Evolution of Operational Art

Author: V. K. KOPYTKO

Maj. Gen. V. K. KOPYTKO (Res.), Doctor of Military Sciences, Professor

Vasily Kyrillovich KOPYTKO was born in Minsk Region on November 12, 1948. He finished Kazan Higher Tank Command School (1970), Armored Troops Academy (1982), and General Staff Academy (1991). He held command and staff positions with the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, in Odessa Military District, and Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff. From 1992 to 2003, senior teacher, lecturer, deputy chief, professor (as of November 2003), Operational Art Department, General Staff Academy. Doctor of Military Sciences (1994), professor with Operational Art Department (2000), Merited Scientist of the Russian Federation (2007).

In the theory and practice of military art, operational art is wedged between strategy and tactics. It proceeds from strategy and obeys it. In turn, it is superior to tactics and defines its objectives and development vectors. There is a feedback too. Improved tactics and new methods of combat bring influence to bear on operational art that influences progress in strategy.

The nature of interconnection between the above components of military art is a constant and depends on a number of factors. These are developments in weapons and military equipment; in composition, state, and organization and establishment of troops (forces) of opposing parties; in potential adversary's views on methods of military (combat) operations; in experience of wars and armed conflicts; in the content of national military doctrines, etc.

The present - day situation in the world is characterized by the following: the more advanced nations possess nuclear and long - range precision weapons, as well as efficient reconnaissance, navigation and C & C systems; the RF Armed Forces are increasingly likely to wage local wars and armed conflicts. Under these circumstances, the role and significance of operational art grow immeasurably. As distinct from strategy and tactics that have been developing since the time armies and wars came ...

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