The Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) extends the influence of AUSA by informing and educating its members; local, regional and national leaders; and the American public on the critical nature of land forces and the importance of the United States Army. ILW carries out a broad program of activities including the publication of professional research papers, newsletters, background briefs, essays and special reports.
To order ILW publications free of charge, send an e-mail to ILWPublications@ausa.org or call 800-336-4570, ext. 4630. Please provide your name, address, daytime number, the title and alphanumeric identifier of the publication you wish to receive and, if you are a member of AUSA, your member number. Please note that the alphanumeric identifiers on some ILW products end with “W”; this means those publications are available only online. For more information, call 800-336-4570, ext. 2627.
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Recent ILW & Torchbearer Publications
The U.S. Army in the Pacific: Assuring Security and Stability
(Torchbearer National Security Report, April 2013)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army’s trained and ready forces in the Asia–Pacific region contribute to the joint force by preventing conflict, shaping the environment and winning decisively if necessary, assuring security and stability. As World War II ended, U.S. Army leadership proved to be the cornerstone of renewed peace and prosperity in the Pacific. Today, the region has reemerged as one of the world’s most militarily significant and challenging. The 2012 U.S. defense strategic guidance therefore directed that the joint force rebalance its efforts toward the Asia–Pacific and reinvest in its continued security. The Army must receive balanced support to continue providing invaluable resources to and enabling many contingency response options for the joint force.
Cyberspace Operations in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations
by David W. Pendall, Ronald Wilkes and Timothy J. Robinson (Land Warfare Paper 95, April 2013)
This Land Warfare Paper discusses the nature of cyberspace operations in general, the need for enhanced cyberspace operations and expresses a viable way ahead for future cyberspace operations in Afghanistan. The authors posit that additional research and coordination should be conducted to better define and develop requirements for cyberspace capabilities, command and control of cyberspace operations and integration of activities in a manner that supports the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander, the operations of regional commanders and related strategic shaping and global counter terrorism (CT) pursuit operations. This paper was designed to provoke additional thought about cyberspace operational relevance, suggest necessary change and enable future success in Afghanistan and future conflicts.
The Hard Truth about "Easy Fighting" Theories: The Army is Needed Most When Specific Outcomes Matter
by Huba Wass de Czege (Landpower Essay 13-2, April 2013)
This Landpower Essay states that defining “easy fighting” theories as conceptions that promise low-risk and high-gain solutions to complex world problems, criticizes the apparently unwise and unrealistic current trend of the military to shape the majority of its engagements as AirSea Battles. Since the First Gulf War, the belief has grown that the power to change intolerable situations on the ground can be achieved without hard and bloody fighting by Soldiers and Marines. However, the author posits that the inconvenient truth is that easy fighting theories cannot be relied upon to deliver high-stakes results.
Military Ethic and the Judge Advocate General's Corps: Legal Guardians of the Profession of Arms
by Mari K. Eder (Landpower Essay 13-1, April 2013)
This Landpower Essay cites numerous specific examples of officers who have been relieved of their duties because of improper or inappropriate behavior. This failure of our leaders to live within the strictures of honorable ethical habits causes problems down the chain of command; subordinates will not be inclined to follow the leadership of an officer who has proved himself to be morally derelict. The JAG Corps, in maintaining the functioning and fair military system in which such cases are handled, serves to support and sustain the Profession of Arms and the model of a Professional Soldier.
Misinterpretation and Confusion: What is Mission Command and Can the U.S. Army Make it Work?
by Donald E. Vandergriff (Land Warfare Paper 94, February 2013)
In this Land Warfare Paper, Donald Vandergriff elucidates that when Mission Command functions ideally, once subordinates understand the intentions of their commanders they are responsible for using their creativity and initiative to adapt to changing circumstances and accomplish their missions within the guidelines of those initial intentions. He questions the degree to which modern technology allows for too much oversight in mission execution and argues that unless the Army seriously examines its personnel system and the current force structure and implements necessary improvements, the vital principal of Mission Command will continue to be lost. With this necessity in mind, Vandergriff suggests the widespread use of Outcomes-Based Training and Education, as it provides a solution for how best to teach Mission Command in our 21st century world.
