FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (May 27, 2010) - Authors of two papers on topics of stability operations were honored at the School of Advanced Military Studies' graduation May 20.

Col. John DeJarnette and Maj. Terrence Buckeye were named Outstanding Monograph Award winners in the Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship and the Advanced Military Studies Program, respectively.

Both were part of the group of more than 100 graduates in the program. There were 104 students graduating from SAMS, with an additional 16 in the fellowship program. Army, sister service, coalition forces and a few State Department employees were among the graduates, including the first Department of the Army civilian graduate, Johnny MacLairsey Jr.

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commandant of the Command and General Staff College and commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, especially thanked the interagency and international students.

"You have significantly contributed to the character of this class, and (helped us) to better appreciate the joint and coalition and interagency operations," he said. "Your participation in this rigorous program has underscored for us the importance of operating a comprehensive approach that forges enduring solutions for a shared vision toward a common goal," he said.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army, delivered the graduation address. He talked about the importance of SAMS graduates in the Army and the high expectations for them.
"Your role as SAMS graduates is to help carry water to the masses," he said.

Chiarelli said Army leaders, including himself, often call upon SAMS graduates to solve problems.
"War is no longer statistically focused ... our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces; it must be focused on winning over the population," he said.

Chiarelli also gave a special thanks to SAMS Director Col. Stefan Banach, whose last duty day was the same day as graduation.

Both monograph winners wrote about various ideas related to stability operations.

DeJarnette's monograph "Toward a Nation-Building Operating Concept," which is available with all SAMS monographs at the Combined Arms Research Library, theorized that nation-building is a long-term effort, requiring broad political support.

DeJarnette is part of a dual military couple, his wife, Maj. Aimee DeJarnette, is a student in the CGSC Intermediate Level Education 2010-01 class.

He wrote the monograph by gleaning from his 22-year career with the Army.

"I've been in the Army since 1988, and this is what we do. We go into countries that are broken and we try to improve the quality of life for these folks," he said.

DeJarnette said he looked at post-World War II decolonization as an example of nation-building. Three of the lessons he learned were that nation-building is a bottom-up effort and has to begin at a local level, and members of an interagency body based out of the U.S. political capital can't always work together.

"The whole idea you can put together an interagency body from Washington, D.C., doesn't work in practice," he said. "... Let them work their lanes, it works well at the execution level, but the farther away you get from execution, the more difficult it is to keep things synchronized."

Buckeye's monograph, "The Military Role in Reconciliation," was inspired by his trip to Iraqi Kurdistan during his deployment in 2005.

"... What I saw over the subsequent two days in Dahuk Province stunned me," he wrote. "The streets, bridges, buildings and roads were not just intact and undamaged, but they were well maintained and clean. Commerce was vibrant in both traditional open-air bazaars and new, Western-style supermarkets. The people looked healthy, well-dressed, and strangely happy."

His experience was in stark contrast to what he saw in other parts of Iraq.

"How had the Kurds been able to overcome their bitter, ideological rivalry to forge a prosperous society north of the Tigris while the Sunnis and Shias south of the Tigris had not'" he asked in his monograph.

Through his research, Buckeye theorized that using the military to force parties to reconcile would be ineffective. Although he said there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reconciliation, there are methods that don't work.

Buckeye said fixing that cracked social foundation must be done before any reconciliation or peace can be achieved.

"The problem is, we're going into countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to do nation-building, trying to build a political system, a nation, on a cracked social foundation," he said.

Page last updated Thu May 27th, 2010 at 17:40