Afghanistan: A Historical Analysis of Mission Command and its Effect on our Current Security Environment by Major Chaveso Cook, Captain Awbrey Lowe and Captain Matthew Perovich - AUSA Institute of Land Warfare
In “Afghanistan: A Historical Analysis of Mission Command and its Effect on our Current Security Environment” (Landpower Essay 17-2, September 2017) the authors examine the use of mission command—and the failure to use it—in two battles in the adjacent provinces of Paktia and Khost in Afghanistan. While the details of the Second Battle of Zwahar in the 1980s provide ample evidence of the catastrophes and embarrassments that occur when the principles of mission command are ignored, events that occurred in 2002 in the Shahikot Valley point to the contrasting phenomenal successes that can be gained when mission command is actual put into cooperative practice. The potential for overall military success in this region of the world and the details of what that would look like remain uncertain, even after decades of conflict over the same lands. What is certain, however, is that if U.S. Army is to persist and win, it must heed the lessons of the past in implementing mission command as an essential component of any engagement.