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Warfighting Functions

Principles of War

Required Readings
United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps
Operations, Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1-0,
(2001): Appendix A, B.
United States Marine Corps, Campaigning, Marine
Corps Doctrinal Publication 1-2, (1997): 76-92.
United States Marine Corps, Intelligence, Marine
Corps Doctrinal Publication 2, (1997): 3-8, 33-37.
United States Marine Corps, Logistics, Marine
Corps Doctrinal Publication 4, (1997): 3-8, 37-44.
United States Marine Corps, Command and Control,
Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 6, (1996): 35-41.
Supplementary Readings
Brown, C.R. The Principles of War. U.S. Naval
Institute Proceedings 75.6 (June 1949): 621-633.

Warfighting Functions
Command & Control
Force Protection
Principles of War
Learning Objectives
and describe the six warfighting functions.
and describe the nine Principles of War.
the relationship between the warfighting
the role of the Principles of War in command
Warfighting Functions
Warfighting Functions
Conceptual planning and execution tools used
to create plans
Inseparable parts of a whole
Help the commander achieve unity of
effort and build and sustain combat power
Effective application (in concert), will
facilitate planning and conduct of

Command & Control
The exercise of authority and direction in the
accomplishment of a mission
Overarching warfighting function that
enables all other warfighting functions
Focus of C2 is on commander
His intent, guidance, and decisions
How he receives feedback on results of his

No single activity in war is more important.
Command & Control
Command (Commander)
Very personal function
Commander goes where he can best
influence action, where his moral and physical
presence can be felt, and where his will to
achieve a decision can best be expressed,
understood, and acted upon
Official vs personal authority

Professional competence, personality, and will of
strong commanders represent a significant part
of any units combat power.
Command & Control
Control (Staff)
Monitor the status of the command
Assess gap between what was planned and
what has been accomplished
Feedback allows commanders to adapt and
direct action to exploit new opportunities or
correct deficiencies
Control is successful if cmdr is free to operate,
delegate authority, lead from any critical point on
battlefield, and synchronize actions across AO.
Movement of forces for purpose of gaining advantage
over EN IOT accomplish an OBJ
The dynamic element of combat and the means of
concentrating forces for decisive action
Maneuver in space
Movement relative to EN to put him at a disadvantage
Maneuver in time
Increasing relative speed (tempo)
Force protection is critical
Employment of firepower against
air, ground, and sea targets
Delay, disrupt, degrade or destroy
EN capabilities, forces or facilities
Effect the ENs will to fight
Collective + coordinated use of target acquisition
systems, direct and indirect fire, armed aircraft,
and other lethal (e.g. 155mm HE) and nonlethal
(e.g. EW, leaflets) means
Process must be coordinated with other
warfighting functions (intel, maneuver, log)
Determining priorities
Identifying and locating targets
Allocating fires assets
Attacking targets
Assessing battle damage
Maneuver & Fires
Complementary dynamics
of combat
Fires typically shape
Maneuver typically
combined with fires
Synchronizing of organic
and supporting fires with
scheme of maneuver is
critical to successful
prosecution of combat ops
The analysis and synthesis of information into
knowledge that supports decision-making
Accurate, timely, and relevant knowledge about EN
(or potential EN) and surrounding environment
Assists in protecting friendly forces through
Seeks to determine EN capabilities + intentions
What can he do?
What will he do? (based on possibilities/probabilities)

Tangible factors
Number, type of equipment and disposition
Technical specifications (performance characteristics)
Level of readiness
State of training
Quality of leadership
Methods (Doctrine/TTPs)
Moral and Cultural Forces
Values, goals and past experiences that motivate EN
Supports command & control (#1 priority)
Builds situational picture for commander
Identifies EN CoG and CVs
Confirms or denies adoption of specific EN COAs
Reduces uncertainty and risk
Supports fires and maneuver
Identifies target systems, critical nodes, high-value
targets, high-payoff targets
Assesses effects of friendly actions upon EN (combat
Supports force protection
Identifies, locates, counters ENs intel collection,
sabotage, subversion, and terrorism capabilities

The science of planning and carrying out the
movement and maintenance of forces
Helps to ensure the effective use of limited resources
Delivers fighting units to theater at time and place
dictated by operational requirements
Sustains military forces throughout the course of ops
Returns forces to home bases upon conclusion,
rearming and re-equipping as needed

