war during World War I to serve as guides for his own army. In the ensuing years, these original
principle of war adopted by our Army have undergone minor revisions and changes, but have essentially
stood the test of analysis, experimentation, and practice (FM 100-5). For the U.S. Army, the principle of
a. Objective. Every military operation should be directed toward a clearly-defined, decisive,
and attainable objective.
b. Offensive. Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.
c. Mass. Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time.
d. Economy of force. Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.
e. Maneuver. Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of
f. Unity of command.
For every objective, there should be unity of effort under one
g. Security. Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage.
h. Surprise. Strike the enemy at a time and/or place in a manner for which he is unprepared.
i. Simplicity. Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough
5. AirLand Operations. The world has changed from a U.S.-Soviet Cold War conflict to a new world
order, marked by a rise in nationalist movements and regional conflicts. Threats to the national security
of the U.S. are not limited to military capabilities; economic threats, terrorism, drug trafficking, and
political upheaval can all threaten U.S. interests. Because of the change in the strategic environment and
the need to be highly responsive to a wide variety of global threats, the concept of Airland Operations
(ALO) is evolving to replace ALB. Although the tenets of ALB and the principles of war remain
unchanged, ALO addresses how U.S. forces must respond in different environments.
a. ALB was conceived to check the former large Warsaw Pact threat in central Europe. Its
environment reflects a linear battlefield focusing on the use of terrain in afflicting high attrition on the
b. ALO focuses on a nonlinear battlefield that is oriented on activities and the enemy rather
than terrain (Figure 1-4, page 1-14). It is not oriented toward a mass-on-mass clash,