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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.

Drug Wars, Counterinsurgency, and the National Guard

The Leadership Legacy of John WhyteThe United States is engaged in two wars: the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. These conflicts have stretched U.S. Special Operation Forces (SOF) thin. Many units are in their third overseas deployment in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. Skills learned during domestic counterdrug missions could directly contribute to the success of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places in the world. It may be possible to leverage the National Guard Counterdrug Support Program’s (NGCSP) uniqueness to help support overburdened SOF and combatant commanders. Included in NGCDSP’s toolbox are: technical support by linguist-translators, intelligence analysts, communications support, engineers and subsurface divers; general support that includes aerial, logistic, communications, intelligence, planning, medical, security, transportation, and operational planning support; reconnaissance and observation ground teams to perform area observation; and mobile vehicle inspection systems, which are self-contained inspection systems that use low energy X-ray and Gamma-ray imaging to identify anomalies that might indicate concealed cargo, narcotics, or explosives in a targeted object.

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Army Transformation at Sea: The New Theater Support Vessel

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, And ReconnaissanceThe Army’s new Theater Support Vessel (TSV) is a rapidly developed response to the transformational operational maneuver and sustainment demands of force-projection operations. The TSV is a fast-moving, shallow-draft vessel that can simultaneously move troops and their equipment together as combat-ready units within theater and deploy them with little or no reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) activities at undeveloped ports. The TSV also provides follow-on sustainment through joint logistics over-the-shore operations. Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom highlighted the need for maneuver-force and logistics transformation. To respond quickly to threats around the world, the U.S. Army must field highly lethal, deployable units and the sustainment forces to move and support them. The speed at which forces must deploy and be available for battle changes the paradigm of moving troops separately from their containerized equipment and then remarrying them and unpacking and reorganizing equipment at the destination port. While the separate intertheater movement approach will still exist, the concept of intratheater maneuver of combat-ready units (troops and equipment together) provides the theater commander with an operational capability to bypass defended or major ports and inject combat power anywhere. Evolving force-projection doctrine requires inserting combat-ready units by air and sea into undeveloped theaters of war to gain and maintain the operational initiative. By design, the TSV can rapidly maneuver a combat-ready force over operational distances, provide continuous battle command on-the-move, and facilitate insertion and operational sustainment of the force once ashore.

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Persistent Surveillance and Its Implications for the Common Operating Picture

Why the Strong LosePersistent surveillance, also known as persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); persistent stare; and pervasive knowledge of the adversary, is an often-used term to describe the need for and application of future ISR capabilities to qualitatively transform intelligence support to operational and tactical commands. Each expression envisions a system achieving near-perfect knowledge and removing uncertainty in war. Persistence means that when global, theater, or local reconnaissance finds something of intelligence or actionable interest, ISR systems, including processing and analytic systems, maintain constant, enduring contact with the target. This increases understanding about the target, which enables a faster decision cycle at all levels of command and supports the application of precision force to achieve desired effects. Persistent surveillance integrates the human component and various technologies and processes across formerly stovepiped domains; it is not a permanent stare from space or from airborne imagery platforms. In essence, the targeted entity will be unable to move, hide, disperse, deceive, or otherwise break contact with the focused intelligence system. Once achieved, persistent ISR coverage will, in theory, deny the adversary sanctuary, enabling coherent decision-making and action with reduced risk. Persistent surveillance in its objective form does not exist today; it is still a concept, albeit a promising one.

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To Create a Stable Afghanistan: Provisional Reconstruction Teams, Good Governance, and a Splash of History

Is There a Deep Fight in a Counterinsurgency?The coalition and NATO face the complex challenge of establishing a legitimate functioning government in Afghanistan that can withstand the withdrawal of Western forces. To meet this challenge, they might look to earlier British efforts to manage the northwest frontier along Afghanistan’s eastern border. Proven methods the British used in the frontier districts could generate a coherent plan for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. Indeed, as resources shrink, new, imaginative measures—plus tried and true ones—will be needed to control Afghanistan’s geographically dispersed tribes to prevent the reemergence of terrorists or armed insurrection. Some of these measures include: Integrating regional militias as lawful arms of Afghanistan’s government. Trained, equipped, and incorporated into a nationwide security structure under central authority, militias could become a lawful, cooperative cornerstone of regional security. Accepting warlords as provincial governors (with government approval and clear jurisdiction). Separating the duties of governor and militia commander is essential for success. Establishing a network of Western advisers to support province governors. Advisers could coordinate regional reconstruction, monitor militia activities, oversee the collection of taxes, and provide an essential link to coalition activities.

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