"Nested concepts is not clearly understood at the tactical level and, as a result, units are having difficulty focusing combat power and getting every asset to contribute to the main effort's success. What is meant by nested concepts?
The most definitive reference available for nested concepts is General William E. DuPuy's article in Army, August 1988, page 31, "Concepts of Operation: The Heart of Command, The Tool of Doctrine", which states:
Cascading concepts carry the top commander's intentions to the lowest levels, and the nesting of those concepts traces the critical path of concentration and priorities. This is the phenomenon the Germans called schwerpunkt. The concepts are nested like mixing bowls in a kitchen. Each must fit within the confines of the larger and accommodate the next smaller and so on down to the squad, the tank, and the brave soldier himself. It is the only method by which the talent and initiative of commanders and troops at every level can be engaged and exploited.
There should be a direct link between the task and purpose of subordinate units and fires and the task force main effort's task and purpose. If the direct link is not established, the TF has failed to achieve unity of effort. Company commanders and specialty platoon leaders should ask themselves this question: What is my unique contribution to the TF fight and the main effort's success? If you cannot determine your role, you are the wasted effort!"
NESTED CONCEPTS: Are You a Main Effort, a Supporting Effort, or a Wasted Effort? by LTC Michael Shields