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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.

U.S. Special Operations Command: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century

U.S. Special Operations Command: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st CenturyLike their predecessors through the years, today’s Special Operators are an integral part of the joint force. The war on terror is different from any struggle the nation has faced. Success requires patience and the application of every instrument of national and international power. Special Operations Forces are the natural pick when the mission requires capabilities not found elsewhere. Innovation, initiative, and judgment are the hallmarks of Special Operators. They remain the only force with language proficiency and cultural awareness for specific regions, allowing them to operate more effectively on foreign turf in conjunction with host nation forces. With the continued support of the President, Congress, and the American people, the Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the U.S. Special Operations Command will continue to apply energy, focus, skill, and determination to quell the roots of terrorism and, when necessary, bring terrorists and their supporters to justice . . . or bring justice to them.

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Looking to the Future: NATO Training Mission-Iraq

Looking to the Future: NATO Training Mission-IraqNATO has been called the most successful military alliance in modern history. Achievements in forestalling Soviet expansion in Europe and in conducting the peace and stability operations in the Balkans demonstrate future utility for the organization. However, NATO is at a crossroads. Terror attacks on Western interests during the last decade were punctuated by the events of 9/11. The former collective defense posture of the alliance is now challenged both politically and militarily to engage in broader world policy. As a result, NATO politicians and strategic planners are confronted by operational considerations well beyond the bounds of Europe but with serious implications at home. The transformation into this new era is highlighted by creation of the NATO Response Force and the deployment of allied forces to Afghanistan to command the International Security Assistance Force. The NATO Training Mission–Iraq (NTM–I) represents the most recent test of the organization’s resolve and future direction. Still in its infancy, NTM–I provides insight into the Alliance decision process while highlighting implications for future NATO-led, out-of-area operations.


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The Future of Afghanistan

The Future of AfghanistanDuring the past four years, Afghanistan has made significant progress toward democracy while reconstructing the country’s political, social, and security institutions. These included adopting an enlightened constitution (January 2004), holding a successful presidential election (October 2004) and parliamentary elections (September 2005), while creating a national army and a national police force, dismantling major factional militia units, building a national economy from ground zero, expanding and improving a formal education system, and improving the status and future of Afghan women. However, peace and stability have not yet materialized. Afghanistan is again at a crossroads. One road leads to peace and prosperity; the other leads to the loss of all that has been achieved. Everything depends on the level of international commitment to help Afghanistan emerge from the dark shadows of the instability and violence of its recent past. On a cautionary note, lost opportunities and failure to respond to challenges are unfortunately the hallmarks of Afghanistan’s turbulent history.


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Rehabilitating a Rogue: Libya's WMD Reversal and Lessons for U.S. Policy

Rehabilitating a Rogue: Libya's WMD Reversal and Lessons for U.S. PolicyOn 19 Dec. 2003, Muammar al-Qadhafi announced Libya’s decision to dismantle all components of its nonconventional weapons programs. Concurrently, Qadhafi declared an abrupt halt to Libya’s development of missiles with a range exceeding 300 kilometers and his intent to open all nonconventional weapons stockpiles and research programs to international inspectors. Libya’s acknowledgment that it was building chemical and biological, as well as nuclear, weapons marked a dramatic shift. For decades, Tripoli had unequivocally denied possession of any such weapons when faced with Western allegations to that effect. In fact, as recently as January 2003, Qadhafi told an American reporter that it was “crazy to think that Libya” had weapons of mass destruction. Yet, with great confessional drama, Qadhafi later admitted to the international community that he had overseen the development of an active WMD program, with materials imported as recently as 2001. Thus, Qadhafi’s WMD reversal poses a puzzling question: Why would a rogue leader decide to eliminate a WMD program that he recently had been pursuing?


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