Accession Number : ADA307352

Title :   Operations North of the 38th Parallel: The Breakdown of the Strategic-Operational Linkage.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Noll, Charles R.

PDF Url : ADA307352

Report Date : 12 FEB 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 25

Abstract : Fundamental to the conduct of any war at the operational level is the strategic guidance promulgated by a nation's leadership. This guidance then provides the operational commander with the parameters he uses to issue operational guidance for the theater. Strategic guidance and operational guidance are inextricably linked. One defines the other; both tend to modify the other throughout the war. This linkage, therefore, is dynamic and complex. Adding to the complexity, this linkage must be flexible enough to survive the varying chaotic environments of different types of war. Strategic guidance and operational feedback are certainly different in a low-intensity conflict or even a limited war than they are in a general or total war. In fact, a definite inverse relationship can be identified: as a war approaches totality, the amount of guidance and subsequent feedback decreases; it necessarily increases as the war is constrained or limited. In the operations of the United Nations Forces north of the 38th Parallel during the Korean Conflict, the linkage was essentially static, if not one-sided, since General MacArthur determined what the policy would be at the operational level and, by default, the strategic as well. This allowed General MacArthur to pursue a flawed operational design for the theater with little supervision or modification by the United States' JCS. The responsibility for the subsequent debacle north of the parallel must then be shared between the operational commander. General MacArthur, and the strategic commanders, the JCS.

Descriptors :   *NORTH KOREA, *LESSONS LEARNED, *STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY HISTORY, WARFARE, UNITED STATES, LEADERSHIP, DYNAMICS, FEEDBACK, CONFLICT, GUIDANCE, LOW INTENSITY, LIMITED WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE