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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.

The Leadership Legacy of John Whyte

The Leadership Legacy of John WhyteThe toughest leadership challenge I had was bearing the personal responsibility for my Soldiers throughout operations. I really took it to heart. I guess I probably wouldn’t do it differently, but it was a personal challenge in that it was harder than I had expected. My Soldiers were actually able (and very willing) to do a lot more than I was ready to ask them to do at first. Later, when Soldiers got hurt, I second-guessed myself a lot and that slowed me down. It snuck up on me, but I realized later that it really took its toll over several months. My first sergeant and I became very close and we got through it together. I learned from him to give the platoons some guidance and let them execute. He taught me the difference between company leader and company commander.

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Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, And Reconnaissance

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, And ReconnaissanceOnce fielded, the fully networked command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of Future Combat Systems (FCS) will enable the Army’s larger, more powerful, flexible and more rapidly deployable modern force to fight in an extremely rapid, noncontiguous decentralized manner. Building upon lessons learned and employing the most advanced technology available from the best of industry, FCS will implement a highly progressive C4ISR architecture that unites the many functions of battlespace command. Enabling this advanced capability is the ongoing FCS development of battle command systems, networked communications, sensors and integrated computers. The system will offer a collaborative information environment that will be rich in relevant intelligence tailored to the needs of multiple echelons and soldiers’ roles, while seamlessly intertwining advanced technologies in a manner transparent to the warfighter. It will use a performance-optimized capacity to process data efficiently and provide a comprehensive capacity to transfer information wherever it must go in the battlespace. The C4ISR network will facilitate improved situational awareness, real time sensor-to-shooter linkages, increased synergy between echelons and within small units and greater flexibility in unit of action command.


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Why the Strong Lose

Why the Strong LoseThe continuing insurgency in Iraq underscores the capacity of the weak to impose considerable military and political pain on the strong. Whether that pain will compel the United States to abandon its agenda in Iraq remains to be seen. What is not in dispute is that all major failed United States uses of force since 1945—in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia—have been against materially weaker enemies. In wars both hot and cold, the United States has fared consistently well against such powerful enemies as Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union, but the record against lesser foes is decidedly mixed. Though it easily polished off Milosevic’s Serbia and Saddam’s Iraq, the United States failed to defeat Vietnamese infantry in Indochina, terrorists in Lebanon, and warlords in Somalia. In each case the American Goliath was militarily stalemated or politically defeated by the local David. Most recently, the United States was surprised by the tenacious insurgency that exploded in post-Baathist Iraq, an insurgency now in its third year with no end in sight. The phenomenon of the weak defeating the strong, though exceptional, is as old as war itself.


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Is There a Deep Fight in a Counterinsurgency?

Is There a Deep Fight in a Counterinsurgency?The military planner must remember that developing an operational concept is not a unique event or tactical action. Planners must devise campaign plans that anticipate enemy adaptation and develop appropriate actions to prevent it across time. Only then will a linked series of tactical actions conducted simultaneously and relentlessly by various assets over an extended period accomplish operational and strategic objectives. This constitutes deep battle and cognitive understanding of the operational art in fighting a counterinsurgency; it is how planners in the contemporary operating environment (COE) might develop a concept to defeat an insurgent enemy. In a counterinsurgency, there is a deep fight. However, current Army doctrine does not provide a theoretical understanding of the deep fight or a methodology for fighting it. History provides vicarious experiences that planners in the COE can study to learn how to fight and win the physical deep fight, but insurgent depth is also contingent on the elements of time and adaptation. While historical examples remain applicable, today’s military planners must understand the nature of the insurgencies the Army faces. Planners must develop tangible solutions and campaign plans to defeat insurgents in the deep battle.


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