions are the resurrection of ideas from past
experience. Good thinking demands access to a large storehouse of
ideas connected in various and flexible ways. The best available
knowledge is the main source from which reflective thinking obtains
relevant and promising suggestions for a solution.

By such resort to analogy, the commander utilizes the accumulations of
past experience. Sometimes he finds that the courses of action thus
suggested are exactly suitable as tentative solutions for his problem.
In other instances, of course, only parts of the present situation are
found to be analogous to those previously encountered. Even then,
however, the similarity of the facts may be helpful in providing
suggestions. Guidance based on limited or partial similarity has been
demonstrated to be better than purely intuitive thinking.

The commander cannot be content, however, to depend wholly on the
guidance of the past. Sometimes, moreover, he may not be able to
obtain suggestions by analogy. New suggestions, ideas not drawn from
past experience, are very desirable; they are possible, also, in the
sense that the result of the analysis of past experience may be
reassembled, in imagination, in novel ways. New courses of action,
overlooked in the past, may be contrived. Original combinations, not
previously entertained, may be devised. Readiness to employ the novel
and the new, as well as to utilize the old, is a prime qualification
for command.

Reflective thinking of this nature requires adequate knowledge of the
capabilities of weapons, so that new possibilities may be perceived as
to coordination in their use. While analogy looks backward to find
applicable lessons, the search for novelty seeks suggestions from
potentialities not heretofore utilized.

The development of the full possibilities of new weapons is an
important source of forward thinking. Such thinking constantly
integrates the current developments in war. The competent commander
does not wait for history to be made; he makes it.

Familiarity with experimentation, research, and new performance is
also a fruitful source of suggestions. When used, this method results
in advance demands by the armed forces for new weapons not yet
supplied.

Closely allied to analogy is the application of ordered and classified
knowledge as to the nature of warfare. Aware of the effects which can
be brought about by the weapons at his disposal, the commander
identifies his objective with one or more of these effects.

The application of ordered and classified knowledge of naval warfare
starts, naturally, with a consideration of its objectives, and
proceeds thereafter to the study of the various classes of operations
which may be utilized to this end. Naval effort has as its objective
the keeping open of sea communications (see page 62). Command of the
sea exists for one belligerent when he possesses and can exercise the
ability to move surface traffic, while also being able to prevent the
enemy from doing so.

Naval warfare, therefore, logically includes operations for the
purpose of gaining, maintaining, or disputing command of sea areas,
especially under conditions where freedom of movement and the keeping
open of sea communications are of vital importance.

Such operations may be classified under the headings:

    (1) For securing command of sea areas,
    (2) In sea areas not under command, and
    (3) In sea areas under command.

On the basis of this classification, specific operations, broadly
considered, appear to be limited in number. As to classification (1),
applicable operations are: to destroy the enemy naval forces, to
contain them, or to divert them. For (2), applicable operations are:
to raid, to make war against enemy trade, to attack or defend naval
lines of communication, and to conduct amphibious warfare requiring
overseas movement. For (3), applicable operations are: to blockade
trade, to defend own coastal and critical areas, to safeguard
expeditions against enemy territory, and to carry out offensive
operations against enemy coastal objectives.

Manifestly, each such operation, broadly viewed, may be considered, in
an estimate of the situation, as a course of action. Each such course
of action (or operation) will involve, if developed into a more or
less complete plan of action, numerous detailed operations which
constitute parts of the whole. (See page 37.)

There can be no rigid line of demarcation, always applicable, between
courses of action and the more detailed operations pertaining thereto.
For example, "to raid" may be, in one instance, an operation of such a
character, from the viewpoint of the commander, as to be envisaged,
correlatively with "to destroy", as one of his courses of action. Yet,
in another problem, a raid may be visualized, properly, as a detailed
operation pertaining, in a subordinate capacity, to a more
comprehensive operation envisaged as a course of action "to destroy".

Similarly, what is a broad course of action from the viewpoint of one
echelon in the chain of command, may be correctly viewed, on a higher
echelon, as a detailed operation. Operations assigned in tasks imposed
by higher authority become the basis for the determination of courses
of action on the next lower echelon, a procedure which continues
throughout the chain of command until specialized, on the lowest
echelons, in the form of a simplified routine (see page 84).

While the list of courses of action given above is made up from the
viewpoint of broad strategical problems, a similar list can be
assembled for other problems. For example, the order, "Destroy enemy
naval forces", if taken as the motivating task of a tactical
estimate, will be the basis for certain courses of action,
constituting, when complete (see below), a well-recognized general
plan for a naval battle. This plan will in turn call for various
detailed operations on the part of the several subdivisions of the
force under the commander who makes the estimate (see page 95).

As a tentative solution of the problem a course of action may be
complete or partial, i.e., it may, if carried out, provide for the
complete attainment of the objective; or, such complete attainment may
require a combination of several of the courses of action under study.

The exclusive consideration of courses of action of the complete type
possesses the advantage of minimizing the total number of solutions
under study. This simplifies the procedure of analysis and of
comparing courses of action with each other, because of the relatively
small number of courses to be tested and to be compared.

However, it is frequently difficult, and sometimes impossible, to
visualize complete courses of action, especially during the early
stages of the estimate. Sometimes the initial visualization of partial
courses and their eventual combination into a complete solution will
be found necessary.

Therefore, either or both of the foregoing systems of formulating
courses of action may be found appropriate, according to individual
preference and the nature of the particular problem.

Individuals, comparable with respect to knowledge, appear to vary
greatly in their ability to produce the appropriate suggestion, as to
courses of action, at the right time. The reason for this phenomenon
is not altogether clear, but it is known that thinking seems to be
limited not merely by the range of knowledge, but by whatever part of
it becomes available when needed. This point invites attention to
another procedure which is open to the commander with respect to
stimulating reflective thinking. This procedure recognizes the fact
that, when two or more minds attack a problem, together, the combined
effort often increases the applied mental power. This fact is
universally recognized, for example, in the utilization of staff
assistance (page 13).

Inherent and acquired ability have unquestionably much to do with the
possibilities of visualizing single courses of action with respect to
their completeness as to attainment of the objective. One method of
visualization seems to be the mental picturization of more or less
detailed operations, followed by their combination, through rapid
synthesis, into complete courses of action.

An example of this method would occur where several rather specific
operations were visualized, involving seizure of certain localities as
a defensive measure. If it were then observed that the objective in
each such case was "denial to the enemy of a particular naval-base
site in the area ABCD", an appropriate expression of a comprehensive
course of action would be "to deny the enemy naval-base sites in the
area ABCD".

Another method of visualizing appropriate courses of action seems to
involve initial recognition, in the first instance, of such courses as
broad and comprehensive general plans, without first visualizing and
combining their details. This method appears to be more usual after
considerable experience or training. It is therefore possible that
this second method is merely a practiced development of the first, the
process of synthesis being so rapidly accomplished that it becomes
subconscious.

The nature of the particular problem has also an unquestioned bearing
on this subject. In instances where no single course of action can be
found which is adequately expressive of complete attainment of the
objective, the final selection of a method of attaining the objective
will necessarily be through a combination of the courses of action
under study (page 93).

For example, if the assigned task were to "protect trade in sea area
ABCD", the extent of the area, together with its geographical position
relative to locations from which enemy attacks could be launched,
might not be such as to permit the attainment of the objective by a
single course of action such as "to escort trade in convoys" or "to
patrol the trade routes". Both of these courses of action might be
necessary, and, in addition, perhaps, the further course "to cover
focal points M and N".

Each of these courses of action has, as its objective, the
establishment of a protected area or areas, stationary or moving, for
the safe passage of merchant vessels. However, for purposes of
expressing the course of action involved, the contemplated procedure
is in this case better indicated by a combination expressed in terms
of action, the objective being inferred as a matter of mutual
understanding. The less particularized expression of the course of
action in terms of the objective would, in this instance, convey a
less definite idea of the procedure under consideration.

Similar considerations pertain frequently to naval problems, more
especially to those involving naval engagements of considerable scope.
The solution of such a problem takes, typically, the form of an
operation consisting, not of a single "act", but of "a series of
acts", i.e., of a number of stages or phases of battle, each being a
preparation for the one following, until the final stage provides for
the attainment of the assigned objective.

For example, a first consideration might be "to reduce enemy carrier
aircraft strength by" certain pertinent operations. A second
consideration might be "to reduce enemy battle-line speed by" certain
operations in order to force the enemy to accept battle. A third might
be "to reduce enemy battle-line speed, life, and hitting power by
gunfire" within certain range bands, in order to exploit own strength
and enemy weakness at those ranges. A fourth might be "to continue
reduction of enemy battle-line strength by gunfire, closing to" such a
range as is suitable to that end. Finally, a fifth consideration might
be "to inflict conclusive damage on enemy battle-line with torpedoes".
All of the foregoing partial courses (other possibilities having been
studied and discarded) might then be combined into one operation as
the selected course of action "in order to destroy the enemy
battleship strength",--such destruction being the assigned objective.

The degree of detail in which a course of action may be visualized for
purposes of the estimate will vary with the same factors, i.e.,
personal facility and the nature of the problem. Practice in the
solution of problems appears to develop such facility that entire
plans can be visualized as courses of action, each plan reasonably
complete as to details with reference to physical objectives, relative
positions, apportionment of fighting strength, and provision for
freedom of action. However, it is rarely, if ever, necessary to
visualize courses of action minutely in an estimate of a basic
problem; the extent to which they are viewed mentally, as detailed
plans, need only be such as to fulfill the requirements of the
particular problem (see Section I of Chapter IV).

The statement of a course of action, for purposes of the estimate,
will naturally be along broad and comprehensive lines, although some
important matters of detail (relatively speaking) may be added if this
is found desirable as the estimate proceeds. It is with these
considerations in mind that the standard practice has been developed
of formulating courses of action, while under study as tentative
solutions of the problem, in broad terms, appropriate to general plans
of action.

The commander may find, on occasion, what appears, on first
examination, to be an exception to the rule, herein treated as valid,
that a course of action, correctly conceived, always contains the two
elements (1) objective, specific or inferred, and (2) action for its
attainment. However, apparent exceptions to this principle are due to
special conditions which, on proper analysis, reveal no actual
exceptions. Certain examples, now to be discussed, demonstrate this
fact.

For instance, when the higher commander deems such procedure advisable
(page 86), he may make his subordinate's estimate of the situation, as
well as his own, and may accordingly indicate both a task and a
predetermined course of action for the subordinate to pursue: for
example:

    "Deny enemy base sites in area ABCD by capturing X Island."

In such a case the higher commander has indicated the predetermined
course of action in the words "by capturing X Island". This expression
indicates a specific objective, the capture of X Island. The
expression also indicates, though not in any detail, the action to be
taken, i.e., it specifies "capture", rather than "occupation",
"isolation", or some other form of control (page 8). Any further
development of the action is left for the subordinate to determine.
The procedure to be followed by the subordinate commander in solving
such a problem is described hereafter (page 102) in the discussion of
the analysis of courses of action. In any event, it is manifest that
there is here no exception to the rule that a course of action,
correctly conceived, contains the two elements of objective and action
for its attainment.

A further example may occur when the higher commander, instead of
indicating both the task and the predetermined course of action,
indicates only the latter (page 86), by directing "Capture X Island".
Once the subordinate has recognized this directive as containing a
predetermined course of action, but not a normal task, he realizes
that the objective so indicated would ordinarily be left for him to
select. He also realizes that the action to be taken for its
attainment is left for him to determine, in further detail.

In this case, then, what is really a predetermined course of action
appears in the guise of a task. When the commander, receiving the
directive, has recognized this fact, he proceeds in the manner
hereafter indicated (page 103) in the discussion of the analysis of
courses of action.

In any event, it is manifest that here, also, there is no exception
to the rule that a course of action, correctly conceived, contains the
two elements of objective and action for its attainment.

In such a case as the foregoing, how does the commander recognize that
the apparent task is really a predetermined course of action? He could
easily go astray because the directive, until analyzed, appears to
contain a normal task. The directive indicates an objective, thereby
resembling a task. The directive will usually indicate, at least in
some degree, the action which the subordinate is to take. Hence, so
far as superficial appearance is concerned, the subordinate commander
may easily mistake the predetermined course of action for a normal
task. However, he discovers the difference when he endeavors to find
courses of action which are appropriate to this apparent task.

The commander will then discover that, while he can visualize actions
whose accomplishment will attain the objective indicated in the
apparent task, he cannot visualize any objective completely suitable
to the case (page 93), intermediate between the assigned objective and
the indicated action. He can state the assigned objective in other
words and adopt such a statement as an expression of his general
objective, but the two objectives, the one he selects and the assigned
one, will really be identical.

This inability to visualize an objective of the commander's own
selection, suitable to the case, is inevitable, because higher
authority has already done this for him. He may find it advisable to
develop further the action needed for the attainment of the indicated
objective. On occasion this, also, will have been predetermined by the
higher commander.

The foregoing considerations have been given special emphasis and
deserve careful study, because an appreciation of these facts is
necessary to a true understanding of the nature of correctly conceived
courses of action.

Analysis and Selection of Courses of Action. After one or more courses
of action have been determined as tentative solutions of his problem,
the commander will be confronted with the necessity of deciding upon
that course of action, or combination of courses of action, which will
best attain the assigned objective, i.e., be the best way out of the
seeming difficulty. The analysis, in each case, will settle
suitability on the basis of the appropriate effect desired,
feasibility on the basis of relative fighting strength as established
by a survey of means available and opposed, influenced by the
characteristics of the theater, and acceptability on the basis of
consequences as to costs.

In connection with these considerations, the detailed operations
involved in each course will be analyzed so far as may be necessary
(page 95) and with respect to correct physical objectives,
advantageous relative positions, proper apportionment of fighting
strength, and adequate freedom of action (see the Fundamental Military
Principle--page 41). A selection shown to be best, from the standpoint
of suitability, feasibility, and acceptability of the consequences,
will be adopted as the decision.

The tests of courses of action to determine whether they fulfill the
requirements of suitability, of feasibility, and of acceptability as
to consequences take account of the usual included determinants as
listed and explained below. The list is not rigid, and the commander,
according to the nature of his problem, may desire to omit certain of
the items or to include any other considerations which may be
applicable.

With respect to suitability, the commander considers the following:

    (1) General. The test for suitability (see also page 31)
    calls for conformity as to both the nature and the scope of
    the motivating task. With respect to conformity in nature,
    the test leads to a conclusion as to whether the course of
    action, if carried out successfully, will or will not
    contribute to the accomplishment of the task. As to scope,
    the test leads to a conclusion as to whether the course of
    action, if carried out successfully, will or will not
    accomplish the task in full; and, if not in full, to what
    extent. The factor of urgency is also considered here.

    It is frequently possible for the commander, merely by
    concentrating his thought on this particular perplexity, to
    conclude at once that the course of action is suitable. In
    other cases, a considerable amount of study may be needed.
    This analytical study consists in breaking down the course of
    action into its component parts, i.e., the detailed operations
    which naturally grow out of it. This procedure is similar to
    that described later (Chapter VII), with respect to
    formulating a plan, but during the basic estimate the
    procedure, when utilized, is for a different reason--solely
    that of assisting in the analysis.

    (2) Details, (a) Conformity as to nature. Will the course of
    action, if successfully carried out, contribute, at least in
    some degree, to the accomplishment of the task? If not, such a
    course is rejected. Courses that do contribute, however, are
    not rejected until the possibilities of combination have been
    examined, later.

    (b) Completeness. If the course of action is successfully
    carried out, will it accomplish in full the motivating task?
    If not, how much will it contribute towards such
    accomplishment? With what other courses of action can it be
    combined, to accomplish the motivating task in full? With what
    others can it be combined to accomplish the motivating task in
    part, and in such case how nearly does the combination
    contribute to full accomplishment?

    This examination may lead to combinations of certain partial
    solutions.

    (c) Desirability as to Urgency. The commander now considers
    the element of time. Complete accomplishment of the motivating
    task within his own theater may come too late to meet the
    requirements of the common effort of the entire force.
    Synchronization with the action of other task-group commanders
    may be so important that timing becomes vital. As to this
    consideration, two courses of action, equally competent, may
    differ greatly in their qualification relating to urgency; one
    may be found highly desirable and the other completely
    unsatisfactory.

As to feasibility, the commander considers the following:

    (1) General. The test for feasibility (see page 31) is
    concerned with whether the course of action is practicable.
    Has it reasonable chances of success under the particular
    circumstances? Are the difficulties surmountable? Is it
    easily practicable, practicable with some difficulty, or very
    difficult?

    The commander, if he concludes that the course of action is
    not a practicable one, rejects it from further consideration
    in the estimate of the situation. However, care is taken at
    this point not to dismiss, abruptly, courses of action which
    may later be combined advantageously with one or more others.

    Here, again, as noted for the suitability test, the commander
    may sometimes profitably analyze the course of action by
    breaking it down into more detailed operations.

    As a result of the tests discussed above, the commander is
    able to make a list of courses of action upon which his
    confirmed judgment has bestowed the qualities of suitability
    and feasibility.

    He is also able to take stock to see how many of the solutions
    are complete, how many are incomplete, and in the latter case
    to what extent they constitute partial solutions. It is, of
    course, desirable to have as many complete solutions as
    possible, and at this point it may be possible to merge two or
    more incomplete solutions into a single course of action which
    better fulfills the test of suitability. The commander can
    also take stock, similarly, of the degree of feasibility,
    already referred to, as to the retained courses of action.

    (2) Details, (a) Prospects of Success. Here the several courses
    of action are considered relatively, with respect to the chance
    of success in each. In the rating of courses on this basis,
    the commander excludes consideration of losses except as they
    may influence success or failure. He notes, however, his
    considered expectations as to losses. Losses may appear to be
    so great that success is doubtful. Certain courses of action
    may be particularly vulnerable to enemy opposition because of
    the types of weapons involved or because of favorable enemy
    positions. Choice of such a course would permit the enemy an
    initial advantage.

    (b) Facility of Execution. This subject has to do with the
    relative ease or difficulty of carrying out the several
    courses of action. On the basis of the existing situation,
    each course of action may be compared with all the others to
    determine their relative merits with regard to the facility of
    execution. Consideration is given to the action involved
    against the several physical objectives; to the movements
    needed in making new dispositions; to the relative adequacy of
    the forces as to numbers and types of weapons; and to the
    measures required for freedom of action.

    A review of the previous discussion of these elements (Chapter
    IV) may be very helpful in connection with this comparison. As
    to freedom of action, for example, the commander may ask
    himself which course is best from the standpoint of using the
    initiative to advantage; and which course of action lends
    itself best to the advantageous use of surprise. As the
    commander reflects on these matters, other similar questions
    may be suggested.

    (c) Utilization of Own Strength and Exploitation of Enemy
    Weakness. In his original visualization of each course of
    action, the commander has naturally considered how to utilize
    his own strength to best advantage, and how best to exploit
    enemy weakness. In fact, especially in a detailed tactical
    estimate, these considerations may have been predominant in
    envisaging the courses of action. A careful evaluation of the
    merits of each course of action in this respect is accordingly
    necessary before a choice is made.

With regard to acceptability of consequences as to costs, the
commander considers the following:

    (1) General. The process of putting a course of action to
    proof as a tentative solution of the problem remains
    incomplete until the course has been tested to determine its
    consequences as to costs, so far as these can be visualized
    in advance. The process involves an evaluation of the
    diminution in total advantage which will result in the event
    of failure, and a comparison of gains with losses in the
    event of success. The situation to be expected, if the course
    of action is carried out, is visualized in order to determine
    the future effect on the creation or maintenance of an
    ultimately favorable military situation.

    In testing each course of action for acceptability as to its
    consequences (page 31), the commander considers the cost of
    success, the cost of failure, and the possible gain and loss
    in perspective with the united effort as a whole. Questions
    which he may pose include: If the course of action is
    successful, will the costs be so prohibitive as to adversely
    affect the successful accomplishment of the further effort? If
    a tactical situation is under consideration, will the costs
    prevent the accomplishment of the strategical aim? If the
    course of action fails, what will be its effect? Will it cause
    the entire plan to fail? Will its failure affect, for example,
    the national morale?

    If the command--and ultimately the State--can afford the
    losses and other disadvantages which will be incurred as a
    result of either the success or the failure of the
    contemplated effort, a course of action may be considered as
    acceptable from the standpoint of consequences as to costs.

    As previously noted with respect to suitability, it may be
    desirable to consider, with regard to consequences, the
    detailed operations which may be involved in each course of
    action.

    Courses of action involving excessive consequences as to costs
    are rejected. Notation is made of the relative degree of
    acceptability, with respect to consequences as to costs, of
    those courses of action which are retained.

    (2) Details. (a) The Results of Success and of Failure. Each
    course of action is examined to visualize the situation which
    would be brought about for the commander and for the enemy in
    case of success or of failure. The relative possibilities of
    recovery toward a more favorable situation are weighed. This
    consideration involves relative risks, for it may be that a
    certain course, otherwise satisfactory, might entail
    intolerable conditions should failure ensue.

    The costs are measured in terms of fighting strength. It has
    to be considered whether the sacrifices involved are worth the
    gains which will follow; whether the objectives if attained
    will be sufficiently valuable when the need of fighting
    strength to accomplish further aims is considered.

    (b) Comparison of gains and costs. When costs are found to be
    in excess of the over-all gains, this fact may be the basis
    for rejecting any courses of action which are less desirable
    than others. However, retention of a course found to be costly
    may be justified for sound reasons.

       *       *       *       *       *

When, as in the example given previously (page 96), the commander
receives a directive such as "Deny enemy base sites in the area ABCD
by capturing X Island", he carries through his estimate of the
situation in the usual manner. He notes, however, that the capture of
X Island has been indicated as a predetermined course of action. He
makes a proper survey of the factors of relative fighting strength. He
considers all pertinent courses of action. He goes through this
procedure in order to reach an understanding of all the elements of
his problem. He wishes to understand the necessary background. He
realizes the importance of a grasp of the considerations which have
led higher authority to arrive at the predetermined course of action.

By carrying through the usual estimate procedure, including the
analysis of all pertinent courses of action, he assists himself to
arrive at a proper concept of the action to be taken to capture X
island. In this way he establishes a sound basis for formulating a
detailed plan (in the second step), for inaugurating planned action
(in the third step), and for supervising this action (in the fourth
step). He also establishes a basis for any constructive
representations which he finds it advisable to make to higher
authority (page 15).

In another example previously given (page 96), the higher commander
indicates only the predetermined course of action (by a directive
"Capture X Island") and omits the statement of the true underlying
task. The subordinate, on discovering this fact, deduces the
underlying task and carries through the estimate procedure, modified,
as explained for the previous example. In addition to the merits as
previously stated, this method has a further advantage. The deduction
of the underlying task enables the commander to judge whether any
advisable or necessary deviation or departure from the predetermined
course of action (page 15) involves merely a variation from the letter
of his instructions or, more important, from their spirit.

For instance, the directive, as in the case previously discussed, may
have been "Capture X Island". The higher commander when issuing this
order, may have stated his own general plan to be "This force will
protect the base at A." The commander, on receipt of this directive,
then deduces his true task. This is "Deny enemy bases in area ABCD"
("by capturing X Island"--a predetermined course of action), the
purpose of the mission being "in order to protect the base at A".

Now it may be found that the enemy, unconcerned as to X Island, is
moving to reinforce Y Island and to use it as a base to attack the
base at A. The commander then properly decides to capture Y Island,
instead of X Island. By his identification of the predetermined course
of action as such, and by his correct deduction of the true underlying
task, the commander has established a sound basis for the solution of
his problem. He can now, with confidence, defer or abandon the capture
of X Island, and can devote his efforts to the capture of Y Island.
His confidence is justified because he knows his decision to be in
accordance with the spirit of his instructions.

Naturally, if the higher commander directed, "This force will protect
the base at A----", and added, later in his directive, "Deny enemy
base sites in area ABCD by capturing X Island", the subordinate
commander's deductions would have been made more easily.

       *       *       *       *       *

The full play of the reasoning power is called for in the process of
visualizing courses of action and of selecting the best. This process
is the crux of the first step. Here the knowledge of the relationship
between cause and effect is applied. Here, also, the commander is
brought fully to realize that, to reach a sound decision, there is a
requirement for a studied development of each stage by which the human
mind passes from recognition of a necessity for action to the ultimate
conviction as to the best course to pursue.

As essential background for the utilization of his intellectual powers
in this process, the commander requires knowledge of the capabilities
and limitations of the technique of his profession and of the weapons
of his calling. To the necessary knowledge gained through his own
experience, either in actual warfare or in peacetime exercises
simulating this experience, he adds the equally essential familiarity
with the science of war, and with the lessons to be drawn from
historical instances of success and failure. In effect, it is here
brought home to him that, on a fundamental basis of earnest thought,
mental ability, character, knowledge, and experience, finally rests
the soundness of decision (see page 219).

The Decision. The word "decision" has the primary meaning of a
conclusion. A decision (conclusion) is essential as a starting point
for further procedure. Sound decision is the essential preliminary to
wise planning and effective action.

The range within which military decisions may fall extends from the
instantaneous resolve to meet an emergency, to the conditional
intentions of a distant future. Within this range will be found many
decisions which the commander is necessarily called upon to reach
during the four steps toward the attainment of an assigned objective.

The course of action, or the combination of courses, as finally
selected by the commander upon the termination of the first step,
represents his conclusion as to his outlined plan for the attainment
of his assigned objective. This conclusion will indicate, specifically
or inferentially, his general objective, as selected by himself,
and--in proper detail--the action required for its attainment. (See
pages 88 and 95). The conclusion is thus his Decision, which provides
the general plan, or the basis therefor, from which he will, in the
second step, develop a detailed plan of operations for his force.

Illustration of the foregoing process may profitably be initiated with
respect to the highest echelon involved in the case of a State. The
primary national objective of organized government (Chapter I, page 7)
is the ensurance of envisaged prosperity and of essential security for
the social system which is the fundamental basis of the community.
This aim, as embodied in basic policy (see pages 8 and 9), is the
objective visualized by the people of the State, or by its
policy-forming elements, in the capacity of an organized government.

For the maintenance of the condition represented in this policy, or
for the creation of such a condition not already existing, an
appropriate task of the State, as the political embodiment of the
national will, might be to maintain or establish friendly (at least,
not hostile) governments and social systems in those key localities of
the world whence, otherwise, effective threats may arise.

The national mission (the mission of the State) then becomes:--

    (Task) To maintain or establish friendly (at least, not
        hostile) governments and social systems In those key
        localities of the world whence, otherwise, effective
        threats may arise,

    (Purpose) in order to ensure envisaged prosperity and
        essential security for the social system which is the
        fundamental basis of the community.

A national estimate of the situation, by the highest authority of the
State, to determine the effect to be attained for the accomplishment
of the foregoing mission, takes account of the possibilities of
accomplishment through psychological, political, economic, or military
pressure, or by combinations thereof. As a result of this accounting,
the State adopts a national Decision which indicates the best way of
accomplishing its mission.

To carry out this Decision, each of the primary subdivisions of the
State's organization is assigned a specific task or tasks, whose total
effect is designed to achieve the result embodied in the national
Decision. The task of each such primary subdivision is linked to a
purpose which is the attainment of the objective indicated in the
national Decision.

In like manner, each organization of the national armed forces is
governed in its action by a task assigned to it as a result of a
Decision made by the proper authority on the next higher echelon. Each
commander is thus provided with a mission which consists of an
assigned task and of a purpose as indicated by the general objective
decided upon by his immediate superior.


The Second Step

The second step, that of resolving the required action into detailed
military operations, may now be undertaken unless the Decision reached
in the first step is intended for future reference only. During the
second step the commander, if he carries the procedure through to its
logical end, visualizes his proposed operations as tasks, in order to
ensure their proper formulation. He may, if it is his intent to issue
a directive or directives for the execution of his plan of operation,
or a part thereof, arrange his procedure so as to facilitate the third
step.

The common characteristic of problems of the second step is that they
deal with matters pertaining to the support of the action decided upon
in the first step, and that they are properly problems for the
commander who made that Decision, and not for his subordinates, to
solve. Such problems are appropriately termed subsidiary problems.
Their full solution involves subsidiary estimates, subsidiary
decisions, and, not infrequently, distinct subsidiary plans and
subsidiary directives.

Each detailed operation derived, during the second step, from the
outlined plan of operations (as embodied in the basic Decision) is
determined upon the basis of an estimate procedure essentially similar
to the basic estimate. There is thus a series of subsidiary estimates
for this purpose. Such estimates tend to be abbreviated and informal,
since the necessary data, and often much of the consideration as to
the subsidiary courses of action, may be available from the basic
estimate.

Unless the detailed operations are of such a character as to require
development into subsidiary plans as a basis for subsidiary
directives, such operations are merely embodied, in the form of tasks
or otherwise as may be appropriate, in the basic plan. In the excepted
cases, where subsidiary plans, in detailed form, are necessary or
desirable, such a plan may be the result of a more formal and
specialized subsidiary estimate.

Chapter VII is devoted to a discussion of the second step.

       *       *       *       *       *

The problem involved in the first step has been conveniently termed
the basic problem because it is directly concerned with the attainment
of the assigned objective (page 81). The solution of the basic problem
in the first step, and of its corollary in the second step, completes
the planning stage.


The Third Step

The third step consists of the formulation, and--if appropriate--the
issue, of the directives which convey to the subordinate the will and
intent of the commander. From the mental standpoint, the third step
begins when the commander forms the intent of immediately promulgating
his directives for the execution of the planned action. Whether or not
the third step is partially combined with the second, its problem is a
separate one. Its complete solution inaugurates the action planned in
the second step.

The third step is discussed and developed in Chapter VIII.


The Fourth Step

The fourth step, which calls for mental effort in the solution of the
problem of supervising the action, requires a constant, close
observation of the unfolding of the original situation. The procedure
employed is customarily termed The Running Estimate of the Situation.
Only an alert commander can invariably determine whether the situation
is unfolding along the lines desired by him, as promulgated in the
directives of the third step. In effect, the commander, after action
is begun, considers the changing situation as a variable in the
problem presented for his solution by the original (basic) situation.
With the march of events, he is, therefore, constantly critical to
detect whether variations from the original situation are in
accordance with his design or whether these variations have introduced
new incentives which demand modification or alteration of his plan, or
its complete abandonment.

