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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.
★ ★ ★ 2012 ★ ★ ★
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.
★ ★ ★ 2011 ★ ★ ★
Laying the Groundwork for the Army of 2020
(Landpower Essay 11-2, August 2011)
This Landpower Essay comprises the remarks of General Robert W. Cone, Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), at AUSA’s Combined Arms Maneuver Symposium and Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri, on 26 July 2011. General Cone describes the Army Concept Framework—a series of seminal ideas published by TRADOC to define capabilities for 2020—which consists of the Army Capstone Concept, the Army Operating Concept and the six warfighting functional concepts. He outlines a vision for the future force—the Army of 2020—and discusses how the core competencies of combined-arms maneuver and wide-area security play a vital role in creating the ability to conduct future unified land operations.
First with the Truth: Synchronized Communications in the Counterinsurgency Fight
by Richard D. Hooker, Jr. (Landpower Essay No. 11-1, August 2011)
This Landpower Essay examines how Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 82’s experience in Operation Enduring Freedom suggests a way ahead for mastering the information domain in counterinsurgency. The 82d Airborne Division’s 2009–2010 rotation as the core headquarters for CJTF82 and Regional Command(East)—RC(E)—in Afghanistan marked an innovative break with the past in evolving counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine and practice. In the critical area of synchronized communications, CJTF82 implemented new approaches at the CJTF level. Both structural and conceptual, these changes marked a clear departure from past practices, refined existing procedures and suggested new doctrinal concepts and approaches.
★ ★ ★ 2010 ★ ★ ★
Looking Forward: People First
by MAJ Gregory Motes (Landpower Essay 10-2, September 2010)
This Landpower Essay examines the future operating environment of the U.S. Army in a world increasingly dependent on new technology. The author discusses the importance of educating and training Soldiers and leaders while developing new devices, systems and data networks. The author proposes that a balance between knowledge about technology and knowledge derived from contextual training or introspection will best ready the U.S. Army for future demands and challenges.
The Army Capstone Concept and Institutional Adaptation
by GEN Martin E. Dempsey (Landpower Essay 10-1, March 2010)
This Landpower Essay is a transcript of remarks made by GEN Martin E. Dempsey, Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, during AUSA's Winter Symposium and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 25 February 2010. He discusses the latest revision to the Army Capstone Concept, published in December 2009, that describes the broad capabilities the Army will require between now and 2028 to defend America and help to secure U.S. interests in the world. This Capstone Concept reconsiders, rethinks and challenges previous assumptions now that eight years of war have passed and the Army knows more about the 21st century enemy. GEN Dempsey describes the Army's objectives of decentralization, improved mission command, leader development and improving the Army's training and education system.
★ ★ ★ 2009 ★ ★ ★
Churchill and Obama: Leveraging Strategic Communication to Accomplish Grand Strategy
by MAJ Bryan N. Groves (Landpower Essay 09-4W, November 2009)
This Landpower Essay discusses British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's use of strategic communications as a leadership tool to rally his constituency, articulate values and build strong partnerships during World War II. Barack Obama is following Churchill's lead in these areas, using communications not only to win the presidential election but also to strengthen U.S. ties with its foreign allies and accomplish domestic goals. Despite critics who would dismiss Obama's strategic communication as "all talk" and call for substance to follow speech, Churchill's leadership of Britain during World War II serves as an important reminder of the impact a gifted orator can have on world events.
Our Army's Campaign of Learning
by GEN Martin E. Dempsey (Landpower Essay 09-3, November 2009)
This Landpower Essay is a transcript of remarks GEN Dempsey made during AUSA's 2009 Annual Meeting and Exposition on 4 October 2009. He identifies four emerging trends in the operational environment and how TRADOC must address them in concept development, leader development and modernization strategy. The initiatives he proposes represent a major investment of intellect and resources from across TRADOC and the Army, building an agile institution that strives for the balance and versatility necessary to face 21st century challenges.
Teams of Leaders in U.S. European Command: A Soft-power Multiplier
by LTG Frederic J. Brown, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 09-2, June 2009)
This Landpower Essay describes the Teams of Leaders culture, a synergistic soft-power multiplier that emphasizes collaboration and networked expertise to support the operations and missions of EUCOM. EUCOM headquarters comprises many separate and interrelated teams of leaders, often nested with one another, that are growing rapidly more joint, interagency, intergovenmental or multinational. While this essay focuses on EUCOM as an example, the policies and programs discussed appear equally applicable across most existing military or civil, governmental or nongovernmental organizations.
