By Barry D. Watts, Institute for National Strategic Studies (U.S.)
McNair Paper 68.
Examines the query of no matter if Clausewitzian friction could succumb to the alterations in modern struggle that can lie forward, or no matter if such impediments mirror extra enduring facets of conflict that expertise can basically have an effect on marginally. Clausewitzian friction refers back to the conception via Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) that fact exerts one of those friction on principles and intentions in struggle. This time period is usually linked to the various problems and impediments to the powerful use of army force.
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Extra resources for Clausewitzian Friction and Future War, Revised Edition (McNair Papers)
88 Similar assessments of weather’s disruptive effects on air operations can be found as far back as World War II. 90 Given the lopsided military outcome of Desert Storm, tacticallevel friction was unquestionably far, far worse on the Iraqi side of the hill. If coalition air forces typically found themselves knee deep in various tactical frictions, the Iraqis drowned in it. 93 26 CLAUSEWITZIAN FRICTION AND FUTURE WAR In fairness, it should be said that the Iraqi Air Force was neither designed to deal with an adversary as large and capable as the coalition air forces it faced in 1991, nor did it seriously attempt to contest control of the air.
During the Vietnam war, most air-to-ground bombing was done manually or with very early computerized bombing systems. As in 1991, staying high enough to avoid losses to low-altitude AAA systematically degraded bombing accuracies. FRICTION AND DESERT STORM 25 Adverse weather, which Clausewitz explicitly associated with friction in On War,86 offers another unambiguous example of the frictional impediments to the execution of plans and intentions in Desert Storm. Adverse weather conditions substantially disrupted operations, especially during the early days of the air campaign and the coalition’s ground offensive at the conflict’s end.
Second, coalition forces employed many of the most technologically advanced military systems in existence, including satellite communications and reconnaissance, direct-attack and standoff precision-guided weapons—for instance, Paveway III laserguided bombs and the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)—and low-observable aircraft (the F–117). 81 23 24 CLAUSEWITZIAN FRICTION AND FUTURE WAR At the tactical level of the coalition air campaign, even the most cursory look at day-to-day operations suggests that there was no shortage of general friction.
Clausewitzian Friction and Future War, Revised Edition (McNair Papers) by Barry D. Watts, Institute for National Strategic Studies (U.S.)