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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.

A Different Course? America and Europe

A Different Course? America and EuropeThe European Union (EU) is in the midst of unprecedented political and geographic integration. As Europe strives to come together, the transatlantic community seems to be coming apart. Some voices on both sides of the Atlantic argue that this parting of ways is inevitable, even desirable. After all, their common interests are less obvious than at any time in the last 65 years. However, if the history of the past 100 years teaches us anything, it is that the transatlantic partnership is essential to the security of the United States and to world. For its part, Washington should remember that how something is said is often more important than what is said. Americans often speak bluntly. However, nuance and process are important in Europe. For its part, the EU must address some basic questions. Is it time to invest more in defense and less in new bureaucracies? And, do the EU’s powerbrokers really want differences over style and semantics to divide their new union and cripple the venerable transatlantic alliance?

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National Mobilization: An Option in Future Conflicts?

National Mobilization: An Option in Future Conflicts?Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, some drew a parallel between al Qaeda’s strike and Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, and between the ensuing struggle and World War II. There was even sporadic talk of mobilization. However, unconventional warfighters like terrorists are, by definition, immune to the massive concentrations of power that are the traditional object of a mobilization. At the same time, conventional war is generally regarded as oriented toward smaller, more professional, and high-tech forces fighting in “demassified” conflicts. The United States consequently will retain a position of leadership indefinitely, in large part because of the weakness of other states, including China. The expansion of other nation’s military capabilities has been much slower than expected. Europe’s earlier plans to develop a long-range military capability will not be realized within the decade. Japan’s steps forward have been gradual enough that six years after North Korea fired a missile over its territory it still lacks a truly usable strike capability against Pyongyang. China’s modernization of its military has essentially consisted of attaching small numbers of modern systems to a downsized but still very large force of obsolescent units.


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The Death of Disarmament in Russia?

The Death of Disarmament in Russia?Holding Russia to a higher standard of security of its nuclear, chemical and biological stockpiles is not unreasonable. When properly motivated, Moscow has mustered the willingness to help tackle certain nonproliferation risks. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has installed security improvements at 33 sites where the Russian Navy requested assistance. By early 2003, DOE had completed improvements at 85 of 110 buildings at civilian and naval fuel storage spots—including one of the largest nonmilitary sites, on which the department constructed a single facility to replace nine ramshackle buildings that warehoused nuclear material. In addition, when taken to task, Moscow found more than $25 million (a modest start) for chemical weapons destruction in three consecutive years. For Russia, nonproliferation successes are usually a question of will, not opportunity. These positive examples, though, are not the norm. Russia’s track record looks even worse when compared to fellow ex-Soviet republics Ukraine and Kazakhstan, which truly wanted to dismantle their leftover weapons of mass destruction using international assistance.


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Overreliance on Technology: Yom Kippur Case Study

Overreliance on Technology: Yom Kippur Case StudyThe Yom Kippur War, launched at 2 p.m., Oct. 6, 1973, came as a complete surprise to the shocked and unprepared Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The Egyptian infantry, armed with anti-tank weapons, crossed the Suez Canal and assaulted the Bar-Lev Line in the southwest. Simultaneously, on Israel’s northeastern border, Syrian armor attacked Israeli positions all along the Golan Heights, penetrating eight miles into Israeli territory. Despite Israel’s eventual military success, victory was not a certainty from the start. Israeli intelligence, due largely to over-reliance on technology, had failed to predict the invasion in spite of the existence of a relatively complete situational picture. In terms of doctrine, the IDF relied far too heavily on both the use of armor and the assumption of air supremacy. Egypt and Syria also imparted too great an importance to the technology of war and not enough to what Clausewitz called “the moral dimensions.” In the end, it would be Israeli attention to these intangibles, and an Arab neglect thereof, that cost the Arabs the war.


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