Higher commands are not inherently bad

It strikes me that a lot of the support for pure Auftragstaktik (see here and here) is that a lot of people think that higher headquarters are inherently bad and unnecessary organizations. That if only we let the staff sergeants and captains run our wars everything would work out just fine. 

What a load of crap. Those staff sergeants and captains are as important to the war as any 3- or 4-star general, but wars can’t be fought that way. Higher commands (brigades to corps) serve important functions in determining the allocation of assets (based on warfighting priorities that should in turn be based on a campaign plan). 

As an extreme example, during the surge there were 20 brigades in Iraq who own battlespace. Who had the priority of assets? There were two brigades of aviation (designed to support 4 brigades each) - who gets support and who doesn’t? Do you think 20 colonels could get in a room and sort that out among themselves? Dive down a level if you think brigade commanders aren’t necessary or micromanage too much. Each brigade had 3 maneuver battalions (give or take) - would 60 lieutenant colonels be able to sort this out together and just agree on what they need?  We can keep doing this until we get to privates.

No, of course not. This is why we have higher commands - to allocate resources. And many of those resources come with constraints and restraints and they officer who owns them probably wants to ensure it’s being used wisely. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

  1. amphibiosity said: Without decisions from higher headquarters, conflicts over resources would have to be solved by committee. To quote the great Han Solo, “No time to discuss this as a committee.”
  2. hulldefilade posted this
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