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  • A "Net Shift" for Afghanistan

    Aug 31, 2010

    Some three millennia ago, the Persian philosopher Zoroaster dubbed mountainous Afghanistan "the land of the high flags." But there is far more to its identity than the powerful shaping influence of terrain upon its culture; there is above all the paradox of the Afghan peoples themselves. Xenophobic from time immemorial, they are nonetheless a mix of Aryans, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, Mongols, and others. Quintessentially isolationist, their country has always been a crossroads of trade and conquest. Indeed, the great city of Kandahar-the true capital of the Taliban-is named after Alexander the Great, who tarried there. And so for all the cool distance conveyed by the notion of the "high flags," the deeper story of Afghanistan is one of a mass mixing of peoples and of a crucial hub in the infrastructure of East-West interconnection. In short, it is a land comprised of dense, ancient social and physical networks.

  • Afghanistan: Long-term Solutions and Perilous Shortcuts

    Aug 31, 2010

    This summer, a series of interconnected events is expected to strongly influence the political and security landscape of Afghanistan, with potentially fateful consequences. In May, some 1,600 delegates (women among them), including government and elected officials, tribal elders, religious personalities, community leaders, and civil society activists met in Kabul to advise the government on basic terms for negotiation with the armed opposition and ways to accommodate reconcilable insurgents. This was to be followed in July by an international conference in Kabul called for by the London Conference in January.1 The Kabul meeting was attended by foreign ministers from neighboring countries and by Afghanistan's leading partners. The delegates made commitments to improve governance, security, and development in Afghanistan under Afghan leadership.2 Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition launched a major military effort to enhance security and facilitate effective governance in Kandahar, the second largest Afghan city and the spiritual home of the Taliban.

  • Afghanistan: Opportunities and Risks

    Aug 31, 2010

    The conflict in and around Afghanistan is entering a decisive phase. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), armed with a new counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine and resources to conduct a forceful campaign, is engaging in a counteroffensive against the insurgency. Drawing on lessons learned from their own past insurgencies both regionally and globally, the insurgents are also constantly changing tactics. The inevitable clashes between the use of force and use of violence will exact a heavy cost in human lives this year.

  • Commentary: Are We Professionals'

    Aug 31, 2010

    In recent years, there has been growing interest within the U.S. Army in identifying, defining, categorizing, promoting, and developing professionalism in all members of the military. This interest is laudable and receives support from both within and outside. As the U.S. Army confronts the changing modes of modern warfare, it faces several challenges as it seeks to increase military professionalism. These include the need to promulgate professional military identity throughout the force, promote a coherent view of a professional military ethic, and provide a sustained program for character development that allows officers and enlisted members to meet today's ever-changing environment. As irregular warfare becomes more prevalent through persistent, evolving, never-ending conflict, official and unofficial doctrines that define professionalism and provide clear guidelines for it will benefit the U.S. Army. In this article, I examine how the U.S. Army, the military in general, and society as a whole view the professional status of Soldiers.

  • Can a Nuclear-Armed Iran be deterred'

    Jun 29, 2010

    Increasing evidence that Iran has embarked on a course that will lead it to develop nuclear arms in the near future has reintensified the debate about the ways the world should react to such a danger. Questions concerning ways to deal with the proliferation of nuclear arms are of course not limited to Iran, but also include other nations or groups that might employ nuclear arms, especially North Korea and terrorists. Four possible responses are commonly discussed in dealing with Iran: engagement, sanctions, military strikes, and deterrence. Engagement has been tried, especially since the onset of the Obama administration (and previously by European governments) but so far has not yielded the desired results. Sanctions are deemed an unreliable tool, as some nations, especially China, have so far refused to authorize them. Also, sanctions, in the past, have often been readily circumvented and have not generated the sought-after effect, even when imposed on nations that are more vulnerable than Iran, such as Cuba and Syria. And sanctions may help solidify the regime in place and subdue democratic opposition. Military strikes are said to be likely to fail. As Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated on 13 April 2009, "Militarily, in my view, it [a bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities] would delay the Iranian program for some period of time, but only delay it, probably only one to three years."

