Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda

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Utilizing the principles of command and control on the battlefield is of particular significance to the commanding officers. Operation Anaconda, a well-known military activity that transpired in March 2002 in Afghanistan, is an excellent illustration of the necessity to properly organize and train soldiers prior to combat (Kugler, 2007). During the operation, the US military forces encountered considerable difficulties that hindered the success of the mission, resulting in delayed victory and high numbers of dead and wounded personnel (Kugler, 2007). However, regardless of the occurrent obstacles, Operation Anaconda remains a critical example of conducting warfare activities that provides insight into the major principles of command. The present paper focuses on the four core principles of mission command violated during Operation Anaconda, namely unity of command, well-prepared action schemes, common understanding, and clear guidance.

To ensure the success of the military endeavor and perform activities optimal for victory, it is essential to follow the guidelines that define the nature of military conduct and propose the most efficient solutions. Given the significant complications encountered during Operation Anaconda, military experts have highlighted the primary principles that the US command failed to follow, thus developing the general guidelines needed in battle preparation. First of all, a key lesson of the Anaconda Operation is the importance of maintaining the unity of command among the participating soldiers and forces (Kugler et al., 2009). Joint operations and other missions that include high numbers of personnel located in different geographical regions require that the necessary information is delivered swiftly and appropriately to all the parties involved (US Department of the Army, 2019). When such unity of command is broken, confusion and misunderstandings can arise, ultimately leading to the creation of additional obstacles (Kugler et al., 2009). The deployment of resources, situational awareness, and the quality of the tactical plans are the main actions that might be hindered as a result.

The second principle that was not followed during Operation Anaconda was the establishment of precise battleplans. Creating a valid and efficient plan of action is a crucial requirement for joint combat operations, as these strategies allow productively distributing the available resources and potentially saving time and materials during the encounter (US Department of the Army, 2019). However, the mentioned battle plans should be constructed using accurate intelligence reports and estimates of potential threats, thus greatly increasing the chance of success. As Operation Anaconda demonstrated, scattered intelligence reports and a poor understanding of the emerging danger can substantially impede the development of action plans, which in turn diminish the positive results (Kugler, 2007). Consequentially, the forces suffer significant complications in attaining the objectives, lacking the knowledge about the actions intended and misinterpreting the main ideas.

After that, the third lesson derived from Operation Anaconda is the importance of a common understanding between the involved parties. In warfare, each individual participating in the military activities, regardless of their status in the chain of command, must possess explicit knowledge of the intended operations, primary joint force concepts, and the delegation of authority (Kugler et al., 2009). The failure to properly interpret the military activity guidelines, which occurred during Operation Anaconda, can tremendously delay the decision-making process, leading to devastating damages (Kugler et al., 2009). Thus, recognizing the military organization’s goals and personal responsibilities is essential for achieving success.

The fourth principle, the value of which becomes evident when reviewing Operation Anaconda, is the creation of appropriate mission orders. During military encounters, discipline and strict action demands are of incredible significance. Not only do clear orders improve the actions’ efficiency, but they also organize the personnels’ activities and establish a sense of stability (US Department of the Army, 2019). However, when directions from the command centers become decentralized, the forces’ productivity is reduced tremendously, and the overall control over the involved teams can be lost (Kugler, 2007). Therefore, to maximize the success and time of task execution, the military executives must ensure that mission orders and rules of engagement are clear and comprehensible. The outcomes of these actions can be exceptionally favorable for the mission, diminishing the delays in assignment approvals, information transfer, and resource constraints.

To conclude, the four principles of mission command violated during Operation Anaconda were discussed in this paper, clarifying their importance for conducting a successful military mission. Although the described concepts were not followed during Anaconda, this operation now serves as a prime example of the consequences that can arise when the general guidelines regarding warfare activities are breached. As demonstrated in this work, the unity of command must always be established when joint forces operate, ensuring that the information flow between the involved entities is clear and swift. In the long term, such unity can also account for the creation of a strong common understanding and the adequate distribution of mission orders, allowing the executives to control the ongoing mission easily. By applying these principles in connection with the construction of valid battleplans, the military organization might strengthen its position in the war, achieving success on the battlefield.

References

US Department of the Army. (2019). Mission command: Command and control of Army forces.

Kugler, R. L. (2007). Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. A Case Study of Adaptation in Battle (Publication No. DA463075) [Master’s thesis, National Defense University, 2007]. Center for Technology and National Security Policy.

Kugler, R. L., Baranick, M., & Binnendijk, H. (2009). Operation Anaconda. Lessons for joint Operations. Center for Technology and National Security Policy. Web.

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"Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda." DemoEssays, 31 Dec. 2022, demoessays.com/understanding-the-principles-of-mission-command-during-operation-anaconda/.

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DemoEssays. (2022) 'Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda'. 31 December.

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DemoEssays. 2022. "Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda." December 31, 2022. https://demoessays.com/understanding-the-principles-of-mission-command-during-operation-anaconda/.

1. DemoEssays. "Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda." December 31, 2022. https://demoessays.com/understanding-the-principles-of-mission-command-during-operation-anaconda/.


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DemoEssays. "Understanding the Principles of Mission Command During Operation Anaconda." December 31, 2022. https://demoessays.com/understanding-the-principles-of-mission-command-during-operation-anaconda/.