Operational-level decision making : a review of Civil War campaign decisions
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors affecting military commanders' campaign decision-making processes. Specifically, I examine four factors- operational-level logistics, the individual mental capacities of commanders, the "living reaction" of the enemy commander, and the uncertainty of intelligence inherent to battle- to determine which most significantly affects commanders' decisions. Though I initially treat the above as four competing hypotheses for explaining commander decision making, using two Civil War campaigns- General George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign and General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign- as case studies, I find that depending upon a commander's mental individualities, operational-level logistics can either serve as a constraint or enabling factor in campaign decision making, while enemy reactions and uncertain intelligence may be seen as either insurmountable obstacles or minor issues to be overcome. I conclude with policy recommendations.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Stephenson, James A.; Staal, Mark A. (2007)Operational psychology is an emerging subdiscipline that has enhanced the U.S. military's combat capabilities during the Global War on Terrorism. What makes this subdiscipline unique is its use of psychological principles ...