  • USCYBERCOM: The Need for a Combatant Command versus a Subunified Command

    Jun 29, 2010

    United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is a subunified command under United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). It was scheduled for an October/ November 2009 initial operating capability (currently delayed) and an October 2010 full operational capability. There are some excellent reasons why the Secretary of Defense chose to initiate a subunified warfighting command for the cyberspace domain, but the situation facing the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Federal Government will require USCYBERCOM to develop into a full combatant command (COCOM) in the next 5 years.

  • Reorienting Grand Strategy: The promise of single-equilibrium defense planning

    Jun 29, 2010

    Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. defense community has focused its futures analysis on a "range of possible outcomes" approach. Planners assume that social behavior, such as that of states in the international system or individuals in markets, is so complex that it defies point prediction. The best one can hope for, goes this mindset, is for a creative mind to envision scenarios that might come to pass, and then to prepare capabilities and strategies to meet challenges in those notional worlds. This approach to planning neglects two key and undeniable facts. First, at a specified level of granularity, there will be only one outcome of social interactions under study-a single equilibrium-just as there will be only one state of reality 5 minutes, 5 hours, and 5 years from now. Understanding which equilibrium will result is an informational, not a logical, research problem. Second, the United States has enormous potential to affect and effect changes in its favor-that is, to drive social systems, such as the international system, toward the particular equilibrium that U.S. policymakers desire.

  • Endgame for the West in Afghanistan' Explaining the decline in support for the war in Afghanist

    Jun 29, 2010

    In contrast to the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan enjoyed widespread domestic U.S. and international support. Widely perceived in the wake of September 11, 2001 (9/11) as a just and legal war to prevent future terrorist atrocities, the U.S.-led war had the active support of many allies from Europe and elsewhere. However, at the time of writing, this support has dropped off dramatically among the public in all six countries under study. In the United States, support levels as high as 91 percent in early 2002 have declined to approximately 50-60 percent in 2008, with many polls showing a majority now opposed to the war. In the United Kingdom (UK), support fell from over 70 percent in early 2002 to just over 30 percent in the summer of 2008.4 In Canada, previous high support levels of 60-70 percent have been transformed into a current support rate a little above 35 percent.

  • Perspectives on the use of military power in the 21st Century

    May 28, 2010

    Nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the United States is involved in two ongoing wars. It faces a significant international terrorist threat, and it is witnessing an escalation of international resistance to its leadership of the global world order. Looking out to 2025, many see the potential for a prolonged period of instability as a result of competing economic models, demographics, the rise of new international actors and the resurgence of old ones, climate change, and the scarcity of resources. Such instability suggests a greater probability of interstate and intrastate conflict. While in the near term the United States remains the single most powerful state, it will act most often as only one of a number of important powers in an increasingly multipolar international system. In such an environment, the U.S. role will logically be more constrained, but its national interests will continue to place a premium on a peaceful world order and its military will continue to be a key factor in sustaining acceptable levels of regional and global stability.

  • War in Complex Environments: The Technological Dimension

    May 28, 2010

    The first atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. With a yield of 14,000 tons of TNT, it was 1,000 times as powerful as any previous weapon, yet in less than 10 years, advancing technology made it possible to build weapons more powerful than all the arms ever used in all wars since the beginning of history. The race toward greater destructive power peaked in 1961, when the Soviet Union exploded a device with an estimated yield of 58 million tons of TNT-the equivalent of over 4,000 Hiroshima-type bombs. By that time, research into the development of even larger weapons had practically come to a halt-not because it could not be done, but because, in Winston Churchill's words, all they would do was make the rubble bounce.

  • Getting the Next War Right: Beyond Population Centric Warfare

    May 28, 2010

    As the famous Prussian general once warned, the rst priority is to ascertain what type of conflict is to be fought. Carl von Clausewitz's seminal writings laid the foundation of thinking for modern warfare de ned around the needs of the nascent Westphalian nation state. His prioritization, his "wonderful trinity," and his recognition that war is but "politics by other means" have served both strategist and statesman well during the conventional wars of the post-Napoleonic age. The Cold War that followed would make the separation of policy and war more diffcult as the advent of nuclear weapons blurred the line between military necessity and political reality. With the end of the Cold War-and especially since 9/11-we have been faced with a still more complex world.

