WAR 101, PART II
An introduction to “Warfighting,” the how-to manual for the US Marines, and its practical application in Ukraine. Part II of III: The Main Effort, Intent, and Tactical Leadership.
“The Roman army’s size is amazing,” said Gisco to Hannibal. “There is something yet more amazing,” Hannibal replied, smiling. “In all that multitude, there is no one who is called Gisco.”
In the first part of this series, we introduced Warfighting, explained its relevance, and described several primary ideas. If you don’t yet understand centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities, please review Part I.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” said productivity guru Stephen Covey. The advice is sound in business and war alike.
In Part I, we covered strategy. Now we’ll look at the fundamentals of tactics and explain how to translate intangibles like “will to fight” into effective action on the ground.
Ukrainian teachers-turned-paramilitaries are learning tactics under fire. The Ukrainian military has been distributing weapons and instructions for making Molotov cocktails; they’ve been forming volunteers, most of them military novices, into units.
Small unit leaders, whose names we’ll probably never know, will determine the war’s outcome. What do they need to know? What environmental factors should they consider? What should they do in a firefight? How will Russian soldiers counter and attack?
THE RULE OF THREES
You’re a 22-year-old Ukrainian who has just been handed a Kalashnikov, four magazines of thirty rounds, a helmet, and body armor. Last week you were studying architecture at Kyiv National University. Now you’re standing in the lead rank. An officer counts off and puts a hand on your shoulder. “You’re a fire team leader.” He points at the next three people in your rank. “That’s your team.”
There are three people behind you. You’ve never seen them before. They await your command.m
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