AUSA + Second Session, 112th Congress = Some Very Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2013)
While noting a number of the positive measures that Congress took in this regard, such as providing sufficient personnel for the Army to respond to the demands of the nation’s security and authorizing a military pay raise that keeps pace with inflation, this Torchbearer Special Report also outlines a few areas in which Congress failed to include some important proposals in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Among other concerns, the Flyer stresses that more consideration must to be afforded to the needs of veterans, sufficient funding must be provided for adequate modernization initiatives of equipment and more progress is needed to provide military families with affordable and quality housing. Congress must support the Army’s effort to balance endstrength, modernization and readiness.
Strategy and Policy: Civilian and Military Leadership in the 21st Century
by Nicholas R. Krueger (National Security Watch 13-1, 18 January 2013)
This National Security Watch remarks on the technological advances both in communication and arms that have occurred in recent years. As this enables a growing number of potential adversaries to be more effective in their endeavors against the United States, there is an immediate and continued requirement for capable leadership and visionary strategy to combat hostile advances. Thus, it is necessary to review how the United States creates its security strategy and executes its security policy. Citing historical examples from the 20th century, the author examines past relationships between civil and military authorities, advocating that, based on past experiences, future relationships between these two authorities ought to be open and candid to ensure the enactment of effective policies.
Strategists Break All the Rules
by Adelaido Godinez (Land Warfare Paper 93, January 2013)
In this Land Warfare Paper, Adelaido Godinez argues that Upton’s proposed strict dichotomy is problematic, for while it is true that the Army should not be governed by political agendas, it must be aware of the relevant and vitally important policies of our nation. In addition to this first criticism, the author takes issue with Upton’s position that the problems encountered at a tactical and operational level are similar enough to be useful in solving problems at a strategic level.
The U.S. Army Capstone Concept: Defining the Army of 2020
(Defense Report 13-1, January 2013)
This Defense Report discusses the revised “The U.S. Army Capstone Concept” (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet 525-3-0), released in December 2012, which presents the Army’s initiative to transition into a continental United States (CONUS)-based expedition ready force. The Army Capstone Concept serves as a guide to how the Army will employ its resources to confront an uncertain future and offers an outline for comprehensive investment in Army force structure, modernization and readiness in accordance with national strategy guidance.
★ ★ ★ 2012 ★ ★ ★
Army Total Force Policy: Fully Integrating the Operational Reserve
(Defense Report 12-1, December 2012)
This Defense Report discusses the role and implementation of the Army Total Force Policy. Signed by Secretary of the Army John McHugh in September 2012, the document lends official and institutional permanence to the practice of AC and RC Soldiers fighting as one operational force—a practice already employed by Soldiers and commanders on the ground.
Leader Development, Learning Agility and the Army Profession
by Brian J. Reed (Land Warfare Paper 92, October 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper discusses the case being made by the current Army Profession campaign for a reevaluation and assessment of the Army as a profession and the attributes of the Army Professional. The author ourlines a model for leader development anchored in learning agility and the notion that learning agile leaders apply previous learning and embrace opportunities for further learning in new, novel or ill-defined environments.
Just Don't Take Away My Smartphone
by Jeremy Rasmussen (Landpower Essay 12-1, October 2012)
This Landpower Essay presents the current dilemma that the military is facing in wanting to ensure efficient exchange of information using the advanced technology available, but at the same time needing to maintain information security.
Irregular Warfare: Counterterrorism Forces in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations
by William B. Ostlund (Land Warfare Paper 91, October 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper discusses the changes in the counterterrorism (CT) force profile and method of operating over the past ten years. As open coordination between battlespace owners and the CT force became necessary for the CT force's freedom of action, in January 2009 the CT force aggressively revamped its method of operating in Afghanistan. With this study, winner of the 2012 AUSA/Army Capabilities Integration Center writing contest, the author seeks to ensure that lessons learned regarding CT force transparency will be practiced and internalized.
