MCDP 1 Warfighting.pdf

MCDP 1 Warfighting.pdf - DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY...

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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY Headquarters United States Marine Corps Washington, D.C. 20380-1775 20 June 1997 FOREWORD Since Fleet Marine Force Manual 1, Warfighting, was first published in 1989, it has had a significant impact both inside and outside the Marine Corps. That manual has changed the way Marines think about warfare. It has caused energetic de- bate and has been translated into several foreign languages, issued by foreign militaries, and published commercially. It has strongly influenced the development of doctrine by our sister Services. Our current naval doctrine is based on the ten- ets of maneuver warfare as described in that publication. Current and emerging concepts such as operational maneuver from the sea derive their doctrinal foundation from the phi- losophy contained in Warfighting. Our philosophy of war- fighting, as described in the manual, is in consonance with joint doctrine, contributing to our ability to operate harmoni- ously with the other Services. That said, I believe WarfIghting can and should be im- proved. Military doctrine cannot be allowed to stagnate, espe- cially an adaptive doctrine like maneuver warfare. Doctrine must continue to evolve based on growing experience, ad- vancements in theory, and the changing face of war itself. It
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is in this spirit that Warfighting has been revised, and this publication, Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1, super- sedes Fleet Marine Force Manual I. I have several goals for this revision. One goal is to enhance the description of the na- ture of war—for example, to emphasize war's complexity and unpredictability and to widen the definition of war to account for modern conflict's expanding forms. Another goal is to clarify the descriptions of styles of warfare. A third goal is to clarify and refine important maneuver warfare concepts such as commander's intent, main effort, and critical vulnerability. It is my intent to do this while retaining the spirit, style, and essential message of the original. Very simply, this publication describes the philosophy which distinguishes the U.S. Marine Corps. The thoughts contained here are not merely guidance for action in combat but a way of thinking. This publication provides the authorita- tive basis for how we fight and how we prepare to fight. This book contains no specific techniques or procedures for con- duct. Rather, it provides broad guidance in the form of con- cepts and values. It requires judgment in application. Warfighting is not meant as a reference manual; it is de- signed to be read from cover to cover. Its four chapters have a natural progression. Chapter 1 describes our understanding of the characteristics, problems, and demands of war. Chapter 2 derives a theory about war from that understanding. This the- ory in turn provides the foundation for how we prepare for war and how we wage war, chapters 3 and 4, respectively.
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Experience has shown that the warfighting philosophy de- scribed on these pages applies far beyond the officer corps. I expect all Marines—enlisted and commissioned—to read this book, understand it, and act upon it. As General A. M. Gray
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