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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.

Advising Iraqis: Building the Iraqi Army

Advising Iraqis: Building the Iraqi ArmyAs American military forces begin to pull back, Iraqi forces will become more central to establishing a safe and secure Iraq. U.S. advisers are critical partners in this mission. They provide expertise and, more important, reassurance that the forces for democracy and moderation have a powerful ally at their side. Advisers who approach this important mission with a constructive attitude and a willingness to put Iraqis in the lead will make important and satisfying contributions to this effort. Despite low approval ratings and doubters back home, President Bush might just be correct about establishing a free and democratic Iraq in the center of the strategic Middle East. My Iraqi friends yearn for a day when their children can enjoy peace and prosperity in a country that has no excuse for being poor. The current generation understands that they are paying the price now so that future generations can enjoy what has so far been denied.

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Countering Evolved Insurgent Networks

Countering Evolved Insurgent NetworksToday’s counterinsurgency warfare involves a competition between human networks—ours and theirs. To understand their networks, we must understand the networks’ preexisting links and the cultural and historical context of the society. We also have to understand not just the insurgent’s network, but those of the host-nation government, its people, our coalition partners, non-governmental organizations, and, of course, our own. Counterinsurgency is completely different from insurgency. Rather than focusing on fighting, strategy must focus on establishing good governance by strengthening key friendly nodes while weakening the enemy’s. In Iraq, we must get the mass of the population on our side. Good governance is founded on providing effective security for the people and giving them hope for their future; it is not based on killing insurgents and terrorists. To provide that security, we must be able to visualize the fight between and within the human networks involved. Only then can we develop and execute a plan to defeat the insurgents.

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Outfitting a Big-War Military with Small-War Capabilities

Outfitting a Big-War Military with Small-War CapabilitiesInterstate wars, while not obsolete, are now less prevalent than direct threats from irregular forces. The U.S. military’s conventional dominance has forced its enemies to seek other methods to challenge American hegemony. While conventional might is still necessary in an uncertain world, the American invasion and subsequent operations in Iraq have exposed the U.S. military’s limitations and instigated changes that will make it more prepared to meet the growing irregular threat. Only by creating a force that is just as adept at conducting small wars against irregular enemies as it is at conducting big wars against conventional foes will the United States be able to ensure security in the 21st century.

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Bridging the Religious Divide

Bridging the Religious DivideUnderstanding why the insurgents hate America so much is equally important as knowing how the attackers of 9/11 were able to infiltrate our systems of protection. Over the last two years, after countless lessons learned during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, coalition forces now have a limited but clearer understanding of the drivers of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of redeployed top military commanders recently pointed out that the true nature of this war is centered on economics, political will, culture, and religious ideology. Research indicates that many Islamic scholars concur with the following assessment: the insurgency is slowly developing into a war of ideas that will serve as a catalyst for the globalization of religious extremism if left unchecked.

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