Capability Set Production and Fielding: Enhancing the U.S. Army's Combat Effectiveness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchberer Issue Paper presents the problem that servicemembers have faced in recent years of inadequate connectivity on the battlefield. Although advances in technology are constantly improving methods of communication, these are not always available to servicemembers who, as a result, face interoperability issues that interfere with unified land operations and cause delays in their ability to access the full range of information about their areas of operations. That is about to change. Starting in October 2012, the Army will being to equip deploying brigade combat teams with Capability Set (CS) 13, the Army’s first integrated package of radios, satellite systems, software applications, smartphone-like devices and other network components.
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: Building Communities of Readiness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper elucidates efforts being made by the Department of Defense to help members of the National Guard and the Reserve successfully navigate the long process of reintegration after deployment. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 established the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) to formalize and support initiatives across the reserve component in nationwide deployment-cycle training and support programs to ease transitions for servicemembers and their families.
U.S. Army Operational Testing and Evaluation: Laying the Foundation for the Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, October 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report outlines the success and significance of the Agile Capabilities Life Cycle, its associated Network Integration Evaluations process and the Capability Set Management construct. All of these—through tests and evaluations by which servicemembers can give constructive feedback on the operations of technologies and equipment—allow the Army to modernize its information systems. Such a network can also enable the necessary distribution of information and help to provide for overmatch against adversaries. Important in the further development of these network tools are continued participation and feedback from current Soldiers, efforts to maintain an understanding of the perspective of industry partners providing necessary materials and, most vital, continued reliable sources of funding.
Profile of the U.S. Army—A Reference Handbook (2012 Edition)
(ILW Special Report, June 2012)
A user-friendly reference book for people familiar with the Army and an easy-to-read introduction for family members, civilian employees, contractors and future Soldiers—takes a top-down approach, first describing the Army’s role as a key element in the national security structure and then flowing into the “why” and “how” of the Army’s organization. It also contains information and helpful graphics on the Soldier, the uniform, the Army’s command structure, Army families, installations and the Army’s current operations. For readers seeking more details, each chapter includes a list of relevant websites. Finally, Profile contains a glossary of acronyms and maps illustrating locations of current Army combat corps and divisions, Army National Guard divisions and brigade combat teams, and Army Reserve direct reporting commands.
General Matthew B. Ridgway: A Commander's Maturation of Operational Art
by Joseph R. Kurz (Land Warfare Paper 90W, September 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper is based on an examination of available primary sources—field orders, after-action reports and personal accounts—reinforced with secondary source analysis. It demonstrates that Ridgway achieved tactical success in World War II in Operations Husky, Neptune and Market but did not adequately apply operational art until Operation Varsity and the Battle of the Bulge. Although he completed all the military education available in his era, it was only after the intense crucible of three combat operations that he was able to apply operational art successfully.
Earned Deferred Compensation: Proposed Military Earnings Reforms Do More Harm Than Good
by Nicholas R. Krueger (National Security Watch 12-4, August 2012)
This National Security Watch examines the potential changes to deferred compensation earned by U.S. Soldiers. The author discusses the effects these changes could have on Soldier and unit readiness and posits that fee increases and military earnings reforms will have detrimental effects on Soldiers and their families. Moreover, the author writes that the revenue and savings resulting from these proposed changes will have only a very small impact on relieving the nation’s budget crisis.
Linking Latin America and the Pacific: A Strategy for the Long Term
by Douglas J. Schaffer (National Security Watch 12-3, July 2012)
This National Security Watch examines DoD’s January 2012 strategic guidance, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” which “rebalances” the United States’ priorities toward Asia, particularly China. In this paper, the author posits that the United States could be better served by expanding its scope and considering the Pacific as defined by the ocean rather than just Asia. By connecting Western Hemisphere nations, especially in Latin America, with the Asia–Pacific region, the United States can form a broader, globally relevant, long-term strategic plan that better addresses the diverse security picture vis-à-vis the United States, China and the world.