A dependable, uninterrupted log system helps the cmdr
seize + maintain the initiative. Conversely, attacking the
ENs support system can often threaten/weaken his CoG.
Bridge between nations econ + fighting forces
Translates national resources into combat power.
Turns manpower, natural resources, and industrial
capacity into units, weapons, equipment, supplies
Combat service support = activity that provides
Arming, fueling, fixing equipment, moving, supplying,
manning, and health services
Integration with combat ops
Log cannot be divorced from combat ops; it
establishes limits on what is operationally possible
Log system: robust enough to meet units needs, but
not so robust as to overwhelm force and slow it down
Force Protection
Measures taken to protect forces fighting potential so
that it can be applied at appropriate time and place
Safeguards friendly CoGs and protects, conceals,
reduces or eliminates friendly CVs
Remain viable by protecting the force from EN
activities and natural occurrences
Does not imply over-cautiousness or the
avoidance of calculated risk

Essential to preservation of combat power across
spectrum of ops, even in benign environments.
Force Protection
Survivability measures
Hardening of facilities and fortifications of
battle positions; air defense
Deception, OPSEC, computer network
defense, and dispersionin conjunction with
security ops
Public affairs and civil affairs
Provide FP by establishing a positive
perception of forces and actions among local

Principles of War
Principles of War
Useful aids to a commander
Tools to plan, execute, and assess ops
Assists cmdr in organizing his thinking about
mission, EN, battlespace, and his forces
USMC warfighting philosophy of maneuver
warfare rooted in principles
Apply across range of military ops and at
every level of war strategic, oper, tactical
Not a checklist or prescriptive actions

Applies to fires, combat
support, combat service
support, numbers of forces
Decisive local superiority by
numerically inferior force
Decision to concentrate
requires strict economy and
acceptance of risk elsewhere
Concentrate the effects of combat power at the
decisive place and time to achieve decisive
OBJ of each oper must contribute to ultimate
goal of defeating ENs forces or will to fight
OBJ based on consideration of ultimate goal, forces
available, threat, and AO
Cmdr must understand highers mission, his own
mission, and the tasks he must perform
All action must contribute to objective
Cmdr must clearly communicate overall objective to
Direct every military operation toward a clearly
defined, decisive, and attainable objective.
Offense decisive form of
Necessary to seize, retain,
and exploit the initiative and
to maintain freedom of action
Exploit EN weaknesses and
impose your will
Temporary expedient until
resumption of offense (good def
is offensive in character)
Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.
Measures taken to prevent surprise,
ensure freedom of action, deny EN info
about friendly forces, capabilities, plans
Essential to preservation of combat power
across range of military ops
Not over-cautiousness or avoidance of risk
Security can often be enhanced by bold
maneuver and offensive action
Never permit the EN to acquire an unexpected
Economy of force
Reciprocal of principle
of mass
Requires acceptance
of prudent risks in
selected areas IOT
achieve superiority at
decisive time + place
with the main effort
Allocate minimum essential combat power to
secondary efforts.
Movement in combination with fires, or fire
potential, to achieve a position of advantage with
respect to EN IOT accomplish the mission
Advantage may be psychological, technological,
temporal, spatial
Effective maneuver with mass, surprise, and
economy of force allows an inferior force to
achieve decisive superiority at necessary time
and place

Place the enemy in a disadvantageous position
through the flexible application of combat power .
Unity of command
Single cmdr with authority to
direct and coordinate efforts
of all assigned forces in
pursuit of a common OBJ
Goal of unity of command is
unity of effort.
For every objective, ensure unity of effort under
one responsible commander.
Not essential that EN be taken unaware; only
that he become aware too late to react effectively
Contributing factors
Use of unexpected forces
Operating at night
Effective and timely intelligence
Variation in TTPs
Use of unfavorable terrain
Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a
manner for which he is unprepared.
Plans should be as simple and direct as possible
In combat, even the simplest plan is usually
difficult to execute
Other factors being equal, simplest plan is preferred
Multinational ops place a premium on simplicity
Language, doctrine, cultural differences complicate
military ops. Simple plans/orders minimize confusion
Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear,
concise orders to ensure thorough