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Although armor was developed and organized primarily for high intensity warfare, in the future low intensity conflict will be the most prevalent form of war. Since the army has invested so much of its combat power and force structure into mechanized forces, it should be prepared to use those forces in LIC. This monograph uses J.F.C. Fuller's five combat functions: protect, find, fix, hit, and destroy, to examine the proper role of armor. Vietnam and Afghanistan are analyzed as case studies of the employment of mechanized forces in the LIC. In both conflicts the armies found it necessary to…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
Although armor was developed and organized primarily for high intensity warfare, in the future low intensity conflict will be the most prevalent form of war. Since the army has invested so much of its combat power and force structure into mechanized forces, it should be prepared to use those forces in LIC. This monograph uses J.F.C. Fuller's five combat functions: protect, find, fix, hit, and destroy, to examine the proper role of armor. Vietnam and Afghanistan are analyzed as case studies of the employment of mechanized forces in the LIC. In both conflicts the armies found it necessary to modify their conventional doctrine for armor. In Vietnam the U.S. Army successfully used mechanized forces to hit and protect. However, the reliance on indirect fires to destroy the enemy limited the effectiveness of armor. In Afghanistan the Soviets have enjoyed less tactical success with armor because of terrain, organization, and their operational plan for victory. A look at current doctrinereveals the need for a combined arms doctrine for heavy and light forces in LIC. Current doctrine also does not address the most effective armor organization for the conduct of operations in LIC--the armored cavalry regiment. The study concludes that the most appropriate tactical doctrine for armor in LIC depends upon the combat function it serves within the combined arms team. These functions can vary with terrain, organization, and the operational plan. At the very least, armor can protect and hit. When properly organized and employed it can also be used to find, fix, and in combination with other arms, destroy insurgent forces. Mechanized forces are best employed in small scale cordon search operations from battalion to brigade size. Their mobility and firepower are best used in encirclement operations or as a reaction force. Finally, the near term and future implications of this study are considered under Fuller's combat functions.