US Military in WWII: Achieving Strategic Objectives Through Operational Art - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1933 Words
Date:  2023-04-06


The presence of the Military of the United States in World War II was felt in a hefty manner. The United States was not only interested in entering into a war, but it also in engaging in the it using operational art. The US executed operations to achieve strategic objectives of the nation at large. Proper involvement in the war using operational art can be seen in the way that it used joint and combined forces, apportioning resources to the units concerning how needful it was, and at the end, collaborating with her allies won the war. Therefore, drawing from the experience of the military force of the United States in World War II, a string of sequences can be observed with only some acceptable level of failure being witnessed. Operational art is a strategic approach that the United States military force must used to conquest their enemy and gain control after their defeat.

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State of the Operational Environment

The operational environment of the army of the United States can be said to be hybrid. It is a hybrid operational environment because there are not that many threats facing the nation, while at the same time, the military is not entirely out of active fighting. A hybrid environment arises when the nation is faced with instrumental threats that include, state and non-state practitioners such as terrorists. The threats of these enemies are sophisticated and need adequate redress from the military as they have new communication technologies, they recognize the strategic value of the international media and would like to exploit it, they are agnostic with their warfare tactics, and they use conventional, criminal and even cyber modes of operation (Yarger, 2006). Also, the threats the United States faces understand international laws, but they have complete disregard for them. Based on these loaming enemies, the military of the United States has made strategic advancement in readiness to fight the threats in their very imminence to protect the United States at all costs (U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 2013). The military of the United States has since aptly improved its systems and redresses to the identified enemies of the nation. In the current, the military is concerned about terrorist systems, the establishment of dictator governments, and their presence in countries where democracy is threatened has been instrumental.

Enemy and Friendly Center of Gravity

The concept of center of gravity was used in a hefty manner in World War II. The use of the center of gravity was seen in the way that operations were undertaken by both the United States and her allies and in like, Germany and her allies. The center of gravity for the enemies appeared to capture nations by the use of active combat in land and air (Lewis & Link, 2020). Germany and her allies undertook the blitzkrieg tactics where they invaded countries like Belgium, Netherlands, and France. Other than using active combat on the ground, they used airpower and fixed fortifications that made them gain control over the nations. By capturing the countries, Germany and her allies gained control and could conduct operations on other nations even when they were not supported by the original leadership of the nation.

However, for the United States, two centers of gravity emanated during a particular war. One of the centers of gravity was leadership and command and control nodes. The approach entailed the use of leadership to identify the steps that the military needed to use, how to launch attacks, and how to identify the strongholds of the enemy. The center of gravity helped the military of the United States not to be overrun by the forces of the enemy in many cases, even while it could be expected that they would be defeated (Evans, 2012). The other center of gravity was the use of developed combat mechanisms and weapons of mass destruction (Lewis & Link, 2020). The United States launched endless airborne attacks on the enemies disrupting and killing most of their enemies, and based on the idea that this method was effective, it became one of their strategic approaches.

Military Objectives Determining Criteria and End State

The very first objective that saw the military decide to engage in the war was to attain national security objectives. The military of the United States is mandated to ensure that the country is safe from all external threats (U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, n.d.). Before the entry into the war, the was such a high threat to the security of the citizens of the United States, not just those who were out of the country but even those in the country as the attack on Pearl Harbor had killed many. Attaining national security was, therefore, one of the inspirations towards entry into the war.

The other mission of the military was the achievement of national strategic objectives. Maintaining national strategic objectives requires the efficient use of diplomatic, military, informational, and economic approaches to ensure that the nation is well-coordinated (S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 2018). However, World War II had destabilized the strategic objectives of the nation to a great extent, and they could not be achieved through any other means other than active engagement in the war.

Other than national interests, the military of the United States has an objective to restore state presence, authority, and institutions in strategically important areas (U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, n.d.). World War has not just destabilized governments but had also destroyed institutions, and it was the objective of the military of the United States alongside her allies to restore them by directly engaging in the war and acquiring victory.

Lastly, instituting local governance and justice, and enabling local forces to provide for their people once more was an objective the military of the United States was interested in achieving. By the end of the war, the interagency military partners had achieved these goals for their allies and countries that had been oppressed by Germany and her allied powers (U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 2016).