  • The Operations Targeting and Effects Synchronization Process In Northern Iraq

    May 28, 2010

    In the early 4th century BC, more than five centuries before the great philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius made the observation quoted above, Gallic tribes sacked Rome. Faced with the first real threat to its existence, the young Roman state recognized the need to rethink how it organized for combat. Of the various changes adopted, the most important and extreme transformation was the abandonment of the Greek-style phalanx. This military organizational structure had been long-established as the most effective way to achieve success against opponents with a similar operational paradigm. However, the Romans understood that-unlike Greece-Italy and Gaul were not governed by city states, whose armies met on large plains deemed suitable by both sides to settle disputes. Rather, they were a collection of hill tribes adept at using the complex terrain to their advantage.

  • Understanding OPCON

    May 3, 2010

    Joint force commanders (JFCs) have routinely exercised authority to reorganize and break apart attached forces under the guise of operational control (OPCON). This exercise has become common practice because of misinterpretations of joint doctrine. Specifically, many officers believe that the authority to direct the internal organization of an attached force is contained within the jointly defined authorities of operational control. This belief is fallacious. Joint doctrine does not delineate the authority to internally organize an attached command or force as an authority inherent to OPCON.

  • Exercising Command and Control in an Era of persistent conflict

    May 3, 2010

    Our Army, as part of a Joint interdependent force, continues to engage in full spectrum operations around the world. Several global trends-such as failing and failed states, resource demands, and proliferations of weapons of mass destruction-make it likely that future decades will be characterized by persistent conflict. Protracted confrontations among state, nonstate, and individual actors that are increasingly willing to use violence to achieve their political and ideological ends appear certain. Whether reacting to natural disasters or confronting armed enemies, Army forces will continue to conduct operations in complex, ever-changing, and uncertain operational environments.

  • The Cultural Imperative for Professional Military Education and Leader Development

    May 3, 2010

    There is emerging agreement within the military services that culture is an important factor in irregular warfare and stability, support, transition, and reconstruction operations. Sociocultural factors affect every level of engagement in irregular warfare, from the interpersonal interactions while negotiating with local leaders, military advisers training their counterparts, to group and societal engagements during strategic communication and influence operations. The impact of these factors has been widely recognized at every level of defense leadership, and some of the more frequently cited wartime leadership challenges have an intercultural component. The top challenges for Army company commanders listed in a 2007 article included interacting or working with indigenous leaders, security forces, and members of the population.

  • Unleashing Design: Planning and the Art of Battle Command

    May 3, 2010

    With the publication of the most recent edition of Field Manual (FM) 5-0, The Operations Process, our doctrine is on the cusp of what is arguably the most significant change to our planning methodology in more than a generation. While our proven methods for conducting deliberate planning have changed little since being introduced, the world around us has experienced fundamental paradigm shifts that threaten to invalidate those traditional methods. Although our Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) remains an indispensable model for the problems posed by a bipolar security environment, it fails to provide the advanced cognitive tools necessary to solve the complex, ill-structured problems common to contemporary operations. The introduction of design in FM 5-0 addresses that gap in our doctrine, while providing a sound approach to address the challenges inherent to 21st-century conflict.

  • Contractors as Military Professionals'

    Mar 25, 2010

    As of 2008, nearly 200,000 private contractors supported or supplemented military operations in Iraq, with about 30,000 of them providing security services. Today, civilian contractors working for the Pentagon outnumber uniformed forces in Afghanistan. Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, the private security industry's trade organization, suggests that the booming private security industry is here to stay.

  • A Historical Basis for Force Requirements in Counterinsurgency

    Mar 25, 2010

    Over the last eight years, one question has repeatedly come up in regard to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: How many soldiers are enough' The question was first raised before the Iraq war started, with highly publicized disagreements between senior military leaders regarding the number of forces needed to secure Iraq after the invasion. The debate reached another peak when the "surge" strategy was announced. It has once again become the subject of national discussion, this time with respect to Afghanistan.

