Accession Number : ADA325249

Title :   Operational Commander's Risk Assessment: How Much Can You Really Afford to Lose?

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s) : Wight, Lee T.

PDF Url : ADA325249

Report Date : JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 40

Abstract : In every operation, operational commanders must decide how much risk is acceptable and communicate that decision to their subordinates for subsequent planning and execution. Currently, there are no standard definitions for levels of risk in Joint doctrine. In fact, no common definition even exists for what 'risk' means to the operational planner. In addition, there is no standardized method for operational commanders to communicate that information to their subordinates, nor are there quantifiable procedures for how a commander determines relevant risk levels. Based on the results of a survey of the Unified and Specified Commanders in Chief (CINCs high-level planners, and respected doctrinal theorists, the author has defined 'mission risk' and the method for its communication as 'Acceptable Risk Level' (ARL) to subordinate units. Furthermore, ARL is subdivided into 'Negligible, Low, Moderate, High, and Extreme' levels with standard definitions for use in subordinate decisionmaking. To minimize the potential impact of the 'fog of war' on ARL communication, the author further recommends putting ARL guidance in the commander's intent section of operations and warning orders and making an ARL a mandatory requirement for all planning guidance. Finally, although much of the risk assessment process performed by the CINC will inherently be intuitive, the author offers two risk assessment models to assist in the training of future CINCs or for those decisions that are complex, not time critical, and/or must be justified to other decisionmakers.

Descriptors :   *RISK, *DECISION MAKING, *MILITARY COMMANDERS, WARFARE, MILITARY DOCTRINE, PLANNING, MISSIONS, STANDARDIZATION.

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE