Strategic and Doctrinal Implications of Deep Attack Concepts for the Defense of Central Europe
This chapter examines two concepts–Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe's Follow-On Force Attack, and the United States Army's AirLand Battle doctrine–that rely heavily on deep attack for their success. The Soviets appeared to be aiming for a short-warning attack capability by reducing their reliance on early reinforcement from the Western Military Districts of the Soviet Union. Soviet armaments concentrated on systems to exploit a high speed attack including infantry combat vehicles, mechanized artillery, increased tactical aviation and helicopter gunships to provide continuous close support, and more effective antiaircraft weapons to suppress enemy air. Alliance deliberations regarding the political acceptability and military utility of deep attack concepts will turn first and foremost on their implications for North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) strategy. It must be noted that since AirLand Battle doctrine was not designed specifically for the NATO context of separate national Corps, therefore, its implementation within the Central Region poses a unique set of problems.