The fourth step is discussed and developed in Chapter IX.


Sequence of Events in the Four Steps

When all of the elements of the entire procedure of the four steps are
present, they take, from the viewpoint of the same commander
throughout, the following form:

(1) First step: The commander, confronted with a strategical situation
(page 83), makes a strategical estimate and comes to a strategical
Decision. The problem, the estimate, and the Decision are basic.

(2) Second step: The commander now is confronted with a particular
problem, one proceeding from his basic problem and involving the
details of a plan of execution to carry out the Decision reached in
the first step; this problem consists, itself, of numerous other
problems of detail, which require solution by the commander himself.
The basic Decision has embodied an outlined plan, strategical in
nature, for an operation to accomplish the motivating task of the
first step. This plan requires resolution into the detailed operations
necessary for its full accomplishment.

Each such detailed operation, as part of the outlined plan embodied in
the strategical Decision, calls for a proper estimate. Though usually
not formal in nature, more especially if the necessary data can be
found in the basic estimate, such estimates are fundamentally the same
as for the basic problem. The assembly of such detailed operations
results in the formulation of a basic plan.

At this point, additional problems may present themselves, these being
frequently tactical in nature. Such, for example, may be sortie plans,
approach plans, and Battle Plans. Other specialized plans (training,
intelligence, logistics, etc.) may be needed. The data essential for
the solution of such problems are more detailed than for the usual
strategical basic problem. In some instances, such subsidiary plans
may be developed directly from the basic Decision by procedures
distinctive of the second step. In other instances, solution may
require an additional subsidiary estimate, along the lines typical of
the first step. These subsidiary estimates lead to subsidiary
decisions, which in turn require to be resolved into the necessary
detailed operations.

(3) Third step: In the third step, the directives, if the basic
problem was strategical in nature, will be of a strategical character.
However, if subsidiary tactical problems were also involved, tactical
directives will frequently be included. Logistics directives and other
specialized instructions may also be a feature.

(4) Fourth step: The supervision of the planned action, in the fourth
step, may involve a new strategical problem, perhaps several. In such
event each new basic problem will initiate a new series of problems,
with corresponding directives, as described above. Changes in
strategical plans may be called for. If no strategical changes are
involved, there may nevertheless be introduced one or more new
tactical or logistics problems, with corresponding changes in the
subsequent procedure. The fourth step may, however, merely involve
changes in supporting plans (tactical, logistics, etc.), with
resultant changes in the directives involved. Finally, the fourth step
may involve changes, for clarification, in the directives formulated
in the third step.

Variations in the foregoing procedure are frequent. The most usual is
perhaps the case where the commander, receiving a tactical (instead of
a strategical) mission, solves such a tactical problem as a basic
problem in the first step; resolves his Decision into detailed
tactical operations in the second step; issues a tactical directive or
directives in the third step; and supervises his planned tactical
action in the fourth step.

Phraseology as to "Course of Action", "Operation", and "Task". It is
important to avoid the possibility of becoming confused because each
of the terms "a course of action", "an operation", and "a task", is
correctly visualized as "an act or a series of acts". In the first
step, the selected course of action (see page 104) indicates the "act
or series of acts" decided upon as representing, in general terms, an
effort for attainment of a specified objective and is therefore stated
as a comprehensive method of attaining that objective. The Decision
thus adopts this course of action as a general plan of operations, or
as a basis therefor.

In the second step, the required action is developed to place it upon
a practical, workable basis as a detailed plan to be executed. The
"act or series of acts" represented by the selected "course of action"
has now become a detailed "act or series of acts". As such, it is now
susceptible of being assigned, in whole or in part, to subordinate
commanders as "tasks". The cycle within that particular echelon is
completed when the tasks are thus assigned. The commander has thereby
charged his immediate subordinates with the commission of specific
"acts or series of acts".

Each such subordinate commander necessarily decides on the best method
of accomplishing his assigned task, i.e., on the course of action (act
or series of acts) which will best accomplish the effort required of
him. The procedure (for each commander on that echelon) thus begins
anew until an echelon is reached where the character of the required
action has already been determined as a matter of routine (see page
84).


The Use of a Form in the Solution of Problems

The natural mental processes (see page 19) are employed in all of the
four steps. The processes, in each step, require modification to an
extent dependent upon the factors to be evaluated.

A form has been adopted for the application of the mental processes in
the first step. This form, long known to the military profession as
The outline of The Estimate of The Situation (see Appendix), sets
forth in a logical manner and order the several considerations likely
to influence the selection of correct military objectives in problems
of wide, as well as of lesser, scope. The use of this form is
conducive to uniformity of reasoning. It centers the attention upon
essentials, in order to ensure that no material factor bearing on the
solution of the problem is overlooked. It guides thought along a
specific path and, through the influence of suggestion, deliberately
increases the expenditure of mental effort.

The procedure indicated in the form contributes to the Decision
reached as a result of an Estimate of the Situation, only to the
extent that it provides an outline for, and encouragement of,
systematic analysis and reasoning.

To prove successful in stimulating rather than stifling creative
thought, flexibility is a characteristic of any form capable of
application in such dissimilar circumstances as may be presented by
the varying scope of military problems. The Estimate Form is such a
flexible guide. If a commander, in solving a problem, feels the need
of greater flexibility, he may, of course, modify or adapt the form to
his particular needs. In so doing, however, he bears in mind that
departure from orderly processes of reasoning, on which the form is
based, tends, through possible neglect of fundamental considerations,
to lead to the omission of essential features of the analysis.

On the other hand, a rigid following of the form may frequently cause
much repetition. This may be avoided, unless desired for emphasis or
other appropriate reasons, by reference back to preceding portions of
the estimate. It is also to be noted, however, that the Estimate Form
is adapted to a progressive procedure. Very frequently the earlier
consideration of some aspect of the problem can later be expanded both
in scope and in proper detail by reason of additional information
which has become available during the intervening stages of the
procedure.

The distinction between certain strategical and tactical problems
(page 83) may introduce variations in the handling of the Estimate
Form, and may affect the weight to be given the various factors. The
use of the Estimate Form, as described in Chapter VI, applies in full
to problems which embrace the complete scope of broad strategical
concepts. It is suitable also for problems of limited scope, for which
certain modifications or abbreviations are required. When applied to
problems of a detailed tactical nature, the emphasis on the factors of
fighting strength is somewhat different from that for strategical
problems. For certain subsidiary problems (page 106), the Form may be
closely applicable or may require considerable adaptation. In no case
is it difficult to modify the Form to suit the requirements of the
problem.

An estimate of a relatively broad strategical situation may normally
be reduced to writing, because time is usually available. On the other
hand, an estimate of a localized tactical situation frequently
requires almost instantaneous decision. Except in the preparation of
plans to meet contingencies, such an estimate can rarely be given the
elaborate form frequent in estimates of situations which are broadly
strategical in nature. When such tactical plans are prepared well in
advance of the event, the commander bases the estimate upon various
assumptions as to the circumstances of a probable situation.

The written solution of tactical situations under various assumptions
is a valuable feature of training to this end.

During the second step, i.e., the resolution of the action, as
embodied in the Decision, into the detailed operations required, the
method considered most helpful is to arrange the procedure on the
basis of the salient features of a military operation (page 39 and
Section III of Chapter IV). This procedure facilitates not only the
determination of the necessary operations, but also the later
formulation of directives.

The second step, like the first, makes use of the estimate procedure.
This is inevitable, in view of the fact that the mental processes are
identical (page 106) for the solution of the problem of both steps.

The application of the estimate procedure to the second step may be
tested, aside from the logic of the theory involved, by careful
analysis of examples. For instance, if the basic Decision was to
determine the location of enemy forces in the area ABCD, this becomes
the basis for a plan embodying the best method of determining the
location of such enemy forces (an operation, or a series of
operations). One method of procedure (course of action) to achieve
this objective may be to search the area by aircraft; another may
involve a search by cruisers; another by destroyers; another by
submarines; etc. The operation or operations finally determined upon
may be any one of these, or a combination of two or more of them,
perhaps of all of them. The fundamental procedure leading to this
conclusion is identical with that of the basic estimate.

There are a number of possible variations of the fundamental mental
processes applicable to the second step, according to the facility and
the preference of the commander. Practice seems to develop such
facility (see also page 94) that entire plans, each properly
integrated with respect to physical objectives, relative positions,
apportionment of fighting strength, and freedom of action, may be
visualized separately from each other.

At the other extreme, the elementary procedure is to utilize these
salient features of such a plan, successively, to suggest detailed
operations. The features after the first are then used either to adapt
or to complete the operations suggested by preceding features, or to
suggest new operations. This elementary procedure, being the simpler
and more methodical of the two, is the one explained hereafter
(Chapter VII).

However, there are various possibilities as to procedures intermediate
between these extremes. One such procedure would visualize operations
primarily on the basis of correct physical objectives, adapting and
completing such operations by reference to the other features; the
procedure would then utilize relative positions, etc., to suggest
additional operations, which in turn may be similarly adapted or
completed. The commander is of course at liberty to use the procedure
best suited to his own working methods and to the particular
situation; naturally, he bears full responsibility for any errors due
to a faulty choice of procedure.

From the standpoint of the exercise of mental power in the solution of
military problems, the second step may be taken to include the
assembly of the commander's conclusions in the form of directives. The
third step begins, however (page 107), when the commander forms the
intent of immediately promulgating such directives.

The third step makes use of the Order Form. In our naval service, this
form is applicable, with certain modifications, to all written
directives pertaining to operations other than routine. The subject
matter is presented in a logical sequence which experience has shown
to be effective. The Order Form assists in the solution of the problem
by providing a comprehensive vehicle with which all echelons are
familiar.

In the fourth step, i.e., the supervision of the planned action, the
prime essential is the maintenance by the commander of a Running
Estimate (page 107). For this purpose there is a definite technique of
which the Estimate Form provides the basis, and by means of which the
solution of this important problem is aided.


Conclusion As To the Approach to the Solution of Military Problems

The foregoing considerations indicate that planned attainment of a
military objective requires the application of mental effort in four
distinct steps.

The sequence of the four steps necessarily is fixed because of the
consequential relationship among the problems typical of the several
steps. The mission, in the first step, furnishes the nature of the
appropriate effect desired. Until modified or revoked by higher
authority, it clearly remains the governing influence throughout the
entire range of mental effort which, in conjunction with the moral and
physical effort, is calculated to result finally in the attainment of
the assigned objective.

The procedure involved, being natural and universal, is fundamentally
the same even in those tactical situations where the commander
performs all of the steps in almost instantaneous succession. The
Estimate Form, as presented herein, is adaptable to military problems
of any nature. The systematic approach represented in the Form is
subject to adaptation by the competent commander--provided that the
essentials are preserved--in any manner appropriate to his personal
preference and to the nature of his particular problem.

The essentials of the military Estimate of the Situation, as a
specialized use of the natural mental processes, are inherent in the
proper application of the Fundamental Military Principle (see page
82). The Estimate Form merely provides a more detailed guide for the
use of the Principle. Facility in the use of the Principle will enable
the competent commander, once he has formed a proper understanding of
the basis for solution of a problem, to solve the problem correctly
without reference to the Estimate Form. Reference to the Form may be
necessary in problems of broad scope, in order to ensure a complete
survey of factors of fighting strength. Time, in such cases, is
usually available for purposes of a detailed study. Subject to this
exception, the Principle, alone, may be used effectively as a basis
for sound military decision,--a fact of particular significance where
time (page 22) is an element of immediate concern.

That this procedure may be successfully and repeatedly applied in the
fast-moving events of the decisive tactical engagement is, more
particularly, the goal of mental preparation for the exercise of
command.



PART II

THE EXERCISE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT
IN PLANNING



CHAPTER VI

THE SELECTION OF A CORRECT OBJECTIVE

(Including the Determination, in Proper Detail, of the Action Required
for its Attainment)

The First Step--The Solution of a Basic Problem (The Estimate of the
Situation)

    The type of problem distinctive of the first step, now to be
    discussed, is a basic problem. It is the most likely type when
    an organized chain of command is in effective operation, the
    incentive for solution being derived from a directive issued
    by higher authority (Chapter V).

    The problem of the first step is described by the question,
    "What objective should I select, and what action (in outline)
    should I take for its attainment, in order to achieve the
    objective assigned to me by higher authority?"


The procedure for solution of the type of problem distinctive of the
first step is that already indicated as applicable to all military
problems, i.e., a specialized employment of the natural mental
processes (Chapter II) through the application of the Fundamental
Military Principle. The studied application of the Principle is
assisted through the Estimate Form which provides a more detailed
guide.

The fundamentals of the Estimate Form have already been discussed
(Chapter V). Except for emphasis, or to afford a basis for further
detailed discussion, the basic matters previously dealt with are not
repeated in the present chapter. It is therefore advisable, before
studying the details applicable to the first step, to make an adequate
review of the pertinent portions of the preceding chapter. With the
necessary background thus provided, the Estimate Form can be followed
with a minimum of distraction caused by reference to related subjects.

For special emphasis, it is repeated here (see also page 110) that the
Estimate Form is a flexible guide. The commander is of course at
liberty to vary the procedure according to his particular needs and
the nature of his problem; however, he will bear in mind that errors
of commission or of omission arising by reason of departure from the
essential features of the procedure may disrupt orderly reasoning.

The Estimate Form is divided into sections and sub-sections, each of
which presents a subject for consideration. The Form follows,
sequentially, the salient features of the natural mental process
described in Chapter II. It will be seen, from an examination of the
section headings listed below, that Section I has to do with
establishing the basis for solution of the problem; Sections II, III,
and IV relate to the actual process of solution through consideration
of various courses of action; while Section V states the conclusion
reached.

    I. Establishment of the Basis for Solution of the Problem.

    II. Determination of Suitable, Feasible, and Acceptable
        Courses of Action.

    III. Examination into the Capabilities of the Enemy.

    IV. Selection of the Best Course of Action.

    V. The Decision.

A tabular form inserted in the Appendix lists the foregoing headings
and their principal subdivisions within the Estimate Form. For
convenience, the appended Form also includes page references to the
discussion in this chapter.


SECTION I

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BASIS FOR SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM

As noted in the Fundamental Military Principle, each objective, prior
to its selection, and each operation, prior to its adoption, requires
examination from the standpoint of suitability, feasibility, and
acceptability. Suitability involves the factor of the appropriate
effect desired; feasibility involves the factors of the means
available and opposed, as influenced by the characteristics of the
theater; and acceptability involves the factor of the consequences as
to costs.

In order to establish a sound basis for the solution of a military
problem, one which will permit the tests for suitability, feasibility,
and acceptability (see pages 98-102) to be intelligently applied, it
is necessary that the factors involved be studied.


A. The Appropriate Effect Desired.

The appropriate effect desired, the first factor listed, is the goal
toward which the commander is working. He is enabled to form an
understanding of this essential aspect of his problem through (1) a
grasp of the salient features of the situation, (2) a recognition of
the incentive to solution, and (3) an appreciation of the assigned
objective. He expresses this understanding by (4) formulating the
mission.

The sequence in which the commander takes up these considerations is a
matter for his own choice. Usually, directives from higher authority
(see Chapter VIII as to the Order Form) give him, first, information
as to the situation; thereafter, such directives assign him a task (or
tasks) involving one or more assigned objectives. For this reason, the
sequence so indicated is the one utilized here.

(1) Summary of the Situation. Before the commander can decide whether
he wishes to maintain the existing situation or to change it, he
requires a mental picture of its salient features. On beginning the
Estimate, the available information is therefore briefly summarized.
The picture presented here will show in broad outline (page 79) the
opposing forces as disposed in localities which constitute relative
positions with reference to each other. Details are reserved for
Section I-B of the Estimate.

The appropriate data are noted on the chart, and study of the chart
goes hand in hand with the development of the Estimate.

The summary of the situation may include statements as to present
activities of own and enemy forces. It may recite significant
occurrences. It does not attempt to compare or to deduce; such
processes are deferred until Section I-B. The commander extracts, from
the information furnished by higher authority, such data as are
pertinent to his own problem. He includes these data in his own
summary, supplementing them by information from other sources, to the
extent deemed advisable. In the exercise of judgment as to the content
of his summary, the commander is influenced by the fact that the
summary is the point of departure for visualizing the appropriate
effect desired.

(2) Recognition of the Incentive. In basic problems (the type now
under discussion, see page 117), the commander finds his incentive in
directives received from higher authority. Under the procedure of the
Estimate, a notation of that fact, with a citation of the
directive(s), is all that is required to indicate that the commander
has formed a proper recognition of his incentive.

(3) Appreciation of the Assigned Objective. A correct understanding of
the nature and of the involvements of the assigned objective is,
naturally, an essential to the establishment of the basis for the
solution of a problem of the first step.

At this stage of the Estimate the commander cannot, however, expect
always to reach a final conclusion as to this matter. He will have
opportunity for further consideration, later, in Section II. It will
be realized that, after intervening portions of the Estimate have been
worked out, the commander will be in a position to examine the
assigned objective again, and to make a more thorough analysis.

In a basic problem, the commander is assigned his objective by higher
authority, usually in the form of an assigned task. Although, as
stated on page 84, such task may be expressed by one of various
methods, a properly conceived task always indicates, either
specifically or inferentially, an objective (or objectives).

Whatever method of expression may have been employed by higher
authority, the commander will facilitate his appreciation of the
assigned objective if he now sets down his assigned task, scrutinizes
it carefully, and then makes note of the objective which is either
specifically or inferentially indicated by that task. (See pages
52-54).

The commander's basis for solving the problem is not complete,
however, with merely a statement of his own objective. Full
visualization of the effect desired is not obtained until the
commander appreciates not only the result which he, himself, is
required to accomplish, but also the next further result which is
expected to eventuate as, at least in part, an effect of his
accomplishment. His goal, as an "effect desired", includes not only
the effect desired of him by higher authority, but also the effect
which his immediate superior desires to be accomplished by that
superior's entire force.

Occasionally, full appreciation of the commander's objective will
require, also, consideration of the further effects desired by yet
higher successive echelons.

The natural requirement is that the goal be so clearly defined as to
obviate any material doubt as to the implications involved in the
commander's assigned objective. When the goal has been thus defined,
there results a linking of effect and further effect, of objective and
further objective,--in short, of task and purpose,--the importance of
which has previously been emphasized (page 48).

In making notation of this further objective for the solution of
problems typical of the first step, the commander normally sets down
the general plan of his immediate superior for the employment of the
latter's entire force. When the linking of objective to objective,
echelon by echelon, has involved no complication, the immediate
superior's general plan will be a sufficient indication of the
purpose for which the commander is to carry out his task.

(4) Formulation of the Mission.

The linking of the commander's assigned task to the general plan of
his immediate superior permits the commander to formulate his mission
(page 87). His assigned task becomes the task of his mission; his
superior's general plan becomes the purpose of his mission. In this
manner he crystallizes into a clear statement the part of the common
effort which he is to carry out, indicating the assigned objective he
is himself to attain, as well as the further objective to whose
attainment his effort is to contribute.

In establishing the basis for solution of his problem with respect to
suitability, the commander may have considered his assigned objective
before studying his situation. If so, he may now desire to modify his
earlier statement of that objective, before incorporating it in the
formulation of his mission, to the end that a more clear-cut and
concise expression may be obtained.

The relationship (restated from page 87 for emphasis) is expressed in
the following;

    My assigned task is to be accomplished for the purpose of
    carrying out my designated part of my superior's general plan.

This formula is customarily simplified to the following:

    (Task) (statement of the assigned task),

    (Purpose) in order to assist in the successful execution of
    (statement of the superior's general plan).

The words "assist in the successful execution of" may frequently be
understood and therefore omitted.

The mission, thus formulated, clearly indicates the appropriate effect
desired, i.e., the factor which establishes the basis for the solution
of the problem from the standpoint of suitability.


B. Relative Fighting Strength.

As indicated in the Fundamental Military Principle, the second and
third requirements for a sound solution of the problem are feasibility
of accomplishment and acceptability of the consequences as to costs.

Both requirements have to do with the factors of relative fighting
strength. Fighting strength is derived from the means available as
influenced by the characteristics of the theater. Relative fighting
strength is determined by a weighing of these factors against the
means opposed, as influenced also by the characteristics of the
theater.

These are the factors, then, which are next studied in the Estimate.
They are studied in order to complete the establishment of the basis
for the solution of the problem.

       *       *       *       *       *

The factor of consequences, as listed in the Fundamental Military
Principle, is related to the factors pertinent to feasibility. This is
true because consequences are assessed, in the Estimate, on the basis
of the envisaged results of proposed actions. These results are
necessarily predicated on the grounds established by consideration of
the factors of relative fighting strength. The study of relative
fighting strength thus provides not only a sound basis for the
determination, later, of the feasibility of courses of action, but
also of their acceptability with respect to consequences as to costs.

Particular emphasis is placed on the conclusion as to relative fighting
strength, to the end that specific advantages may be ascertained. Such a
study is primarily concerned with information:--its collection, its
analysis, its evaluation, and its interpretation so as to convert it
into military (naval) intelligence (page 76), with a view to its use by
the commander in the solution of his problem. Information as to forces
present and as to their positions is of course prerequisite to a clear
comprehension of the possibilities as to physical objectives, as to
relative positions, as to apportionment of fighting strength, and as to
freedom of action.

The commander may choose whether he shall, in his estimate, first
consider the means available and opposed, or reverse the order and
give priority to the characteristics of the theater. In a particular
situation, the significance of these characteristics is frequently
determined by the capabilities and limitations of the means available
and opposed. For this reason, these means are first discussed in this
treatment, which thereafter includes the analysis of the
characteristics of the theater.

The capabilities and limitations of the means, and the significance of
the characteristics of the theater, may be expressed in terms of
certain specific factors (page 25). Each of these factors may
influence, or be influenced by, any or all of the others. Situations
occur in which certain factors exert little or no influence. Yet, in
other situations, these same factors have a paramount effect.

The classification of factors utilized in the following treatment is
applicable to most military problems.

A list of pertinent factors, to be of real use in the solution of
problems, is required, first, to be complete, so that no factor will
be overlooked, and, second, to be simple, so that, as far as
practicable, all similar data may be discussed under one heading.

With respect to the factors set forth in succeeding pages, the
solution of a particular problem may call for a different listing.

Such listing may involve, in some cases, the contraction or the
omission of certain of the headings.

In other cases, an expansion will be necessary or desirable under
certain headings, in considerably greater detail than shown here. For
example, Section I-B of a National Estimate may involve reference to
several volumes of printed books or of similar data, while, even in
ordinary strategical situations, numerous charts, books of sailing
directions, and other compilations may require study. Where such
references are not standard and generally available, they may be
appended, preferably in condensed form.

The proper listing of pertinent factors will depend on the nature of
the problem.


(1) Survey of the Means Available and Opposed.

The application of power, actually or by threat, is dependent on the
ability of the human and material components of fighting strength to
develop energy and to exert effort for purposes of combat (page 8).
These components, as ranged on one side or the other, constitute the
means available and opposed. (See page 31). Analysis of these means
requires a classification of the various factors which influence the
situation.

For a broad strategical estimate made by the State, economic and
political factors require intensive study; physical objectives,
relative position, apportionment of fighting strength, and freedom of
action are all involved in such a survey.

For a strategical estimate made by a high military commander, these
factors frequently enter to a lesser extent. Such a commander is
concerned only with the effect which these factors will have on the
operations projected for the particular theater involved in his
problem. From his point of view, the economic and political factors
often have little bearing on the elements of a favorable military
situation. In such a case, the commander concentrates in this section
on the factors more directly relating to the armed forces; his
important considerations deal with such matters as numerical
strength, types of weapons, disposition, and factors as to freedom of
action.

For strategical estimates of lesser scope, the commander further
restricts his study accordingly.

In detailed tactical estimates the commander requires an exhaustive
comprehension of the fighting capabilities of his own and the enemy
armed forces, because his selection of physical objectives and his use
of relative position are affected by such considerations. This is
manifestly true for studied tactical estimates made in advance to meet
contingencies, but its import is not always fully understood in its
bearing on the unfolding situation after the battle begins. At that
time, the most precise knowledge is called for, under the then rapidly
changing conditions. (Chapter IX.)

In the Form treated herein, those matters particularly applicable to
broad estimates are included under "general factors". These are
followed by the factors more directly applicable to the armed forces.

(a) General Factors. (i) Political Factors. The prosecution of the war
is directly influenced by such internal conditions as the strength of
the national government and its capacity for unified effort, the
moulding and maintaining of a firm public opinion in support of war
aims, the neutralization of subversive propaganda, and the degree to
which the government can make available necessary resources, both
domestic and foreign.

External relations modify the conduct of war, always affecting broad
estimates of the employment of national forces. The wartime factors
which influence these relations include the effect of the clash
between foreign opinion and national policy, the national bias of
interested neutrals and of unneutral non-belligerent governments, and
the normal attitude of such neutrals and non-belligerents toward each
belligerent. The diplomatic skill of the opposing governments and the
ability of propaganda to sway public opinion abroad may well determine
the manner in which neutrality will be enforced.

Alliances, including those that are known and those that are secret,
directly influence an estimate. When a war of any importance breaks
out in any part of the world, all States are affected to some degree.
One may have an alliance which, though not requiring active
participation in the war, will call for collaboration with the efforts
of a belligerent. Another alliance may require active participation,
while still another State may attempt to maintain strict neutrality.
Every State remaining at peace will thus be in a status ranging from
that of a non-belligerent, with more or less close ties to one of the
contestants, to a position of strict impartiality. The estimate of the
international situation becomes more complex as the magnitude of the
war increases. A correct appreciation of the status of each State
concerned is of first importance in any broad estimate of the conduct
of war.

(ii) Economic Factors. The capacity, organization, and mobilization of
industry influence the rapidity and adequacy with which material is
prepared for, and supplied to, the armed forces. The acceptance by the
civilian population of sacrifices, caused by the diversion to war uses
of the productive capacity of industry, will have a direct bearing
upon the industrial capacity of that State.

The ability and willingness to finance the war effort, which includes
the ability to tax, to float internal loans, and to create foreign
credits, may well determine the extent and duration of the national
capability for war.

The dependence of a nation upon the continuation of foreign trade,
including the necessity of obtaining new markets and new sources of
supply, affects its strength. No State yet has complete autarchy.
Thus, there is the necessity of obtaining from foreign sources certain
of the raw materials which are indispensable to the war effort. As
each belligerent may endeavor to deny sources of raw materials to the
other, a portion of the fighting power may be required for trade
protection.

(iii) Psychological Factors. The maintenance of a stable morale (page
72) at a high level is a primary concern. Such stability inures the
nation or command against the full effects of surprise, fear,
disappointment, despondency, and other weakening moral influences,
while at the same time taking full advantage of those influences which
strengthen the moral fiber of a people.

Training and experience influence morale, playing a part difficult to
overestimate. They provide a basis for evaluating discipline. A study
of the history of the State may prove valuable in estimating the
present condition in this respect; a nation or command which may be
classed as a veteran has an advantage over a beginner at the art of
war.

Another important factor relates to the existence of the skills
necessary for the production and use of the material means of war. The
control of skilled personnel is a psychological consideration of
great importance.

Unity of effort, or the lack of it, especially between management and
labor, may be one of the most important factors of the estimate.

Special attention is desirable as to national inventiveness and
versatility in the production of new and surprising means of war or in
development of methods that in any way contribute to a successful war
effort.

Racial or national characteristics may affect the estimates of morale
and training. Reactions of various races or groups to the conditions
of war have been sufficiently recorded, on the basis of past
performance, to prove of some value. Service traditions may furnish
clues for correct evaluation of psychological factors.

While only the physical elements of fighting strength are susceptible
of quantitative comparison, failure to take account of mental and
moral factors may involve serious error. Nevertheless, in many
situations, such factors remain relatively indeterminate until
subjected to test. Inferences may be drawn, and deductions made, on a
basis of peace-time observation and of historical precedent. In these,
racial and national characteristics may figure prominently. History,
however, has taught that, in a conflict between modern industrial and
military nations, it is unwise to entertain any assumption other than
that of moral equality until such time as the conflict has
demonstrated the existence of a difference, and the degree thereof, or
unless prior experience, observation, and acquaintance unquestionably
warrant otherwise.

(iv) Information and counter-information measures. Operations of war
are tremendously affected by the information which each belligerent
possesses of the others. It is therefore of vital importance to weigh
the efficiency of the belligerents in the employment of means of
obtaining, denying, and utilizing information.

There may appropriately be considered present, probable, or possible
use or non-use of indirect methods such as: study of press, captured
documents, and material; reports from other friendly units;
interrogation of prisoners of war, deserters, inhabitants, and escaped
or exchanged prisoners; radio direction-finding; efficiency of
cryptography; interception of enemy radio, telegraph, telephone, and
mail communications; espionage; censorship; propaganda; efficiency of
communications systems, ashore and afloat, which include all means of
interchange of thought. In this connection it will be recalled that
information, however accurate and appropriate, is useless if it cannot
be conveyed in time.

The direct methods of obtaining information are military operations
intended for that purpose, such as observation, reconnaissance,
scouting, trailing.

Counter-information measures are no less important than those
pertaining to collection of information. Such measures include all
provisions for secrecy, such as censorship, counter-espionage,
cryptography, control of own communications, security of documents,
camouflage, and applicable tactical operations.

(b) Factors More Directly Applicable to Armed Forces, (i) Vessels,
including aircraft. The numbers and characteristics, of the ships and
aircraft of the various nations of the world are known with less and
less accuracy from the time when war becomes a probability. The
information available is given intense and comparative scrutiny, under
the specific headings of the factors of the Estimate Form as later
enumerated.

(ii) Land forces, including land-based aviation. Important facts
concerning the land forces of the enemy, including his land-based
aviation, will be known, probably, to a lesser extent than in the case
of the naval forces. The value of a comparison--naval, land, or
air--may depend upon whether the intelligence service has improved the
accuracy of these data, maintained them up to date, and collected
accurate additional information.

