Operational Art

Striking a Balance Between Operational Art and Craftsmanship

By The Cove May 16, 2019


“Modern operational art is linear and unexciting, even if sometimes effective at achieving strategic conditions.” The opening line from Brad Hardy in his article ‘Striking a Balance Between Operational Art and Operational Craftsmanship’ via the Task & Purpose blog.

The author states that operational art is a cornerstone doctrinal concept that joint headquarters and defence forces use to plan everything from battalion-sized operations through to major campaigns. As such, he argues that its definition is so broad that it is vulnerable to losing its meaning.

Brad Hardy goes on to suggest that operational art doctrine separates the statesman from the general. Concepts such as centre of gravity and lines of operation — ideas largely unchanged for hundreds of years — limit a planner’s creativity by relying on the collective, unchallenged wisdom of doctrine. He indicates that the current view of operational art does not allow for pure creativity and remains tethered to doctrine.

Read the article and let us know if you agree with the author's views, or whether you would like to propose an alternate view of the relevance of the operational art.



The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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