To create an environment where this was feasible—where officers could use individual judgment and yet cooperatively further the overall objective — the Navy sought to strengthen the ability and effectiveness of officers but to do so within a standardized framework.
The educational system of the Naval War College was a core component of the framework, and starting in 1929, the structure of the estimate of the situation was refined to further foster the initiative of subordinates; it became an American equivalent to the German practice of Auftragstaktik, or “mission command.”
The essential changes were the introduction to the estimate process of a step directly comparing opposing forces—to make it easier to assess “all factors of strength, such as material, personnel, position, disposition, composition, and, above all, morale”—and an increased emphasis on objectives—the ends, not the means—to create freedom of action for subordinates: “You are cautioned always to state the Courses of Action in terms of what is to be accomplished and not in terms of the operations to accomplish them.”Effective instructions created options for subordinates and leveraged their initiative.
The revised approach was beneficial, but it led to a substantial and problematic change in how officers assessed enemy intentions. A focus on determining the “enemy’s probable intentions” shifted attention toward the enemy’s most likely course of action and away from the most dangerous ones.This increased the likelihood that officers would assess enemy intentions in terms of the Navy’s own capabilities, leading to “mirror imaging.”
Despite this flaw, the process of generating the estimate continued to be a powerful enabling constraint. It was an analytical approach that encouraged a common approach to framing, analyzing, and solving problems. Ultimately, it resulted in its own supersession—by a new pamphlet, Sound Military Decision, which enhanced the process of estimating the situation.
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)
Joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled for next month are going ahead, a top Seoul official said Saturday, despite a threat by North Korea to boycott working-level talks with Washington and possibly restart nuclear and longer-range missile tests.
(Reuters) - A former National Security Agency contractor was sentenced in Maryland to nine years in prison on Friday for stealing huge amounts of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies over two decades though officials never found proof he shared it with anyone.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's ambassador to Britain warned against escalating tensions on Sunday as a UK official declined to rule out sanctions in response to Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.
Britain has called Iran's capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act".