Approach to the Problem

Indeed, the United States was not interested in directly joining the war. However, the nation offered hefty support to their allies, including even military ammunition. The very first approach to the war that the nation had sought was isolation. But isolationism did not seem to work, and soon the United States and Japan got into diplomatic issues. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor killing more than 2000 men and wounding about 1000 when it blew the air and naval installations in Hawaii (Lewis & Link, 2020). The declaration of war against Japan by congress marked the entry of the military forces into World War II.

However, the declaration of war itself did not mean readiness. The military of the United States had not been fully equipped for the task ahead. With only two million men serving in the military, the first approach to the problem would be building the military capacity even when some were sent to work. The military undertook intensive training for more military men after the declaration of war to ensure they would not run out of soldiers or overwhelmed without reinforcement (McNeil, 2008). Other than investing in increasing the military numbers, the nation increasingly invested in armament. By the time war was declared on Japan, the air force, navy, and army did not have adequate resources to join the war, and hence the other approach that the military took was investing in ammunition and technology.

Lastly, the military engaged in direct combat in Japan and its allies. Direct conflict and its effect were well-witnessed after 1943 when the number of the military was almost 15 million. With such a huge number, the nation was ready to enter into war. After years in the war, without Japan surrendering, a decisive action to use atomic power was witnessed in 1945, making Japan surrender (Lewis & Link, 2020). Hefty planning was therefore engaged in increasing armaments, increasing the population of the military, and increasing combat training while on the battlefront and still in preparation. A clear understanding of the training terrain was also witnessed.

Use of Operational Art

During World War II, the military leaders of the United States used operational art better than they did in World War I. They used the military forces to proactively achieve the goal of ending the war and realizing the strategic goals of restoring the national security of the United States and restoring peace in the nations that had already been captured by Germany, Japan, and her allied forces. The use of operational art by use of isolationism was witnessed when the military advised the government not to enter into war but to support allied powers. The other use of operational art was seen in the integration of different departments to a single or special unit under one commander. The United States, alongside the United Kingdom and its allies, formed a unit together with a single leadership, but the military of each country was headed and directed alone. Use of an interagency approach saw the military make use of the navy when it was necessary, air combat and control were also witnessed, and heavy combat was witnessed with the army on land (U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 2016). This approach saw the enemy confined, and even when they did not quickly retreat, they managed to hold them in their land.

Though not a widely agreed-on action, the use of operational art necessitated the decision by the military commanders of the United States to drop the bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. After years in fighting and with the oppression of the people of Japan, her allied powers, and with the war draining the United States financially, it was only necessary for the military of the United States to take the best action that would see the war stopped. Even when the decision claimed many lives, it helped in attaining the strategic goals that the military had been sent out to achieve for the nation and for the other nations that the war had oppressed (National Research Council, 2012).

Lines of Operation and Lines of Effort

The basic goal of the military when engaging in the war was not just to wage war but to realize the strategic decisions they were meant to. Therefore, different lines of effort were put in place. One of the lines of effort was to establish operations and security in the areas that were seen as the most endangered areas in the United States (Lewis & Link, 2020). This step ensured that the porous boundaries of the United were closed and were protected from being infringed on by the enemies. This step worked towards the realization of the strategic goal of ensuring national security.

Multiple missions were undertaken, including planning for combats where the soldiers were provided with directives on how to perform combats on the enemy. The provision of aerial view was also an important line of operation because it prevented the soldiers from being overwhelmed and overpowered by the enemy forces. In essence, the lines of operation involved financing, providing accurate routes of combat, ensuring that attacks were carried out at the right time, and also ensuring that coordinated attacks were carried out with liaison of the allied forces (Yarger, 2006). The goal of ensuring working institutions, restore governance, and justice in the affected states were also realized in the military operations as they sought to clear the effect of the other forces in the foreign countries that had been invaded and ensure peace and stability. The lines of operation ensured that commands from the top levels to the military men involved in the war were realized.


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US Military in WWII: Achieving Strategic Objectives Through Operational Art - Essay Sample. (2023, Apr 06). Retrieved from

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