For all of the attention that is accorded leadership, very little has been written about the day-to-day challenges of command. Dr. Simons' Letort Paper aims to redress this gap. She examines 21st-century challenges of command through the lens of Special Operations Force (SOF) experiences in Afghanistan (and to a lesser extent Iraq), primarily at the O-4 through O-6 level. Her purpose is twofold: to describe the kinds of choices commanders face under the dual pressures of too little time and too much (incomplete) information, and to draw attention to the debilitating effects of what she dubs "objectiveless warfare." The lack of clear, tangible objectives is but one among a number of factors that, she contends, prevent commanders at all levels from being able to affect lasting changes. However, rather than use this to tee up the usual argument about the need for a coherent strategy, she concentrates instead on hierarchy, and argues that without a singular hierarchy, coherent strategy will prove insufficient.
21st-Century Challenges of Command
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