WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 26, 2008) -- Crafted from the hard lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is releasing this week an updated version of FM 3-0, the field manual for "Operations."
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. said the manual is a blueprint for how the Army will conduct missions in the 21st Century.
Gen. Casey outlined the three biggest contributions of the updated manual, scheduled for distribution to the field beginning Thursday. The first major change elevates "stability operations" to the level of offensive and defensive operations.
The Army's top Soldier said when he was a division commander back in 2001, his main focus for training was conventional warfare. He doesn't believe that's necessarily the case for divisions and brigade combat teams any more.
"What's clear to us is that every operation -- whether it is major combat operations, irregular warfare or even peacetime engagement -- will include some form of offensive operations, some form of defensive operations and some form of stability operations." Gen. Casey said.
The second major contribution is approaching hard military problems from an intellectual standpoint. He hopes this will take the Army away from a process-oriented decisions-making method. The updated manual describes how commanders must first understand the complex issues they have to deal with, he said.
"They have to visualize it in a way that enables them to describe it to their subordinates, so they can direct the execution of plans and orders," Gen. Casey said.
The updated FM 3-0 also stresses the importance of information in the 21st Century.
"Any operation that we conduct will be conducted under the unblinking eye of the 24-hour media cycle," Gen. Casey said. "That's not a bad or a good thing. It just is. It's clear that information is far more important now than it has been in the past."
The new doctrine is not meant to affect the Army's resources today or provide cookie-cutter solutions, he said, but rather, "it's designed to spur debate and thinking about how we fight and how we will use it to adapt and how we develop our equipment."
Gen. Casey said that Soldiers still remain the center piece of the Army. "And they will remain our ultimate asymmetric advantage."