(iii) Personnel. The status of enemy personnel as to the sufficiency
of numbers effectively to man all implements, as to training, morale,
skill, stamina, and willingness to accept the supreme sacrifice, can
seldom be accurately known. Unless there is positive information to
the contrary, the wise commander will assume in this respect that the
status of the personnel available to his opponent is at least equal to
that of his own command. Full consideration will be given to all known
facts concerning own personnel, to the end that its worth in any
proposed situation may be properly evaluated.

The basic discussion of the psychological factors (page 125) is
applicable here as to the respective armed forces. Personal
characteristics of commanders, so far as known, deserve full study,
since they have an important bearing on relative fighting strength.
The military value of the various units and forces is a similar
consideration. The present attitude and past actions of enemy
commanders and of their commands, and the factor of racial, national,
and service characteristics, may furnish clues for correct evaluation
in this connection.

(iv) Material. The material characteristics of the commander's own
implements of war are generally known to him. The characteristics of
enemy material can only be estimated from such data as have become
available, but are not to be underestimated.

Material characteristics embrace armament, life, and mobility.

Armament relates to the caliber and number of guns, and to other
weapons such as torpedoes, mines, depth-charges and aircraft (with
their own weapons). It also includes chemical agents and other
instrumentalities, together with the types, potentialities as to
range, and the number or amount of each available, both for immediate
use and as replacements. Ammunition supply is a factor here. In the
evaluation of foreign armaments, sufficient data are often available
to make a reasonable estimate, but care is desirable not to
underestimate.

Life is the ability to withstand punishment; it is expressed in terms
of standards which can be clearly visualized. For a vessel, life is
the ability to absorb damage while carrying out its assigned task. In
the absence of definite factual data, evaluation of the life of
foreign vessels will sometimes prove difficult. Here, again, an
underestimate is dangerous.

Mobility is capability of movement. It is compounded of the elements
of speed, radius, and the ability to operate under imposed conditions
of weather, visibility, hydrography, and other possible obstacles to
certain and free movement. Mobility is one of the most important
factors pertaining directly to relative position, to apportionment of
fighting strength, and to freedom of action. Closely related factors
are the organization, disposition, and methods of operation of the
enemy, and of own forces. Accurate knowledge of these factors, before
an operation, greatly enhances the possibilities of dealing
effectively with the enemy.

The condition of the implements of war embraces such factors as the
efficiency of motive machinery, the integrity of underwater
compartments and other material construction, and physical endurance.
The last applies not only to material, but also to living beings, and
involves the ability to withstand the wasting effects of operations,
whether due to fatigue, hardship, disease, worry, wounds, or other
causes. Here again, it is obvious that the commander will often have
only an imperfect idea of the condition of the enemy in this respect.
His experience will lead him to form an accurate estimate of his own
condition. Definitely, unless he has positive information to the
contrary, he assumes that the condition of the enemy is no worse or
better than his own. (See also the psychological factors, page 125 and
the personnel factor, page 127).

(v) Logistics support is of primary concern to the commander. In the
naval service, this is particularly true of the strategical estimate.
While the factor may also have some bearing on a tactical estimate,
logistics support will rarely change sufficiently, during a naval
battle, to affect the outcome. This support exercises a dominant
influence upon the fighting power of armed forces. It is concerned
with the availability, adequacy, and supply of the following:

    Material: items such as fuel, ammunition, weapons, aircraft,
        food, clothing, spare parts, repair materials, animals,
        and general supplies.

    Personnel: military and civilian; number and quality of
        replacements.

    Facilities: factors such as bases; manufacture and repair
        facilities, afloat and ashore; shelter; sanitation;
        hospitalization; recreation; transportation; education;
        counter-espionage; counter-propaganda.

The limitation imposed upon operations by logistics represents the
final limit of a commander's plan of action.


(2) Survey of the Characteristics of the Theater of Operations.

The characteristics of the theater of operations exert an influence,
always important, sometimes paramount, upon the possibility of
attaining the objective, and upon the strategical and tactical
operations that may be employed.

At this point in his estimate the commander utilizes his charts,
intelligence reports, and hydrographic publications to make a factual
study of the theater. This study is not for the purpose, at this time,
of drawing any conclusions as to possible courses of action, but to
furnish data which will assist in consideration of later sections of
the estimate. The study may be made under several important headings,
as follows:

(a) Hydrography. A study of the hydrography will determine the depth
of water, the existence of shoals, the presence of unusual currents,
the rise and fall of the tides, the availability of channels, and
other pertinent features. These are recorded for later use.

Shallow water may permit mining or may prevent the operation of
submarines. On the other hand, the ability to mine in shallow water
may be curtailed by strong currents or by the rise and fall of the
tide. Again, the depth of water, the strength of currents, and the
range of the tide may determine the feasibility of netting the
entrance to a port or base. In a tactical action, advantage may be
taken of shoals to limit the freedom of action of the enemy, without,
however, interfering with that of one's own forces.

(b) Topography. The topography of the area is also frequently of
interest to the naval commander. In actions close to the shore, the
character of the coast may play an important role. A high bluff,
combined with considerations as to light, may create a very definite
advantage or disadvantage in a naval tactical situation.

Topography may be a most important consideration in determining what
bases are to be used. The commander makes note of the topography of
the various possible bases; later in his estimate, the natural
features lending assistance to the defense of the various sites may
play an important part in the selection of bases.

The use of channels may depend upon the topography of the bordering
land. Questions arise as to whether such land can be seized and held,
or, if in friendly hands, whether it can afford adequate protection to
the channel.

In any landing operation, the topography of the area to be occupied
may be the controlling factor.

(c) Weather. The seasonal weather in the theater will have a direct
bearing upon operations. The use of aircraft, the employment of light
forces, the habitability of ships over long periods, the use of smoke,
the range at which a gun action may be fought, the effect of spray and
gases,--these considerations are but some of the matters which will be
affected by weather.

The possession of, and the position of, meteorological stations within
the theater are of growing importance in the successful planning of
coordinated air, submarine, and surface operations.

(d) Daylight and Dark Periods. It may be well under this heading to
put in tabular form the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset,
the phases of the moon, and the duration of morning and evening
twilight. When, for example, the commander is considering night
destroyer attacks, the operation of submarines, or the type of
protective screens he desires to use, he may profitably refer to these
tabulations.

(e) Relative Location and Distance. No part of the study of the
characteristics of the theater is of greater importance than that
pertaining to relative location and distance. At this point it may be
found advantageous to place in tabular form the distances between the
important positions within the geographical area of the theater. This
study furnishes knowledge as to the availability of certain localities
for use in support of, or in cooperation with, forces at other
localities, and as to distances in relation to steaming capabilities
of the various units which make up the commander's force.

(f) Lines of Transportation and Supply. The usual sea routes which
pass through the theater are an important subject of study; also,
particular focal points, defiles, and restricted waters which are, or
may prove to be, critical areas with respect to own or enemy forces.
Other items are the significant routes from home or enemy territory,
i.e., the lines of communication, the terminal points, and the
flanking positions along these lines.

(g) Facilities and Fortifications. The facilities for the support,
upkeep, and repair of the units of the commander's forces and of the
opposing force, as well as the fortifications existing within the
area, may require consideration. Other features which may render a
port or base of value, or which may indicate a possible necessity of
denying it to the enemy, also merit attention.

(h) Communications. In strategical estimates, more particularly in
broad ones covering large theaters, study of communications involves
not only those means under the commander's control, but also his
relation to the system of regional and national communications
operated by his government. Examination is made into the established
physical stations; such examination includes radio, cables, and
perhaps land wires.

In tactical estimates the means of communication which affect the
engagement are more directly those under the control of the commander.
An examination into the organization of the means to meet conditions
prevailing in the theater is appropriate here.

Another aspect of communications is that of maintaining all forms
against enemy interference. The importance of this feature in planning
may not safely be overlooked, and careful study is indicated to
provide for guaranteeing communications during action. The
characteristics of the theater, as they relate to this feature, are
considered here.

For the same reason, consideration of interference with enemy
communications is included, so far as significance attaches to them
with respect to the theater of operations.

This portion of the Estimate Form varies greatly with the type of
problem under consideration. However, in all estimates, this is the
place where the commander searches the theater for factors affecting
communications for the particular problem.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the completion of this subsection of the estimate, the commander
has assembled and placed in workable form the information to which he
expects to refer in the succeeding parts of the estimate.


(3) Conclusions as to Relative Fighting Strength.

Having surveyed the means available and opposed, as well as the
characteristics of the theater of operations, the commander will find
it useful to summarize the pertinent information available, in order
that the strength and weakness of own and enemy forces can be readily
visualized and compared. Thus the existing advantages and
disadvantages are made apparent, and conclusions are drawn as to
relative fighting strength.

A satisfactory procedure is to place strength and weakness factors in
parallel columns for own and enemy forces. From careful consideration
of the facts so far determined in Section I-B, there are extracted and
expressed briefly the pertinent strength and weakness factors.

It is usually easier to determine all the strength and weakness
factors in detailed tactical estimates than in broad strategical
estimates.

The former deal in relatively more factual terms, with definite
comparisons such as with respect to maximum speeds, numbers and
caliber of guns, numbers and types of aircraft, numbers and types of
torpedoes, and other such items which give the factual basis for
comparison.

In broad strategical estimates, this factual basis is present, e.g.,
as to distances, radii of ships, geographical locations of forces, and
the like. But other factors may not be so definite, especially as
regards enemy forces. For example, it will often be difficult for the
commander to say that the enemy's logistics problem is easier or more
difficult than his own, unless he has a good idea of the amount of
fuel, ammunition, and stores available to the enemy within the time
limits involved. The evaluation of training, spirit, health, and
courage of personnel is, as previously noted, relatively easy to
determine for own forces, but more or less of a conjecture in regard
to the enemy.

The value of the entries in the parallel columns at this point of the
estimate will depend upon the skill of the commander in judging the
factual data contained in all of the known factors of strength and
weakness. The proper entries to be made will depend upon
circumstances. In one estimate, for example, the anti-aircraft
armament available to a carrier group will be of vital importance. In
another estimate of the same carrier group, anti-aircraft defense will
be of no importance because no enemy aircraft can be employed in the
situation being estimated. Again, in a local tactical situation, if
the ships involved have just been fueled, the economical steaming
radius may be of no immediate importance. And while the total amount
of high-test gasoline which can be produced in a State in the coming
year may be vital to a broad strategical estimate involving war
against trade, that information may be of little use in a tactical
estimate of a localized, fleeting situation.

Thus, in determining what factors to evaluate, and in assessing their
relative value, the commander considers only such as can possibly
affect the effort to be made in the theater under consideration. The
summary of strength and weakness factors is, then, a summary of those
factors which the commander considers will affect the character of his
effort. This summary indicates the relative importance of such
factors.

A mere list of facts will not serve the purpose. What is needed here
is a series of evaluations and conclusions which may result from a
study of the pertinent details.

With the circumstances attending his particular problem clearly in
mind, the commander carefully reviews each of the factors of fighting
strength in the theater; he classes each as either a strength or
weakness factor for himself or his opponent, and enters it in the
proper column. A strength factor for one is not necessarily entered as
a weakness factor for the opponent:--what is required is a
well-digested summary of the factors which give to either side an
advantage or a disadvantage as compared to the other.


NOTE

The Estimate procedure has, to this point, established the basis for
the solution of the problem through evaluation of the factors
pertaining to the requirements of suitability, of feasibility, and of
acceptability of the consequences as to costs.

On this basis, the commander is ready to consider such courses of
action as may be pertinent. To this end, he has a choice of
procedures. He may first consider courses of action for himself. He
may prefer, however, to consider first those which are applicable to
the enemy.

If the commander considers his own courses of action first, this
procedure has an advantage in that it narrows, later, the scope of
enemy courses which are pertinent to his situation. This is true
because consideration of enemy courses may in such a case be
restricted to those which give promise of countering, effectively, his
own courses of action.

This procedure may also have a certain psychological advantage, in
that the commander may thereby avoid becoming unduly impressed by the
potentialities of enemy action. Occasionally, prior consideration of
enemy courses may tend to put the commander, unnecessarily, on the
mental defensive.

First consideration of his own courses of action is especially
appropriate for a commander whose mission requires him to assume the
initiative, particularly when the relative fighting strength indicates
that he can compel enemy action to conform to his. This is frequently
the case when enemy action will chiefly affect details rather than the
general trend of the operations.

These reflections indicate that first consideration of his own courses
of action will very frequently be advantageous to the commander. Such
a sequence is therefore indicated preferentially in the Estimate Form,
and next discussed. However occasions may arise when consideration in
the reverse order is preferable. Sometimes the prior consideration of
enemy potentialities has the advantage of making the commander's
estimate more complete with respect to the obstacles which he is to
overcome. Furthermore, when the effectiveness of his future action is
seen to depend chiefly upon what the enemy can do, or when the
initiative lies manifestly with the enemy, and when the commander's
mission requires him to frustrate enemy action, rather than to assume
the initiative himself, the prior consideration of enemy courses of
action may be indicated.

The commander may therefore consider the subject matter of Sections II
and III in the order hereinafter followed, or he may reverse that
order.


SECTION II

DETERMINATION OF SUITABLE, FEASIBLE, AND ACCEPTABLE COURSES OF ACTION

A. Analysis of the Assigned Objective.

In order further to clarify the problem, consideration of the
commander's courses of action may profitably commence with an analysis
(page 53) of the assigned objective. Section I-A contained an
appreciation of this objective on the basis of the salient features of
the situation. A close examination is now possible in the light of the
additional information furnished by the full details (Section I-B) as
to the means available and opposed, and as to the characteristics of
the theater (page 121).

Accordingly, the mission (page 121), is now again stated, and is
restudied. The task is thoughtfully examined anew, in view of the
forces and positions now known. The purpose is scrutinized with equal
care, because it indicates the further end in view for the common
effort. Now, obstacles to success which, in Section I-A, could not
fully be appreciated can be examined against the background afforded
by visualization of the enemy's ability to oppose the attainment of
the assigned objective.

This analysis calls for such discussion by the commander as is
essential to better understanding of his assigned objective. Some
restatement and repetition may be desirable as to the subjects already
discussed under the appreciation of the assigned objective. In solving
certain types of problems, where simple estimates, only, are required,
there may be no necessity for further treatment. Even in these cases,
however, the commander restates his mission in this subsection, in
order to ensure a clear comprehension of its task and purpose, as a
sound basis for his further solution of the problem.


B. Survey of Courses of Action.

The Fundamental Military Principle (page 41) represents an equation
(page 23) based on five factors: the appropriate effect desired, the
means available, the means opposed, the characteristics of the
theater, and the consequences as to costs. Of these five factors, all
but the last (the consequences as to costs) have by this time, in the
course of the estimate, been assigned values as definite as the
commander's information and his study permit.

From this point on, the problem is to evolve tentative solutions
(courses of action) and to test them (page 98), severally, by
reference to the factors. The tests as to suitability and feasibility
can now be made with reference to the known factors. The test as to
acceptability of the consequences involves an unknown factor. However,
for each tentative solution of the problem, a value can be assigned
for this factor, because all five factors are interdependent (pages 32
and following), so that the value of any of them can be set by a study
of the others. It is through this procedure that evaluation of the
consequences factor is accomplished (an application of the corollary
Principle of the Acceptable Consequences as to Costs, page 35).

By means of the standard tests, the several tentative solutions are
also compared to each other in the light of envisaged enemy action, so
as to enable the commander to select the best solution.

       *       *       *       *       *

The commander now, as a result of his reflective thinking as to
courses of action, makes a list of those which he has visualized for
himself. There may be one course of action, or many; ordinarily there
are several.

Examples of courses of action have been given in the basic discussion
of the subject (pages 89 and 92). In listing his courses, the
commander can add to clarity of thought and of expression by
visualizing the objective embodied in each course and by envisaging
also, the action, expressed in proper detail, for its attainment. This
process is naturally the more important when the objective is inferred
rather than specifically expressed, and when the action involved calls
for more description than can be obtained merely by stating the
objective.

For example, the commander may include a course of action such as "to
raid enemy trade in the area EFGH". The objective is here inferred; it
is not clearly stated. The commander may therefore be well advised to
add a notation of what the objective is; indeed, more than one
objective may be involved. Objectives thus inferred might include,
when specifically stated, the infliction of damage on enemy trade, the
infliction of damage on enemy combatant forces protecting such trade,
the disruption of enemy supply arrangements, or such others as may be
applicable.

This clear visualization is essential to the establishment of the
relationship between the assigned objective and the objective inherent
in the course of action (page 89). If, for instance, the motivating
task is to "divert enemy forces to the area EFGH", the commander may
consider the course of action "to raid enemy trade in area EFGH". By
infliction of damage to, and by disruption of, enemy supply
(objectives of his raiding), he expects to accomplish the diversion of
enemy forces to the area EFGH, because the enemy will wish to protect
his trade against such raids. The relationship between the assigned
objective and the objective inferred in the course of action is thus
made clear.

With regard to expression of the action to be taken, the commander may
properly desire to be more explicit than by merely saying, for
example, "to destroy the enemy". Here the objective is clear (it is
"the destruction of the enemy"), but the expression of the action is
so general that additional description may be needed. Examples of more
explicit statement have been given previously (page 89).

On occasion the higher commander may predetermine the commander's
course of action for the attainment of the objective assigned to the
latter. Circumstances under which such procedure may be properly
applicable, and the effect which it has on the commander's estimate,
have been previously discussed (page 86).


C. Application of Tests for Suitability, Feasibility, and
Acceptability.

The courses of action which the commander has envisaged are now
subjected to test (page 98). This essential stage in thought is
intended to put the courses of action to proof as tentative solutions
of the problems. The principle here recognized is that suggestion has
no logical nor rightful claim upon action or belief until it has
received adequate confirmation. Such confirmation is, in part,
provided by these tests.

The tests applied are for suitability, for feasibility, and for
acceptability as to consequences. Each of these tests is a separate
one. Each course of action is formally subjected to test. When the
tests are completed, the courses of action stand classified in these
respects. During these tests, some courses of action may be rejected;
such are then omitted in the final classification.

These formal tests are not to be confused with the preliminary tests
already given by the commander to each course of action as it occurs
to mind. Necessarily, there is such a preliminary test, because the
commander does not wish to entertain inappropriate courses of action.
For a competent commander, the mental power to envisage solutions of a
military problem is so much grounded in experience that appropriate
suggestions are most likely to occur; in fact, discriminating thought
with respect to military problems is natural for such a commander.
This immediate discrimination is, however, merely the preliminary
test. It prevents setting up wooden soldiers only to knock them down,
but it does not necessarily subject each suggested solution to a
thorough analysis.

The commander may apply the tests to each course of action as it
occurs to his mind. This procedure, however, may be rendered
impossible by the fertility of suggestion; perhaps the commander has
thought of several courses of action practically simultaneously. It
is, therefore, often better to apply the tests to all of the courses
of action, in turn, during a separate stage of the process of
thinking. This is the procedure indicated herein, as standard, by the
sequence of steps in this section of the Estimate. The process of
testing, itself, may bring to mind those combinations of courses of
action previously referred to (page 93).

The degree of formality characteristic of the tests varies with the
nature of the problem. In a broad strategical estimate, these tests
may be searching and extensive; they may then consume much time. Yet,
if the commander, in making a quick decision of great urgency in
actual battle, does not apply the tests, he may adopt a course of
action leading to tragic results. In such circumstances, the competent
commander, under pressure of danger, grasps the whole complex
situation without loss of time. He is not carried away by any chance
impressions. He does not overlook what is significant in the
unexpected event. Because he is mentally prepared for the exercise of
command (page 114) he sees things in their true proportions (page 4).
In immediate response, he coolly chooses the same course of action
which he would adopt if he had time for careful deliberation.

In making the tests, the commander rejects courses of action found
unsuitable in that they will not, if successfully prosecuted,
contribute to the attainment of the objective. He does not, as yet,
reject courses of action found to be promising of only partial
accomplishment of the task, because there may be later possibilities
of effecting combinations to this end.

The commander also rejects, at this point, courses of action found to
be infeasible of accomplishment. He is careful, however, not to
reject, abruptly, any which may later be found to be feasible in
combination with other courses.

Similarly, the commander now rejects courses of action found to
involve excessive consequences as to costs. Here, again, however, he
bears in mind the possibilities of later combinations.

The commander does not, as yet, make a selection of one course of
action in preference to another. He merely desires to restrict further
thought, toward his Decision, to those which are found, on the basis
of the estimate so far, to be suitable, feasible, and acceptable. He
may, however, make a selection to the extent of effecting proper
combinations whose applicability has already been demonstrated.

The commander also takes stock, at this stage of the estimate, of the
relative degree of suitability, feasibility, and acceptability of
retained courses, so far as can be substantiated.


D. Listing Retained Courses of Action.

The foregoing process indicates to the commander the courses of action
which may properly be retained as suitable, as feasible, and as
acceptable. He therefore draws up a list of retained courses and
classifies them according to the degree of their suitability, of their
feasibility, and of their acceptability with respect to consequences.

This list does not necessarily represent the final combinations of
courses of action; the incomplete solutions may yet become part of the
course of action finally selected. Also it is not impossible that
combinations already made will subsequently be recombined as a result
of further analysis.

It may be apparent to the commander at this time that he does not
have, as yet, any course of action which fulfills the test of
suitability as to scope, either originally or by combination. A later
conclusion is made (Section V) as to final combinations to achieve
full scope. This conclusion, however, may point the way, as later
observed, to a Decision adopting an objective short of that which
would, if achieved, lead to the accomplishment of the motivating task.


SECTION III

EXAMINATION INTO THE CAPABILITIES OF THE ENEMY

While the commander realizes that the Fundamental Military Principle
(page 41) governs the enemy's problem no less than his own, he has to
accept more of hypothesis and conjecture (the so-called "fog of war")
in applying the principle to the enemy's situation. The method of
reflective thinking utilized (Section II) for the commander's own
problem calls for certain further safeguards in application to the
enemy capabilities, since they are of course usually not so well known
to the commander as are his own.

Capabilities, in the meaning applicable herein, indicate actions which
the force concerned, unless forestalled or prevented from taking such
actions, has the capacity to carry out. Such potentialities of the
enemy are of course among the vital factors to be considered in
estimating the situation. In his estimate, however, the commander's
interest is not confined to what the enemy will probably do;
probabilities are subject to change, and do not, therefore, cover the
whole field of capabilities. The commander is not exclusively
interested in what the enemy may intend to do, or even in what the
enemy may be known, at the time, to intend to do; such intentions are
also subject to change. The commander is interested in everything that
the enemy can do which may materially influence the commander's own
courses of action.

In reaching a conclusion as to enemy capabilities, the commander makes
an estimate from the enemy's viewpoint and considers that the enemy
commander, faced with the counterpart of his own situation, is
endeavoring to attain objectives in furtherance of his own mission.
Each commander is endeavoring to create for himself a favorable
military situation, and to prevent his opponent from succeeding in the
same intent. The physical objectives for each may be the other's armed
forces; certain positions, sea areas, harbors, or territory may also
be likely physical objectives.

In such a parallel building up of plans, it is possible that the
opposing forces may not come, at least for a time, into actual
conflict. More especially in the initial stages, the respective plans
may lead to operations in different parts of the theater. Again, the
geographical direction of search may cause the forces to miss contact.
Moreover, unless one commander definitely makes provision to seek out
and engage, the two forces, each on the defensive, may find themselves
"shaking fists" at each other across an ocean area.

Notwithstanding this possibility, however, a conclusion, on an
insufficient basis, that the enemy will or will not seek him out and
engage him, or that the enemy will or will not do anything else, may
be fraught with the most serious consequences for the commander.
Accordingly, in estimating the enemy's situation, he puts himself in
the enemy's position, while subordinating his own hopes and desires.
He credits the enemy with the possession of good judgment and of the
resolution and ability to apply with skill the fundamentals of
effective warfare, subject, naturally, to the justified conclusions
which the commander has drawn (Section I-B) on the basis of the
available factual data as to relative fighting strength.


A. Survey of the Enemy's Problem.

This portion of the commander's estimate pertains, of course, to the
existing situation as viewed by the enemy. This fact, alone, may
inject into the problem certain factors which differ from those
applicable with respect to the commander's view of his own problem, as
determined to this point.

(1) Summary of the Enemy's Situation.

Frequently it may happen that the enemy does not have certain
significant information. The fact of such lack of information may have
been established by the conclusions drawn as to relative fighting
strength (Section I-B). If this be the case, notation of the fact is
made at this point in the commander's estimate of the enemy's
situation. If doubt exists as to the extent and accuracy of the
enemy's information, it will be desirable to credit the enemy with any
knowledge which it would be dangerous for the commander to conclude
was not available to his opponent.

In summarizing the enemy's situation, the commander may brief the
procedure by indicating those significant features of his own
situation, as summarized in Section I-A and as particularized in
Section I-B, which he does not consider are known to the enemy. The
commander will also indicate here any items of important information
as to which he has only a suggestion or an inkling, but which he
considers may be known in greater detail to the enemy.

(2) Analysis of the Effect Desired by the Enemy.

It may appear on first thought that the best basis for determining the
pertinent enemy courses of action is to make a deduction of the
enemy's mission. Sometimes, undoubtedly, this is the case. However, it
is not always possible to deduce the enemy's mission correctly. If the
deduction is incorrect the remainder of the estimate will be on an
unsound basis. If, as may happen, the enemy's plan has been captured,
or if, by some other method, conclusive information has been
obtained, it may be possible to state the enemy's mission. Even then,
however, the enemy's mission may sometimes be changed. It is thus
evident that the commander, by restricting his thought, may frequently
fail to consider all of the enemy capabilities which may materially
influence his own course of action.

With this precaution in mind, the commander, at this point in his
Estimate, proceeds to analyze the effect desired by the enemy. The
commander intends to use his deductions, if such use appears to be
sound, to narrow the field of consideration as to enemy courses of
action. However, he reminds himself that such restriction will be
dangerous unless it is established on sound grounds.

The first mental act toward determining the effect desired by the
enemy is to form a reasoned opinion as to the situation which the
enemy wishes to maintain or to create. The maintenance or creation of
this situation, existent or to be brought about, is an enemy
objective.

From earlier association with the enemy, from intelligence of his
peacetime preparations, and from a knowledge of his political and
military history, his broad current policies are generally matters of
common report. The motives impelling the enemy to action may thus be
evident. Past or present tendencies of the enemy, along certain
specific lines of endeavor, may be known. These may be corroborated by
the enemy action which has recently occurred.

In military undertakings of major scope the objectives of the enemy
are often difficult of concealment. A survey of the objectives which
the enemy has been pursuing may allow a reasoned opinion to be formed
as to the enemy's immediate objectives,--whether, at least, his future
action will be offensive or defensive. The importance to be attached
by the enemy to certain physical objectives may be indicated by the
broad aims known to exist. Present composition and disposition of the
enemy's forces may betray the effort which he intends. Circumstances,
clearly disadvantageous to the commander's forces, may disclose what
his enemy's aim may be for maintaining or creating a favorable (enemy)
military situation.

However scant or incomplete the data from such sources or from others,
the commander seeks to gain, by piecing together, a composite basis of
workable value in arriving at a sound conclusion as to the enemy's
future action.

The enemy objective thus visualized may serve as the purpose of the
enemy's mission. The situation thus envisaged may be specific or broad
in nature, depending on the soundness of the deductions. This, in
turn, will depend on the extent and character of the information
available.

It may now be possible to deduce a definite task, which when
accomplished, will attain the indicated purpose. However, as
previously stated, it is not desirable to be unduly specific. The
commander reflects on the several possibilities which if carried out
will attain the purpose. By being inclusive instead of restrictive in
this matter, he avoids the danger of overlooking enemy capabilities.
Moreover, the information available will not always justify the
derivation of a specific task.

By this process of reasoning, the commander may arrive at a studied
opinion as to the enemy's appropriate effect desired. The commander's
safeguard is that he has not been too restrictive or specific. He
expects to encompass within his conclusion the limits of the enemy's
objectives and actions, so that his own planned action will not fail
to cover all enemy action which can materially influence the
situation.

Situations may be encountered when, in the equation referred to in
Section II-B (page 135), no value can be assigned the factor of the
appropriate effect desired which will constitute a sufficient basis
for deducing enemy courses of action. Such situations are not unusual,
especially in problems of lesser scope. In such cases, the commander
is compelled to consider all possible enemy courses of action which
can materially influence his own plan. Therefore, in instances of this
nature, it is apparent that the procedure of giving first
consideration to the commander's own courses of action affords the
advantage of (see page 134) narrowing the field as to the enemy
capabilities.


B. Survey of Enemy Capabilities.

If, then (to repeat, because of the importance of the matter), the
commander believes that he has, in the deduced enemy effect desired, a
sufficient basis for evolving all pertinent enemy capabilities, he now
proceeds, by the mental process described in Section II, to list the
enemy courses of action which he thinks merit attention. If there be
no adequate basis, the commander will find it desirable to list all
enemy courses of action which can materially affect his own effort.

The survey of fighting strength (Section I-B) has established, through
consideration of the "means available and opposed", and of the
"characteristics of the theater", the limitations of enemy
capabilities from the standpoint of feasibility. Because, however, so
much of the enemy's situation is usually conjectural, it is important
to give the most searching attention to the comparison summary in
Section I-B,--in fact, to consider fully every element of weakness and
strength, and of advantage and disadvantage. Such a study will
disclose every possibility which the enemy might exploit. The
commander may thus determine, for example, the enemy strength which
can be moved into positions within time limits that can affect the
commander's courses of action; he can also examine into possibilities
of obtaining information concerning the enemy's moves.

Such a study enables the commander to envisage the enemy operations
which presumably can materially affect his own plans. He may now list
the presumed capabilities of the enemy, in the form of courses of
action, for purposes of further analysis. Naturally, he lists courses
which appear to be suitable, feasible, and acceptable as to
consequences, but formal tests are deferred until the next phase of
the estimate.


C. Application of Tests for Suitability, Feasibility, and
Acceptability.

Having listed pertinent enemy courses of action as described above,
the commander next tests them for suitability, for feasibility, and
for acceptability as to their consequences.

