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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.

Training for War-What We're Learning

Training for War-What We're LearningThe Army owns, and in some cases operates, a number of arsenals, maintenance depots and ammunition factories. They are operated, funded and modernized as one of the Army’s core activities. Despite recent success in business management, such as adopting commercial practices and bringing in new tenants through partnerships with private companies, critics argue that by almost all accepted commercial standards, these Army plants maintain too much capacity, inefficiency and overhead. Some argue for the wholesale privatization of the public base, turning over industrial functions entirely to the commercial marketplace where inefficiencies would supposedly be eliminated. Partnering with private industry is another option. The advantages of industrial partnerships have already been proven in several cases where they have been tried, but more needs to be done to encourage such arrangements. Congress has helped to create a more hospitable atmosphere for partnering over the past decade by passing legislation removing some barriers to long-term business relationships between the government and private companies. Other obstacles remain, however, including an overall reluctance to change, and most importantly, share work.

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Winning Wars

Winning WarsTheater immersion rapidly builds combat-ready formations led by competent, confident leaders who see first, understand first, and act first; battleproofed Soldiers inculcated with the warrior ethos man the formations. Theater immersion places—as rapidly as possible—leaders, Soldiers and units into an environment that approximates what they will encounter in combat. At the Soldier level, training is tough, realistic, hands-on, repetitive and designed to illicit intuitive Soldier responses. It thrusts formations into a theater analog soon after they arrive at their mobilization station and places stress on the organization from individual to brigade levels. Theater immersion is a combat training center-like experience that replicates conditions downrange while training individual- through brigade-level collective tasks. The most significant lesson learned in the global war on terrorism was the need for more sophisticated and rigorous training in battalion and brigade battle command; in particular, effects-based targeting and information operations. Here time is the enemy, as are the multitude of training and transformation requirements that compete for leader time and attention. To mitigate the problem, more time for mobilization in advance of the main bodies was provided.

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Fighting Terrorism and Insurgency: Shaping the Information Environment

Fighting Terrorism and Insurgency: Shaping the Information EnvironmentSince 9/11, U.S. military forces have engaged in battles against radical Islamic (jihadi) networks and their allies globally. Suicide bombings continue to be one of the dominant techniques encountered by U.S. Army and allied forces when engaging these opponents. In fact, these bombings are being used with increasing frequency. Suicide bombing can be defined as a “criminal-warfighting” technique because it almost always falls within the “not crime and not war overlap” of nonstate opposing force operations. Prior to 9/11, this operational environment, and the nonstate forces that flourish within it, were considered to fall within the domain of “operations other than war” and, more recently, “stability and support operations.” The realization now exists that a new form of warfare has arisen between nation-states and opposing nonstate entities. The jihadi-criminal-insurgent mix challenges civil governance and the rule of law. Military forces cannot reconstruct civil society alone. The Iraqi experience demonstrates the need for expanded constabulary forces and the integration of military units, intelligence, police forces, planning and operations in concert with (or supporting the formation of) civil authorities.

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We Have Not Correctly Framed the Debate on Intelligence Reform

We Have Not Correctly Framed the Debate on Intelligence ReformFor more than two decades, U.S. joint military organizations have thoroughly dominated the conventional battlefield. In conjunction with special operations forces, conventional forces have propelled the nation to military superpower status through unmatched combat, technical and power-projection capability. Every new or improved capability, however, no matter how dominant, brings with it a whole new set of inherent vulnerabilities. A smart, resourceful enemy will seek out those chinks in his adversary’s armor and attack them with asymmetric means. Using asymmetric tactics, adversaries attempt to exploit their ability to hide in plain sight and attack U.S. forces in ways that are unconventional, unexpected and that turn the Army’s own operating techniques against itself. Today’s conventional forces, although more agile and lethal than their predecessors, remain vulnerable to attacks from forces like the insurgency in Iraq, when the enemy finds capability gaps to exploit. A new Army organization, the Asymmetric Warfare Group, has been created to focus on this challenge and bring to bear a holistic application of intelligence, training and technology to defeat both current and future asymmetric threats.

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