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Operational command and complexity, what are we talking about today?1/4

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"Recenttechnology might appear to have closed the gap between leaders and subordinates .Armed with unprecedented amounts of data, CEOs, politicians, and bureaucrats can peer into what is happening almost as it occurs. As we discussed, this information can seduce leaders into thinking that they understand and can predict complex situations - that they can see what will happen.But the speed and interdependence of our current environment means that what we cannot know has grown even faster than what we can. »1Stanley McChrystal

Lefeedsback on commitments Western countries, show that recent Western systems­modern command systems have become more and more sometimes far removed from their original vocations: reducing complexity, regulating uncertainty, facilitating­tion and speed up production and the transmission of orders. The verb comman­der comes from Latin commendo Meaning trust, give guard, give value, make apprehension­and become in Lower Latin, to order, to dominate. Joint doctrine defines command­as being the authority conferred on a leader to direct, coordinate and control forces2.

The Foundations of Command in the Army are addressed in a general way in a docu­published in 1996, then revised in 2003 and in 2016, Ls exercise of com­mandate3. The opera dimension­The operatic dimension, for its part, is treated as an more specifically in the FT-04, The fundamentals of the manoeuvre interarmes4 and the FT-05, The exercise of the operational command for Tactical commanders5. The doctrine of land forces6 specifies and gives three meanings for this term:

-• it is on the one hand a prerogative and a attribution of the leader, including the decisive phasesphases of the development processration of orders and the exercise of authority ;

-• it is also an order given by a leader expressing its willingness to carry out an given act ;

-• il finally, it is about the sequential sequence acts of giving orders and control their execution.

These definitions are consistent with NATO doctrine and in particular theAllied Joint Publication 3.07which, however, under the notion of Command and Control (C2), is limited to «pThe "Decision-making process" and "Conduct and control of enforcement". of the French definition. The term "[t]he term "[t]he term "[t]he term command "is used for some fifty years by strategists and American military. It is associated with the term control ", since the 1960s, at a time when managerial methods and information technology has really been integrated from significantly in the ways in which staffs operate. Americans. Previously, the concept of Overseas Command...Atlantic was more frequently rendered by that of " generalship»8 and related to the vaguer notion of " leadership ", covering leadership skills. Consideration in in the 1980s, information technology dimensions of the information and communication has subsequently led to a change in the way the the designation of command systems as C3I, by adding to the initial acronym the communication and information (intelligence). Beginning in the late 1990s, this trend has evolved the concept into C4ISR and then C4ISR-RDR, for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance. This acronym is now used for to designate all military assets and processes to NATO organized and structured for the conduct of operations9. While keeping this meaning, we will nevertheless use in this study the C2 acronym, which is more commonly used in France.

To put an end to the normative field, the defence code in France10The new policy, which sets out the institutional framework for the operational. Articles D*1221-3 to 5 and R.* 3121-1, stipulate that that " The Chief of the Defence Staff shall assist the Minister in his powers relating to the use of force. It is responsible for operational use of forces. Under the authority of the Republic and the Government, and subject to the provisions s, the Chief of the Defence Staff, the armed forces provides command of military operations. It is the Government's military adviser "and briefly describethe prerogatives and powers of command of the operations managers.

To sum up, C2 in France covers the decision-making chain directing military operations from the political level to the tactical level. The term also refers to the authority exercised­created by a military leader to design and conduct the engagement. forces in an external theatre or on national territory. Finally, it covers organizations and processes that, through arrangements in terms of personnel, equipment, facilities, equipment, and communications, facilities, methods and procedures, enable a military leader to plan, direct, coordinate, and control forces and operations, with a view to achieving the objectives set out in the­We're in his care.

As we have briefly mentioned earlier, integration in American operational headquarters since the years 1960, new technologies and a certain type of manage­ scientific and procedural model modelled on the civil world, can to be at the origin of a mechanistic and deterministic vision of the orga­nizations. With the normalisation of NATO, this vision has become more­The new system is now being extended to all Western armies. The princes­NATO countries have thus made it one of the most successful war schools in the world. of the foundations of their teaching. This approach is based on on a number of abstractions, methods and modes of reasoning, derived from both Cartesian thought and that of Jomini, who continues to exert a strong influence in the American approach to the war. Temptation, or illusion, to develop a C2 organization, allowing to control the environment to reduce the hazards, and to make the environment coincide facts, actions and human behaviour with managerial programming, is well present in all of the Western operational command structures. This specific form of rationality is characterized by a specific approach Analytical, often abstract, linear and sequential of the environment.­operational and contingency planning. However, the commitments American operational experience over the last few decades shows that this approach is not necessarily suited to the complexity and uncertainty, more so than for the world of the among­taken, the operational environment. The fact is not new and General Patton had already said in his time:

«One does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances. I think the difference between success and failure in high command depends upon the ability, or the lack of it, to do just that. »11. Thus, force is to note that the declination of this deterministic approach in scientific management methods and tools, ultimately led to an increasing complexity of operatic command­of modern opera.

This second article on operational decision making is devoted to the­It therefore describes how, in the­dthe concept, C2 instead of to be part of a movement to regulate complexity, constitutes itself a generator of it. This document thus aims to ask, not answer, the following questions:

-• cettIs the increasing complexity of C2 unavoidable?

-• cdoes it contribute to the performance of the command?

-• ps ability to deal effectively with new challenges.­How do conflict and adversity take on new forms?

1 McChrystal, Stanley, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, Portfolio/Penguin, 2015.

2 Joint Glossary of Operational Terminology, CICDE, 2013 edition.

3 The exercise of command in the Army, command and brotherhood, EMAT, 2016.

4 DFT 3.2 Volume 3 - The fundamentals of the Joint Chiefs of Staff maneuver, CDEF, 2011. FT 3.2 Volume 2 - Command and Control Exercise for Tactical Leaders, CDEF, 2010.

6 Army Glossary (EMP 60.641, ex TTA 106), CDEC, 2018 edition.­logie/IA_EMP/20180308_NP_CDEC_DDO_MFT_5-2-1_EMP_60_641_Tome-1.

7 AJP-3 (B), Allied joint doctrine for the conduct of operations, 2011.

8 Fuller, J.F.C., Generalship: Its Diseases and Cure. A Study of the Personal Factor in Command,Harrisburg, PA. Military Service Publishing, 1936.

9 Lnterested readers can delve deeper into the subject by referring to the memoir by Claverie, Bernard and Desclaux, Gilles. Command and control: a system of systems to support complexity. Communication and Organization, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2016, Commitment betweenPrudential and Territories, 50, pp. 255-276.

10 Code de la défense, version of 16 June 2018,

11 Citerated in Tracy, Brian, Victory! Applying the Proven Principles of Military Strategy to Achieve Greater Success in Your Business. Paperback, 2017.

Title : Operational command and complexity, what are we talking about today?1/4
Author (s) : Colonel Fabrice CLÉE, chef du pôle études et prospective