The procedure is the same as for his own courses of action (Section
II). However, since the enemy's appropriate effect desired, if
deducible at all, is often only an approximation, the test for
suitability is usually less rigid or absolute than for the commander's
own courses of action. By the same token, since the enemy's fighting
strength will usually include elements of conjecture and hypothesis,
the test for feasibility may be less reliable than when applied to the
commander's own courses. In fact, if there are any reasonable doubts
as to feasibility of an enemy course of action, it is properly
retained for further consideration. The same considerations and the
same safeguard apply with respect to acceptability of the
consequences.


D. Listing Retained Enemy Courses of Action.

All enemy courses of action which, after test, are retained for
further study are now listed by the commander.

While it is manifestly of advantage to the commander if the number of
enemy courses can reasonably be reduced to only a few or even to one,
it is important that no material enemy capability be neglected because
of undue restriction of the field.

The previous analysis will have indicated, at least, in some cases,
the degree of suitability and feasibility, and will have enabled the
commander to form a considered opinion as to any preference, from the
enemy viewpoint, on the basis of consequences as to costs.

In many instances, therefore, it will be possible to arrange retained
enemy courses in order of priority, i.e., the more likely being listed
before the less likely. In case of doubt, the higher priority is
awarded by the commander to enemy courses which are more dangerous
from his (the commander's) point of view.

In other instances, no priority can properly be indicated.

As a result of this study, the commander may now be able to combine
certain enemy courses. In any case, he closes this portion of the
estimate with a list of them, classified so far as he finds
justifiable, and thus made available for further effective use in the
estimate.


SECTION IV

SELECTION OF THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION

The extent to which detail is desirable in Section IV of the Estimate
will vary with the nature of the problem (page 95). Experience usually
demonstrates, however, that an estimate in only the necessary detail
escapes the danger inherent in undue detail which would tend to befog
the main issues. As the commander proceeds with his estimate, he will
recognize the need for additional examination into details, and will
conduct such examination accordingly.


A. Analysis and Comparison of Retained Courses of Action.

The next step in the estimate is the natural one of comparing the
commander's retained courses of action with those of the enemy which
have been retained for further study. This process consists of
executing, in imagination, the plan contained in each of the
commander's courses of action, against that in each of the enemy's.
One method is for the Commander to take the initiative with each of
his plans and mentally to push it through with vigor. By this
procedure, he concentrates his thought on the effect to be produced,
on the changed situation which that effect will bring about for the
enemy, on the modification in the enemy's effort which will be
caused, on the resulting obstacles which these modifications will
create, and on the provisions which will have to be made to overcome
the obstacles.

It will at once be apparent that the commander may have to re-estimate
the enemy situation during this analysis. Such necessity arises
because of the changes made by his own course of action upon the enemy
situation. The commander will desire to reach a studied conclusion as
to what counter action the enemy may take when the nature of the
planned action against him becomes evident. This re-estimate of the
situation may be brief, as it is an adjustment of factors which are
familiar through previous examination. Sometimes the re-estimate will
have been made mentally, before reaching this point, and adjustments
may already have been made in the written estimate, in anticipation of
this contingency. Sometimes the commander may find it desirable, after
reaching this point, to re-write, at least in part, his original enemy
estimate (Section III). The particular procedure adopted is
unimportant; the important feature is to recognize that such a
re-estimate process is normal, and especially so with reference to
this portion of the Estimate.

The foregoing discussion illustrates the point that an examination
into enemy capabilities is not complete if the commander puts himself
in the enemy's place merely for the purpose of estimating the original
situation from the enemy viewpoint. In addition, the commander
examines each of the enemy's modified problems which the changed
situation, created by the execution of the commander's plan, has
superimposed upon the enemy's original problem. Thus only can the
commander analyze the various ways whereby the enemy may oppose his
own proposed courses of action. Thus only may sound conclusion later
be reached, in the next subsection of the estimate, as to what course
of action, or combination of courses, is the best.

The comparison of plan against plan thus far has been restricted to
the method whereby the commander takes the initiative with each of his
own retained courses of action. Another method is to imagine the enemy
as taking the initiative, carrying through each of his courses against
each of the commander's courses. This method is applicable, for
instance, to cases where the enemy is able to initiate action which,
by its nature, would frustrate the execution of any of the commander's
courses. The choice of methods is a matter of judgment on the part of
the commander.

It is rarely that courses of action can be compared without resolving
each, to some extent, into the detailed operations which it comprises.
However, this analysis is confined, as previously explained (see page
145), to the details whose consideration is necessary for purposes of
a sound comparison. In some cases there may be need for study in the
greatest detail. Generally, however, the requirement can be met by
considering for each operation the kind of action, the types of
weapons, and the physical objectives.

During the progress of these analyses of the impact of operations upon
each other, there may occur to mind further operations which an alert
and awakened enemy may undertake in opposition; the counter to these
operations may also suggest itself.

The use of the chart, with positions and forces plotted, is here
frequently essential; in tactical problems diagrams and tables showing
possibilities of position, distance, speed, maneuver, gun ranges,
relative strength in types and weapons are useful.

       *       *       *       *       *

Through the procedure described above, the commander is afforded
further opportunity to test his courses of action, as to suitability,
feasibility, and acceptability. He can, once more, view each of his
courses from the standpoint of its suitability. The visualized enemy
action may introduce considerations, not previously realized, as to
whether certain of his own courses are suitable to the appropriate
effect desired, when results are envisaged on the basis of the
possible opposition. As to feasibility, the analysis permits him to
make a further estimate of the enemy capabilities with respect to
obstructing or preventing the desired outcome of his (the commander's)
courses of action. In addition, by visualizing the pertinent
operations involved, he enables himself to evaluate the costs to be
expected.

Should the commander conclude, at this stage, that further
consideration of any of his courses, so far retained, is not
justified, he will naturally reject such courses so as to confine
further analysis within narrower limits.

Should he find, during his analysis, that further combinations should
be made among his retained courses, he makes such combinations and
uses them in his comparison.

However, he defers, until the next subsection, his choice of the
course to be finally selected, or his conclusion that none can
justifiably be adopted. The process of comparison is confined to
deduction, rearrangement, and justified rejection, preliminary to
weighing and selecting in the next subsection.


B. Determination of the Best Course of Action.

The commander is now ready to ponder over his retained courses of
action as further analyzed in the light of enemy opposition. All of
these courses, if carried out, are presumably competent, in varying
extent, to attain the appropriate effect desired. He will now examine
and consider them with the specific intent of coming to a conclusion
as to which one, or which combination, he will select as the best. The
analysis of each course of action in comparison with each enemy course
has made possible a comparison, to this end, of the commander's
retained courses with each other.

At this point, therefore, the commander again assembles his retained
courses of action.

He includes the combinations which the preceding analysis has
indicated belong properly together. He then considers the final
tabulation in the light of the considerations now to be noted.

The conclusive tests are now made for suitability, for feasibility,
and for acceptability as to consequences. Because of the importance of
this terminal analysis, it is desirable that the tests be as precise
as possible.

The commander now has, in addition to his list of the retained courses
of action, a summarized comparison of each with the others, under the
several pertinent headings. He next examines this all-inclusive
summary, with the intent of selecting the best course of action.

It may be found that one, or another, or a combination, is best.
Again, there is the possibility of considering, as best, a course of
action which, if carried out, will only complete an initial stage
toward the accomplishment of the motivating task.

If the result of the analysis has demonstrated that there is no
satisfactory course of action, this fact is here stated, with a
notation as to the reasons for such opinion. In this case the
commander faces a dilemma.

Usually a task imposed on the commander by higher authority will be a
carefully considered assignment of part of the superior's planned
effort. The commander may expect normally to find that his own
estimate of the situation will yield courses of action which, if
successfully carried out, will accomplish the task assigned. The
reasoned plan of the superior is a safeguard in this respect.

Nevertheless, realism requires that the commander be fully prepared to
meet the possible dilemma:--When he cannot envisage a course of action
for accomplishing the assigned task, or when, of the several courses
of action under consideration, he finds none satisfactory, what is he
to do? (See page 70).

Under these circumstances the commander reviews his estimate in all
its aspects. By minute re-examination he endeavors to find ways of
accomplishing his assigned task. If he cannot accomplish the task, he
seeks for ways whereby he can further such accomplishment so far as is
reasonably feasible. If unable, in any degree, to further the
accomplishment of his task, he endeavors to contribute, so far as he
feasibly and acceptably can, to the accomplishment of the purpose of
his mission.

It is to be expected, of course, that, if unable to accomplish his
assigned task, the commander will make constructive representations
(page 103) to higher authority. The latter may then assign additional
forces or may otherwise alter the problem,--for example, by assigning
a new task. However, a situation such as described may occur when the
commander is alone in a distant theater or when for other reasons he
finds himself unable to communicate, in time, with higher authority.

In such a situation the commander is under the necessity of
determining, for himself, a task which is suitable, feasible, and
acceptable under the circumstances (page 52).

It is evident that, at some point in the foregoing procedure, the
commander has been forced to abandon the solution of his basic
problem, because he has found that there is no sound solution. He has
not completely abandoned the solution of his original problem, because
he has not yet exhausted all of its possibilities. However, the
solution of the original problem has unquestionably entered a new
phase, or step.

The new step presents the commander with a new problem, a phase in the
solution of the original problem; the new problem is related to the
abandoned basic problem, because it arises out of the same situation,
which has not changed. The new problem is, however, differentiated
from the basic problem because it is based on a different incentive.
The incentive for the solution of the new problem arises directly out
of a decision made by the commander himself, i.e., his decision that
no sound solution for the basic problem can be found. The new problem
is one for the commander himself to solve, i.e., it cannot properly be
delegated to a subordinate for solution, because its solution is
necessary as a basis for the commander's detailed plan. For these
reasons the new problem is, by definition (page 106), a subsidiary
problem, of the type distinctive of the second step.

At what point in the solution of the original problem does the
commander abandon the basic problem and proceed with the solution of
the new, subsidiary problem which has arisen as described? There are
various possible answers, all with a basis of reason, to this
question.

From the standpoint of theoretical precision, it might be said that
the basic problem is abandoned when the conclusion is reached that its
motivating task cannot be accomplished. It might also be said that the
basic problem is abandoned when the conclusion is reached that the
commander can in no way contribute toward the accomplishment of the
motivating task.

Practical experience indicates, however, that the basic estimate can
profitably be utilized until the conclusion is reached that no
contribution can be made to the purpose of the mission. At this point
a new estimate, subsidiary to the basic estimate, necessarily begins.
This view is confirmed, theoretically, by the fact that, at this point
in the procedure, a radical change occurs with respect to the
appropriate effect desired. In such circumstances, the commander
concludes that he cannot contribute, in any degree, to the
accomplishment of his immediate superior's general plan.

The incentive for the solution of the subsidiary problem will
therefore arise, on the basis thus adopted, when the commander has
concluded that he cannot contribute to the accomplishment of his basic
mission, and that he is under the necessity of evolving a new mission
for himself. His basic Decision (see discussion, hereafter, of Section
V of the Estimate Form) will reflect this conclusion and will thereby
afford him a basis for the solution of his subsidiary problem.

Problems of the foregoing nature, where the commander justifiably
departs from his instructions, are not unusual during the first step.
However, they are scarcely typical of that step so long as an
organized chain of command is in effective operation. In the more
usual case, the commander, at this point in his estimate, makes note
of his selected course of action. Whether he selects a single course
or a combination, the selection is thereafter known as the best course
of action (singular).


SECTION V

THE DECISION

In the final section of the Estimate the commander is concerned with a
decision as to the selection of an objective or objectives determined
by himself, for the attainment of the appropriate effect desired. This
decision also indicates, in proper detail, the action to be taken for
the attainment of the commander's selected objective. The decision
reached at this point becomes the commander's general plan of action
or provides the basis therefor. It is accordingly so important that
when it has been formally stated in a basic problem it is thenceforth
known as the Decision.

The Statement of the Decision. Frequently the statement of the
Decision may be merely a restatement of the best course of action.
Such phraseology is often adequate, provided, naturally, that the
selected course of action has been, itself, correctly expressed (page
95). Sometimes, however, the commander may desire, at this point in
his estimate, to develop such expression more fully. He may at this
point develop his selected course into a general plan, or he may defer
this development to the second step.

In any event the commander now scrutinizes his selected course of
action to ensure that its expression conveys exactly the meaning which
he has in mind.

He bears in mind, also, that his Decision will settle the pattern of
his future action. If the selected objective is inferred, rather than
specifically stated, the commander will then ensure that the
inference, with all its vital implications, is plain.

As to the statement of the action required to achieve this objective,
the commander realizes that the pattern laid down by the Decision is
merely a shape or general outline. The details will be introduced
later. The Decision covers the general outline of the action
contemplated for the entire force.

If, for example, only a part of the commander's force is to act, while
the remainder is to remain inactive, the Decision will cover not only
the kind of activity but also the extent of the inactivity. However,
for convenience in stating the Decision, such inactivity may be
inferred, rather than expressly stated, so long as the meaning is
made clear. Thus, if the force, except for a raiding task group, is to
remain inactive for the time being, the Decision may properly be "to
raid enemy communications in the area ---- with a task group
consisting of ----", so long as the commander is satisfied that the
implication is clear, under the circumstances, that the remainder of
his force is to remain inactive.

The commander may properly include brief summarizing remarks as to the
methods, broadly viewed, whereby he intends to take action. However,
he introduces such detail only to the extent that he feels
amplification is needed, either for his own benefit or for the
assistance of others who may use his estimate.

Deductions or inferences which the commander wishes to note may, at
this point, be included with the Decision as corollaries (see next
page).

Where combinations of courses of action have been made in selecting
the best course, the meaning can sometimes be improved at this point
by modification of the previous wording.

When, as previously discussed (page 151), the commander has concluded
that he cannot feasibly or acceptably adopt any course of action which
will accomplish his task, contribute in any measure to its
accomplishment, or even contribute in any degree to the accomplishment
of the purpose of his mission, he records that fact in his Decision.
His study of the problem will by this time, however, have given him
the necessary data for a conclusion as to what his new mission should
be. He therefore closes his basic estimate with a Decision, coupled
with a purpose therefor, (see below), which will serve as a new
mission, i.e., as an appropriate effect desired. This provides a basis
for his solution of a subsidiary problem whose incentive is derived
from this Decision.

Of course, if the commander has had time and opportunity to represent
his situation on this basis to higher authority, and has received a
new task therefrom, the new task, coupled with the purpose also
indicated by higher authority, will provide the mission for the
solution of a new basic problem.

The Purpose of the Decision. The purpose of the Decision is identical
with the motivating task,--provided, of course, that the Decision, if
carried out, will accomplish that task in full. When stated, the
purpose is usually connected with the Decision by the words "in order
to".

If the commander has concluded that he will take action by stages, the
Decision may cover only the first stage. In all cases where the
Decision will only partially accomplish the motivating task,
appropriate words to link the Decision to its purpose may be such as
"to assist in" or "preparatory to".

The statement of this purpose, in connection with the Decision, is
frequently helpful and is sometimes necessary in making clear the
exact relationship between the Decision and the motivating task. In
the next planning step, where the detailed operations are determined,
this purpose is an important guide because each detailed operation is
expected to contribute to the accomplishment, not only of the
Decision, but also of the motivating task.

Corollaries to the Decision. The Decision may involve certain
deductions or inferences, either delimiting or amplifying its nature.
The commander may find it desirable to make note of these matters in
connection with his Decision. He may later wish to use these notes
when formulating his plan. Since these matters relate to deductions or
inferences which naturally follow as results of the Decision they are
properly referred to as "corollaries" to the Decision.

The nature of such corollaries may best be shown by an example. It is
supposed, for instance, that the commander has made the Decision "to
guard the Eastern Caribbean barrier against enemy penetration". During
the course of his estimate of the situation, he has come to the
conclusion that his operations to carry out this Decision will extend
into the area limited by Port X on the north, and Port Y on the south.
This conclusion is a deduction, which immediately assumes importance
when the Decision is made. The commander states this deduced
conclusion here, in connection with the Decision, for future guidance
in resolving the Decision into detailed operations, as well as for
later use in his directives to limit the action of his subordinates.

No particular form is specified for such corollaries. It is
satisfactory to list them as Corollary I, Corollary II, etc. They do
not constitute a part of the Decision.

Relation of the Decision to the Detailed Plan and Directives. The
Decision is the basis for the commander's plan of action for his
entire force. This plan is promulgated in one or more directives. The
Decision, as it appears in the Estimate, is not yet the concern of
subordinate commanders. It does not become their concern until it is
used in directives. As incorporated in the commander's detailed plan
and in his directives, the Decision, whether further developed or not,
constitutes the commander's general plan and is referred to in those
terms.

The Decision, as it appears in the Estimate, is not bound by any rigid
specifications as to form. Later (Chapter VII), when the commander
prepares for the inauguration of planned action by the formulation and
issue of directives, he assumes the obligation of conveying the
substance of his Decision to his subordinates in clear language. At
that time he will again have to subject its expression to scrutiny,
and may find that he has to make modifications solely for
clarification.



CHAPTER VII

THE RESOLUTION OF THE REQUIRED ACTION INTO DETAILED OPERATIONS

(The Second Step--The Solution of Subsidiary Problems)

    The problem of the second step may be stated in question form
    as follows: "What action should I take for the attainment of
    my objective as selected in the first step?"


[Sidenote: For convenience a tabular form, inserted in the appendix,
page 224, gives page references to the principal subdivisions of this
Chapter.]

Having arrived at his basic Decision, the commander, if he wishes to
put it into effect, will proceed to formulate a plan of action which
can be cast into the forms of directives for execution. In making such
a plan, he provides for operations in the detail proper for his
situation. He thereby expands the general plan, indicated in or
developed from his basic Decision, into a complete plan which can
readily be placed in the Order Form (Chapter VIII) as a directive or
directives for the guidance of his subordinates.

The procedure involved in formulating such a detailed plan of action
has been described previously in general terms (Chapter V). The method
of determining the salient features of the operations required has
also been discussed (in Section III of Chapter IV). Therefore, these
matters are not repeated at this point.

The problems distinctive of this procedure (the second step, as
described in Chapter V) are subsidiary problems, in the sense that the
incentive for their solution arises by reason of a decision already
made by the commander, i.e., the basic Decision, and because they are
problems which the commander recognizes are to be solved by himself
and not by his subordinates.

Assumptions. The commander's plan has been derived from an estimate of
the situation based on the best information available to him. Complete
and accurate information is frequently lacking; hence, many military
plans consider contingencies which, to make a plan possible, have been
accepted in the estimate as assumptions.

The word assumption, when used to denote a basis for a plan, signifies
"the taking of something for granted". It does not mean a conjecture,
guess, or probability. The proposed action, resulting from a decision
made under an assumption, is designed to be taken only upon the
disclosure of the truth of the assumption. The fact that the
assumption upon which the plan is based may prove false indicates the
advisability of developing several plans based upon various sets of
assumptions.

It would be erroneous to believe that all contingencies can be
foreseen, and to be content with a particular set of plans, all of
which may prove to be wrong. It is not to be expected that a plan
based upon assumptions will, in all respects, be suitable for use in
an actual situation. For example, it will seldom occur that an
elaborate Battle Plan, based upon assumptions as to the various types,
dispositions, and strengths of forces present, the weather conditions,
and the intent of the enemy, can be used without changes.

On the other hand, a plan for the sortie of a fleet from a harbor
under assumptions that high visibility exists, that airplanes can
operate, and that hostile submarines will be the only force in
opposition, may frequently be found entirely applicable to the actual
situation, or so nearly so as to require only slight modification. It
is possible so to standardize such plans that only minor variables
need be indicated when the plan is to be used.

The visualization of valid and useful assumptions frequently makes the
most serious demands on professional knowledge and judgment.

Alternative Plans. The word "alternative" is generally applied to
contingent plans intended to accomplish a common task, but developed
from varying sets of assumptions. "A choice between several" is the
meaning of the word as here used. When such choice becomes necessary
in a situation not yet clarified, that plan will be selected which has
been derived from the set of assumptions considered by the commander
as most likely to be correct. The selected plan is usually called the
plan or the "accepted plan", and the other plans, coming from other
less likely but still possible sets of assumptions, are called
Alternative Plan No. 1, Alternative Plan No. 2, etc.

Naval tactical situations particularly lend themselves to the drawing
up of alternative plans in advance. There are numerous general
categories of such tactical plans. Among these the Battle Plan is of
paramount concern. Others include plans for sortie, entrance, defense
while cruising, etc. In each category, alternative plans may be
developed, based on various sets of assumptions.

Alternative plans evolved in advance of detailed information may be
found useful as a general basis for action. Circumstances may prove to
be different from those previously visualized. The correct procedure
is to keep the plans up to date, testing them, by the latest
information, in a Running Estimate (Chapter IX). The commander will
thus have a foundation for sound decision in the circumstances which
actually arise.

Still another use of alternative plans merits consideration. Early
coordinated action during actual operations may be demanded although
neither time nor the information available has permitted a detailed
estimate. If the commander has drawn up, in advance, plans based on
assumptions as to conditions that conceivably might exist, he will be
better able to appreciate the situations which actually arise. He can
thus direct the necessary action with more rapidity and understanding
than if completely unprepared because of lack of planning. If he
informs his subordinates of his proposed action under certain assumed
conditions, he will facilitate cooperation, because better mutual
understanding will exist. The advance alternative plans here discussed
are not necessarily confined to problems confronting a commander
during actual war operations. They may profitably be drawn up in
peace, and may be the basis of training exercises.


Application of the Essential Elements of a Favorable Military
Operation

In the solution of the problems distinctive of the second step, the
commander starts with a consideration of the salient features of a
favorably progressing military operation. This procedure is
appropriate because any series of these problems, considered as a
whole, pertains to the single problem of determining the most
effective operation, or series of operations, for carrying his basic
Decision into effect. If the action contemplated in the basic Decision
is of such a nature as to call for successive included efforts in more
than one stage, the commander limits his consideration, should he find
such restriction advisable on sound grounds, to the operation or
operations included in the first stage.

       *       *       *       *       *

On this basis, the commander considers, first, the feature of correct
physical objectives. He has first to determine what his correct
physical objectives will be.

This determination may or may not present a perplexity. Frequently,
the procedure of the first step (Chapter VI) will have plainly
indicated one or more, perhaps all, of the physical objectives
involved. In some cases, also, the basic Decision will have plainly
pointed out the action to be taken, and with respect to what physical
objectives. In these instances, the commander may, with little further
analysis or none, set down the operations which he considers necessary
or desirable with respect to these physical objectives.

In other cases, however, the action indicated in the Decision, though
plainly indicating the commander's intent--that is, his calculated
line of endeavor--may not have designated the numerous physical
objectives as to which his effort is to be exerted. For example, the
Decision "to interrupt enemy trade on the southern maritime routes" is
quite clear, but what are the numerous exertions of force required,
and with relation to what physical objectives? Immediately there is a
perplexity. Guided by the analysis made in his previous estimate of
the situation, the commander now determines what the physical
objectives are, action as to which will contribute to the
accomplishment of the effort. The sum total of the actions taken
against these physical objectives is properly equivalent to the
accomplishment of the action indicated in his Decision. He may not be
able at this time to determine all of the correct physical objectives,
but he can determine certain correct ones (for the method, see Section
III of Chapter IV).

The correct physical objectives having been determined, so far as can
be done at this time, the commander studies each thoroughly,
developing the possibilities of certain effective actions (operations)
with reference thereto. For instance, in the case of a commander who
has been ordered to "interrupt enemy trade on the southern maritime
routes", he might develop one operation "to bomb enemy facilities at
Port X", and another "to capture or destroy enemy shipping along trade
routes" (with an indication of the routes involved).

The operations thus developed are now listed in a definite sequence,
in order to provide a proper basis for the further procedure. The
commander may find it desirable to state them in their order of
importance. Sometimes, however, it may be found advantageous to list
the operations in chronological sequence, i.e., in the order of their
execution. This point is further discussed hereafter (pages 166 and
192). The commander is at liberty, of course, to use either method
according to its helpfulness in enabling him to visualize the elements
of his problem.

       *       *       *       *       *

The commander now considers the second feature: advantageous relative
positions. He may already occupy an advantageous geographical location
or locations (see pages 64 (bottom) and 65 (top)), or he may desire to
improve his positions in certain respects. An advantageous position
might be between the enemy and his base, in order to deny it to him.
Another advantageous position might be to windward of the enemy, for
the purpose of making a destroyer attack under the protection of a
smoke screen.

The commander now reconsiders, from the viewpoint of "advantageous
relative positions", the operations deduced with respect to "correct
physical objectives". As a result of this reconsideration, he may find
that certain of these operations may be retained without change,
whereas others may require modification.

Suppose, for example, that two of the operations listed are those
noted above, viz:

    "To bomb enemy facilities at Port X", and

    "To capture or destroy enemy shipping along trade routes
    between the ---- parallels of north latitude and the
    ---- meridians of west longitude."

From the viewpoint of relative position, it may appear that the first
operation is not affected seriously, if at all. Therefore, this
operation may be left unchanged. However, the second operation may be
definitely affected by relative position, because the best method of
interrupting enemy trade may be to employ raiding forces in focal
areas. Therefore this operation might be altered to the form, "to
capture or destroy enemy trade by raiding focal areas" (with a
designation of the areas).

The commander's study is now likely to suggest operations which were
not apparent when the analysis was confined to the correct physical
objectives, alone. New physical objectives may appear to require
attention. If so, all such new operations are added to the list
compiled.

       *       *       *       *       *

The commander may now study his list of operations, compiled to this
point, from the standpoint of the third feature, proper apportionment of
fighting strength. However, if the commander considers such apportionment
now, his subsequent study of the fourth element--"adequate freedom of
action"--may develop a need for further operations which will in turn
call for a re-analysis as to his apportionment of fighting strength.
Therefore, for purposes of this discussion, it is assumed that the
commander now defers consideration of such apportionment, and that
he proceeds at this point to study measures for ensuring adequate
freedom of action.

This study requires consideration of such matters as training, morale,
surprise, secrecy, cooperation, intelligence, logistics, and
provisions (communications, location of the commander, and the like)
for effective exercise of command. (See page 76). The commander
exercises his judgment as to the degree of detail in which such
matters should be treated, according to the nature of his problems.

If any such subject--for example, communications--involves the
development of a subsidiary plan (page 168), the measures noted in
connection with the formulation of the basic plan may be stated along
broad lines, such as: "To provide for effective communications." Any
specific matters of considerable importance may also be included,--for
example, as to secrecy with respect to the use of communications.
Other details may then be deferred until the commander takes up the
necessary subsidiary plan. Otherwise, all pertinent operations in
connection with these measures are naturally noted at this point.

Certain of these measures for freedom of action are now to be
discussed in some detail because of their important bearing on basic
plans.

In certain operations contemplated by the commander, there may be a
requirement for additional training, sometimes of a special nature.
This may be true, for instance, if an operation involves the landing
of an expeditionary force. Conditions permitting, the commander will
naturally desire to make provision for training exercises. If time or
other conditions do not permit necessary training, he may find it
desirable to modify his plans accordingly. The salient features of a
subsidiary training problem are discussed hereafter (page 176), and
may well be considered at this point in developing the basic plan.

The commander may already have noted, in considering operations
suggested by his previous study of the situation, a need for certain
action as to security, secrecy, and intelligence. Any additional
operations of this nature, not previously noted, may well be
incorporated at this point.

Security of his own plan, and secrecy therefor, are important
considerations with reference to intelligence activities. The
requirements as to intelligence and counter-intelligence features are
primary considerations as to any plan. Such considerations involve the
collection of information and its conversion into intelligence. The
hampering of enemy intelligence activities is a related consideration.

The collection of useful information, and its denial to the enemy,
call for a definite plan. When information has been collected, it is
subjected to the processes (page 122) of analysis, evaluation,
interpretation, and dissemination. Collection, to be consistently
effective, calls for specific directives to, or requests on, the
appropriate collecting agencies. Analysis determines the source of the
information and the circumstances under which it was obtained.
Evaluation determines its degree of reliability. Interpretation
consists of drawing conclusions; when information thus takes the form
of facts (so far as they can be ascertained) and of sound conclusions
drawn therefrom, it becomes military (naval) intelligence. It is then
disseminated to those concerned and is used in the solution of the
commander's own problems.

The basis for collection of such data is the determination of the
essential elements of information desired by the commander. The
notation of these essential elements, for later incorporation in his
directive(s), naturally constitutes a primary feature of his basic
plan. The essential elements of information are frequently formulated
as questions--e.g., Will the enemy do this? Is the enemy doing that?
What are the principal topographic features of Y Island, with respect
to so and so?

These questions cover the essential matters of perplexity as to enemy
courses of action and as to the characteristics of the theater. Each
enemy course of action, for example, may provide the basis for a
question; or, if the scope of the problem has narrowed sufficiently,
such question may deal with one of the enemy's possible operations,
related to a course of action which he may be pursuing or is known to
be pursuing.

On the basis of the essential elements of information, the commander
provides for proper reconnaissance activities by the several
collecting agencies under his command, or for appropriate requests to
be made by him on other collecting agencies. A sound plan will always
make adequate provision for such measures.

These subjects are treated in more detail in the later discussion
(page 177) of intelligence problems.

       *       *       *       *       *

In connection with freedom of action, the commander will also make
adequate provision for logistics support. In its unrestricted sense,
the term "logistics" relates to the supply and movement of a military
force, and to such related matters as the disposition and replacement
of ineffective personnel. Logistics measures, as comprehended in the
development of the basic plan, exclude movement primarily of a
strategical or tactical nature, but include movement related primarily
to supply and similar matters. This requirement gives rise to the
necessity for logistics measures which may further call for operations
such as to provide fuel oil and supplies at rendezvous X and Y, and
tender facilities at port D. An incidental requirement will relate to
movements of train ships. Hence, the commander formulates these, also,
and includes them in his list of operations for later assignment as
logistics tasks. (Page 166). Fuel oil may likewise be required at Port
D, but if the commander knows that ample fuel oil is in store there,
no operation to cover this feature is required of him.

