The Gen. DePuy files (V): The false dilemma of firepower vs. maneuver – By Tom Ricks | The Best Defense

The Gen. DePuy files (V): The false dilemma of firepower vs. maneuver – By Tom Ricks | The Best Defense.

OK, one more from Best Defense. Interesting discussion, and some great comments.

Maneuver and firepower are complimentary. One uses firepower to gain freedom of maneuver, and then uses maneuver to place firepower on the enemy.

DePuy was an interesting guy, and one of the key leaders in raising the Army from the doldrums of the post-Vietnam era to the razor sharp force that won the Cold War and dominated the Iraqis in Desert Storm. He was THE key guy in developing the AirLand Battle doctrine.

1 thought on “The Gen. DePuy files (V): The false dilemma of firepower vs. maneuver – By Tom Ricks | The Best Defense”

  1. Maneuver defined:
    “Employment of forces in the battlespace through movement in combination with fires to achieve a position of advantage in respect to the enemy in order to accomplish the mission.” Typically we would say movement + fires (or potential fires) as opposed to saying that movement MUST entail fires as well. I like the term “earned benefit” as used in the Ricks link, though I don’t say it is always true. Assuming that we believe the offense to be decisive, then we will choose to go on the offensive. If we don’t have enough combat power, or we are an economy-of-force mission, we can “hold what we got” (i.e. defend) until we have created conditions suitable for the offense. Pretty much by definition (“Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative”) going on the offensive requires maneuver. No dilemma; some units may be waging attritional warfare while some may be using maneuver warfare in concert to achieve operational or strategic effects in a theater.

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