Case Study Operation Anaconda

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Operation Anaconda 's Operational Art and Design
Operation Enduring Freedom and the counter-terrorism campaign set the stage for Operations across Afghanistan. Operation Anaconda was utterly different from all the wars the United States, had fought doctrinally. Operational art and design in conjunction with doctrine enabled leaders to adapt to a constantly changing operating environment. So how operational art and design decided the outcome of Operation Anaconda? "Without operational art war would be a set of disconnected engagements with relative attrition the only measure of success or failure." (Joint Publication 1). When the United States deviated from using doctrine customarily used in campaigns, it proved to be a problem, but the …show more content…

To see how operational design played a factor during Operation Anaconda we have to ask four questions, 1. What is the current environment? 2. What is the desired environment? 3. What is the problem? 4. What is the solution?
What is the current environment? The commanders reported a large concentration of al Qaeda and Taliban forces between the towns of Kowst and Gardez and it appeared that it was the hub of significant enemy activity. What was the desired environment? The coalition forces understood that if they if they wanted to defeat the enemy they would have to mount an offensive which was the reason Operation Anaconda came to be. What is the problem? The problem that the coalition forces encounter was that the vast concentration of the enemy was hiding in caves utilizing the rugged terrain to their advantage, another problem was the underestimated numbers of enemy forces. What is the solution? The solution that the coalition forces adapted was to use UH-60 Apache Helicopters to target some of the caves to flush out the enemy out into the open. The ground forces were set up in the area to prevent the enemy from escaping, but they were not expecting the massive amount of enemy force that they …show more content…

The enemy had two centers of gravity, the Taliban 's strategic center of gravity was the control they had over Kabul, and their leadership, their operational center of gravity were its ground forces since they didn 't have any real military presence outside of that. Al Qaeda 's center of gravity was Osama Bin Laden, and it 's terrorist threat dispersion across the world.
The Shahikot valley was the center of gravity for the Taliban as it was easy to defend due to due to its high ridges that provide caves, crevasses and many locations that the enemy could use to their advantage with firepower to attack the valley floor and access points. The Taliban were tough enemies despite not having a sophisticated conventional Army. The strength of the al Qaeda comes from their high morale, operation security procedures, and

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