The solution of logistics problems is further discussed hereafter
(page 179).

       *       *       *       *       *

The commander has now, it may be presumed, evolved all of the
operations that his analysis tells him are appropriate with respect to
correct physical objectives, advantageous relative positions, and
freedom of action. Therefore, he now studies all of these operations
from the viewpoint of the remaining element--proper apportionment of
fighting strength. This consideration involves, initially, a
determination of what forces will be necessary to carry out the
operations listed. The commander thereby determines the requirements,
as to forces, for each such operation.

For example, the operation "to locate an enemy force" may require the
use of several types of naval vessels and aircraft. The commander
determines what method of search is best for the purposes of this
specific operation; thereafter, he determines what forces are
necessary to conduct the search. The procedure has previously been
indicated (in the Principle of the Proper Means to be Made
Available--page 34).

In this study the commander will often find it necessary to divide
some of the more extensive operations into component parts, suitable
for later assignment as tasks for subordinates. Fundamentally, there
is no difference between an operation and a task, except that the
latter includes also the idea of imposing on another person, or
assigning to him, a definite amount of work or duty (page 84). At this
stage, then, the commander deals with components suitable for
performance by available weapons, in the usual units, or combinations
of units, in which they are effective. Of course, when an operation
meets this requirement without subdivision into components, it need
not be subdivided.

These component parts are not yet actually tasks, because the
commander does not plan to assign them at this time to any one for
execution. However, the components are visualized as clearly, and are
formulated as definitely, as is possible at this point. The
requirement is that they be acts that available forces can perform.

The method of breaking down an operation into component parts is one
of analysis and deduction. Having visualized the manner whereby the
operation can contribute to the accomplishment of the effort, the
commander has now to determine the means to be employed to this end.
Experience and knowledge tell him what numbers and types of ships,
aircraft, and other weapons, if properly employed, will attain the
effect desired.

Each component part will indicate both the action and the physical
objectives of the action. For each component, the commander estimates
what forces are required. He knows the extent of the armed forces
available, and he can, if his total force is adequate, adjust matters
to allow each component a force capable of carrying it out.

For example, a component operation might call for a search by
destroyers, but the commander might find that his destroyers were in
such poor relative position as to prevent them from reaching the point
of origin in time. Therefore he would be unable to conduct the search
by using destroyers alone. He might now consider a search by aircraft.
A study of this proposal might indicate that it could be carried out
in part by aircraft, but that available aircraft were inadequate to
carry it out in its entirety. In such event, consideration would be in
order of the possibility of conducting this search by use of other
forces also, e.g., submarines and cruisers.

In case the commander believes an indicated operation to be
infeasible, he first restudies that operation to see whether he can
modify it, without adversely affecting the accomplishment of the
effort. He may even find that he can eliminate it by including its
essential features in some other operation.

If the commander finds that his forces are inadequate for the
accomplishment of an effort in one stage, but that they are adequate
for its accomplishment in successive stages, he may draw a conclusion
as to which of the operations he can carry out first. On this basis,
he may proceed with the formulation of tasks to include these
operations, leaving the remainder to a future time (see page 56).

It may be that all operations set down cannot be accomplished by the
forces available, but that they will be possible of accomplishment if
other forces are provided. This knowledge, of the sum total of forces
required for the action indicated in the Decision, is an essential. It
is only by such a searching inquiry that the commander ensures that
the operations resolved from the Decision will result in a full
solution of his problem. Usually the forces available will be found
adequate, because the superior who provided them gave consideration,
on his part, to the requirements. However, if the forces available are
not deemed adequate, the commander either modifies the operations, or
restricts them, or subdivides them into parts for performance in
succession by stages. In any such case, conditions permitting, he
makes constructive representations, together with a report of the
facts, to his superior (see page 103).


Testing for Suitability, Feasibility, and Acceptability.

Each of the operations finally deemed necessary or desirable is now
tested as to its suitability, its feasibility, and its acceptability
as to consequences. The considerations involved have been explained
previously (Section III of Chapter IV) and are therefore not repeated
here.

The testing process will eliminate those operations found not
suitable, feasible, or acceptable.

In addition, the tests may lead to the elimination of operations
which, while both suitable and feasible, do not contribute enough
toward the accomplishment of the effort to warrant their retention.
For example, among the operations listed might be one to capture X
island and one to capture Y island, both suitable and feasible. The
commander, having analyzed these proposals, might conclude that the
capture of Y island would not constitute a sufficient contribution to
warrant its adoption as an operation at this time. Therefore, he might
omit this operation, or he might defer it to a later stage.

A feasible operation may similarly be rejected or deferred out of
preference for another which can more readily be accomplished.

The tests may also reveal important facts as to the relative
consequences with respect to costs. For example, two operations might
both be acceptable as to this factor, but one might be less acceptable
than the other. Accordingly, the less acceptable operation might be
omitted, or might be deferred for the time being.

Upon the completion of the tests, all operations retained are listed
for further development.


The Formulation of Tasks

The correct resolution of the Decision into the detailed operations
required is further ensured by the visualization of these operations
as tasks. Tasks so formulated (page 162), become a basis for the
preparation of directives.

To prepare a plan as a basis for directives, or for use as such, the
commander first finds it desirable to formulate and assemble the
various tasks. The tasks are formulated as a result of his study of
(1) those operations which do not require to be broken down, and which
may now be rewritten as tasks, and of (2) the component parts of the
more extensive operations (See page 162, bottom).

Each of the tasks, as now listed, is tested for suitability, for
feasibility, and for acceptability with respect to the consequences as
to costs. In view of the fact that the operations have all been
thoroughly tested, this process now becomes not a formal analysis but
merely a check.


The Organization of Task Forces and Task Groups

The commander now classifies the tasks on the basis of their
suitability for accomplishment by appropriate task forces or
subdivisions thereof, i.e., task groups. In so doing he endeavors to
avoid forming any more classifications than are necessary for the
accomplishment of the full effort.

Note: In the remainder of this work, the term Task Group, except as
may otherwise be indicated, will be understood in the inclusive sense
of either "task force" or "task group".

Tasks are assigned to task groups on the basis of such factors as the
nature and geographical location of physical objectives, the existing
disposition of the several units, their capabilities, and their
freedom of action. The last-named may be the determinant, and,
because of the importance of such considerations, tasks which would
otherwise fall to one group might be assigned to another. Features
influencing a change might include lack of training of the personnel
available in the first group, or the special qualifications of a
particular commander, or a justified desire to adhere to a previously
determined permanent task organization.

Logistics tasks, i.e., those requiring operations for placing
logistics measures in effect, require the same careful consideration
as do combat tasks. (See page 162).

Certain tasks apply to all of the task groups, or pertain to the
general conduct of the common effort. Among such may be provision for
security, for unity among the subdivisions, and for intelligence
activities (page 160). In order to avoid repetition, these tasks are
assembled in one group.

The commander analyzes the requirements of fighting strength for each
task group. He then, from the means available to him, assigns the
necessary strength to each group, making adjustment between the
theoretical requirements and the actual strength available.

He is familiar with the types of vessels and aircraft constituting his
command, and with their military characteristics; with the
capabilities and cooperative qualities of his commanders; with the
degree of training of his various units; and with the geographical
location of physical objectives. He recognizes that each task requires
adequate strength for its accomplishment. Because these requirements
have been thoroughly considered during the study of the effective
apportionment of fighting strength, he is able to make adjustments as
necessary.

The commander now fully organizes each classification of tasks and its
corresponding task group by naming the task group (or task force), by
making notation of its composition and of the rank and name of its
commander, and then by listing the tasks of each group. The principal
task (or tasks) may be listed first, the other tasks following in the
order of their importance. If preferred, the sequence of tasks may be
chronological. Also, either major or minor tasks may be listed
chronologically. (See pages 158 and 192).

If the chronological sequence of tasks is utilized, that fact, in
order to avoid confusion, is clearly indicated.

Thus organized, the whole plan can be transferred almost bodily into
the Order Form (Chapter VIII).


Application of the Fundamental Military Principle to the Determination
of Objectives Embodied in Tasks

In formulating tasks for the several task groups, the commander has
now visualized, for each such group, an objective (or objectives) for
the subordinate to attain. In selecting these objectives, the
commander has placed himself, mentally, in the subordinate's
situation, visualizing the problem which the subordinate is to solve.
On this basis the commander has apportioned the strength needed for
the attainment of the objectives assigned to his subordinates. This
procedure, of evident importance, is frequently one of considerable
difficulty, because a higher commander, lacking detailed information
of the situation which may confront a subordinate cannot always
anticipate all the obstacles to the latter's success.

In formulating tasks, and in apportioning strength, by the procedure
already described, the commander has applied the Fundamental Military
Principle. Now, to ensure the practical adjustment of means to ends
(page 66), the commander reviews the process in the light of that
Principle, so that he may be assured that he has selected a correct
objective (or objectives) for each subordinate. By using the tests
indicated in the Principle, the commander confirms the suitability of
each objective so selected, satisfies himself of its feasibility of
attainment, and assures himself that the costs involved will be
acceptable. If these requirements cannot be so satisfied, necessary
adjustments are in order.

These tests may frequently be of a routine nature, by reason of the
previous painstaking tests of the several operations involved.
However, such final tests cannot be omitted without incurring the
danger of selecting incorrect objectives for subordinates to attain.


The Assembly of Measures for Freedom of Action

Having completed the classification of his tasks, the commander next
assembles the measures determined upon as necessary for ensuring
adequate freedom of action.

When the subject matter is not too bulky, these measures are
incorporated in their proper place in the basic plan. Otherwise,
instructions as to these matters will be issued as annexes.

The various measures are assembled under the classification shown
below:

    (a) Measures required for security, for cooperation, and for
        intelligence activities.

    (b) Measures for logistics support. These cover provision for
        procurement and replenishment of supplies, disposition and
        replacement of ineffective personnel, satisfactory
        material maintenance, sanitation, battle casualties, and
        the like.

    (c) Measures for the exercise of command. These include
        provision for communications, location of rendezvous, zone
        time to be used, and the location of the commander.

This classification corresponds to that used in the Order Form (page
193). Experience has indicated that such a classification facilitates
the transmission of instructions to subordinate commanders.

If desired, the material which will be required to be incorporated in
paragraph (1) of the Order Form (see pages 190, 191, 219 and 221) may
be also assembled at this point.


The Preparation of Subsidiary Plans

As previously noted (page 106), certain subsidiary problems require
the preparation of subsidiary plans to be included with the directive
as annexes. In broad strategical estimates, the solution of such
subsidiary problems involves a vast amount of mental effort; even in
restricted estimates, these problems may require most intensive
thought. It is therefore appropriate at this point to discuss, in some
detail, the nature of these subsidiary problems.

During the solution of his basic problem and later, during the process
of evolving his basic plan, the commander may become aware of the need
for further action of a supporting nature with respect to his basic
mission, distinct from that which he intends to assign as tasks to
subordinate commanders. If the nature of this action involves
perplexity, he will be confronted with new problems to be solved. When
he recognizes that such problems exist and are to be solved by
himself, this awareness is a recognition of the incentive.

For example, one of these problems may involve a battle in which the
entire force will participate, or perhaps a sortie requiring
coordination of the several subdivisions of his force. Others will be
concerned with measures recognized as necessary for ensuring freedom
of action.

These problems give rise to the subsidiary plans previously referred
to (page 106). They are not necessarily subsidiary in importance; even
the Battle Plan, the basis for the culmination of tactical effort, may
result from the solution of a subsidiary problem. The word
"subsidiary", as here used, merely indicates that the problem has its
origin in the commander's own Decision.

When the incentive is thus recognized during the solution of the
basic problem or during the second step, the commander solves these
new problems, and includes their solutions as a part of the directives
prepared for the carrying out of the basic plan. As will be seen later
(Chapter VIII), there is a prescribed place for such solutions in the
usual form in which directives are issued. Often, however, because of
extent and bulk, these solutions are included with the directives as
annexes.

The commander will desire to provide for all contingencies, but he can
rarely, during the planning stage, see completely into the future, so
as to foretell all pertinent events which may befall. During the
unfolding of events, therefore, unforeseen subsidiary problems will
probably arise. Whether visualized during planning, or encountered
during the execution of the plan, these problems have the same
relationship with the basic problem. Reference is later made (Chapter
IX) to subsidiary problems which arise during the action.

Subsidiary problems, according to their nature in each case, may be
solved by the procedure distinctive of the first step or by that
distinctive of the second. In many instances either may be applicable,
the choice being a matter of convenience.

Battle Plans, for example, can demonstrably be formulated by the use
of either procedure. Thus, a Decision "to destroy the enemy in a
daylight fleet engagement" may be used as the basis for an Estimate of
the Situation, by the procedure distinctive of the first step, in
order to reach a decision as to the plan, in outline, for the
contemplated engagement. However, the same result can also be attained
through the procedure distinctive of the second step, with the basic
Decision as the point of departure.

A solution also can be reached by a method which is, in effect,
intermediate between the procedures of the first and second steps. For
example, the basic (broad strategical) Decision noted above can be
taken, in a detailed tactical Estimate, as the only suitable,
feasible, and acceptable course of action. Then, in Section IV of the
Estimate, a study of the more detailed operations involved can be
developed into an outlined plan for the battle. Thus, a single course
of action, expanded to include the outlined plan so developed, can
then be adopted as the decision and can in turn be expanded by
second-step methods into a detailed tactical plan.

On the grounds of simplicity, the procedure distinctive of the second
step is preferable, when it is applicable to the particular problem.
Therefore, when a subsidiary plan is to be developed directly from a
basic Decision, this is frequently the better procedure. This comment
is applicable not only to battle plans but also to other subsidiary
plans such as sortie plans, entrance plans, and logistics plans. The
commander may find it necessary, however, to expand the study of
fighting strength made in Section I-B of the basic estimate, in order
to obtain the detailed data needed for formulating the subsidiary
plan.

In spite of the relative simplicity of the second-step method, cases
occur where the procedure of the first step is nevertheless
preferable. For example, a basic Decision making provision for a major
campaign, divided into stages of some scope, may involve, as part of
one of these stages, an operation to capture an island. Such an
operation may itself require a considerable effort on the part of the
whole force; yet the operation may be so specialized or localized, or
both, with reference to the entire effort contemplated in the basic
Decision, that the solution of this subsidiary problem can best be
accomplished through the procedure distinctive of the first step.

The commander will therefore necessarily be the judge, in each case,
as to the particular procedure to be adopted.

There are wide variations in the requirements of the Estimate Form,
when used for the solution of subsidiary problems. This is natural
because these problems vary widely in nature. They include, on the one
hand, problems dealing directly with the conflict of armed forces, for
which the Form is especially designed. On the other hand, these
problems include those dealing with the factors related to freedom of
action. To be suitable for this purpose, the Form requires
modification in varying degrees. Certain examples are included in the
latter part of this chapter (page 176 and following).

The application of the procedure of the first step to the solution of
such subsidiary problems requires provision for deriving, in each
case, a (subsidiary) mission appropriate to the problem. Of the two
elements of the mission, the (subsidiary) purpose is first determined,
because the (subsidiary) task will necessarily be suitable to the
(subsidiary) purpose. These elements of the (subsidiary) mission may
be obtained from one or more of the operations into which the basic
Decision has been resolved. They may also be obtained from a preceding
subsidiary problem, already solved.

In illustration of the preceding, discussion is first centered on a
strategical problem of usual type, involving a subsidiary tactical
problem calling for the detailed employment of weapons in a naval
engagement. Other illustrations will deal with subsidiary problems
relating to particular aspects of freedom of action.

In the first example it is supposed that the commander has already
solved a basic problem of broad strategical scope, and has arrived at
a Decision which contemplates an engagement. A further logical act of
planning is now to develop a Battle Plan. Such development involves
the solution of a subsidiary problem. In this case the commander is
supposed to have found it desirable to solve this subsidiary problem
by the procedure distinctive of the first step.

In this problem, the situation summarized is an imaginary one. It may
eventuate either through the natural future developments of the
situation existing at the time of the solution of the basic problem,
or it may confront the commander during the execution of the plans
derived from the Decision of that (basic) problem. The Battle Plan
finally to be formulated will be for use under the conditions assumed
in this situation.

The commander will desire to draw up a Battle Plan as a provision for
the situation which he believes most likely to eventuate. However, as
he cannot be certain that this situation will occur, he may also
desire to assume other situations, i.e., prepare in advance for other
contingencies. It is then necessary for him to solve several problems,
each differing from the others in the assumptions (page 155) as to the
form the situation may take. The summary of the situation therefore
requires a brief statement of the conditions which are assumed. In
addition, such parts of the basic problem may be included as are
deemed pertinent to the new problem in hand.

In his new problem the purpose of the (subsidiary) mission may readily
be obtained from the basic problem. Suppose the assigned task,
motivating the estimate of the basic problem, to have been to "prevent
enemy convoy from reaching destination". This, the motivating task of
the basic problem, then becomes a suitable (subsidiary) purpose for
the mission of the subsidiary problem.

For the mission of the subsidiary problem, a motivating task, suitable
to the purpose thus determined, will be found in the Decision of the
basic problem. Suppose the Decision in this case to have been "to
destroy the enemy convoy". The task thus determined for the subsidiary
problem becomes an assigned task in the sense that it is assigned by
the commander to himself, instead of to a subordinate; however, it is
also an assigned task in the sense that it has been indirectly
assigned by the immediate superior, because it has been derived, in
the basic estimate, from the motivating task which was directly
assigned by the superior.

The two elements, of task and purpose, when linked together, enable
the commander to visualize the appropriate effect desired, as the
basis for his subsidiary estimate,--a procedure identical with that
followed in a basic estimate. As in the latter, the commander can now
formulate his subsidiary mission, as:--

    (Task) To destroy the enemy convoy,

    (Purpose) in order to prevent it from reaching its
    destination.

The mission of the subsidiary problem is thus seen to be identical
with the basic Decision linked to the purpose of that Decision.

However, this is not always the case. A subsidiary problem may merely
involve the execution by the commander, i.e., under his own immediate
direction, of a designated part of his general plan. Or, such a
problem may involve execution, by the commander, of one or more of the
detailed operations for the accomplishment of his general plan or of a
part thereof. The commander may also find it necessary to solve
numerous subsidiary problems of relatively restricted scope pertaining
either to his general plan or to a part thereof or to the detailed
operations involved.

In some of these cases the purpose of the subsidiary mission may be
readily apparent. In others, its nature may become clear only after
the application of considerable mental effort. In every case the
determination of a proper (subsidiary) purpose involves visualization
of a situation which the commander desires to bring about or to
maintain. The (subsidiary) task, appropriate to the (subsidiary)
purpose, will always necessarily be suitable to the latter. This task
is then the motivating task for the solution of the particular
subsidiary problem in hand. This will be the case whether the
commander makes a simple mental solution or produces a more complex
one in which the formal written estimate of the situation is employed.
In the former instance, the brevity of the mental process tends to
obscure this fact.

An example might occur in a situation where the commander has received
an order to "Protect the base at A". It is then supposed that, after
estimating the situation, he has reached the Decision "to deny the
enemy the use of base sites within effective bombing range of A", the
purpose of the Decision being, of course, "in order to protect the
base at A". The action required might then be undertaken in two
stages. The first stage might be confined to the area ABCD. If, then,
all available base sites in this area, except Y island, were already
securely in friendly hands, the commander would find it necessary to
make provision for an operation to deny the use of this island to the
enemy. If this operation is of such a nature that the commander
desires to execute it under his own direct control, instead of
assigning it to a subordinate, it presents a subsidiary problem which
the commander, himself, has to solve.

The commander has now determined the necessity of solving a subsidiary
problem relating to the accomplishment of a designated part of his
general plan. He has also determined the necessity of solving another
subsidiary problem presented by an operation pertaining to the first
stage of the accomplishment of his general plan.

Each subsidiary problem requires an estimate of the situation although
"the brevity of the mental process tends to obscure this fact" (page
172).

In making his basic estimate, the commander may have discovered the
need for these subsidiary estimates. In this case, he may have
included them in his estimate, as "estimates within the estimate"
(page 83), in his analysis of the operations involved in the various
courses of action which he considered. For instance, his basic
Decision may have included the capture of Y island, and he may have
covered this feature by a corollary to that Decision, as follows:

    Corollary: As a first stage, to deny the enemy the use of
    available base sites in the area ABCD, by capturing Y island.

However, the commander may not discover the desirability or need of
solving these subsidiary problems until the second step, when
resolving the basic Decision into the detailed operations required. In
this case, he might make due provision at that time for the operations
involved in the subsidiary problems. The mental procedure would be the
same in either event.

The commander may find, however, that he prefers to make a separate,
subsidiary estimate with respect to the determination of the stages of
his operation, including the details as to the performance of the
first stage. In this case he finds a proper mission for his subsidiary
estimate in the basic Decision, linked to its purpose. This mission
would be as follows:--

    (Task) To deny the enemy the use of base sites within
    effective bombing range of A,

    (Purpose) in order to protect the base at A.

During the subsidiary estimate the commander may discover, in his
study of the area ABCD, the necessity for an operation to deny Y
island to the enemy, and may even go so far, in this study, as to
decide on the capture of this island. The decision, settling on this
area as the scene of the first stage of his effort, may then include
provision for the capture of the island, as follows:

    Decision: To deny the enemy the use of base sites in the area
    ABCD as a first stage toward denying him the use of all base
    sites within effective bombing range of the base at A.

    Corollary: To capture Y island.

However, the commander may not take up the matter of denying Y island,
specifically, to enemy use until he studies the detailed operations
required for the accomplishment of the action involved in his first
stage. In such event, he may make provision for the capture of the
island in his subsidiary plan for the execution of the first stage. He
may find, on the other hand, that he prefers to make a separate,
subsidiary estimate as to this feature. If so, the mission for this
subsidiary estimate would be identical with the decision (less the
corollary, but plus the purpose of the estimate), i.e.,--

    (Task) To deny the enemy the use of base sites within
    effective bombing range of the area ABCD as a first stage

    (Purpose) toward denying him the use of all base sites within
    effective bombing range of the base at A.

During this estimate the commander considers the various courses of
action whereby he can deny to the enemy all bases in the area of the
first stage. Concluding that Y island is the only base site not
securely in friendly hands, and that the best method of denying it to
the enemy is to capture it himself, he reaches a decision as follows:

    Decision: To capture Y island, in order to deny to the enemy
    the use of the only available base site in the area ABCD.

In each of the foregoing cases, the commander is said to have
"deduced" the mission for his subsidiary problem. As has been
demonstrated, the process of deduction is merely the application of
the natural mental processes through the use of the estimate of the
situation. Whether the estimate is formal or informal, detailed or
brief, written or mental, is immaterial; in any case, the estimate
results in a decision which provides, with its purpose, a proper
mission for the succeeding problem which has been presented by
solution of its predecessors.

In logical sequence, from problem to problem, the procedure outlined
in the preceding discussion enables the commander to derive a correct
mission for the problem involving the capture of Y Island. Clear
visualization of such a subsidiary mission is frequently of great
importance, and may be difficult unless the procedure has been
carefully traced from each problem to the next. In this particular
example, if the commander finds that the capture of Y Island is of
such a specialized and localized nature (page 170) as to call for a
formal estimate (as may frequently be the case in capturing a
well-defended island base), he will be especially desirious of
deriving a correct (subsidiary) mission as a basis for this estimate.
In this instance a correct mission would be:--

    (Task) To capture Y Island,

    (Purpose) in order to deny to the enemy the use of the only
    available base site in the area ABCD.

This mission is identical with the decision, linked to its purpose, of
the preceding subsidiary problem.

       *       *       *       *       *

Subsidiary problems relating to training (page 160), when solved by
the procedure distinctive of the first step, involve estimates of the
situation very similar to those explained previously (Chapter VI).

Section I-A of such a training estimate will include a summary of the
salient features of the existing situation, from the strategical or
tactical viewpoint, together with a statement of the salient features
of the operations to be carried out for which the projected training
is designed. The incentive will be found in a previous decision
calling for the operations which require the training to be given. The
assigned objective will be the making of adequate provision for
training appropriate to the projected operations. The (subsidiary)
mission will be:--

    (Task) to provide appropriate training,

    (Purpose) in order to contribute to freedom of action during
    the operations contemplated. (In each particular case the
    operations contemplated will be indicated by proper
    phraseology in the mission or by reference to the preceding
    summary of the situation.)

Section I-B of a training estimate will take account of the training
factors cited in the Estimate Form (Chapter VI) for a basic problem,
but will specify details with respect to both own and enemy forces.
This section will also cover existing facilities for training, as well
as the characteristics of the theater which have now or may have a
bearing on the training to be given.

Section II will discuss the various possible procedures for affording
the appropriate training.

Section III will deal with any measures which may be adopted by the
enemy (through actual attack, through propaganda, or any other
methods) to hinder or prevent the desired training.

Section IV will be devoted to the selection of the best training
procedure.

Section V will state the decision as to the essentials of the training
to be given and as to the method of giving the training. The decision
will be in such detail as to constitute a general plan, or a proper
basis therefor, from which a detailed plan may be developed.

A detailed training plan, developed from the foregoing decision, will
assemble the necessary information and assumptions, will state the
general plan for training, and will prescribe the appropriate training
tasks. It will also include any proper coordinating measures, make
provision for the logistics of the training plan, and finally provide
for the exercise of command and for supervision over the training.

A training plan may be briefed by annexing appropriate
documents,--e.g., a program and a schedule. The commander will
ordinarily issue a schedule for training to be given under his own
supervision; he will usually issue a program for training to be given
by his subordinates, who will in turn prepare their own schedules.

       *       *       *       *       *

Subsidiary problems involving intelligence (page 160), when solved by
the procedure distinctive of the first step, call for an intelligence
estimate along the lines indicated, in general, in Chapter VI.

Section I-A of the Estimate will include a summary of the salient
features of the present situation and of the contemplated strategical
and tactical operations. The incentive, to be found in a previous
decision of the commander, will be noted. The assigned objective will
be the making of provision for adequate intelligence of the enemy and
of the theater of operations. The mission will be:--

    (Task) To make provision for adequate intelligence of the
    enemy and of the theater of operations,

    (Purpose) in order to contribute to freedom of action in the
    operations contemplated.

Section I-B of the intelligence estimate will take account of the
factors as to intelligence and as to related matters which are noted
in the Estimate Form (Chapter VI) for a basic estimate.

Section II will consider the possible procedures for obtaining
information, i.e., for its collection, including reports from
collecting agencies.

Section III will consider the capabilities of the enemy as to
counter-intelligence measures.

Section IV will compare the various procedures open for the collection
of information and for reports thereof.

Section V will include a decision as to the essential elements of
information desired. The decision will be in sufficient detail to
serve as a general plan (or a basis therefor), to be developed into a
detailed plan for obtaining information and for converting it into
intelligence.

A detailed intelligence plan will include appropriate information and
assumptions. It will state the general plan for obtaining
intelligence. This statement will include the essential elements of
information desired. The plan will include appropriate tasks for
information-collecting agencies, with times and destinations for
reports of information. The task for each collecting agency will be
based on the general plan (above); such task will also be
synchronized with the projected operations prescribed for such agency
in current Operation Orders (Chapter VIII). The agency's inherent
capabilities--its limitations as well as its powers--will be given
due consideration. Requests to be made on collecting agencies not
under the commander's control will be noted in the information (as to
own forces) given in the plan (see above).

Logistics arrangements will include, for example, provisions for
handling prisoners of war, the disposition of captured documents and
other materials, and the supply of maps, charts, and photographs.
Counter intelligence measures will be specified where applicable.
These include such matters as censorship, press relations, camouflage,
and propaganda. Finally, the plan will include provision for the
rendition of routine and special reports, for special charts (or maps)
accompanying or pertinent to such reports, and for any intelligence
conferences.

The essential elements of information desired are frequently stated in
question form. Each question deals with an enemy course of action or
with one or more of the enemy operations pertaining to such a course
(page 161).

The tasks assigned to collecting agencies, or the requests made on
collecting agencies not under the commander's control, will call for
information (negative, if desired, as well as positive) as to specific
indications of the enemy's action--past, present, or intended--and of
the characteristics of the theater as related thereto. The indications
to be sought for and reported are carefully determined by the
commander in expectation that information obtained as to such matters
will enable him to draw conclusions which will answer the questions
posed by the essential elements of information.

For example, essential elements of information, with corresponding
indications, may be as follows:

Essential Elements               Indications

1. Will the enemy patrol the     a. Presence or absence of enemy
   trade route from A to B?         forces (number and types of
                                    vessels) between meridians--and--,
                                    as far north as--and as far
                                    south as--.

                                 b. Times enemy forces observed
                                    in area noted.

                                 c. Apparent activity of enemy
                                    forces so noted.

2. Will the enemy cover focal    a. Presence or absence of enemy
   points M and N?                  forces (numbers and types of
                                    vessels) in (a specified area
                                    or areas).

                                 b. Times enemy forces observed
                                    in areas noted in a, above.

                                 c. Apparent activity of enemy so
                                    noted.

                                 d. Has M or N been prepared
                                    as a naval base; an air base
                                    for seaplanes, for land planes?
                                    Is M or N readily accessible to
                                    enemy battleships? What are
                                    the characteristics of the
                                    available entrances to sheltered
                                    anchorages? (Etc.)

Another type of subsidiary problem which may call for a separate
subsidiary plan relates to logistics (page 162). This problem is
particularly applicable to the planning stage, because the
contingencies which it involves can, to a considerable degree, be
foreseen. In this case the situation which the commander usually
desires to bring about is adequate freedom of action with respect to
supply and related matters. He wishes to solve this problem so
completely during the present step that a logistics plan, concurrently
executed with his basic plan, will require minimum subsequent
attention.

A logistics estimate by the procedure distinctive of the first step
will include in Section I-A a summary of the pertinent features of the
existing strategical and tactical situation, and of contemplated
strategical and tactical operations. It will also include a statement
of the salient features of the existing logistics situation. The
incentive, to be found in a previous decision of the commander, will
be noted. The assigned objective will be the making of adequate
provision for logistics support. The mission will be:--

    (Task) to make provision for adequate logistics support,

    (Purpose) in order to contribute to freedom of action in the
    operations contemplated. (In each particular case the
    operations contemplated will be indicated by proper
    phraseology in the mission or by reference to the summary of
    the situation).