Distilling the Demographic Dividend: Retaining U.S. Army Officer Talent for the 40-year Career?
by Kevin D. Stringer (Land Warfare Paper 89, June 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper posits that the Army would be better served if it transitioned to a system focused on keeping and developing selected senior field-grade officers for a 40-year career horizon. The paper explores the time, experience and energy required to develop the knowledge and expertise of officers to perform effectively in complex operations. In the author’s view, the Army should be stanching the tide of retirements of senior officers, who depart just when they offer the most value to the organization.
A New Equipping Strategy: Modernizing the U.S. Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, June 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses many of the Army’s modernization priorities as it looks to the third decade of the 21st century. To provide U.S. combatant commanders with land forces that have the capability, capacity and diversity to succeed in this environment, the Army must continuously assess and adjudicate three foundational imperatives: endstrength/force structure, readiness and modernization. The Army must balance these three elements to prevent conflict, shape the environment and win decisively. To develop the right force design and mix to execute these imperatives, an equipping strategy for the Army of 2020 must acquire and modernize equipment in ways that provide the best force for the nation within the resources available. The Army’s acquisition and modernization approach acknowledges the healthy tension of balancing short-term (zero to two years), mid-term (two to eight years) and long-term (more than eight years) equipping challenges to support a strategic ground force that is superior, credible and rapidly deployable.
Modernizing LandWarNet: Empowering America's Army
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report examines the ways in which LandWarNet will improve the Army’s current network, which is fragmented into many smaller networks that have a variety of standards, systems and pathways. LandWarNet addresses this complex issue by instituting a single, standards-based network. The Army’s strategy for end-to-end network modernization has five high-level objectives: operationalize LandWarNet; dramatically improve cybersecurity posture; improve operational effectiveness while realizing efficiencies; enable joint interoperability and collaboration with mission partners; and recruit and retain an agile workforce to support an expeditionary Army.
The Spider Webs and the Lion: How Energy and Environmental Issues Entangle China
by Mark Lee (Land Warfare Paper 88W, May 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper discusses seven distinct yet interrelated energy and environmental challenges currently facing China. The author discusses each of these challenges—energy demand, the water crisis, cumulative pollution effects, rapid urbanization, a must-grow-to-survive economy, the limitations of the central government and the long-standing attitude that humans can completely control nature—and their effects on China’s economic growth and stability. These issues already create unhealthy living situations and unsustainable energy sources and will soon test the legitimacy of China’s central government.
U.S. Army Space Capabilities: Enabling the Force of Decisive Action
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army is inextricably linked to space-based capabilities, which are involved with all aspects of the “prevent, shape and win” framework that guides the Army, both in current conflicts and in its future vision. As the Department of Defense’s new strategic guidance highlights, the Army will be part of a joint force that is smaller and leaner but more agile, flexible and technologically enabled. To mitigate complex operational risks and assure landpower dominance now and in the future, the Army relies on a technological backbone built on space-based capabilities and force structure. Preserving and expanding these capabilities will be required to keep the Army the force of decisive action.
First Army: Training for Today's Requirements and Tomorrow's Contingencies
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines First Army’s role in helping ensure the readiness of the total Army to advise and assist in training all Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers in the continental United States during premobilization periods to meet combatant commanders’ requirements worldwide. The most significant challenge for today’s operational reserve is to sustain readiness to provide combatant commanders with adaptive units that are capable across the full range of military operations. Much of First Army’s priority of effort since 9/11 has been to conduct mobilization and demobilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn, training more than 750,000 personnel in support of these and other named contingency operations.
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2012)
Third Army: Empowering Theater Responsiveness by Synchronizing Operational Maneuver
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the expertise and experience exhibited by Third Army, which could very well be the model for other service component commands as well as U.S. allies. Third Army, USF-I and the joint team conducted a successful operation to retrograde and reposture a significant amount of forces and immense stocks of equipment from Iraq. Third Army—as an Army Service Component Command—has been and will remain vital to the U.S. Army’s ability to conduct its Title 10 responsibilities to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations on land. Applying, maturing and translating the lessons learned from the past decade will be a vital effort as the Army prepares for its role as part of Joint Force 2020 in an increasingly uncertain and complex strategic environment.<
Historical Lessons Applied to the Current Technical Revolution in Military Affairs
by Benjamin Huebschman (Land Warfare Paper 87, March 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper discusses the development of future weapon systems, including those used by the dismounted Soldier, and proposes that future defense technology would benefit from a historical review of the evolution of weapons. The author presents the key stages in the development of weapon systems as case studies, examining each stage with sufficient detail and in its historical context. Each case study provides lessons that can then be applied to modern weapon development. The author’s analysis of these case studies leads him to propose an instantiation of a modern system with regard to Battlefield Operating Systems.
