Gen. Martin Dempsey
The TRADOC commanding general, Gen. Martin Dempsey, speaks at the Joint Warfighting Conference at the Virginia Beach, Va. Convention Center. The general spoke about the commitment of developing leaders and hybrid threats the Army will face in the future.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (TRADOC News Service, May 12, 2009) -- The operational environment of the future will present the Army and its leaders with hybrid threats, increased complexity and increased challenges that arise, when confronting an adaptive enemy, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, commanding general of the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command in a May 12 speech to the Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach, Va.

"The operating environment of the future will be even more complex than it is today," said Dempsey. "The threats we face will be increasingly hybrid, more decentralized and more networked."

To rise to those challenges, Dempsey argues that the Army and its key leaders need to become more comfortable with complexity and decentralization, and have to adopt a network mentality.

"We will never predict the future environment exactly right, which means we'll probably provide inadequate guidance on occasion, and our modernization programs may provide equipment somewhat late to need," he said, "but if we develop leaders who can adapt to the uniqueness of the conditions they encounter, they will carry us through an unpredictable future."

The Army needs to produce leaders who are effective in dealing with situations that Dempsey classified as ill-defined problems with the complexities of societal, religious, tribal and economic factors.

Dempsey also touched on the need to adapt to changes that occur over the course of time, specifically in the current environment of hybrid threats, and leaders cannot afford to be specialized only in certain types of threats.

"We must develop leaders by challenging them with complexity and extended time," Dempsey said. "We must develop leaders who can anticipate the adaption and transitions an enemy will make during the course of an extended campaign, or extended time."

According to Dempsey, the task will be to replicate the challenges of complexity and extended time in the training environment, such as schools and training centers and at unit home stations.

Page last updated Tue May 12th, 2009 at 22:12