  • Can the Army Become a Learning Organization' A question reexamined

    Mar 25, 2010

    In 1994, after serving as an organizational consultant for General Gordon Sullivan, then U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Margaret Wheatley wrote an article about the U.S. Army becoming a learning organization. Wheatley, a new-age social scientist and author of Leadership and the New Science, had been solicited by Sullivan to see how the Army could benefit from the buzz about learning organizations that was then sweeping corporate America. It has been 15 years since that writing, during which time there has been a great deal of research on learning organizations. This article revisits the title of Wheatley's essay in light of recent research and military experience.1 In doing so, it lays out an integrated approach for building learning capability in any organizational setting, large or small, military or otherwise.

  • Decision Making in Operation Iraqi Freedom: Removing Saddam Hussein by Force

    Mar 25, 2010

    Forcibly removing Saddam Hussein from power was arguably the most momentous act of the Bush administration, its effects profound and far-reaching. For much of the previous decade, the low-level conflict with Iraq had demonstrated how difficult it is for the United States to synchronize force and diplomacy and to apply force in precise, measured doses. It raised questions about whether and when it was necessary or effective to use overwhelming military force-and how to convince the American public and Congress of the need to do this. And it demonstrated the persisting strengths and weaknesses of the American method for strategic decisionmaking, particularly the interplay between crisis and normal decisionmaking, and the role of the uniformed military in the process.

  • Towards a U.S. Army Officer Corps strategy for success: retaining talent

    Jan 28, 2010

    The U.S. Army has made significant investments in its future, especially in its leadership. In particular, the Army has devoted billions of dollars to officer undergraduate-level education, world class training, and developmental experiences. Since the late 1980s, however, prospects for the Officer Corps' future have been darkened by an ever-diminishing return on this investment, as evidenced by plummeting company-grade officer retention rates. Significantly, this leakage includes a large share of high-performing officers, many of them developed via a fully-funded undergraduate education.

  • The Defense Identity Crisis: It's a Hybrid World

    Jan 28, 2010

    Hybrid war may not yet be reducible to a pristine, doctrine-ready definition. Continued efforts by Hoffman and others to describe it, howA,A!ever, remain invaluable.2 This trend is admittedly unsatisfying to concept developers and doctrine writers. By nature, they want to neatly categorize and define every aspect of military affairs. Yet, in this instance, patience is a virtue. For its part, too, the defense bureaucracy cannot rush to artifiA,A!cially dismiss a wider universe of defense-relevant, "wicked" challenges, in favor of a more limited and "tame" set of not-so-new, defense-specific ones.3 Unfortunately, the hybrid debate is moving in this direction.

  • The Renaissance in American Strategy and the Ending of the Great Cold War

    Jan 28, 2010

    When the red flag came down over the Kremlin on 25 December 1991, few people were aware just how great a contribution NATO had made to ending the Cold War. NATO's 60th anniversary is a particularly good time good time to look back and try to understand what really happened. Thanks to material that has become available since the end of the Cold War - from once -secret archives, memoirs, and interviews - we can now see far more clearly what NATO and the Warsaw Pact were trying to do.

  • The Struggle Against Global Insurgency

    Jan 28, 2010

    Since 9/11, it has become commonplace for scholars, politicians, and military thinkers to refer to current U.S. military and diplomatic actions as being part of a larger "war on terror." This is an extremely imprecise characterization of the current conflict. What the United States and, in fact, the world are facing is more properly dubbed a global insurgent movement that emanates from al Qaeda at the international level and that slowly seeps into legitimate (and illegitimate) national secessionist movements around the world. What follows is an argument in support of the claim that al Qaeda is essentially the world's first attempt at a global insurgency.