The Rationale for a Robust U.S. Army Presence in the Pacific Basin
(National Security Watch 12-2, March 2012)
This National Security Watch examines four major components that, when taken together, build a strong strategic rationale for robust U.S. landpower in the Asia–Pacific region. The paper expands on each of the following observations: achieving the United States’ global strategic goals requires military coordination with Asian partners; the U.S. Army is an ideal security asset for pursuing mutual interests and developing a strategic hedge against future uncertainty; global trends toward increased uncertainty and complexity yield a wide range of foreseeable but undefined challenges in Asia; the U.S. Army stands ready to conduct full-spectrum operations; the United States is in a state of strategic military competition with regional powers. The U.S. Army can help the United States realize advantages in these contests; and the United States must be ready to fight and win in Korea—tonight if necessary.
Breaking the Faith
(Torchbearer Alert, February 2012)
This Torchbearer Alert summarizes the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposals to increase health care fees and reconsider the structure of the military retirement system. For many military retirees under age 65, annual fees for TRICARE Prime would triple or quadruple by 2017; TRICARE Standard and Extra would also implement new enrollment fees and increase the size of families’ deductibles. For military retirees over age 65, the administration proposes hefty new annual enrollment fees for TRICARE-for-Life. Copays for pharmaceuticals would also increase substantially. Further, the administration proposes the creation of a commission to recommend cost-effective changes to the military retirement system. This commission would have authority similar to the BRAC process, effectively limiting elected officials’ involvement. The paper emphasizes that these ideas would do very little to alleviate the nation’s fiscal crisis; however, they would severely impact the well-being of those who have already risked and sacrificed more than their fair share, and they could have serious consequences for force readiness.
Applying Natural System Metaphors to the Force Modernization Process
by K. Todd Chamberlain (Land Warfare Paper 86, February 2012)
This Land Warfare Paper relies upon recent research and findings in the fields of species evolution, ecosystem transitions and ecosystem management to provide recommended actions for the Army to take within each phase of its force modernization process: 1) operational environment and concept development; 2) capabilities integration and development; and 3) force development. By applying metaphors from genetic variability, natural selection, evolutionary strategies and natural system management activities, the Army could develop operationally adaptable forces that can survive and rapidly evolve to operate successfully in the current environment as well as in any potential future world that emerges.
Thinking About the 21st Century Security Environment: The Need for a Whole-of-Government Approach
by General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA Ret. (National Security Watch 12-1W, January 2012)
This National Security Watch examines how more interagency involvement in fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might have led to an earlier conclusion and with a more satisfactory outcome for all participants. Perhaps the United States would not have been so slow to learn and adapt, as has been the case in both wars. More interagency involvement might also have encouraged a civil–military discourse at the strategic level that would have produced more reasonable U.S. strategic objectives, thus avoiding the second- and third-order difficulties in execution and in communication to the American people that we have witnessed. The paper also discusses how, operationally, the inadequate interagency effort made the stability, support and counterinsurgency operations much less effective than they could have been.
AUSA + 1st Session, 112th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2012)
This Torchbearer Special Report briefly describes the major objectives AUSA supported in the first session of Congress and what actions were taken for each. In passing the 2011 Budget Control Act, Congress acknowledged the national budget shortfalls while also attempting to maintain the military’s readiness in uncertain times and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. This publication examines the112th Congress’s successes and failures in authorizing some important proposals supported by AUSA.
Click here for 2011 ILW and Torchbearer Publications
Click here for 2010 ILW and Torchbearer Publications