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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.

South Korea Leads the Warfight

South Korea Leads the WarfightThe Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance is embarking on the most profound transformation affecting American forces on the peninsula since the Korean War. For the last 57 years, the United States has led the war-fighting command responsible for the defense of the Republic of Korea. As the ROK military matured, the alliance evolved and adopted a number of command and control (C2) mechanisms integrating the ROK military into the decision making process and command. In October 2006, the Presidents of the United States and the Republic of Korea agreed that South Korea is ready to assume primacy of its own defense in armistice, crisis, and war. In early 2007, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and ROK Minister of National Defense determined that South Korea will assume wartime operational control of its forces on April 17, 2012. The alliance is preparing to inactivate the 29-year-old warfighting Combined Forces Command and simultaneously activate complementary national warfighting commands in 2012.

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The Missing Component of U.S. Strategic Communications

The Missing Component of U.S. Strategic CommunicationsIn the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a few prescient political observers began asserting that the United States had found itself thrust into a war that would not only require military action, but also, more importantly, compel the nation to compete in a so-called war of ideas. However, the U.S. Government was generally slow to understand the nature of the conflict, slow to acknowledge its lack of capability for dealing with such a conflict, and agonizingly slow to marshal itself robustly for that dimension of the conflict. Shockingly, almost six years after the attacks against the Twin Towers and Pentagon, a national-level process for organizing and conducting an effective, synchronized program aimed at countering enemy ideas is still not in place. Therefore, many observers both in and out of government are now expressing deep concern that the United States is losing both the global war of ideas against Islamic extremists and the war on terror itself.

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An Interview with Gen. B.B. Bell

An Interview with Gen. B.B. BellThe Republic of Korea is a modern nation that wants to be self-reliant. And to the extent that the United States is perceived to be dominating the Republic of Korea by its citizens, it can cause friction. What our ally wants is an equal stance with the United States, to be on a fully equal basis. It wants an understanding ally. For example, the fact that I'm the commander of Combined Forces Command is in itself of concern to many Koreans. They think, "Why in the world would an American command our military during war in the year 2007?" As commander of Combined Forces Command, in war, I command all forces, joint and combined, in the Korean theater of operations during conflict. Why is that? Their military is first-world. I know most of the militaries that the United States deals with very well. I've trained with them. With nearly 15 years deployed overseas, I know the British military, the French, the Germans, and the Russians very well, among others. This Republic of Korea military is a competent peer of any of those militaries. So, again, if you were an average Korean, you might ask, "Why is a U.S. commander still in charge of our security during war?"

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Civilian Contractors under Military Law

Civilian Contractors under Military LawOver the course of its efforts to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has increasingly relied upon the work of civilian contractors. By Central Command's count at the end of 2006, there were nearly 100,000 contractors operating in Iraq alone. An estimated 30,000--more than the number of non-US Coalition forces in Iraq--provide armed military services such as personal and site security. The insertion of five words into Congress's fiscal year 2007 defense authorization act may now subject every civilian contractor operating in a combat zone to the discipline of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This legislation ostensibly brings long-overdue regulation to contractor behavior, but it also raises a number of questions regarding interpretation and enforcement. By drawing on the lessons of past efforts to control contractors, the military should be able to craft a workable standard for the exercise of its expanded UCMJ jurisdiction.

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