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The U.S. Army Professional Writing Collection draws from a variety of professional journals that focus on relevant issues affecting The Army. The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent the official position of 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.

Creating an Effective African Standby Force

Creating an Effective African Standby ForceAfrica has had its share of calamities, from the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s to the genocide in Sudan more recently. The current U.S. National Security Strategy describes Africa as a land of “promise and opportunity,” but also as a land beset with “disease, war and desperate poverty.” The strategy says that the current situation in Africa poses a threat to a core value of the United States—preserving human dignity—and to a strategic priority—combating global terror. That said, Africa remains at the bottom of any list of America’s vital interests. African Union leaders have called for the creation of the African Standby Force, a multinational armed force comprised solely of African soldiers capable of peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations—an African solution for African problems. Assisting in the development of such a force could provide an opportunity for the United States to achieve an intriguing result—expending a relatively miniscule amount of American hard power for a potentially significant gain in American soft power.

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Supplying Ammunition: The Lifeblood of the Military

Supplying Ammunition: The Lifeblood of the MilitaryNo part of the defense industrial base is more critical to the success of the U.S. military in conflict than munitions. Everything else that the military does is to create the conditions that will allow sufficient energy to be deposited in a timely manner on targets. As a result of Iraq and the global war on terrorism, the defense industrial base in general, and the munitions industrial base in particular, are being challenged to meet current and future requirements. Post-Cold War downsizing, consolidation and disinvestment have left the Department of Defense in many instances hard-pressed to meet current operational logistics and supply demands. The munitions industrial base faces serious challenges including an aging production base, inadequate funding, single-point sources of supply, changing foreign dependencies, inadequate investment, shrinking stockpiles and a lack of surge or rapid replenishment capacity. The most immediate requirement is to increase the production of critical munitions, particularly small caliber ammunition. Part of the overall solution is to ensure stable, long-term funding. Another part is agreement on a munitions industrial base strategic plan. A third part is to restore munitions industrial base planning for a surge/replenishment capacity.


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Cumulative Deterrence and the War on Terrorism

Cumulative Deterrence and the War on TerrorismClassical deterrence theory—which emerged with the buildup of the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union and the subsequent concern over the possibility of total annihilation—is inapplicable to the war on terrorism. In the global war on terrorism, suicide bombers have repeatedly demonstrated their deadly efficiency. The Israeli’s have effectively used what could be termed “cumulative deterrence.” Since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, Israelis have prevented more than 340 suicide bombings from advancing beyond the planning stages. Cumulative deterrence is the considered application of threats and military force on the one hand and assorted incentives on the other. This strategy is built on victories achieved over the short, medium and long terms that gradually wear down the enemy. It would involve having excellent intelligence; a broad coalition; a globalized network; highly trained military forces; policies that seek to improve the political, economic and social conditions of those living in places where terrorism flourishes and martyrdom is encouraged; inducements that steer would-be terrorists away from their destructive impulses; and formation of free, prosperous and secure societies.


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Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Area: Myth or Reality?

Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Area: Myth or Reality?Latin America’s Tri-Border Area (TBA), bounded by Puerto Iguazu, Argentina; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, is an ideal breeding ground for terrorist groups. The TBA is a lawless area of illicit activities that generate billions of dollars annually in money laundering, arms and drug trafficking, counterfeiting, document falsification and piracy. The TBA offers terrorists potential financing; access to illegal weapons and advanced technologies; easy movement and concealment; and a sympathetic population from which to recruit new members and spread global messages. While the TBA is not currently the center of gravity in the global war on terrorism, it has an important place in the strategy for combating terrorism. The potential for terrorism in the TBA and elsewhere in Latin America is clearly no myth. The TBA and several other tri-border areas in Latin America will emerge as ideal breeding grounds for terrorists and those groups that support them, unless countries in the region make changes in their judicial systems, improve their law-enforcement and military capabilities, take effective anticorruption measures and cooperate with each other.


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