Tactical Operations for Strategic Effect: The Challenge of Currency Conversion   [open pdf - 613KB]

"Dr. Gray addresses this conversion by breaking down what is meant by using the term tactical versus strategic. As Dr. Gray posits, 'the concepts of tactics and strategy are ones misused abusively on a habitual and widespread basis throughout the U.S. defense community.' The author makes the case that 'tactics concern military action, strategy is all about the consequences of such behavior.' If there is confusion about these two concepts--and the author believes there is--then charting a sensible relationship between them is impossible. This monograph attempts to clear up that confusion by using historical examples where strategy and tactics have failed each other. One such historical example is the lack of strategy issued by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In fact, Dr. Gray contends that 'If any single factor is able to lead in explanation of the failure of the [Confederate States' Army] CSA in the Civil War, most plausibly it was the persisting neglect, even just incomprehension, of strategy.' The author argues the tactical action and strategic effect disconnect is repeated throughout U.S. military history including the current conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Dr. Gray's analysis is broken down into three main parts: problem, argument, and solution. The first part, the problem, explores the disharmony between the levels of action and desired consequences. For the SOF [Special Operations Forces] community, this problem addresses how 'SOF should be conducted with, and in purposeful devotion to, action and other activities that contain or represent strategic sense for the promotion of the desired effect."

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