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 biweekly, 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.
is the nature of the American public's sensitivity to U.S.
military casualties? How does casualty sensitivity affect
the pursuit of American national security objectives? The
first question is easy to answer: There is no intrinsic, uncritical
casualty aversion among the American public that limits the
use of U.S. armed forces. There is a wide range of policy
objectives on behalf of which the public is prepared to accept
American casualties as a cost of success. Squeamishness about
even a few casualties for all but the most important national
causes is a myth. Nonetheless, it is a myth that persists
as widely accepted conventional wisdom.
The second question is more difficult to answer. Avoidance
of casualties is an unassailably desirable objective. It is
precisely the natural nobility of the argument that makes
it susceptible to misuse in the policy-making process, potentially
leading to ineffective or inefficient choices.
military historians refer to their war in Yemen as their Vietnam.
President Nasser began by sending a battalion of Special Forces
and in the end committed 55,000 troops - all in an effort
to sustain a revolution of Yemeni officers who brought an
end to a tyrannical and medieval Hamiduddin dynasty. This
five-year conflict offers many lessons from the Yemeni officers,
who were sent to Egypt and Iraq for military training only
to return with Nasserist, nationalist and Baathist ideas,
to the underestimation of Egyptian Field Marshal Amer and
his general staff, who felt that a battalion of Special Forces
combined with airpower could score a quick and decisive victory.
As the United States undertakes the crucial task of rebuilding
Iraq and Afghanistan, it is imperative that this new generation
of American military planners gain an appreciation for the
history, strategy and tactics of wars not usually studied
in today's western war colleges. Despite massive manpower,
airpower, armor and artillery, the Egyptian expeditionary
forces could only hold onto a triangle of land from the capital
Sana'a to the port of Hodeida to Taiz.
RECENT STUDY at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) drew interesting
conclusions about how the staff and faculty defined leadership,
both individually and collectively; for example, the definition
of the ideal leader is based on personal and cultural expectations
of what each of us believe good leaders should be. Overall,
the study revealed a healthy diversity of ideas. As an institution,
however, the Army does not embrace this diversity. Despite
the fact that "there is no universally agreed on definition
of leadership," the Army seeks consensus on a single
hierarchical theory of leadership. This theory
is not necessarily the mental model each of us actually applies
when entering the Army's leadership echelons. Although current
Army doctrine might inform our personal convictions, most
of us have developed our own theories of effective leadership,
which are heavily influenced by our upbringing, experiences,
education, and training.