Section I-B of the estimate will take account of the logistics factors
cited in the Estimate Form (Chapter VI) for a basic estimate, but will
specify details to the further extent necessary.

Section II will discuss the various possible procedures for affording
appropriate logistics support of the various categories.

Section III will discuss enemy actions to hamper or prevent adequate
logistics support.

Section IV will deal with selection of the best logistics procedure.

Section V will state the decision as to the essential elements of the
logistics support to be afforded, in such detail as will constitute a
general plan (or a proper basis therefor) from which a detailed plan
can be developed.

A detailed logistics plan, developed from the foregoing estimate, will
assemble the necessary information and assumptions. It will state the
general plan for logistics support. It will then provide for
appropriate action as to each type of logistics support, or will state
proper tasks for the several subdivisions of the force concerned
therewith. It will include, also, any coordinating measures. It will,
finally, make provision for exercise of command with reference to
logistics support, as well as for any necessary or desirable time
elements and similar considerations.

       *       *       *       *       *

From all of the foregoing discussions it is apparent that the numerous
possible subsidiary problems are all related to the basic problem
either directly or through an intervening subsidiary problem. The
nature of this relationship is seen through the (subsidiary) purpose,
determined for the particular (subsidiary) task; therefore, the
understanding of the problem involves a statement or visualization of
the (subsidiary) purpose in each case.



PART III


THE EXERCISE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT
IN THE EXECUTION OF THE PLAN



CHAPTER VIII

THE INAUGURATION OF THE PLANNED ACTION

(The Third Step--The Formulation and Issue of Directives)

    In the discussion which now follows, it is demonstrated that,
    if the second step (Chapter VII) has been carried through
    completely, the formulation of directives requires only the
    completion of details of the Order Form, which is explained.
    The various types of naval plans and directives are also
    described.


Scope of the Third Step. As previously stated (in Chapter V, on page
107), the inauguration of the planned action (the third step) begins
when the commander forms the intention of immediately promulgating, as
one or more directives, his solution of the problem represented by the
second step. The third step ends at the moment when the problem
becomes one of supervising the planned action in the course of its
execution.

Military Plans and Military Directives. A plan is a proposed scheme,
procedure, or method of action for the attainment of an objective. It
is one of the essential links between decision and action.

A directive, in the general sense, initiates or governs conduct or
procedure. It is the means by which one's will or intent is made known
to others. Sometimes the word is employed as a synonym for "order"; at
others, it carries the significance of various instructions ranging
from the simple to the complex; at still others, it denotes a plan
formulated to be placed in effect in a particular contingency or when
so directed. In all cases, a directive, to be suitable as a guide for
others, has as its origin a plan.

The words plan and directive are used herein as follows:--A plan may
exist only in the mind. Even if formulated and set down in writing, it
may receive no distribution. A plan continues to be exclusively a plan
so long as it concerns the originating commander alone, and it never
loses its identity as a proposed procedure or method of action. When,
however, the commander forms the intent of promulgating the plan
immediately, the plan becomes also a directive. At this point, as
noted in the preceding paragraph ("Scope of the Third Step"), the
execution phase begins, from the standpoint of the exercise of mental
power, with the inauguration of the planned action.

A directive may therefore be (1) an order effective upon receipt, in
which case it may be an order placing in effect a plan already issued;
or a directive may be (2) a formulated plan which the commander
intends to issue immediately to his subordinates.

Accordingly, certain written instruments prepared under the
designation of plans are also included under the classification of
directives. In the use of these terms hereinafter, the distinction
between a plan viewed as a basis for a directive, and a plan intended
to be promulgated as a directive, will be indicated in the context.

Whether written or mental, the complete plan will cover the scope of
the Decision, and will be the commander's method of procedure for his
future conduct of operations. A commander may, or may not, formulate
his complete plan in writing, or embody it in a formal directive which
will provide for the execution, in full, of the Decision of his
estimate. He may find that his plan divides into several parts, and he
may make separate provision for the execution of each of these parts.
While the integrity of a plan depends upon the soundness of its
essential details, the plan is properly formulated as a directive or
directives projected in detail, only so far into the future as the
commander's estimate of the situation assures him of reasonable
freedom of action (see page 57).

Where the commander divides his plan into parts for separate
accomplishment, he will naturally exercise care that each part is, in
itself, the suitable basis for a complete and homogeneous plan.
Successful execution of all these plans results in the complete
accomplishment of his Decision.

Directives required to further the success of a particular operation
may be issued without awaiting formulation of the entire plan. Parts
of the plan may be transmitted as fragmentary directives to guide the
action of subordinates in instantaneous or early execution. Such cases
are far more frequent than are those in which a formal written plan,
to guide either the operations in their entirety or a part thereof, is
prepared and distributed as a directive. Effective action by the
subordinate is thus not delayed by the absence of complete written
directives.

The commander, more especially during war, may be the only individual
who is conversant with the entire plan. He may consider that the
necessity for secrecy is paramount, or that there are features to
whose details he is unwilling to commit himself until the situation is
clearer. However, he may usually expect to disclose its scope and
general features to his immediate superior, and the plan in its
entirety to his next junior; or, in the interests of mutual
understanding, to all his subordinates of the next lower echelon or
even to his entire command. The scope of the plan also may be a
determining factor. If the plan covers an entire campaign or an
extended series of operations, its dissemination is less likely and
less general than if it is concerned with only a minor operation.

During peace, in exercises simulating war, the complete plan is
frequently given circulation for purposes of training.

Subsidiary Plans. Subsidiary plans, discussed in Chapter VII (page
168), are frequently issued as annexes to the Operation Plan (page
196) which carries into effect the basic Decision. The commander will
be the judge as to whether alternative subsidiary plans are necessary
or desirable under the circumstances.


Essentials of Military Directives.

General. By the issue of directives, a commander communicates to his
subordinates his plans or such parts of them as he desires. Directives
may be oral or written, or may be transmitted by despatch.

Whether a directive is to be effective upon receipt, or under
specified conditions, or at a specific time, or upon further
instructions from the commander, will be evident from its nature, or
will be prescribed in the body of the directive itself.

The manner of determining the details of a plan has been discussed in
Chapter VII. The matter contained therein is pertinent to the
preparation of a plan that is not to be issued as a directive as well
as to one that is to be so issued.

The various categories of directives customarily employed in our naval
service, and standard forms for these, are described hereinafter.

The essentials of a military directive which is designed to govern the
execution of a plan are:

    (a) That it indicate the general plan for the common effort
        of the entire force.

    (b) That it organize the force with a view to the effective
        accomplishment of this plan.

    (c) That it assign tasks to the subdivisions of the force,
        such that the accomplishment of these tasks will result in
        the accomplishment of the plan adopted for the entire
        force.

    (d) That it make appropriate provision for coordination among
        subdivisions, for logistics support, and for the
        collection of information and the dissemination of
        intelligence, that it state the conditions under which the
        plan is to become effective; and that it indicate the
        location of the commander during the period of execution.

Some of these essentials may have found their expression in previous
instructions, or may be unnecessary because of the state of mutual
understanding. On the other hand, the directive may include annexes in
the form of alternative and subsidiary plans, letters of instructions
(page 188), and other material designed to be of assistance in the
intelligent accomplishment of the assigned task.

In issuing a directive, whether written or oral, except such a
fragmentary order as has previously been described (page 184), a
commander has the following definite responsibilities:

    (a) To ensure that subordinates understand the
        situation,--therefore, to give them pertinent available
        information.

    (b) To set forth clearly the general plan to be carried out by
        his entire force, as well as the tasks to be accomplished
        by each subdivision of his force.

    (c) To provide each of these subdivisions with adequate means
        to accomplish its assigned task.

    (d) To allow subordinate commanders appropriate discretion
        within the limits of their assigned tasks, without,
        however, sacrifice of the necessary coordination.

He will also bear in mind that a directive will best convey his will
and intent and will be most easily understood by his subordinates if
it is clear, brief, and positive.

Clarity demands the use of precise expressions susceptible of only the
desired interpretation. Normally, the affirmative form is preferable
to the negative. The importance of clarity has been summed up in the
saying, "An order which can be misunderstood will be misunderstood".
If misunderstandings arise on the part of trained subordinates the
chief fault often lies with the person who issued the directive.

Brevity calls for the omission of superfluous words and of unnecessary
details. Short sentences are ordinarily more easily and rapidly
understood than longer ones. Brevity, however, is never to be sought
at the expense of clarity. The attainment of brevity often requires
considerable expenditure of effort and of time. But time is not to be
sacrificed in the interests of obtaining brevity in directives, when
the proper emphasis should rather be on initiating early action.

Positiveness of expression suggests the superior's fixity of purpose,
with consequent inspiration to subordinates to prosecute their tasks
with determination. The use of indefinite and weakening expressions
leads to suspicion of vacillation and indecision. Such expressions
tend to impose upon subordinates the responsibilities which belong to
and are fully accepted by a resolute superior.


Restatement of the Decision for Use in the Directive

Except where special considerations exist to the contrary, it will be
found that the expression of the Decision for use in a directive will
most clearly indicate the intent of the commander if stated in terms
of the objective to be attained by his force (i.e., of the situation
to be created or maintained) and of the outlined action for its
attainment (page 104). Such expression is usually possible in problems
of broad strategical scope (page 88). In other cases difficulty may be
encountered. For instance, in tactical problems dealing with the
detailed employment of weapons, the action may necessarily be couched
in the terms of a series of acts (see page 95).

No precise form is prescribed; thoughts clearly expressed are more
important than form. It is customary to begin with "This force (or
group) will", and then state with brevity the Decision as (and if)
modified, adding the motivating task which is the purpose of the
Decision. The motivating task is connected with the preceding
statement by words such as "in order to", "to assist in", or
"preparatory to", as the case may be.

Since his original expression of the Decision in the first step
(Chapter VI), the commander has studied the operations required to
carry it out. He therefore has gained a knowledge, which he did not
then have, of how his action is to be carried out. He may now be able
to compile a brief of these operations, applicable to all of them and
therefore informative to all subordinate commanders. He may be able to
say how, or even where and when, the effort of his force will be
exerted.

As an illustration, if his Decision is "to destroy enemy battle-line
strength", his operations might be described "by gun action at long
range during high visibility". Should the commander, solely for the
purpose of making his intent clearer to his subordinate commanders,
now decide to include the latter phrase in the re-wording of his
Decision, he may do so at this point.

It may sometimes be necessary to restate the Decision for another
reason. It will be recalled that the commander is frequently obliged
to recognize that he cannot carry out all of these operations, and
that he therefore decides to issue a directive to carry out certain
ones selected for the first stage (page 164). In such a case, he may
not now be able to use the full Decision as originally determined. In
that event he couches the Decision in terms of the partial
accomplishment inherent in the operations to be undertaken.


Standard Forms for Plans and Directives

Form. Experience has shown that military directives usually give best
results if cast in a standard form well known alike to originator and
recipient. Such a form tends to prevent the omission of relevant
features, and to minimize error and misunderstanding. However, a
commander may find that lack of opportunity to facilitate mutual
understanding by personal conference requires that one or more
subordinates receive instructions in greater detail than a standard
form seems to permit. A letter of instructions may then be
appropriate. The commander himself is the best judge as to the
application of a form to his needs of the moment, and as to the
necessity for adherence to form in whatever particular.

Useful as form is, it is important to keep in mind that it is the
servant and not the master.

The standard form in use in our naval service, long known as the Order
Form, is applicable, with certain modifications, to all written plans
and directives.

The Order Form will now be described in detail from the standpoint of
its general application to all classes of directives, including the
commander's written plan, whether or not promulgated as a directive.

The Order Form. Because of established usage, and for other reasons
noted hereinafter, it is desirable that certain clerical details be
handled as follows:

    (a) To minimize errors, all numerals are spelled out, except
        paragraph numbers and those in the heading.

    (b) For emphasis, and to minimize errors, all geographical
        names and names of vessels are spelled entirely with
        capitals.

    (c) To standardize arrangement and facilitate reading, a
        narrow left-hand margin is left abreast the heading and
        the task organization, and a wider margin is left abreast
        the paragraphs.

    (d) For the same reasons, the main paragraph numbers are
        indented in the wider margin.

    (e) For emphasis, the task-force or task-group titles of the
        task organization, wherever occurring, are underlined.

The sequence in which the subject matter is presented is a logical
arrangement which experience has shown to be effective. Since every
item has a definite place in the form, formulation is simplified, and
ready reference is facilitated.

In a written directive, the prescribed paragraph numbering is always
followed, even if no text is inserted after a number. This practice
serves as a check against accidental omission, and as confirmatory
evidence that omissions are intentional. For example, if there is no
new information to be disseminated, the paragraph number "1" is
written in its proper place, followed by the words "No further
information".

When the subject matter to be presented under any one paragraph is
voluminous, it may be broken up into a number of subparagraphs. Except
in paragraph 3, these subparagraphs are unlettered.

The Heading contains:

In the upper right-hand corner in the following sequence:

    (a) The title of the issuing officer's command, such as
        NORTHERN SCOUTS, or ADVANCED FORCE, etc., preceded by the
        titles, in proper order within the chain of command, of
        all superior echelons or of such higher echelons as will
        ensure adequate identification.

    (b) The name of the flagship, as U.S.S. AUGUSTA, Flagship.

    (c) The place of issue: for example, NEWPORT, R.I., or, At
        Sea, Lat. 34°-40' N., Long. 162°-20' W.

    (d) The time of issue: that is, the month, day, year, and
        hour; for example, July 12, 1935; 1100.

In the upper left-hand corner in the following sequence:

    (e) The file notations and classification: SECRET or
        CONFIDENTIAL, the classification being underlined and
        spelled with capitals. This classification is repeated on
        succeeding pages,

    (f) The type and serial number of the directive, such as
        Operation Plan No. 5, the words Operation Plan being
        underlined. This is repeated on succeeding pages.

The Body. The task organization, which consists of a tabular
enumeration of task forces or task groups, the composition of each,
and the rank and name of its commander, is the beginning of the body
of the directive. It is customary to omit the name of the issuing
officer from any task force or task group commanded by him. Any unit
included in a force named in the task organization is, by virtue of
that fact, directed to act under the command of the commander of the
specified force.

When so desired for additional ready identification, task forces and
their subdivisions may be numbered. In our naval service, systematic
methods for such numerical designation are indicated from time to time
by proper authority. Numerals for this purpose are entered in the task
organization to the left of the title of each appropriate task force
or subdivision thereof. The numerals may be placed in parentheses.

The directive is addressed for action solely to the commanders of the
task forces or task groups listed in the task organization.

Train vessels assigned exclusively to particular combatant task forces
are listed among the units of those forces in the task organization.
If the directive is to be used for assigning tasks involving
strategical or tactical movement directly to the Train, or to any
Train units, such units are grouped together to form a separate task
force. If instructions to the Train are to be issued in another
directive, the Train need not appear as a separate force in the task
organization. As a matter of general custom, the Train is usually not
included as a task force unless it is to accompany, or act in tactical
concert with, some one or more of the combatant task forces listed.

Each task force named in this table, together with its numerical
designation, is preceded by a separate letter, (a), (b), (c), etc.,
and its assigned task is set forth in a similarly lettered
subparagraph in paragraph 3.

Paragraph 1 is the information paragraph. It contains such available
information of enemy and own forces as is necessary for subordinates
to understand the situation and to cooperate efficiently. Paragraph 1
contains no part of the tasks assigned by the commander. Information
of the enemy and that of own forces, and assumptions where pertinent,
are usually set forth in separate unlettered subparagraphs.

When deemed advisable, unless secrecy or other considerations forbid,
paragraph 1 may include statements of the general plans of various
higher echelons in the chain of command. A statement of the general
plan of the next higher commander will frequently be included. For the
same reasons, the commander will often include in this paragraph a
statement of his own assigned task, unless, of course, this point is
adequately covered in the statement of his general plan in paragraph
2. Inclusion of such matters may enable subordinates to gain a clearer
visualization of the relationships existing among the several
objectives envisaged by the higher command.

To promote cooperation, paragraph 1 may also state the principal tasks
of coordinate forces of the commander's own echelon; for like reasons,
the principal tasks of other task forces of the command not listed in
the task organization may be included. Where the immediate superior
has prescribed particular methods to other forces for cooperation and
security, these may also be set forth as a matter of information. (See
page 167.)

In this paragraph, distinction is drawn between information which is
based upon established facts, and that of merely probable accuracy.
The latter is not to be confused with assumptions which, in Operation
Plans, are accepted as a basis. (See page 155.)

When writing their own information paragraphs, subordinate commanders
do not necessarily copy verbatim the information contained in the
order of their superior. Good procedure calls for them to digest that
information, select what is essential, and present it with any
additional information considered necessary. Care is taken to include
necessary information of coordinate task forces.

Paragraph 2 states the general plan of the complete force under the
command of the officer who issued the directive. If several directives
are issued for carrying out a single, complete plan (see, for example,
discussion of fragmentary orders, page 184), then paragraph 2 is
usually the same in all of them. The amount of detail given in this
paragraph is sufficient to ensure a clear comprehension by the
subordinates as to what is to be accomplished by the force as a whole.
It is customary to begin with the words, "This force will", followed
by a statement of the general plan and, unless secrecy or other
considerations forbid, by the purpose of the effort embodied therein.
(See Restatement of the Decision, page 187).

Paragraph 3 assigns individual tasks to all of the task forces listed
in the task organization. This paragraph is divided into as many
subparagraphs, (a), (b), (c), etc., as there are task forces
enumerated in the task organization. Each subparagraph commences with
the designating letter in parentheses, followed by the title of the
task force, underlined.

Normally the tasks for each task force are stated in order of their
importance. If preferred, however, the sequence of tasks may be
chronological, i.e., in the order of their execution. Each method has
certain advantages, according to the nature of the situation. Where
the chronological sequence is utilized, that fact is clearly
indicated, in order to avoid confusion. (See also page 166). After the
statement of the tasks, these subparagraphs conclude with such
detailed instructions as are necessary.

In cases where the entire force is listed in the task organization,
the proper formulation of tasks requires that the accomplishment of
all the tasks of paragraph 3 result in the accomplishment of the
general plan set forth for the entire force in paragraph 2. On the
other hand, where several directives are issued, each to a different
part of the force, with a paragraph 2 common to all, then the
accomplishment of the tasks of all of the paragraphs 3, of the several
directives is properly equivalent to the accomplishment of the general
plan prescribed in the common paragraph 2.

Where two or more task forces have identical task assignments, only
the common subparagraph need be written after the title of the task
forces concerned, thus:

    (a) Submarine Detachment,

    (b) Air Patrol, (assignment of the common task or tasks).

If the Train has been included as a separate force of the task
organization, it will be given its tasks as to tactical and
strategical movement in a separate subparagraph of paragraph 3.

In order to avoid repetition, task assignments and instructions which
apply to all task forces, or which pertain to the general conduct of
the operation, are embodied in a final subparagraph, designated as
3(x). It is particularly necessary that there be included in this
subparagraph the measures (e.g., as to cooperation, security,
intelligence, and the like) pertaining to freedom of action and
applicable to the force as a whole. Any tasks or instructions
applicable to individual task forces, only, will have been included in
the appropriate earlier subparagraph(s) (i.e., 3 (a), (b), (c), etc.).
To avoid repetition in these subparagraphs, coordinating instructions
applying to more than one task force may also be included, when
convenient to do so, in paragraph 3 (x).

Paragraph 3 (x) of Operation Plans and Battle Plans prescribes, in
addition to other applicable matters, the time and/or manner of
placing the plan in effect.

Paragraph 4 is the logistics paragraph. It sets forth the availability
of services and supplies, and describes and gives effect to the
general plan for the logistics support of the operation. If the
information and instructions as to logistics are long and detailed,
they may be embodied in a separate logistics plan, which is referred
to in paragraph 4, and is attached as an annex.

Paragraph 4 is not used for assigning tasks as to movement, either for
the Train or for any other subdivision of the force.

Paragraph 5 is the command paragraph. It contains instructions
considered necessary for the control of the command during the
operation, such as the plan of communications, zone time to be used,
rendezvous, and location of the commander. Paragraph 5 completes the
body.

The Ending consists of the signature, the list of annexes, the
distribution, and the authentication, as noted below:

    The Signature of the commander issuing the directive, with his
    rank and command title, is placed at the end, for example:
    John Doe, Vice Admiral, Commander Northern Scouts.

    Annexes consist of amplifying instructions which are so
    extensive as to make them undesirable for inclusion in the
    directive itself. They contain detailed instructions, in
    written form or in the form of charts or sketches. Separate
    Communications, Logistics, Sortie, Movement, Cruising,
    Intelligence, Scouting, Screening, Approach and Deployment
    Plans may be, and frequently are, disseminated as annexes to a
    directive. Alternative Plans may also be annexed.

    Annexes are referred to in the appropriate paragraph of the
    body of the directive, and are listed and serially lettered in
    capitals at the end near the left-hand margin, immediately
    below the body and the signature, and above the distribution.

    The Distribution indicates to whom the directive will be
    transmitted and the medium of transmission. The recording of
    this distribution in the directive is essential for the
    information of all concerned.

    Standard distribution may be indicated, as Distribution I, II,
    etc.

    Authentication. Unless signed by the issuing officer, each
    copy of the directive distributed is authenticated by the
    signature, rank, and designation of the Flag Secretary, with
    the addition of the seal whenever possible.

Campaign Plans. Campaign Plans (see page 196), when communicated to
officers on the highest echelons, are usually, in the Order Form,
modified as follows:

Heading. No change.

Task Organization. Not usually used.

    Paragraph 1. In addition to the information to be furnished,
        a statement is given of the assumptions (page 155)
        forming the basis of the plan.

    Paragraph 2. No change.

    Paragraph 3. This shows the stages into which the campaign has
        been divided; the several operations which will be
        undertaken in each stage, and the order of their
        accomplishment; and usually the forces to be made
        available for the first stage.

    Paragraph 4. No change.

    Paragraph 5. No change.

If it be found desirable, however, to employ a letter of instructions
instead of a formal directive, this may be done. In this case the
letter sets forth the essential features of the subject matter as
above described for the Order Form.

Sample Outline Form. For convenient reference, the outline form of an
Operation Plan is appended (see page 219). The Operation Order follows
the same form, the essential difference being that the Operation Order
makes no provision for assumptions, and is effective upon receipt
unless otherwise provided in the body of the Order.


Types of Naval Directives

Naval directives in common use are: War Plans, Campaign Plans,
Operation Plans, Operation Orders, Battle Plans, and Battle Orders.

Basic War Plans designate operating forces, assign broad strategical
tasks to these forces, and, where required, delimit theaters of
operations. These plans also assign duties to the supporting services
such as naval communications, etc. Requirements as to logistics plans
are also included. Accepted usage designates, as Contributory Plans,
the subsidiary plans which are prepared in support of Basic War Plans.

Campaign Plans. A campaign, as initially visualized, is a clearly
defined major stage of a war. A campaign, after it has passed into
history, sometimes bears the name of a leader, or a seasonal or
geographical designation. It may consist of a single operation, or of
successive or concurrent operations. The operations of a campaign have
properly a definite objective, the attainment or abandonment of which
marks the end of the campaign. (See also page 37, as to operations.)

A Campaign Plan indicates what might be called the "schedule of
strategy" which the commander intends to employ to attain his ultimate
objective for the campaign. Such a plan usually sets forth the stages
into which he proposes to divide the campaign, shows their sequence,
and outlines:

(a) The general plan for the entire campaign.

(b) The general plan involved in each stage and the order of
accomplishment, so far as the commander has been able to project his
action into the future, and usually,

(c) The forces to be made available for the first stage. The Campaign
Plan is primarily for the guidance of the commander himself. When
necessary for information or approval, it is forwarded to higher
authority. To provide the necessary background, it may sometimes be
furnished to the principal subordinates. In any case, the interests of
secrecy demand that its distribution be extremely limited.

Operation Plans. An Operation Plan may cover projected operations, or
may be contingent upon the occurrence of a particular event, or
combination of events. It may be issued in advance of the event. It is
placed in effect at a specified time or by special order, as
prescribed in the body of the plan itself. It provides for either a
single operation, or for a connected series of operations to be
carried out simultaneously or in successive steps. It is prepared for
dissemination to task-force commanders.

Usually, an Operation Plan covers more complex operations than does an
Operation Order, and projects operations over a greater time and
space. It allows more latitude to subordinate commanders, and provides
for less direct supervision by the issuing officer. It has typically
the distinguishing feature of including, in paragraph 1, the
assumptions upon which the plan is based.

To provide for eventualities under varying sets of assumptions, the
commander may formulate several alternative Operation Plans (see pages
155 and 156).

Operation Orders. An Operation Order deals with an actual situation,
usually of limited scope, in which the commander considers that he
possesses sufficient reliable information to warrant an expectation
that certain specific operations can be initiated and carried through
to completion as ordered. The Operation Order does not include
assumptions and, unless it contains a proviso to the contrary, is
effective upon receipt.

Under the conditions obtaining in modern warfare, there are few
occasions where the Operation Plan will not accomplish the full
purpose of the Operation Order. The use of the Operation Plan removes
the undesirable feature of imposing possible restriction on the
latitude allowed the subordinate without, in any degree, lessening the
authority of the commander.

Battle Plans. A Battle Plan sets forth methods for the coordinated
employment of forces during battle. If prepared in advance, it usually
is based on certain assumptions which are clearly stated in the plan.

Battle Plans may merely include provisions for a particular combat, or
they may include provisions for a connected series of separate or
coordinate engagements, possibly culminating in a general action, and
all directed toward the early attainment of a specified tactical
objective. Such combats may range in scope from engagements between
small forces to engagements between entire fleets.

Battle Orders are generally limited to the despatches required to
place a Battle Plan in effect, and to direct such changes in plan, or
to initiate such detailed operations, as may be necessary during the
progress of battle.



CHAPTER IX

THE SUPERVISION OF THE PLANNED ACTION

(The Fourth Step)

    The discussion in Chapter IX invites attention to the special
    considerations which influence the supervision of the planned
    action. The Running Estimate, which employs the procedure
    typical of the fourth step, is described in detail.


Nature of Discussion. As explained previously (Foreword, page 4), the
vast and important subject of the execution of the plan is treated
herein, as to details, chiefly from the standpoint of the mental
effort.

After the commander has issued a directive placing a plan in effect,
it is his responsibility to supervise the execution of the planned
action. Through the collection, analysis, evaluation, and
interpretation of new information (page 161), he will be able to
maintain a grasp of present progress and of future possibilities. He
will correct deficiencies and errors in the plan and in its execution.
He will guide the direction of effort toward the attainment of the
objective. He will ensure that his forces conform their movement in
correct relation to the physical objectives and to each other. He will
reapportion strength to meet new conditions, through comparison of his
accrued losses with respect to those he has anticipated. He will take
appropriate measures for freedom of action.

If a new plan is needed, the commander will evolve one and adopt it.
If the old plan requires changes as to its larger aspects, he will
make such changes. Otherwise, he will modify details of his plan as
the situation may demand, always, however, endeavoring to retain the
integrity of the larger aspects. He will issue additional directives
as may be required from time to time.

Goal of Planning. The function of planning (Part II, preceding) is to
afford a proper basis for effective execution. Effective action,
therefore, is the goal of planning.

Otherwise, planning is aimless, except as a mental exercise. Such
mental exercise, though it be with no thought of specific application
in the realm of action, has nevertheless the same fundamental aim as
if the planning were so intended. The aim of such mental exercise is
the inculcation of habits of thought which will provide a sound basis
for effective action.

Importance of Execution. Sound planning is, as explained in previous
chapters, the best basis for consistently effective action. Yet,
important as planning is, the effective outcome of plans depends upon
their execution.

While an unsound plan affords no firm basis for successful action,
recognition has long been accorded to the companion fact that a
perfect plan, poorly executed, may not provide as firm a foundation
for success as a reasonably good plan, carried out with resolution.

No plan, moreover, can be confidently expected to anticipate all
eventualities. Notwithstanding every effort to foresee all
possibilities, unexpected changes are to be regarded as normal. This
fact emphasizes the importance of effective supervision of the planned
action.

The importance of such supervision reaches its maximum during actual
hostilities; then (page 4) the necessity for alert supervision creates
an accentuated demand for the intelligent application of mental power
to the solution of military problems. Professional judgment then
assumes supreme importance because vital issues may hinge upon the
decisions reached during the development of the action.

Conditions in War. Standards of performance in peacetime exercises
cannot be a conclusive guide as to what may be expected under the
conditions of war. In the conduct of hostilities against a strong and
determined enemy, men and materiel do not always function at their
best. Commanders undergo extreme strains. Orders are often
misinterpreted or go astray. Men, and the machines which they operate,
frequently give less effective service than under the conditions of
peace.

In war, mistakes are normal; errors are usual; information is seldom
complete, often inaccurate, and frequently misleading. Success is won,
not by personnel and materiel in prime condition, but by the debris of
an organization worn by the strain of campaign and shaken by the shock
of battle. The objective is attained, in war, under conditions which
often impose extreme disadvantages. It is in the light of these facts
that the commander expects to shape his course during the supervision
of the planned action.

The Incentive. During the supervision of the action, problems calling
for decision may derive their incentive, as already noted (page 79)
either from a directive issued by superior authority, or by reason of
a Decision which the commander himself has already made, or because of
a recognition, by the commander concerned, of an incentive
originating from the demands of the situation.

In the event that the incentive appears in the form of a new task
assigned by a higher echelon, the commander's problem may become,
relatively, simple. In such a case he is relieved of the necessity of
recognizing for himself that the time is ripe for a new decision. This
fact, however, in no wise alters his fundamental responsibility for
taking action, or for abstaining therefrom, in accordance with the
actual demands of the situation (page 15) in the event that the
assigned task requires modification or alteration, or, further, in the
event that circumstances even call for a departure from his
instructions. Should modification, alteration, or departure be in
order, the commander is responsible for recognition of the fact that
the demands of the situation have introduced further problems.

