101st Airborne Div.: Gen. Petraeus' Mission Command Transformed Iraq

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  962 Words
Date:  2023-05-25

After a few months of invading Iraq in March 2003, the 101st Airborne Division under the leadership of Major General David Petraeus made some drastic decisions. The General's understanding of the Mission Command played a very crucial role when it came to mental process visualization (Selhorst, 2014). The General had become aware of the anarchy leadership in Iraq after the fall of the Saddam Hussein government. Therefore, the General allowed the Commanders who were serving under him to obtain a mutual understanding of the Common Operational Picture (COP) vision. In their mind, they knew that Mosul was vital in ensuring the success of the mission. He needed to take the order decision to restore sustainability to the people of Iraq. Even though there were many challenges in the reconstruction of Mosul, General Petraeus was able to use the mission command to train and coordinate security and transition of the police to monitor the areas surrounding Mosul, including the borders and safeguard the operations of the Civilians.

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General David Petraeus used the analytical method, Visualization, in operation. Visualization involves the development of tactical awareness, for establishing the desired mission objective and for predicting a successful strategy by which troops can achieve the expected goal (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017). The method is advantageous because it allows the commander of the mission to make decisions when the mission condition changes abruptly. Visualization is composed of the design and nature of the operation, the science and philosophy of war Common Operational Picture, experience, tenets, military conditions, and estimates. Also, the general commander must understand available inputs from other commanders, mission objectives, Center of Gravity, and decisive points when putting Visualization in use.

Besides, the commander must consider and analyze the Civil Considerations, including Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops available, Time Available (METT-TC). Before entering Mosul, General Petraeus applied the civil considerations coupled with the Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops available, Time Available (METT-TC). Taking charge of the Province of Nineveh was the General's mission. He successfully, used the military conditions, end state, operational approach as well as METT-TC while entering Mosul (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017). General Petraeus firmly believed that the introduction of a hands-off organizational strategy and the creation of flat organizations would help to achieve the objectives of the mission (Selhorst, 2014). The proposal he made of flattened and non- hierarchical organizations allowed the troops to make critical choices while carrying out the intended plan. As a result, his leadership style creates a significant engine of self-reliance, making the soldiers more likely to perform the mission.

While developing the strategy, General Petraeus chose to increase the speed and quantity of the United States military operations instead of using more United States militaries to reinforce Iraqi-encircled advisory troops (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017). The General trusted in prominent theories and relevant theoretical principles to drive these working strategies (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017). He says that the strategic leadership strategy is fundamentally based on enormous concepts and related to four obligations (Lee, 2015). At first, he suggested the formulation and planning of the ideas effectively. Second, the General argued that good contact between the commanders and the soldiers was required for such concepts to be successfully applied (Selhorst, 2014). Thirdly, the practical application of the ideas is dependent on a clear definition of the implementation of the operational approach. Eventually, sharing apprehending, and institutionalizing learned concepts to establish best practices which fit the ideas. Subsequently, General Petraeus dedicated a great deal of attention to the "bottom-up" organizational approach of leveraging geographic changes to achieve national resolution. The closest example of the bottom-up strategy was seen in the Anbar province outside Iraq (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017).

When the General went to Iraq, people had no hope because they knew that the mission, he was undertaking was hopeless. He arrived in Iraq when more than 3000 people had already been killed. The General was stunned by the situation he found in Iraq (Lee, 2015). The first and significant impact made by the General was changing the MNF-I tempo of operation. His command was seen everywhere since the normalcy started to pick up. General's unique personal energy drive brought considerable energy in any union, which MNF-1 was an exception. General Petraeus finds that energizing fellow commanders and subordinates are mandates of each commander. The drastic changes and operations pleased General Petraeus. The General had believed that in MNF-1, the higher the pace of service was, the actual misleading to the regular battlefield report appraisal. Also, he conducted routine briefing, which centred on their routine operations and objectives, and included high-level intelligence review (Chesham, Clarke & Nugent, 2017). The attendees of the daily briefing included staff and several MNF-1 commanders who reported to troops within Iraq via a secure video teleconference (VTC) thread. The day to day conferences held by the General was meant to update him

As seen, the mission of General Petraeus was to take control of the Nineveh Province. His responsible sector stretched from the Syrian border in the west to Kurdish territory in the north and east. The General's unique grasp of understanding science and philosophy of art allowed the commanders serving under him to gain a shared understanding of the Common Operational Picture (COP) vision. The General had to decide to restore the sustainability of the people of Iraq by rescuing Mosul.


Chesham, B., Clarke, R., & Nugent, N. (2017). The beginning of the end-The cost of liberation.

Lee, C. A. (2015). The Politics of Military Operations (Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University). https://www.academia.edu/15552457/The_Politics_of_Military_Operations_-_Stanford_PhD_Dissertation

Selhorst, A. J. (2014). Operating in the Human Domain Lessons of a Decade of War for the Dutch Army. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth. https://www.academia.edu/16620249/Operating_in_the_human_domain_lessons_of_a_decade_of_war_for_the_Dutch_Army

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101st Airborne Div.: Gen. Petraeus' Mission Command Transformed Iraq. (2023, May 25). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/101st-airborne-div-gen-petraeus-mission-command-transformed-iraq

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