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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.

Islamic Rulings On Warfare

Islamic Rulings On WarfareThe United States, no doubt, will be involved in the Middle East for many decades. To be sure, settling the Israeli–Palestinian dispute or alleviating poverty could help to stem the tides of Islamic radicalism and anti-American sentiment. But on an ideological level, we must confront a specific interpretation of Islamic law, history, and scripture that is a danger to both the United States and its allies. To win that ideological war, we must understand the sources of both Islamic radicalism and liberalism. We need to comprehend more thoroughly the ways in which militants misinterpret and pervert Islamic scripture. Al-Qaeda has produced its own group of spokespersons who attempt to provide religious legitimacy to the nihilism they preach. Many frequently quote from the Quran and hadith—the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds—in a biased manner to draw justification for their cause. Proper use of Islamic scripture actually discredits the tactics of al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations. Seeds of doubt planted in the minds of suicide bombers might dissuade them from carrying out their missions.

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Strategic Implications of Intercommunal Warfare in Iraq

Strategic Implications of Intercommunal Warfare in IraqContemporary Iraqi society is comprised of Shi’ite Arabs, Sunni Arabs, ethnic Kurds, and a variety of smaller ethnic or religious minorities. In the post-Saddam era, differences among these groups will either emerge as a barrier to political cooperation and national unity, or they will instead be mitigated as part of the struggle to define a new and more inclusive system of government. Should Iraqi ethnic and sectarian differences become unmanageable, a violent struggle for political power may ensue. Democracy, if it can be established, can regulate and then alleviate the hostility leading to such events, but this function usually occurs only after the development of strong, largely unbiased political institutions and political parties, which transcend ethnic and religious differences. Ethnic- and sectarian-based political parties, even if internally democratic, often feel pressure to tolerate or even embrace extremism in order to retain their base of power and undercut rivals who might claim more expansive rights for the community. Except for the fear of intercommunal conflicts, such political parties often have few political reasons to consider the rights of rival communities since they are outside of their base of power.

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Responding to Chemical and Biological Incidents at Home

Responding to Chemical and Biological Incidents at HomeThe combination of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax letters have put us on notice that chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attacks are highly effective means for terrorist to attack the United States. First responders in local communities know what is required to react to a CBRNE attack. Unfortunately, municipalities cannot conduct the large-scale search, rescue, decontamination, and treatment needed in such an attack and simply cannot afford to keep the large number of trained personnel on alert. The National Guard, on the other hand, already possess the most time-consuming and perishable skills—those of CBRNE reconnaissance. An active duty force—which already is trained for CBRNE attacks—of about 3,000 troops would provide the fastest response for target-rich localities with a battalion stationed nearby. The 3,000 troops required is only .25 percent of the 1.2 million active duty personnel. The Defense Department has made progress in many areas in response. Unfortunately, it has largely neglected dealing with the consequences of a CBRNE attack. It is time to rectify that oversight.

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A Vision for the National Guard

A Vision for the National GuardNew asymmetrical threats—the global war on terrorism, in particular—call for a smarter, lighter, more agile and more lethal force. The services will lead in rebalancing the force, and the National Guard Bureau Army and Air directorates are fully engaged and working closely in the process. The Guard, drawing from the breadth of expertise residing in communities across the nation, possesses natural strengths and efficiencies that should be exploited as the services transform. While the ultimate composition of Guard forces is yet to be determined, the bureau expects that force structure changes instituted in the next three to seven years will increase the Guard contribution to the total force in several areas. For the Army National Guard, military police, chemical, information operations, military intelligence (particularly linguists), and special operations forces are fields that draw on the civilian experience in Guard personnel to assist the Army in meeting its goals. For the Air Guard, security forces, information warfare, intelligence, and unmanned reconnaissance platforms represent areas of potential growth that would assist the Air Force in rebalancing its forces for the war on terrorism.

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