Such recognition, therefore, irrespective of whether higher authority
has issued instructions covering the new situation, constitutes an
incentive to take action. No commander is justified in taking wrong
action, or in taking none, merely because no instructions have been
received. The ability to recognize the fact that the situation
presents a new problem is therefore a primary qualification for
command.

Recognition of New Problems. The supervision of the planned action, as
the fourth step (see Chapter V) of the exercise of mental effort in
the solution of military problems, therefore constitutes in itself a
problem, in that it involves fundamentally the ability to recognize
the existence of new situations which present new problems for
solution. To recognize such new problems requires a constant, close
observation of the unfolding of the original situation.

Only an alert commander can invariably determine whether the situation
is unfolding along the lines which he desires and as promulgated in
the directives formulated in the third step (see Chapter V and Chapter
VIII). In effect, the commander, after action has begun, considers the
changing situation as a variable in the problem presented by the
original situation. With the march of events he is, therefore,
constantly critical to detect whether variations in the original
situation are in accordance with his design or whether these
variations demand a departure from his plan.

Nature of Readjustments Required. If variations in the original
situation are in accordance with his design, the commander has the
assurance that all goes well, and that the unfolding of the situation
is following his intent. However, if this is not the case, changed
circumstances may demand recognition of the fact that a new problem
has presented itself. In this event a new incentive, arising from the
demands of the situation, calls for the solution of the new problem by
the procedure distinctive of the first step (Chapter VI).

Should directives of higher authority introduce a new incentive, the
commander solves such a new problem, also, by employing the procedure
distinctive of the first step.

On the other hand, the commander may find that the changed situation
motivates merely a modification of his previously determined
operations and of his directives already in force. In other words,
while his basic problem (Chapters V and VI) may remain the same, need
may arise for certain deviations from the decisions arrived at in the
first and second steps of its solution. Should this be the case, each
such problem will require solution by a return to the procedures
described (Chapter VII) with reference to the second step.

In the event of a demonstrated need, not for any change of plan, but
for a clarification of directives, the procedure involved is that
distinctive of the third step (Chapter VIII).

The commander may not safely view the succession of events with
complacency, even though the situation appears to be unfolding
according to plan. Perhaps the enemy may be purposely lessening his
opposition, in order to prepare for the launching of an offensive
elsewhere. As the situation unfolds, everything is viewed with
intelligent suspicion.

It is also possible that, during the progress of an operation, an
unforeseen opportunity may present itself to take advantage of a new
situation and to strike the enemy a more serious blow than that
originally intended.

Unwise caution is to be avoided no less than undue temerity. Where a
change appears, after proper consideration, to be indicated, no
hesitancy is justified in abandoning the original plan. Blind
adherence to plan is to be condemned no less than unwarranted
departures from predetermined procedure. Obstinate insistence on the
use of a certain method, to the exclusion of others calculated to
attain the same effect, may jeopardize the success of the effort.
Undue emphasis on the particular means to be used, and on the manner
of their employment, may exact a penalty by obscuring the objective.

On the other hand, undesirable departures from plan involve a
corresponding penalty, because changes, unless duly justified by the
situation, increase the possibility of failure. Frequency of such
changes, to the point of vacillation, is a sure indication of a lack
of aptitude for the exercise of command.

Importance of the Will of the Commander. It is accordingly clear that
qualification for the exercise of command requires the mental capacity
to recognize the need for changes in plan, or for no change. No less
essential, however, are the moral qualities required to carry
justified changes into effect, or to resist the pressure of events in
favor of changes not justified by the situation. (See also pages 8, 9,
and 72.)

Hence the universal importance accorded, by the profession of arms, to
the will of the commander. This is the quality which, together with
the mental ability to understand what is needed, enables the commander
to bend events in conformity with his plan (page 47), or, where such
shaping of circumstances is infeasible, to ensure for his command
every possible advantage which can be obtained.

A recognized defect of certain forms of theoretical problems lies in
the fact that they indicate, themselves, the time when a Decision is
needed. In other words, they fail to vest the commander with
responsibility for the decision that the time has come for a Decision
to be made. Hence the great importance, from the viewpoint of timing,
of those problems and exercises which partake more fully of the
reality of war. The successful conduct of war, notwithstanding its
demand for utmost mental power, is founded predominantly on those
moral qualities (see pages 9 and 72) which spring less from the
intellect than from the will.


Problems Involving Modifications of the Basic Plan

Relatively minor deviations from decisions reached during the first
and second steps of the solution of a military problem are frequently
required during the action phase, because of incentives arising from
the demands of the situation. Such requirements will not occasion
serious dislocation in the predetermined effort of the competent
commander.

However, more momentous situations are also to be expected. These will
present new problems for the commander to solve. Such new problems, so
long as they do not challenge the integrity of the basic plan, will
not prevent the competent commander from proceeding with his
predetermined effort if he takes appropriate action in due time to
control the unfolding situation. To maintain such control may call for
the exercise of outstanding qualities of the mind and of the will.

For example, it is assumed that the commander's basic Decision was to
destroy an enemy convoy, the purpose of the Decision being to prevent
the convoy from reaching its destination. Now, it is supposed that,
during the supervision of the action planned for the destruction of
the enemy convoy, the commander receives information of a hostile
reinforcement. It is further supposed that this reinforcement, if it
joins the enemy convoy's escort, can jeopardize the success of the
basic plan.

The commander is now confronted with a serious situation which, if not
controlled by action of the right kind, at the right time, and at the
right place, may result in shattering his basic plan. However, if the
commander takes action along correct lines in due time, he can still
preserve the integrity of his basic plan and so continue to control
the shaping of the situation.

Having re-examined his solution of his basic problem and found it
sound, the commander finds himself under the necessity of resolving a
perplexity as to what to do about the enemy reinforcement. In this
case, he concludes that his proper action is to prevent the enemy
reinforcement from protecting the convoy. This task, self-assigned
because of the demands of the situation, becomes the basis for the
mission of his new problem, the mission being:--

    (Task) To prevent the enemy reinforcements from protecting the
    convoy,

    (Purpose) in order to contribute to the eventual destruction
    of the convoy.

The commander now considers the various courses of action open to him
for the accomplishment of this mission. He also considers the enemy
courses of action. He then considers each of the former in relation to
each of the latter. He compares, on this basis, each of his retained
courses of action with the others and so selects the best course of
action. Finally, he arrives, in this manner, by the same process as in
a basic problem (Chapter VI), at a decision as to the best course of
action. Should this decision be to sink the enemy reinforcement, its
statement linked to its purpose, would be:--

    To destroy the enemy reinforcement, in order to prevent it
    from protecting the convoy.


Problems Challenging the Integrity of the Basic Plan

During the planned action, a change in the situation may have the
effect of challenging the integrity of the basic plan. The commander
is then faced by a problem calling for the exercise of the highest
order of ability. While problems of this type probably occur with
least frequency, they are the most important of those which may be
encountered during the fourth step.

Because such a problem, arising from the demands of a new situation,
requires a re-estimate of the basic situation, the essential procedure
is the same as for a basic problem (Chapter VI), but certain
modifications necessarily appear.

Summary of the Situation. While a commander will rarely find himself
operating without instructions, the importance of problems arising
when no directive applies is not lessened by the fact that such
problems may infrequently occur. When the commander is faced with a
situation not covered in orders of his superior, action may be
necessary before he can inform higher authority and receive
instructions. Usually this situation will be an emergency. Often it
will not allow time for a written estimate. The fact that such a
situation has arisen, and the reasons causing the commander to
conclude that it has arisen, are appropriately included in Section I-A
of the Estimate, under the "Summary of the Situation".

Recognition of the Incentive. The conclusion on the part of the
commander that the situation requires him to make provision for its
maintenance, or for a change, which in either case calls for a
departure from his basic Decision, constitutes a recognition of his
new incentive.

Appreciation of the Objective. Frequently the new incentive will
indicate that the objective embodied in the commander's present task
is no longer suitable, but that the purpose of his mission still
applies. By modifying the objective indicated in his assigned task,
but adhering to that in the purpose of his mission, he may be able to
visualize a new objective which will be appropriate to the new
circumstances. In this case the retained purpose assists the commander
to select a new objective which he can confidently adopt as the basis
for a new task which he assigns to himself.

If neither the commander's task nor the purpose of his mission apply
in the new situation, the evolution of a proper new objective may be
much more difficult. Under such circumstances the commander, by the
use of such information as may be in his possession, will first
endeavor to deduce an objective whose attainment constitutes a
suitable purpose. Such a deduction will be made on the basis of the
larger circumstances of the war, the campaign, or the operation.
Having made this determination, the commander will then deduce a task
appropriate to the new situation and in furtherance of the adopted
purpose. (See Chapter IV, page 52.)

Formulation of the New Mission. An appropriate new task having been
determined, as well as a proper purpose, the commander is now in a
position to formulate his mission. The procedure to this end is the
same as described (Chapter VI) with respect to the estimate of a basic
problem.

Other Items of the Estimate. For such problems of the fourth step,
other items of the Estimate Form require no essential modification of
the procedures described (Chapter VI) as applicable for the first
step.


The Further Procedure Applicable to Such Problems of The Fourth Step

After the commander has reached his new decision, the further course
of events may call for the resolution of the required new action into
detailed operations and for the inauguration of a new planned effort.
In such case, these procedures are accomplished through processes
essentially similar to, and fortified by the experience gained in,
those distinctive of the second and third steps. (Chapters VII and
VIII, respectively).

The new planned effort having been inaugurated, its supervision
continues, in turn, through the critical observation and the
appropriate action described herein as distinctive of the fourth step.


The Running Estimate of the Situation

The procedure employed in the constant, close observation of the
unfolding of the situation--to the end that justified changes of plan
may be initiated, while those uncalled-for may be avoided--is known as
the "Running Estimate of the Situation". Such an estimate, as
indicated by its name, is intended to keep pace with the flow of
events, so that the commander may be assured, at any time, that his
concurrent action will be based on sound decision. To this end, there
is a definite technique for which the standard Estimate Form provides
the basis. This technique is an aid for solution of the problem
involved in the supervision of the planned action.

Aim of the Technique Involved. Any procedure adopted to this end is
properly intended to assist in the supervision of the planned action,
but not to restrict the commander to particular methods. Flexibility
is a prime consideration. The ultimate aim of the technique is (see
also page 114) the rapid and successful exercise of mental effort in
the fast-moving events of the tactical engagement. It is under such
conditions, more especially, that effective supervision of the planned
action becomes a problem calling for every facility that can be
afforded the commander.

Nature of the Technique. The solution of this problem requires
mentally or in writing according to the particular case, (a) the
assembly of information as to events bearing on the situation, and (b)
the organization of this knowledge in a manner permitting its ready
use. Accordingly, it will be found helpful, where circumstances permit
written records to be kept, to provide for (a) a journal (a form of
diary) of events, with a file to support it, and (b) a work sheet to
organize applicable information in proper form for use. The journal
affords a basis for the work sheet. The latter in turn facilitates the
procedure, continuous while the action lasts, of estimating the
situation so that a Decision maybe rendered at any time desired.

Where written records are unnecessary or impracticable, the same
fundamental process is nevertheless employed. The fact that the
process is then wholly mental, without extraneous aids, involves no
change in the basic character of the essential procedure.

Journal. The journal, to serve the purpose indicated above, is kept in
a form permitting entry of essential data as to information needed for
the Running Estimate. Such data may include (see the suggested Form,
next page) the appropriate heading of the journal, the entries
applicable to each item of pertinent information, and the
authentication with which the journal, for any chosen period, is
closed.

       *       *       *       *       *


JOURNAL

(Organization, staff subdivision, etc.)

From: .................................................
                          (date and hour)

To: ...................................................
                          (date and hour)

Place: ................................................


----+-----+------+-------+------+--------+--------------------+-------
TOR | TOD | Time | Serial| From |  To    |Incidents, Messages,|Action
    |     | Dated|  No.  |      |(Action)|   Orders, etc.     |Taken
----+-----+------+-------+------+--------+--------------------+-------
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
    |     |      |       |      |        |                    |
----+-----+------+-------+------+--------+--------------------+-------

The heading of the journal is completed by inserting the designation
of the organization and, where appropriate, the staff subdivision
concerned, as well as the date and hour of beginning and closing the
journal, and the place (or general area) where the commander is
located.

Each entry includes, where appropriate, a time notation: for example,
as to the occurrence of an incident; the receipt (TOR) or despatch
(TOD) of a message; the receipt or issue of an order. The serial
number assigned to the entry is recorded. The "time dated" is the date
and hour of the incident, or, in the case of the message or order, the
date and hour appearing thereon.

Entry of the nature of incidents or of the content of messages and
orders, etc., is made under the heading "Incidents, Messages, Orders,
etc."; for example:

    As to an incident:

      Enemy bombed light forces in screen from northward.

As to a message:

      Our troops held up on Beach A since 0500 this date.

In the case of a message or order, the source and the action
addressee(s) are recorded in the columns marked "From" and "To
(action)" respectively. The content of the despatch or order then
follows. The amount of detail to be included depends upon the needs of
the work sheet (see below) in its capacity as a basis for the running
estimate of the situation. Further details can be ascertained, if
needed, by reference to the journal file.

The action taken ("None" entered, if none is taken) is indicated
briefly under that heading. In the case of the above entry as to the
enemy bombing light forces, the "action taken" might, for example
read:

    Prepared for torpedo attack.

A single journal may be maintained for the commander concerned; or, if
so desired, separate journals may be kept, for their respective
purposes, by the several principal officers of his staff.

The journal itself and its use are readily adaptable to informal
methods of preparation and maintenance. The Journal Form may be
prepared hastily, as needed or desired. Where appropriate, the Journal
Form may be made up in quantity by printing, multigraphing, or other
practicable methods.

Journal File. The file to support the journal is merely an assembly of
the records (messages, records of oral orders, and the like) from
which the journal is compiled. Each item of the file bears a serial
number corresponding to that of its entry in the journal. An ordinary
spike-file is frequently adequate for safe-keeping of these records
while in use. When the journal is closed, the corresponding
journal-file is filed with the journal, in accordance with standing
instructions or in compliance with any particular disposition directed
by the commander concerned or by higher authority.

Work Sheet. The usual form of the work sheet follows the form of the
estimate of the situation. A single work sheet may be kept for the
commander concerned, or, if so desired, separate work sheets may be
maintained, for their respective purposes, by the several principal
subdivisions of his staff. If a single work sheet is maintained,
entries by the several staff subdivisions may be facilitated by
dividing the work sheet among them, provided that the entire document
can always be promptly assembled for use as needed.

The work sheet, while an important official document, is ordinarily
informal in nature. The various headings, items, or titles (other than
the main heading) are merely copied, ordinarily, from the usual
Estimate Form. An example of a work sheet is as follows (see next
page):


WORK SHEET
(For Running Estimate of the Situation)

    ........................................
    (Organization, staff subdivision, etc.)

    From: ..................................
               (Date and hour)

    To: ....................................
           (Date and hour, if pertinent)

    Place: .................................

I. Establishment of the Basis for Solution of the Problem.

  A. The Appropriate Effect Desired.

    (1) Summary of the Situation.
        (Note: No other heading would be entered on the first page.)

               *     *     *

    (2) Recognition of the Incentive.
        (Note: No other heading would be entered on the (initial)
        (second) page.)

               *     *     *

    (3) Appreciation of the Assigned Objective.
        (Note: No other heading would be entered on the (initial)
        (third) page.)

    (4) Formulation of the Mission.
        (Note: No other heading would be entered on the (initial)
        (fourth) page.)

               *     *     *

  B. (Note: This and subsequent headings are entered in the manner
     indicated as to Section I-A, above.)

The remaining necessary headings and subheadings of the Estimate Form
would be entered similarly, in due order, on succeeding pages.

The use of a voluminous work-sheet is facilitated by entering item
headings in a narrow column at the left, and by cutting away unused
space below the several headings in such column, so that all the
headings (or the more important ones) can be seen at a glance. A
person using the work-sheet can then readily find any page desired.

The main heading (top, first page) is filled out in the same manner as
for the journal.

The other headings, for subdivisions of the work sheet, are ordinarily
transcribed from the usual Estimate Form, according to the needs for
the purpose of the particular work sheet. Such needs will vary with
circumstances. As has also been noted, the Estimate Form, itself
(Chapter VI), varies with the situation. For these reasons, the
work-sheet form is necessarily flexible, and will rarely be prescribed
in detail. Reproduction by printing, etc., will not be so frequent as
in the case of more rigid forms. The work sheet is authenticated only
if it is filed (see below), or if authentication is desired for other
reasons. The work sheet is, in fact, as indicated by its name, merely
a vehicle to facilitate the performance of important mental work.

When the work sheet has served its purpose, it is usually destroyed.
It is not, ordinarily, a permanent record, since such purpose is
served by the journal and its file. When a formal Estimate is made up
from the work sheet, such Estimate may serve the purpose of an
additional record. If no formal Estimate is made up for a given period
and the commander desires the corresponding work sheet to be preserved
for record, he may so direct.

Ordinarily, the work sheet is not destroyed or filed (and a new one
started) at any specified time. The work sheet is kept current by
marking out old entries no longer applicable; by inserting new
entries; and by inserting fresh pages when old ones have been filled.
The old pages, unless otherwise desired, may be destroyed.

A separate page of the work sheet is ordinarily used for each item
under which entries are to be made. This procedure applies not only to
principal headings, but also to subordinate titles, according to the
convenience of the user.

The procedure of devoting a separate page, initially, to each item of
the form enables additional pages to be inserted, where needed.
Manifestly, the amount of space needed for particular items of the
form cannot always be foreseen. The entries, for example, under the
"Summary of the Situation", in Section I-A of the Estimate Form, may
require little space or a great deal, depending upon the occurrence of
events and upon the period of time covered by the particular work
sheet. The same considerations are applicable as to other items.

When a work sheet is used as the basis for rendering special reports
(e.g., as to intelligence or operations), its form follows that used
for such reports. It is, therefore, in essence, merely an
outline-form, for entry of applicable data.

Procedure as to Entries. When a report, a plan, a dispatch, or other
pertinent item is received, its applicable content may first be
entered on the chart (or charts) maintained by the commander (or by
his staff). Thereafter the usual procedure would be an entry in the
journal, followed by a corresponding entry in the work sheet. The
document so received and recorded would then be placed in the journal
file. This procedure is subject to proper variation, as desired.
Immediate entry of data on the chart enables the commander and staff
to study the implications of the item, without waiting for completion
of routine clerical work.

Outgoing messages, instructions, etc., after approval or signature by
the commander, are handled by a similar routine. Where applicable,
such routine involves appropriate entry on the chart, in the journal,
and in the work sheet. The routine of entry is preferably based on a
copy (or copies), in order to avoid delay in dispatch.

Staff Organization and Functioning. The commander may desire important
documents to be handed to him at once, on receipt. He may, of course,
call for them at any time. He naturally will not, however, permit any
unnecessary delay to occur in the usual routine disposition of such
items. The routine exists to assist him, and its arbitrary disruption,
if he has properly defined the essential routine in the first
instance, cannot but work to his disadvantage.

Few things are more disturbing to the functioning of a staff than
undue eccentricity on the part of the commander or of senior members
of the staff. For instance, a personal habit to be rigorously
suppressed--a habit not infrequently in evidence, especially under
strain of active operations--is that of absent-mindedly pocketing
documents needed in the work under way. This subject might, but for
limitations of space, be illustrated by numerous other examples whose
homely character may not safely be permitted to detract from their
considered importance to unity of effort.

Where circumstances permit, it is desirable that incoming and outgoing
items be reproduced in quantity sufficient to supply separate copies
for the commander and for the several interested members of his staff.

A competent staff brings to the commander's attention all the items
necessary--but only those necessary--for his proper performance of his
duties. Inordinate attention by the commander to unnecessary detail
cannot but tend to distract his attention from his proper duties.

The importance of smooth and effective functioning of a staff
emphasizes the need for an established, though flexible, procedure.
Such procedure, if reasonably standardized, facilitates unity of
action, not only within staffs, but also among the several commanders,
and their staffs, throughout the chain of command.

The same fundamentals apply as to staff organization. If proper
functioning of staffs is generally understood, and if staffs are
correctly organized to perform their functions, the basis for their
sound organization will become a matter of general understanding. Such
organization, so understood, becomes a powerful influence in behalf of
unity of effort.

Staff functions--i.e., characteristic activities of staffs--divide
fundamentally into two classifications. These may be referred to, for
convenience of terminology, as "general" and "special".

The latter have to do with the characteristic operations of the
command, rather than of the commander; they therefore relate to such
matters as routine administration and to the technical aspects of
movement, of the use of weapons, and of supply, sanitation, and
hospitalization. The administrative, technical, and supply staff, thus
broadly considered, may be said to be concerned with special functions
relating to the operations of the command.

By contrast, the functions of the commander, as such, have to do with
the necessary supervision of these special functions and, more
especially, with the important duty of planning for the future
employment of the command. The supervisory and planning activities
may, for purposes of differentiation from the specialties noted above,
be properly described as general functions. They relate more
particularly to the duties performed personally by the commander or,
where such duties become too onerous for performance by one person, by
specifically designated members of his staff.

In our naval service, the higher commanders are provided, where
appropriate, with a chief of staff, who coordinates and supervises the
work of the entire staff. Provision is also made, where the nature and
amount of the work to be done calls for such assignment, for the
detail of additional staff officers to perform the important general
functions mentioned above. Appropriate provision is also made for
staff officers to care for the special functions inherent in the
character of the particular command.

The important general functions referred to are those relating to
intelligence duties, and to operations. Intelligence duties have to do
with the collection of information as to the enemy and the theater of
operations, the analysis of this information, its evaluation, its
conversion into intelligence by the process of drawing conclusions,
i.e., by interpretation, and, finally, its dissemination to the
command or to other appropriate destinations (page 161). Intelligence
estimates and plans have been discussed previously (Chapters VII and
VIII).

Operations, in the sense in which the term is employed in this
connection, relate to the strategical or tactical activities of the
command, as distinguished from routine functions pertaining to such
matters as administration and supply. Operations, therefore, as a term
employed in contradistinction to intelligence activities, refer more
especially to the performance of the commander's own force, while
intelligence functions are oriented more particularly with respect to
the activities of the enemy. Operation plans, which may include
subsidiary intelligence plans, have been discussed previously
(Chapters VII and VIII).

Further details in this connection are touched on hereafter with
respect to rendition of reports and estimates.

Reports. The work-sheet facilitates the rendition, at any time, of
such special reports as may be required by higher authority, or by the
commander from his staff. The appropriate staff officer is prepared at
all times to render a report, oral or written, informal or formal,
brief or detailed, of the situation of the command and of other
friendly forces, or of the situation with reference to the enemy.

No less important than rendition of reports to the commander and to
higher authority is the duty of the staff, or of the commander if he
lacks such staff assistance, to insure that subordinate commands
receive pertinent information at the proper time. Cooperating friendly
forces will also require such information. This need is sometimes met
by the issue of periodical reports or bulletins. However, during the
intervals between such reports, and at all times when such reports are
lacking, it is a primary duty of the commander and staff to ensure
that all concerned are informed as to the situation. The work sheet is
a valuable aid for the performance of this duty.

Oral Estimates. When called for by higher authority, or by the
commander from his staff, oral estimates of the situation can be
rendered promptly and effectively by reference to the work sheet.
Estimates called for by the commander are presented by the appropriate
staff officers. Presentation is made to the commander or, if so
directed, to the chief of staff, the latter being prepared to render,
in turn, an estimate to the commander. Oral estimates desired by
higher authority are made by the commander, or by the staff officer
concerned, at the direction of his commander.

Partial estimates may be called for from time to time as to particular
aspects of the situation.

In the larger staffs, the work is facilitated if each principal staff
officer is prepared to present his appropriate portion of the
estimate. In such case the intelligence officer deals with matters
relating to the enemy; the operations officer deals with those
relating to own forces, etc. The entire staff acts as a team in the
presentation of a well-rounded estimate which will bring all pertinent
matters to the attention of the commander so that he may arrive at a
sound decision.

Should the commander call also for recommendations as to the decision
or decisions to be made, the appropriate members of the staff will be
prepared to submit their views. They will be prepared, as well, to
answer at any time the calls of higher authority for information, for
the conclusions of the commander, or for his recommendations. Should
the commander have no staff for the performance of the foregoing
functions, such detailed duties devolve upon him personally.

Certain further aspects of estimates of the situation, with reference
to the circumstances obtaining during the supervision of the planned
action, are noted under the discussion of written estimates, which
follows.

Written Estimates. The foregoing remarks as to oral estimates are no
less applicable to those submitted in written form, whether formal or
informal, partial or full, brief or detailed. The nature of an
estimate, as to these characteristics, will largely depend on the time
element. A long and detailed estimate, often desirable when time is
available, may be wholly impracticable when the press of events
requires rapid decision. The written estimate, even if informal,
partial, or brief, would frequently be out of place in situations
where an oral estimate would be adequate or, if not adequate, would be
all that could be accomplished under the circumstances of the case.


Special Remarks as to Entries

Entries on Charts. Entries on charts are made by the usual
conventional signs and symbols. Colors are employed where appropriate.
Information not yet confirmed is indicated as doubtful; e.g., by a
question mark. Special remarks, comments, or other notations may also
be entered, but in such a manner as not to obscure other data on the
chart.

Where operations of land forces are involved, maps are prepared by the
methods prescribed for own land forces. The higher naval staffs, or
those of forces specially designated for such operations, may include
army officers who will look after these matters; marine officers may
also be assigned such duties.

Special charts or maps are those prepared for special purposes. A
chart (or map) maintained to show the existing situation is known as a
"situation chart" (or map). Charts (or maps) prepared for particular
operations are known as "operations charts" (or maps).

Entries in Journals. Entries in journals, already referred to, are
purely factual. Such entries may be complete copies of the content of
incoming or outgoing orders or messages. Again, as already indicated
(page 209), entries may consist of condensations of such matters. The
oral instructions of the commander are also appropriate items for
entry, when the matter is of sufficient importance. The journal may
also make note of the movements of the commander, his staff officers,
and other persons. Other pertinent happenings may also be made the
subject of entry.

Entries in Work Sheets. Entries in the work sheet, since it is the
basis for estimates of the situation, are both factual and otherwise.
All matters entered in the journal are normally appropriate for
notation in the work sheet. Information not yet confirmed is indicated
as doubtful. The work sheet is also the proper place for notation of
matters of conjecture (noted as such) and for other like items related
to estimates of the situation. The various considerations influencing
the commander and staff, with respect to current operations, are
proper entries in the work sheet. Its informal character affords wide
latitude as to entries which may be considered worthy of record in
this manner. The underlying consideration is that anything may and
should be entered which will be of value in preparing estimates or
rendering the special reports for which the work sheet is to provide
the basis.

A succinct running account of the situation is kept posted to date
under the appropriate heading of the work sheet.

Entry is also made of the incentive which motivates the solution of
the problem presented by the situation. Notation is made as to whether
the incentive arises from a task imposed by higher authority or is
derived by the commander from other sources (see page 200). In either
case, the work sheet is the proper place for the entry of such facts
and of the reasons which have led the commander to regard this
incentive as motivating his actions in the situation existing at the
time.

Information of the enemy, after receipt from the various collecting
agencies (radio, observers, subordinate forces, etc.), is subject to
the usual procedures of analysis, evaluation, interpretation, and
dissemination (page 214). Analysis determines the source and the
circumstances which led to the dispatch of the message. Evaluation
determines its degree of reliability. Interpretation calls for drawing
conclusions. The resulting intelligence is then disseminated to those
concerned, either within the command or elsewhere.

Since information of the enemy does not become intelligence until
converted thereinto by the process of drawing conclusions, this
important procedure is recorded briefly in the work sheet. Such record
makes available, for inclusion in estimates or in reports, the reasons
which have formed the basis for such conclusions.

Information of friendly forces, with any deductions drawn therefrom,
is similarly entered in the appropriate portions of the work sheet.

The facts and conclusions as to fighting strength of own and enemy
forces are important entries. The summary of fighting strength
includes proper conclusions as to the relative fighting strength of
the opposing forces, own and enemy's.

The work sheet is also the proper document for other entries pertinent
to estimates of the situation: e.g., the determination of own courses
of action, the examination into enemy capabilities, and the selection
of own best course of action. The commander's decisions, as rendered
from time to time, are also entered for purposes of temporary record.


Summary

The work sheet, therefore, if properly utilized, contains the Running
Estimate of the Situation, and is supported by the journal and the
journal file. By the use of the Running Estimate and its supporting
documents, the commander is enabled to keep himself apprised of the
developments of the situation. On this basis he is able to detect the
necessity for any changes in his plan and to arrive promptly at
decisions in accordance with such needs. These decisions become the
basis for new or modified plans and directives, to cause the action of
his command to conform to changes in the situation.

Where the full procedure described in this Chapter is unnecessary or
impracticable, a suitable modification without fundamental change will
be found applicable. The mental process, even if no records are kept
in writing, applies to the supervision of the planned action in every
situation.



CONCLUSION

    The discussion of "Sound Military Decision" now closes with a
    brief review of the application of mental power to the
    solution of military problems.


Mental power, which includes the ability to arrive at sound solutions
of military problems, is a recognized essential component of fighting
strength because (page 18) it is the source of professional judgment.

The procedure most likely to ensure sound solutions is the studied
employment of a natural mental process, differing in no fundamental
respect from that effectively utilized in all other human activities.
The basic mental procedure remains unchanged, irrespective of the
nature of the problem,--be it simple or complex, its solution
instantaneous or slow. The procedure is especially adapted to the
needs of the profession of arms through the use of the Fundamental
Military Principle. By outlining the essential elements involved, this
Principle, a valid guide for the solution of military problems, covers
the full scope of the application of mental power as a recognized
component of fighting strength.

