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The military are charged with a primary responsibility of securing its national boundaries. The significance of decision making within the military cannot be overemphasized. There are different methods of carrying out Decision making within military including Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). MDMP is an established and well proven analytical planning process (Menter, 2009) and has been adopted by most leading powers including United States since the turn of 19th century. Military decision making process is an ancient process of solving tactical situations and problems.
The strength of MDMP is that is an established and well proven analytical planning process (Menter, 2009) and hence used by United States army specially to make decisions in garrison and tactical environments. The process consists of the following seven steps respectively: receive warning order from higher, mission analysis, course of action development, course of action comparison, decision brief to commander, order preparation and production.
The main advantage of MDMP is that it is able to analyze and compare multiple friendly and adversary Course Of Action (COA) with an aim of identifying the most effective possible friendly COA. In addition, it allows widespread coordination and management in plans and orders. When there is full staff involvement in the process, there is minimal room for overlooking critical aspects of operation. Last but not least, it helps in identifying possible “contingencies for branch and sequel development” (Menter, 2009).
MDMP like other processes has its limitations. The large amount of time required to conduct a detailed mission analysis, is the process’ main weakness. A complete MDMP can be rendered inefficient by the time-consuming nature of MDMP. “Rapidly changing situations and missions” largely contribute to shortage of time for conducting careful planning (Menter, 2009). Although MDMP is known not to be very effective in time-constrained environment, with slightly different techniques, it can be modified to guarantee effectiveness when time is limited. Omitting any step of MDMP cannot be a solution to limitation of time; on the contrary prediction, organization and readiness beforehand are the keys to success in time-constrained environment.
General George S. Patton, Jr., once directed that army- level orders “should not exceed a page and a half of type-written text with the back of the page reserved for a sketch map” (Buchanan, 2003). This helps commanders to carry out their own planning, prepare and make rehearsals instead of waiting for higher headquarters to give out a comprehensive operation order (OPORD). Brief army-level orders do not give consumers a hectic time trying to find the few pieces of worthful information. In so doing they become more effective in their planning and devote more time for rehearsals. Good plans are not what win a battle but Soldiers who understood the plan and then executed it
In conclusion, MDMP is proven to function properly in battalions and thus adopted by leading powers such as United States. MDMP is important for identifying the most effective possible friendly COA in garrison and tactical environment. Although MDMP is time consuming, time saving techniques have been developed thus making MDMP an effective process even in time-constrained environment.
The argument of this paper is an inductive type of the argument. Despite the fact that MDMP is an established and well proven analytical planning, it can still yield poor plans if little time is left for rehearsal. Rehearsal is more crucial than planning. Good plans are not what win a battle but Soldiers who understood the plan and then executed it.