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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Four Levels of Military Planning - Grand and Military Strategy, Operational and Tactical

In the four levels of war defined in literature as the Grand Strategic level, Military Strategic level, Operational level and Tactical level, the operational level is the link between plan (military strategy) and the tactical level which is concerned with the actual engagement in combat. At operational level key mission is to determine the sequence of actions using the resources available that will most likely produce the military conditions that will achieve the military strategic objectives. Thus the operational commander must be constantly interacting with the strategic level even as he assess his adversary and determine how to use tactical assets under his command to achieve the planned sequence of actions.
The Grand Strategy is the nation's plan to deal with national issues, by applying instruments of national power - diplomatic, economic and military - in the international political system. The objectives being pursued and the way they are pursued constitute a nation's grand strategy. 
The Military component of grand strategy - the Military Strategy comprises plans to develop and employ military forces consistent with the grand strategic objectives. Further, Military Strategy is concerned with the employment of military power in peace and in war.
War is a phenomenon that is uncertain, unpredictable, random and increasingly becoming more complex due to modern technologies and fusion of multiple threats. Analytical and simulation models, however, have been developed and used to analyze past and future wars by design and implementation of different levels and types of war games. One of the key inputs to war games is the plan of opposing force commanders that get executed either as a series of events with consequences or estimates of combat resulting in attrition of simulated soldiers and equipment. However, in the absence of information or uncertainty about adversary’s operation plan and capabilities, evaluating an operation plan to estimate its efficacy in the actual play, is not straight forward and not many models/techniques exist. The key challenge can be depicted in the figure. What is the relationship between prediction accuracy and amount of relevant information available when it comes evaluating an Operation Plan? Which curve - A, B, C, or D shown in the figure depicts the relationship?  


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