First Edition of Comprehensive Lessons Learned
October 21, 2009
The first edition of "Comprehensive Lessons Learned" has been published which summarizes key lessons learned from more than seven years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan that underpin capabilities development and integration. A lesson is knowledge or understanding gained by experience. It is learned when this understanding is put into action. The Comprehensive Lessons Learned publication includes insights from both the Operating and Generating forces. Each lesson learned is significant, valid, applicable, and describes a problem or issue that the Army may leverage for successful change.
The Army has acted on each of the Comprehensive Lessons Learned, but some still require more action and Training and Doctrine Command is spearheading this effort. The current conflict is a competitive learning battle against adaptive adversaries who fight by their own rules among the local population, and that environment drives the Army to continuously adapt in order to succeed. In warfare, the side that learns faster and adapts more rapidly--the better learning organization--usually wins.
These key insights will shape our nation's perspective, strategic direction, and necessary improvements to the Operating Force and Generating Force. During this era of persistent conflict, several information sources provide relevant and competing insights into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and into operations by other land forces. Readers of the publication should be cognizant of the wide variety of sources, recognize divergent perspectives, and assess the numerous strategic, policy, programmatic, acquisition, operational, tactical and analytical inputs that could inform and influence decisions. The lessons learned that we accept must be based on facts.
TRADOC will continue to assess and codify lessons learned from the Army and other sources for an annual publication of Comprehensive Lessons Learned.