It is more especially during the swift-moving action of the tactical
engagement that moral capacity to command, and mental ability to solve
military problems, experience the maximum pressure of events. It is
then, also, that the responsibility of the commander creates an added
demand for intelligent application of mental power because of the
vital issues which may hinge upon his decisions. That this pressure be
successfully sustained, and this responsibility effectively
discharged, is the goal of any system of mental training in the
profession of arms (page 114).

On a fundamental basis of earnest thought, mental ability, character,
knowledge, and experience, finally rests the soundness of decision.


OUTLINE FORM OF AN OPERATION PLAN

                                      TITLES OF THE
                                      SUPERIOR ECHELONS,
File Notations                        TITLE OF THE FORCE,
SECRET (or CONFIDENTIAL)              NAME OF SHIP, Flagship.

Operation Plan                        PLACE OF ISSUE,
         No. ----                     Date and hour of issue.

TASK ORGANIZATION.

  (a) Task Force Title, Rank and name of its commander. Composition
      of Task Force.

  (b) (Similarly enumerate other Task Forces after appropriate
      letter (b), (c), etc.)

      1. Information. Information of enemy and own forces affecting
         the Plan and needed by subordinate commanders. If no
         further information is available, the statement "No
         further information" is inserted. Distinction is made
         between matters of conjecture and of fact. If desired,
         indicate the tasks and general objectives of higher
         echelons and of coordinate forces of the commander's
         echelon, and of other forces of the command, not listed in
         the Task Organization. If desired, include general
         measures prescribed by the immediate superior for
         cooperation and security.

         Assumptions. Statement of the assumptions upon which the
         Plan is based. Assumptions are things taken for granted as
         the basis for action.

      2. The general plan for the whole force actually under the
         command of the officer issuing the Plan, and, if desired,
         the methods of executing it, and its purpose. If
         additional matter is needed to convey clearly the will and
         intent of the commander, such matter may be added.

      3. (a) Title of Task Force (a), followed by a statement of the
         principal task, other tasks, and detailed instructions for
         the particular Task Force. Tasks may be stated, if
         preferred, in chronological order. Include directions as to
         cooperation, security, and intelligence activities.

         (b) Title of Task Force (b), followed by a subparagraph of
         similar substance and arrangements as in (a) above.

         (x) Instructions that apply to all Task Forces or that
         pertain to the general conduct of the operation, including,
         if desired, coordinating instructions applying to more than
         one task force. Include, particularly, measures for
         cooperation, security, and intelligence activities. Include
         statement of the time and/or manner in which the Operation
         Plan is to be placed in effect.

      4. Broad instructions concerning logistics measures necessary
         to the operation, or reference to Logistics Annex, if one
         has been prepared in connection with the operation.

      5. Measures necessary to the exercise of command, such as plan
         of communications, zone time to be used, rendezvous, and
         location of Commander during operation.

                                       (Signature)
                                        Rank,
                                        Title of Command.

ANNEXES.

A. (Name)
B. do          NOTE--The Operation Order (see page 196) follows this
               Form except that it makes no provision for assumptions,
DISTRIBUTION   and is effective on receipt unless otherwise provided in
               the body of the Order.

(Authentication)

(Seal)



TABULAR FORMS


TABULAR FORM OF THE ESTIMATE OF THE SITUATION


Section                                                      Page

I. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BASIS FOR SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM.

  A. The Appropriate Effect Desired                           118
     (1) Summary of the Situation                             119
     (2) Recognition of the Incentive                         119
     (3) Appreciation of the Assigned Objective               119
     (4) Formulation of the Mission                           121

  B. Relative Fighting Strength                               121

   (To include only such of the following factors as appear
   to be necessary background for the later reasoning in
   Sections II to IV.)

  (1) Survey of the Means Available and Opposed               123
     *(a) General Factors                                     124
            (i) Political Factors                             124
           (ii) Economics Factors                             125
          (iii) Psychological Factors                         125
           (iv) Information and Counter-Information
                Measures                                      126
      (b) Factors More Directly Applicable to the
          Armed Forces                                        127
            (i) Vessels, including Aircraft                   127
           (ii) Land Forces, including land-based
                aviation                                      127
          (iii) Personnel                                     127
           (iv) Material                                      128
            (v) Logistics                                     128

  (2) Survey of the Characteristics of the Theater
      of Operations                                           129
      (a) Hydrography                                         129
      (b) Topography                                          130
      (c) Weather                                             130
      (d) Daylight and Dark Periods                           130
      (e) Relative Location and Distance                      131
      (f) Lines of Transportation and Supply                  131
      (g) Facilities and Fortifications                       131
      (h) Communications                                      131

  (3) Conclusions as to Relative Fighting Strength            132


II. DETERMINATION OF SUITABLE, FEASIBLE, AND ACCEPTABLE
    COURSES OF ACTION.

  A. Analysis of the Assigned Objective                       135

  B. Survey of Courses of Action                              135

  C. Application of Tests for Suitability, Feasibility,
     and Acceptability                                        137

  D. Listing Retained Courses of Action                       139


III. EXAMINATION INTO THE CAPABILITIES OF
THE ENEMY                                                     139

  A. Survey of the Enemy's Problem                            141
     (1) Summary of the Enemy's Situation                     141
     (2) Analysis of the Effect Desired by the Enemy          141

  B. Survey of Enemy Capabilities                             143

  C. Application of Tests for Suitability, Feasibility,
     and Acceptability                                        144

  D. Listing Retained Enemy Courses of Action                 144


IV. SELECTION OF THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION.

  A. Analysis and Comparison of Retained Courses of
     Action                                                   145

  B. Determination of the Best Course of Action               148


V. THE DECISION                                               151

* Usually included only in an estimate of broad scope.

On the reverse side, page 224, will be found a Tabular Form of the
Resolution of the Required Action into Detailed Operations.

CAUTION. This folder is merely a guide, provided in order to
facilitate reference to the subject matter of Chapters VI and VII. It
is not possible to arrive at sound military decision by its use
alone.


TABULAR FORM OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE REQUIRED ACTION INTO DETAILED
OPERATIONS

                                                             Page

1. Assumptions                                            155-156

2. Alternative Plans                                      156-157

3. Application of the Essential Elements of a
Favorable Military Operation                              157-164
  (a) Correct physical objectives                         157-158
      (1) Effective action with relation to                   158
  (b) Advantageous relative positions                         159
  (c) Freedom of action                                   159-162
  (d) Proper apportionment of fighting strength           162-164

4. Testing of Operations for Suitability, Feasibility
   and Acceptability                                      164-165
   (a) Listing of retained operations                         165

5. The Formulation of Tasks                                   165
   (a) Testing of tasks for suitability, feasibility
       and acceptability                                      165

6. The Organization of Task Forces and Task Groups        165-166
   (a) Grouping of tasks                                  165-166
   (b) Assignment of necessary strength                       166
   (c) Completion of the organization                         166

7. Application of the Fundamental Military Principle
   to the Determination of Objectives Embodied in Tasks       167

8. The Assembly of Measures for Freedom of Action         167-168

9. The Assembly of Information                                168

10. The Preparation of Subsidiary Plans                   168-179



INDEX



INDEX


A

Acceptable consequences as to costs, principle for determination
  of 34, 35

Acceptability, application of test for 101, 102, 137, 144, 147, 164,
  165, 167

Action,
  effective, against correct physical objectives 157
  freedom of (See Freedom of Action)
  physical conditions prevailing in field of 31
  supervision of the 4, 197

Action, courses of, (See Courses of Action)

Annexes to Order Form 193

Application of
  essential elements of favorable military operations 157-164
  tests for suitability, feasibility, and acceptability 99-102,
    137-139, 144, 147, 164, 165, 167
  the Fundamental Military Principle 43-77

Apportionment of fighting strength,
  during amphibious operations 67
  discussion of 66-70
  dispersion and concentration involved in 67, 68
  diversion, bearing of, on 68
  feasibility and acceptability of 69, 70
  joint operations 67
  numerical considerations 67
  procedure for determining proper 69
  a salient feature of a military situation (operation) 38, 39, 40, 41
  types, training and equipment of forces 67

Appropriate effect desired,
  assigned objective becomes 49
  as the basis for the objective 52
  definition of 21
  enemy's 143
  operations studied from viewpoint of 162-164
  forms part of basis for solution of problem 30
  principle for determination of 33
  requirements for an understanding of 43
  suitability as to 118-120

Areas,
  coveted or in dispute 65
  geographical not under one's own control 65
  geographical under one's own control 65
  no land, belong equally to all nations 62
  sea, not under command 92
  sea, securing command of 92
  sea, under command 92

Armament, material factor of 128

Armed forces,
  command of 11
  factors more directly applicable to 127
  function and character of 8
  fundamental objective of 8
  initial requisite to effective use of 11

Art of War,
  a true concept of, requirement of 9-10
  foundation of 1

Assumptions,
  defined and discussed 155, 171
  may form basis of Estimate 111

Authentication, order form 194


B

Basic,
  decision 82
  estimate of the situation 82
  problem 81
  problems challenging integrity of, plan(s) 203
  problems involving modification of, plan(s) 201
  situation 82
  war plans 195

Basis,
  of science of war 1
  for solution of problem 20, 21, 29, 30, 43, 118, 134

Battle Plans 168-171, 196

Blind adherence to plan condemned 200

Body of order form 190

Brevity, required in directives 186


C

Campaign Plans,
  defined 195
  form of 194

Campaigns of Twentieth Century reflect intensity of mental training 2

Capabilities of enemy,
  examination into 139-145
  examination not complete under certain conditions 146
  survey of 143

Cause and effect 3
  correct relation between, established by principles 22
  natural forces and resultant conditions 19
  principles as valid statements of 19

Challenge to integrity of basic plan 203

Characteristics,
  commander's personal 127
  influence of, on fighting strength 31, 34, 43
  of (field) theater of (action) operations 31, 35, 39-41, 43, 52, 64,
    65, 129-132
  racial or national 126

Clarity,
  required in directives 186

Command,
  adherence to chain of, essential to mutual understanding 14
  chain of 12, 53
  echelons of 12
  mental preparation for 114
  paragraph, in order form 193
  responsibility and authority inherent in 12
  the ideal of 11
  training for 11
  unity of 71

Commander,
  may depart from his instructions 16
  may modify or alter assigned task 15
  relation of, to subordinates 15
  staff of a 13
  the personification of command 11

Communication(s),
  lines of 67, 91
  plans, as an annex 193
  provision for 168
  study of in strategical and tactical estimates 131-182

Component(s),
  human and material, of fighting strength 8, 9
  major, of military problems 43-47
  mental power, recognized essential, of fighting strength 18, 217
  parts of an operation assigned as tasks 162

Condition(s),
  influence of, on resources 21
  of armed forces 128, 129
  of material 128
  in war, peacetime exercises not a conclusive guide to 198

Consequences as to costs, principle for determination of acceptable 35

Constructive representations, establishing basis for 103

Corollaries to the Decision 153

Corollary principle,
  of the Correct Military Objective 42
  of Effective Military Operations 42

Correct military objective(s),
  corollary principle of the 42
  selection of 47-51

Correct physical objectives, effective action against 157, 158

Course(s) of action,
  analysis and selection of 97, 104
  analysis of, settles suitability, feasibility and acceptability 97
  as tentative solutions, complete or partial 88, 93, 136
  classified as to suitability, feasibility and acceptability 139
  combination of enemy's 146
  combination of, into complete solution 93, 138
  comparison of, summarized 148
  consideration of operations involved in 98
  defined 88
  degree of detail in which, may be visualized varies 96
  determination and selection of the best 145-161
  each, embodies an objective 82
  examples of 89
  how phrased 109
  listing of 136, 139
  listing of retained 139, 148
  listing of retained enemy's 144
  no rigid line of demarcation between, and operations pertaining
    thereto 92
  predetermined 86, 96, 102
  rejection of 138, 139, 147
  resolving into operations 147
  retained, analyses and comparison of 145-147
  selection of the best 145-151
  survey of 135-137
  test for suitability, feasibility and acceptability of 82, 98-102,
    187, 144, 147, 164, 166, 167
  visualization of 93
  when embodied in decision 88


D

Daylight and dark periods 130

Decision 161-154
  basic 82
  corollaries to the 153
  embodies best solution of the problem 22
  expresses a general plan of action 83
  indicates general objective 104
  purpose of the 152
  relation of, to detailed plan and directives 153
  relation of, to mission 105
  restatement of, for use in directive 187
  statement of 151
  subsidiary 106, 108

Detailed Plan 44, 49

Dilemma,
  definition of 148
  procedure in case of 149

Directive(s)
  basic 82
  defined 183
  formulation and issue of 183
  fragmentary 184
  military, essentials of 185
  military plans and military 183
  requirements of a 186
  subsidiary, and plans 106
  types of naval 195

Distance,
  involved in movements 65
  relative location and 131

Distribution of Order Form 194

Diversions 68

Doctrine,
  derivation of meaning of 16
  military 16


E

Echelon of command, definition of 12

Economic factors 125

Effect desired,
  appropriate, defined 21
  by enemy, analysis of 141
  character distinctly military, in war 35
  enemy's 143
  factor of the 39-41
  further 20
  produced by action of natural causes 19
  source of 20-21
  suitable to further effect, if appropriate 21, 30

End in view,
  a result to be produced, an effect desired 30
  requirements for attainment of an 30, 31

Ending of Order Form 193

Enemy, information of 215

Enemy('s),
  capabilities, examination into 139-146
  capabilities, survey of 143
  information of the 190, 216
  problem, survey of 141-143
  situation, summary of 141
  situation, re-estimate of 146

Entries in journals and work-sheets 214

Essential elements,
  of a favorable military operation 47, 157
  of a favorable military situation 47
  relationship existing among 3

Establishment of the basis for solution of the problem 118-136

Estimate form,
  a flexible guide 117
  variation in requirements of 170

Estimate(s) of the Situation,
  basic 82
  provides basis for plan 82
  estimate within an 83
  form, a detailed guide for use of Fundamental Military Principle 113
  founded on Fundamental Military Principle, 82
  oral 212
  running 107, 118, 204-205
  subsidiary 106
  tabular form of 222

Examination into capabilities of enemy 139-145

Execution of plans, importance of 198


F

Facilities and fortifications 131

Factor(s),
  defined 25
  directly applicable to armed forces 127
  each to be weighed in connection with others 28
  general, applicable to broad estimates 124
  in relation to a situation 25
  interdependency of 32, 39-41
  pertinent, relation of, to effects to be produced 28
  strength and weakness 132, 133

Favorable military situation,
  essential elements of a, unchanged through the years 1
  salient features of a 39

Favorably progressing military operation, salient features of a 38, 39

Feasibility 39-41, 61, 99
  application of test of 187, 144, 147, 164, 165, 167
  consideration of, calls for survey of comparative resources 31
  facility of execution as test for 100
  prospects of success as test for 100
  relation of, to correct end in view 31, 32

Features,
  salient, of favorable military situation 38-41

Feints 59

Fighting strength,
  apportionment of 66-70, 162-164
  conclusions as to 132
  derivation of 35
  human and material components of 8
  mental power, a recognized essential component of 18, 217
  relative 4, 35, 43, 52, 121, 122, 132
  survey of factors of 88

File, journal, description of 207

Force(s),
  armed, function and character of 8
  requirements of, for task groups 166
  task, organization of 165

Form,
  estimate, a flexible guide 117
  order, detailed description of 188-195
  order, discussion of 183-196
  standard, for plans and directives 188
  use of, in solution of problem 110-113

Formulation,
  of mission 82, 87, 121, 204
  of tasks 84-86, 165, 192

Freedom of action,
  a salient feature of a military situation (operation) 38-41
  adequate, measures for ensuring 160-162
  assembly of measures for 167
  best basis for devising measures for 76
  discussion of 70-77
  initiative, of paramount importance to 74
  list of matters requiring consideration for ensurance of 16
  logistics support essential to 74
  morale founded upon sound discipline, an essential to 72
  organization, of primary importance in contributing to 71
  relation of offensive to 75
  security measures necessary to 74

Fundamental considerations,
  factors become, in particular circumstances 28
  the basis for the successful conduct of war 1

Fundamental military philosophy 3

Fundamental Military Principle 39-42

Fundamental principle for attainment of an end 32

Fundamentals common to all campaigns of history 1

Further effect(s),
  consideration of 120
  indicated by higher authority 33
  relation of, to effect desired 30


G

General factors applicable to broad estimates 124

General plan,
  a comprehensive method of attaining the assigned objective 49, 109
  the Decision available as a 22, 44, 88
  indicated in or developed from the Decision 155

Genius, fallacy of relying on availability of 2

Goal of planning 197

Groups, Task, organization of 165

Guide,
  the Estimate Form a flexible 117
  the Fundamental Military Principle a valid and practical 41


H

Heading of Order Form 189

Hydrography in theater of operations 129


I

Incentive,
  during supervision of the action 198
  recognition of the 20, 43, 44, 50, 79, 82, 119, 203
  relationship of, with motivating task 79

Indoctrination, meaning and application of 16

Information,
  and counter-information measures 126
  its collection, analysis, evaluation and interpretation 122
  of enemy and of friendly forces 190, 216
  paragraph of Order Form 190

Initiative,
  offensive is a method of seizing 75
  relation of, to freedom of action 74

Instructions,
  action may be necessary before receipt of 203
  commander may depart from 16
  letter of, in lieu of directive cast in standard form 188
  the letter and spirit of, variation from 103

Intelligence,
  accurate, related to freedom of action 76
  and counter-intelligence, measures for 160-161
  derived from information 122
  plan 177
  subsidiary problem involving 176

Intelligent suspicion, everything to be viewed with 200

Inventiveness and versatility, special attention to desirable 126


J

Journal file, description of 207

Journal for entry of data in running estimate,
  description of 205-207
  entries in, purely factual 214

Judgment, professional,
  essential to good leadership 3
  exercise of, in planning 117-179
  exercise of, in the execution of the plan 183-217
  has its source in mental power 217
  relation of to successful conduct of war 40-114


L

Letters of instruction, use of 85, 188

Life, the ability to withstand punishment 188

Listing,
  of courses of action 186, 189
  of operations in definite sequence 158
  of retained courses of action 139, 148

Logical thought,
  necessity for 22
  principles in their relation to 22
  separates the rational from the irrational 22

Logistics,
  factor of direct concern to armed forces 129
  paragraph of Order Form 198
  plan 179
  support, commander hampered without 74
  support, measures for 162

Loyalty,
  a military necessity 15
  more than a moral virtue 14
  mutual, born of mutual confidence 9


M

Material, a factor applicable to armed forces 128

Means,
  available, and opposed 31-36, 38-41, 43, 52
  survey of 123
  to be made available, principle for determination of 34

Measures,
  for adequate freedom of action 160-162, 167
  for exercise of command 160, 168
  for information and counter-information 126
  for intelligence and counter-intelligence 160
  for logistics support 162, 167
  for security, cooperation and intelligence 167
  for training 160

Mental elements of fighting strength enumerated 9

Mental power,
  essential component of fighting strength 18, 217
  vital, as basis for professional counsel to State 10

Mental process(es) (See Natural mental process(es))

Military plans and directives (See Directive(s))

Military effort, no easy road to goal of 4

Military operation(s),
  application of essential elements of a favorable 157
  as tentative solutions of problems, denominated as course(s) of
    action 82
  attainment of military objective depends on effective 40, 47
  determination of effective 55
  possible confusion because of phraseology as to 109
  principle of effective 42

Military principles, procedure for developing 29

Military problem(s), (See also Problem(s))
  conclusion as to approach to solution of 113
  approach to solution of, involves four distinct steps 80
  basic 81, 82
  effect to be produced and action required to produce it, major
    considerations in solving 44
  use of a form in solution of 110-118
  four steps in solution of 79-114
  involvements of full solution of 82
  major components of 43, 44
  solution of 44, 79-114
    first step, in 81-106
    second step, in 106, 117-164
    third step, in 107, 155-179
    fourth step, in 107, 183-216
    sequence of the four steps in 107-109, 113
    sound basis for, establishment of 20, 43

Military situation, every, has both strategical State in military
    matters 10

Military situation, every, has both strategical and tactical aspects 83

Mission,
  an assigned task coupled with purpose 87
  clearly indicates the appropriate effect desired 121
  double or multiple tasks in 88
  formulation of, 82, 87, 121 204
  manner of expressing 87
  restated 135
  subsidiary 170, 172, 174-176

Mobility, as a material factor 128

Modification of basic plan, problems involving 201

Morale, discussion of 72, 73

Motivating task 80

Mutual understanding essential to unity of effort 14
  final aim of 15


N

National and racial characteristics, factors of 126

Natural law,
  human activities governed by 29
  relation of cause, effect and further effect to 19, 32
  relation of, to human activity 11

Natural mental process(es),
  adapted to military requirements 80
  application of, to problems of war 11
  employed by normal mature human beings 19
  studied employment of, ii, 217

Naval directives, types of 195


O

Objective(s),
  appreciation of (assigned) 44, 82, 119, 203
  assigned 48-50, 119-121, 135
  attainment of, by chain of command 12
  best attained by properly directed effort 45, 79
  chain of 48, 62, 54
  correct military, principle of 42
  selection of 43, 46, 47, 51, 117-184
  correct military, relation of, to favorable military situation 37
  correct physical, determination of (See also physical
    objective(s)) 157, 158
  determination of, embodied in tasks 167
  general 49, 60
  immediate 3, 64
  inferred in assigned tasks 49, 84, 88, 104
  in mind 37, 47
  in space, physical 37, 47
  intermediate 54
  in war is an effect to be produced 36
  national 7
  physical (See also physical objective(s))
  purpose of attainment usually given to subordinates, 48
  selection of correct military 43, 45, 47, 51, 117-134
  specified in tasks 84, 104, 49, 88
  tentatively selected 51
  typically selected by commander himself 50
  ultimate 3, 54

Offensive, relation of, to freedom of action 75

Operation plans 195

Operation(s),
  planning detailed 3
  developed from measures for freedom of action 160
  effective military, principle of 42
  enemy's, envisaged by commander 144
  favorable military situation dependent upon effective 1, 41
  in relation to required action 106-107
  listing of 158
  military 37, 109
  naval, classification of 92
  order (plan), outline form of 219
  reconsideration of 159
  resolution of required action into 155-179
  resolving courses of action into 147
  theater of, characteristics of 129

Oral estimate 212

Order form,
  annexes to 193
  authentication of 194
  body of 190
  detailed description of 188-194
  distribution of 194
  purpose of 112, 188

Organization of task forces and tasks groups 165

Organization, staff, and functioning 210-212

Outline form of Operation Plan 219


P

Perplexity, source of every problem 20, 79

Personnel factor applicable to armed forces 127

Philosophy, fundamental military 3

Physical conditions in field of action 34

Physical objective(s),
  defined 37, 47, 167
  determination of correct 65
  discussion of 55-59
  effective action against 157, 158
  eventual, a land objective 58
  fundamental considerations in determination of 55
  relation of, to (mental) objective 38
  a salient feature of a military situation (operation) 47
  series of, to be dealt with in successive stages 56
  suitability, feasibility and acceptability of 56-59

Pithy statements, danger of 24

Planned action,
  inauguration of 183-196
  supervision of 197-217

Planning, goal of 197

Plan(s),
  alternative 156
  as proposed methods of procedure 21
  basic 82, 108, 195
  basic, problems challenging integrity of 203
  basic, problems involving modification of 201
  battle, described 168-171
  best, incorporated in Decision 22
  blind adherence to, condemned 200
  campaign 194, 195
  comparison of 21
  detailed 22, 49, 105
  general 2, 22, 88, 105, 155, 183
  intelligence 177
  logistics 179
  military directives and military 183
  of execution 108
  operation, outline form of 219
  outlined, plan embodied in basic decision 108
  subsidiary 106, 168, 186, 201

Policy,
  coordination of national 9
  implementation of national 7
  relation of, to military strategy 9

Political factors 124

Position(s) (See relative position(s))

Positiveness, required in directives 187

Power, mental, moral and physical 8, 217

Predetermined course(s) of action 86, 96, 102

Principle(s),
  a natural law 22
  cannot replace logical thought 28
  corollary for determination of the appropriate effect to be desired 33
  corollary or subordinate 22, 23, 28
  establish (es) relations between cause and effect 22
  false, why man adopts them; their danger 24
  for determination of acceptable consequences as to cost 35
  for determination of the proper means to be made available 34
  for determination of the proper physical conditions to be
    established in the field of action 34
  for determining salient features of favorable military situation 39
  formulation and use of 23, 27
  fundamental, if basic in its field 22
  fundamental, for the attainment of an end 32
  in relation to logical thought 22
  military, procedure for development of 29
  of effective military operations 42
  of the correct military objective 42
  review of conclusions as to 29
  the Fundamental Military 39-41

Principles of War (so-called) value and limitations of 25

Problem(s),
  appearance of perplexity in situation results in 20
  basic, the solution of 117
  basis for solution of 20-21
  challenging integrity of basic plan 203
  courses, of action as tentative solutions of 136
  enemy's, survey of 141
  establishment of basis for solution of 118
  involving modification of basic plan 201
  recognition of new 199
  solution of 20, 44
  subsidiary 106
  arising because of no sound solution for basic 149
  how solved 106, 169
  involving intelligence 176
  involving preparation of battle plans 171
  relating to logistics 178
  relating to training 175
  tactical 108

Psychological factors 125

Purpose,
  of Decision 152-153
  of Mission 87, 121
  re-examined 135


R

Racial characteristics as psychological factor 126

Raid may be a valuable operation 73

Readjustments required during supervision of planned action 199

Recognition of the incentive 119, 203

Reestimate of the situation 146

Rejection of courses of action 138, 139, 147

Relations, external 124

Relative fighting strength 4, 35, 43, 52, 121, 122
  conclusions as to 132
  feasibility and acceptability as to 121-133

Relative location and distance 131

Relative position(s),
  advantageous 159
  characteristics of theatre, important from standpoint of 64
  discussion of 59-66
  fundamental considerations as to 59
  procedure for determination and selection of advantageous 61, 159
  salient feature of a military situation (operation) 38-41
  suitability, feasibility and acceptability of 61-66

Resources,
  as part of basis for solution of problem 21, 30
  feasibility requires survey of 31

Restatement of the decision for use in the directive 187

Rule(s) of action,
  circumstances alter cases, a reliable 24
  faulty, unfortunate consequences of 23, 24
  pithy statements as 24
  search for reliable, by human mind 23

Running estimate 107, 113, 204


S

Salient features,
  considered in selecting objective 51
  of a situation 39
  of military operations 38-41, 111

Science of war, basis for 1

Scientific analysis 1

Scientific approach to solution of military problems 2

Scientific investigation 1

Sea(s),
  areas, operations for securing command of 92
  high, and air above, presumably common property 62
  movement by land, and air 60
  provides theatre of operations with distinctive characteristics 80
  routes, an important subject of study 62, 131
  surface of, provides roads 62

Security measures 74

Selection of the best course of action 145-151

Sequence of operations, visualized 158

Sequence of tasks, chronological or in order of importance 166

Signature in Order Form 193

Situation,
  a combination of circumstances 20, 25
  actual or assumed 79
  basic 82
  enemy, summary of 141
  produced by effects of certain causes 25
  summary of 82, 119, 203
  to be maintained or created 21, 30

Solution(s) of problem(s),
  establishment of basis for 118-135
  process of 135-151
  tentative 88, 93, 97, 136

Sound decision, approach presented for reaching 3

Staff,
  assistance, utilization of 93
  of commander 13
  organization and functioning 210-212

Stages, successive, for accomplishment of effort 164

Standard form for plans and directives 188

Strategy,
  and tactics inseparable 10, 11
  differentiated from tactics by end in view 83
  distinguished by objectives 3, 10
  in relation to policy 9
  in relation to tactics 10

Strength and weakness factors 132

Strength, relative fighting (see also fighting strength) 4, 33, 43,
    52, 121, 122, 132

Subordinates, proper relationship of, to commander 15

Subsidiary mission 170, 172, 174, 175, 176

Subsidiary plans,
  as annexes 185
  preparation of 168-179

Subsidiary problem(s) (See also Problem(s))
  arising because of no sound solution for basic problem 149
  how solved 106,169
  involving intelligence 176
  involving preparation of battle plan 171
  relative to logistics 178
  relative to training 175

Suitability,
  application of test for 98-102, 137, 144, 147, 164
  requirement of 31, 32, 39-41, 43, 51, 56

Summarized comparison of courses of action 148

Supervision of planned action 197-216

Suspicion, intelligent, everything to be viewed with 200


T

Tactics,
  and strategy inseparable 10
  differentiated from strategy by end in view 83

Task(s)
  as a predetermined course of action 86
  assignment of, to subordinates 84, 192, 193
  expressed in terms of accomplishment 84
  forces and task groups 165, 166, 190
  formulation of 165
  logistics 166
  manner of expressing 84-86
  modification of, may be required by changing situation 15
  motivating 80, 153
  of the mission 87, 121, 136
  organization 14, 165, 166, 190
  properly conceived, indicate an objective 84
  re-examination of 135
  underlying 103

Technique, nature of, in solution of problems 205

Tentative solution(s) of problem(s) 88, 93, 97, 136

Tests for suitability, feasibility and acceptability 137-139, 144,
    147, 164, 168

Theater of operations, survey of characteristics of 129-132

Training,
  measures for 160
  peacetime 2
  subsidiary problem relating to 175
  tactical 72

Transportation and supply, lines of 131

Types of naval directives 195


U

Undesirable departures from plan involve penalty 201

Unforeseen opportunity to strike enemy may be presented 200

Unity of effort,
  adherence to chain of command, essential to 12
  between management and labor 126
  most important single factor 12, 13
  mutual understanding requisite to 14


V

Versatility, as a psychological factor 126

Vessels, including aircraft, as a factor applicable to armed forces 127


W

War,
  a human activity and subject to natural law 11
  as understood herein 8
  conditions in, peacetime exercises not conclusive guide to 198
  effective conduct of, requirements and demands of 17
  specialized nature of, as a human activity 35

Warfare, naval, discussion of 91, 92

Weather 130

Will of the commander, importance of 201

Work Sheet,
  description of 207-210
  entries in 214
  facilitates oral estimates 212
  facilitates special reports 212
  facilitates written estimates 213
  summary of 216



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