  • Is There a Civil-Military Gap in China's Peaceful Rise'

    Oct 30, 2009

    In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the People's Republic of China appears intent on becoming a responsible great power. Beijing continues to insist-as it has for several decades-that "peace and development" are the key trends of the times. President Hu Jintao claims that China is focused on building a "harmonious" and "moderately prosperous society" at home and a "harmonious world" abroad. Beijing has taken great pains to stress that its growing power does not threaten any nation, and the world is witnessing China's "peaceful rise" or "peaceful development."

  • Fostering a culture of engagement

    Oct 30, 2009

    With less than one half of one percent of the U.S. population in the Armed Forces, it is not surprising that many Americans know little about their military or the sacrifices military members and their families make for the Nation. The professional military is often viewed as a breed apart, a closed hierarchal organization resembling a monastic order. Indeed, some scholars have identified not just a cloister wall, but a growing chasm between the military and American society as a whole. Meanwhile, the necessity for operations security and an institutional penchant for controlling information flow do little to bridge gaps or break down walls.

  • Mind Fitness: Improving Operational Effectiveness and Building Warrior Resilience

    Oct 30, 2009

    Today's complex, fluid, and unpredictable operational environment both demands more from the military in terms of mission requirements and exposes troops to more stressors and potential trauma than ever before. On the one hand, situational awareness, mental agility, and adaptability are characteristics that the military wants to cultivate to succeed in such complex environments. In part, this complexity comes from the number and nature of the different missions the military must concurrently fill. The military needs to be able to mix offensive, defensive, and stability operations conducted along multiple lines of operations, without the benefit of a clearly demarcated "frontline." Many Soldiers liken this complexity and unpredictability to "the faucet," that is, needing to adjust to situations that could change from cold to hot instantaneously.

  • Future Gulf War: Arab and American Forces against Iranian Capabilities

    Oct 28, 2009

    Gulf Arabs are increasingly taking measure of Iran's capabilities to wage war. Military power is relative, not absolute, and to gauge Iran's capabilities to wage war and threaten the Persian Gulf, one must compare Iran's power against that of its regional rivals. A rough net assessment of strategies and military forces in the Gulf needs to weigh Iranian conventional military power-both in its regular military and Revolutionary Guard forces-against the conventional militaries of Saudi Arabia, the other Arab Gulf states, and the United States. By this scale, Arab and American forces are heavier than Iranian capabilities. But because they are, Iran is likely to turn to its time-tested unconventional ways of war to exploit Arab Gulf state and American vulnerabilities in future conflicts.

  • Year of the NCO: A Division Commander's perspective

    Sep 29, 2009

    My shoes were shined, my greens had a razor crease in the trousers, and I believed I was looking pretty sharp as I reported to my battalion commander as a brand new second lieutenant. But my palms soon became sweaty after hearing what he had to say the first morning I arrived in Germany back in 1976.

  • The Military-Media Relationship: A Dysfunctional Marriage'

    Sep 29, 2009

    After this most recent deployment, Hertling convened an after-action review conference in Garmisch, Germany, and invited Shanker to attend. During the conference, the two had an opportunity to continue their ongoing dialogue on military-media relations. Their conversation shows the relationship becoming increasingly complicated, as these two men from different professions debated the contentiousness-and the common ground that exists between the military and the media during this time of conflict and expansive news coverage.

  • Balancing kinetic effects of Airpower with Counterinsurgency objectives in Afghanistan

    Sep 28, 2009

    In the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 22, 2008, U.S. and Afghan Forces conducted a combined operation in Heart Province to capture/kill a High Value Individual. Intelligence reports indicated that 20-30 Anti-Coalition Militant fighters were holding a Shura in the village of Azizabad. Upon infiltration, U.S. and Afghan Forces came under heavy fire. They returned fire with small-arms and crew served weapons and directed close air support assets to target ACM positions. An AC-130H gunship engaged and destroyed several ACM targets in Azizabad village. Initial U.S. reports stated 30-35 Taliban militants were killed to include Mullah Sadiq, a known Taliban commander. In addition, the U.S. stated the operation resulted in 5-7 civilian deaths. At the same time the U.S. was reporting these numbers; other organizations such as the U.N. claimed the civilian death toll was much higher. An official U.N. statement claimed as many as 90 civilians were killed, of which 75 were women and children.

