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The U.S. Army Professional Writing Collection showcases articles from a variety of professional journals that focus on relevant issues affecting The Army. This micro-site seeks to stimulate innovative thinking about the challenges that may face tomorrow's Army. It is further intended that the articles featured on this site cause reflection, increased dialogue within The Army Community, and in the best case, action by Soldiers. Updated monthly, these articles are written by Soldiers, civilians, academics, and other subject matter experts. Links to various Army publications, Department of Defense journals and selected non-governmental defense-related publications are also provided on this site.

Another Engagement Strategy For North Korea

Another Engagement Strategy For North KoreaAt the conclusion of the six-nation talks in Beijing last August, North Korea announced there was no reason for further negotiations and their only option was to continue their nuclear weapons development program. The Beijing Summit was the first multilateral diplomatic effort aimed at heading off a nuclear crisis that became apparent in October 2002 when North Korea acknowledged restarting its nuclear program in violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework. In exchange for giving up the nuclear program, North Korea wants economic aid, diplomatic recognition, and security assurances from the US through a nonaggression treaty. The Bush administration regards these demands as “blackmail” and is unwilling to negotiate unless North Korea first dismantles its nuclear program. Almost two months after the talks in Beijing, there continues to be a standoff between the US and North Korea that precludes meaningful negotiation. The stakes are high and now North Korea claims to have begun making bombs out of spent nuclear fuel rods.

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Past its Prime? The Future of the US-Japan Alliance

Early on the morning of 31 March 2003, a five-man medical team from Japan-the sole Japanese contingent on the ground near Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom-was ordered by Tokyo to pack up and move back to Damascus to avoid potential harm.1 In December, the killing of two Japanese diplomats in Iraq caused over 80 percent of Japan's public to demand a slowdown or outright halt in Tokyo's commitment to send troops to Iraq.2 Similar sentiments rose during the Japanese hostage crisis of early April 2004. Some Japanese commentators even predict the downfall of Prime Minister Koizumi should any ground forces deployed to Iraq be killed-a potentiality that has made Tokyo extremely cautious with the use of those troops.3

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Back to the Street without Joy: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam and Other Small Wars

In 1961, Bernard Fall, a scholar and practitioner of war, published a book entitled The Street Without Joy. The book provided a lucid account of why the French Expeditionary Corps failed to defeat the Viet Minh during the Indo-china War, and the book's title derived from the French soldiers' sardonic moniker for Highway 1 on the coast of Indochina-"Ambush Alley," or the "Street without Joy." In 1967, while patrolling with US Marines on the "Street without Joy" in Vietnam, Bernard Fall was killed by an improvised explosive mine during a Viet Cong ambush. In 2003, after the fall of Baghdad and following the conventional phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, US and Coalition forces operating in the Sunni Triangle began fighting a counter-guerrilla type war in which much of the enemy insurgent activity occurred along Highway 1, another street exhibiting little joy. Learning from the experience of other US counterinsurgencies is preferable to the alternative.

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What is Joint Interdependence Anyway?

THERE IS MUCH ADO lately about the concept of "joint interdependence" in future military operations. More than one four-star general has praised Operation Desert Storm's joint deconfliction; that is, the conduct of relatively independent service operations orchestrated in space and time so as not to interfere with each other, as in air operations deconflicted with ground operations. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. forces achieved more joint interoperability with a variety of forces working together to a greater degree because processes were clear, such as using U.S. Air Force close air support in lieu of U.S. Army artillery. But, generals say the future of jointness is interdependence, with no service operating independently and all relying on each other's capabilities to be successful.

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June 2003 | Volume 1.1