  • Unlocking Russian interests on the Korean Peninsula

    Sep 28, 2009

    The close relationship that once existed between Moscow and Pyongyang is a relic of the Cold War. In fact, there is reason to believe that the two neighbors now share little in common. Yet decades ago, the Soviets exercised tremendous influence over the North Korean regime, anecdotally evidenced by Kim Il-sung's fateful request to Josef Stalin asking to invade the South in 1950. Stalin, after much consternation, finally gave his approval. By deferring to Stalin, Kim Il-sung sought continued Soviet support, which he received for roughly 40 years until the breakup of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, however, this partnership changed significantly.

  • Rethinking IED Strategies: from Iraq to Afghanistan

    Sep 2, 2009

    Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have been emblematic of the insurgency in Iraq. Why have so many disparate insurgent groups with varying resource levels chosen the same means to pursue their often-conflicting goals' And, a more important question, what can we do to eliminate IEDs as the leading cause of coalition force casualties'

  • Tactical Leader Lessons Learned in Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom VIII

    Sep 2, 2009

    The 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, learned valuable lessons during its 11 months of train-up and 15 months conducting combat operations in support of foreign internal defense missions in Afghanistan. Soldiers spent 90 percent of their time conducting nonlethal counterinsurgency (COIN) actions intended to train the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), connect the population to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), and improve the infrastructure throughout the area-a mere 10 percent of time was spent on lethal activity. This discussion relates the knowledge and experience gained.

  • Caught in the Net: Lessons from the Financial Crisis for a Networked Future

    Sep 2, 2009

    Since 2000 the Department of Defense (DOD) has committed itself to implementing a vision of the future of combat usually referred to as Network-Centric Warfare (NCW). This vision, as described by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration,holds that robustly networking the force will improve information sharing, collaboration, and shared situational awareness. The DOD has invested considerable resources in its efforts to develop and implement NCW despite criticism from within and outside the armed forces.

  • An Ever-Expanding War: Legal Aspects of Online Strategic Communication

    Sep 2, 2009

    Nearly eight years after 9/11, senior US leadership is redefining the Aca,!A"war on terrorismAca,!A? as a global counterinsurgency effort, one that requires both kinetic force and indirect, Aca,!A"smart powerAca,!A? collaboration by civilian agencies. Aca,!A"The Department of Defense has taken on many of these burdens that might have been assumed by civilian agencies in the past,Aca,!A? said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Aca,!A"Forced by circumstances, our brave men and women in uniform have stepped up to the task, with field artillerymen and tankers building schools and mentoring city councilsAca,!"usually in a language they donAca,!a,,ct speak . . . . But it is no replacement for the real thing, civilian involvement and expertise.Aca,!A?

  • Trapping Ourselves in Afghanistan and Losing Focus on the Essential Mission

    Jul 31, 2009

    Afghanistan doesn't matter. Afghanistan's just a worthless piece of dirt. Al Qaeda matters. To a lesser degree, the hardline elements within the Taliban matter. Pakistan matters, although there is nothing we can do to arrest its self-wrought decay. But our grand ambition to build an ideal Afghanistan dilutes our efforts to strike our mortal enemies, mires our forces in a vain mission civilatrice, and leaves our troops hostage to the whims of venomous regimes.

  • Exploiting Insurgent Violence in Afghanistan

    Jul 31, 2009

    More than seven years after the control of Afghanistan was wrested from the Taliban, victory remains elusive. The Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and a host of other unsavory characters have been driven underground, successful elections have been held - an achievement likely to be repeated soon - and a nominally functional Afghan government exists. Tactically, insurgents pose little threat to International Security Assistance Force, coalition forces, or other Afghan National Army. The Afghan infrastructure and economy have made dramatic progress after nearly three decades of constant war.

  • The End of Proportionality

    Jul 31, 2009

    The 2006 Israel-Lebanon war generated the first large-scale and systemA,A!ic references to a heretofore mostly ignored law of war concept, the doctrine of proportionality. Occasional references to proportionality are found in accounts of the Iraq War and in histories or scholarly works of the last century. In general, prior to Israel's 2006 campaign the proportionaliA,A!ty doctrine received little scholarly interest and even less attention among the governing classes and international media.1 In all likelihood, critics of American action in Iraq or Afghanistan would have more thoroughly emA,A!ployed this doctrine in their efforts to end or limit US military involvement had they simply thought of it. But by 2006, when the doctrine was widely known, the major battles in Iraq and Afghanistan were finished.

  • Adult Education in Afghanistan: The Key to Political and Economic Transformation

    Jul 31, 2009

    Recent announcements from the White House by President Obama's administration spoke of a "civilian surge" that would deploy hundreds of U.S. officials to Afghanistan, in addition to sending thousands more U.S. troops there as well. This is an auspicious opportunity for the U.S. Army to apply both the knowledge and experience learned from Iraq at the local Afghan community level.1 As in Iraq, the new civilian teams will focus on establishA,A!ing security for the local populace and developing local governance and economic growth.

  • Binding the Nation: National Service in America

    May 1, 2009

    The United States has been at war for more than seven years, and the end to its struggle against religious extremism is nowhere in sight. Thus far the majority of the campaign has been waged by the military. With the prolonged counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq has come a growing realization that more alienated youth could appear on the world's battlefields unless the United States begins to win more decisively the war of ideas.

  • Expeditionary Forensics: The Warrior's Science Revealing the Hidden Enemy

    May 1, 2009

    Forensic science involves the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to establish factual information and answer questions of interest based on forensic material. Expeditionary forensics refers to the use of forensics to establish facts that the combatant commander can use to determine sources of insurgent arms, ammunition, and explosives; drive intelligence analysis and subsequent targeting for combat operations; change force protection measures; identify human remains; and prosecute detainees in a court of law.

  • By the Book; Special Forces Doctrine: A Regimental Effort

    Apr 28, 2009

    To some Soldiers, doctrine is a manual that collects dust waiting for the next command inspection and perhaps shows its greatest usefulness in holding open the door of the team room during load-outs. But those Soldiers are unaware of the profound influence doctrine has on all aspects of the day-to-day and long-term efforts of Special Forces units and Soldiers.

  • Convoy, Not CLP: Defining a Logistics Core Competency

    Apr 28, 2009

    The dispersed nature of operations and the asymmetric character of the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan have dissolved the traditional distinction between the front and the rear and exposed logisticians to the enemy as never before. Nowhere in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom has this elevated level of exposure been more evident than on convoys moving supplies, equipment and personnel across a widespread area of operations.

  • Reconsidering Afghanistan: Time for an "Azimuth Check"

    Apr 7, 2009

    For some time now, our trajectory and strategy in Afghanistan have been flat. We are not losing, and we are not winning. We find ourselves in an operational stalemate where progress on governance, reconstruction, and economic development-the core of our state-building strategy-is slowing while requirements for security and additional military force are accelerating. This condition is dangerous, given the American cultural urge to move on to new challenges. The Pakistanis and Afghans are not only aware of this tendency, they remember it, rendering our protestations of constancy moot.

  • Georgia's Cyber Left Hook

    Apr 7, 2009

    On July 19, 2008 an Internet security firm reported a distributed denial of service cyber attack against Web sites in the country of Georgia. Three weeks later, on Aug. 8, 2008, security experts observed a second, more substantial round of attacks against Georgian Web sites. Analysts noted that these additional attacks appeared to coincide with the movement of Russian troops into South Ossetia in response to Georgian military operations launched a day earlier in the region.

  • All our eggs in a broken basket: How the human terrain system is undermining sustainable military cu

    Apr 6, 2009

    Field-experienced warfighters and other experts in operational art have identified a range of weaknesses in military cultural training, education and intelligence. Each 'culture gap' has been painstakingly codified in military journals and official publications, most notably in Field Manual (FM) 3-24, Counterinsurgency (COIN).Finding an effective and lasting solution to these shortcomings has framed the latest phase of an ongoing debate over how to meet operational cultural requirements.

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