Soft Skills for 21st Century Land Dominance
by Victor M. Rosello (Landpower Essay 09-1, January 2009)
This Landpower Essay takes a look at the question of whether the U.S. Army should train and fight as a conventional force or as a counterinsurgent force in preparation for future contingencies. It goes on to address the “soft skills” (e.g., foreign language proficiency) required for successful counterinsurgency and how best to field those skills without eroding full-spectrum combat capabilities
★ ★ ★ 2008 ★ ★ ★
Lessons from Lincoln: On Being a War President
by LTG James M. Dubik, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 08-4, December 2008)
This Landpower Essay compares the political environment President Lincoln faced when he took office and that which the President-elect will face in January. The author describes the way in which Lincoln learned how to be a war president, by studying strategy and with on-the-job training, and contends that Obama will probably learn his role as commander in chief in the same way. Much has changed since the Civil War in both military strategy and the role of the President, but the conceptual challenge is the same: how do we understand our current war, and make the correct strategic decisions?
Distilling Strategic Communications
by COL William M. Darley, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 08-3, October 2008)
This Landpower Essay discusses improvements that can be made to current strategic communications to ensure that information is disseminated quickly and accurately. In the current environment, the spread of information is too imprecise to be useful. The author contends that information must have a certain specificity associated with it that provides targeted messages to the correct audience in order to be defined as strategic communications.
The Cold War and the Long War: Different Approaches to Global Ideological Movements
by COL John G. Ferrari (Landpower Essay 08-2, August 2008)
This Landpower Essay discusses the similarities and differences between the Cold War (capitalism vs. communism) and the Long War (secularism vs. violent Islamism) and offers recommendations for approaching the latter that, in his view, could reduce the timetable for the inevitable defeat of the violent Islamic ideology and perhaps save millions of lives in the process.
Tactics for Small Wars
by COL Kevin C. M. Benson, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 08-1, July 2008)
This Landpower Essay discusses the importance not only of redefining tactics to encompass stability operations and refining doctrine for the changing conditions of war but also of officer corps participation in the debate and discourse—and an exploration of the science of employing units in battle and in relationship to the enemy and terrain and to civilian populations on and around the battlefield—that must precede that refinement. The author further recommends both an update of Army Field Manual 3-90, Tactics, and creation of a dedicated field manual to address the concept of stability operations. He also places particular emphasis on the importance of addressing the tactics of full-spectrum operations as a whole rather than piecemeal in different manuals.
★ ★ ★ 2007 ★ ★ ★
Plan "C" is for Culture: Out of Iraq, Opportunity
by Gregory Paul P. Meyjes (Landpower Essay 07-4, May 2007)
This Landpower Essay analyzes cultural awareness as a key element for stabilizing and rebuilding war-torn nations, and discusses how the Army can implement it in the current warfight. Recent post-conflict operations in a growing number of areas around the world—Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name a few—have shown a need for a new set of cultural insights with which to inform government policies and new cultural skills with which to complement the combat competencies of intervention forces. Current efforts in this vein are not enough—the time is right for a plan “C" that calls for the engagement of skilled and independent experts to mediate among the minorities, the state, the coalition and others in the world community, and to guide those who serve in theater
Technology on the Battlefield
by CSM Ronald T. Riling (Landpower Essay 07-3, May 2007)
This Landpower Essay describes the advances in battlefield technology that have improved lethality and survivability and have enhanced Soldiers' ability to remain tactically dominant. Improvements in the elements of force protection, such as the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), Combat Warrior Equipment and the Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK), have saved Soldiers' lives while giving them the mobility and agility they need to fight an undefined enemy. Up-armored humvees are protecting Soldiers on patrol from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that in the past would have caused more casualties and deaths. New and improved communications systems are getting information into the hands of forward-deployed Soldiers faster, increasing their situational awareness so they can better anticipate danger areas. The Soldiers accomplish the mission, and it is the nation's responsibility to ensure they have the technology to do so safely and efficiently.
Teams of Leaders: The Next Multiplier
by BG Zeb B. Bradford, Jr., USA Ret. and LTG Frederic J. Brown, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 07-2, May 2007)
This Landpower Essay discusses a potential force multiplier that, through collaboration among leaders, will expand the impact of shared actionable understanding achieved through net-centric operations. Teams of Leaders is described as the interactive combination of knowledge management (KM), information management (IM)—data and its translation to usable information—and high-performing commander leader teams (HP CLTs). When CLTs, supported by IM and KM, are added as strategies in the Army Plan, opportunities for exponential improvement in Army and national joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational (JIIM) programs emerge. The combination seems sufficiently powerful that Teams of Leaders can be considered a new joint force multiplier.
Constructive Engagement: A Proven Method for Conducting Stability and Support Operations
by SGM Martin Rodriguez, USA Ret., MAJ Andrew Farnsler and John Bott (Landpower Essay 07-1, February 2007)
This Landpower Essay analyzes the success of relatively new, nonlethal methods in ongoing operations in Iraq. Constructive engagement (CE) combines the full spectrum of military operations with diplomacy at the tactical level, a strategy described by top commanders in Iraq in a 2004 New York Times article as “a mix of military tactics, political maneuverings, media management and a generous dollop of cash for quickly rebuilding war-ravaged cities—a formula that, if it survives the test of time, could become a model for future fighting against the persistent insurrections plaguing Iraq.” Applications of CE in Iraq demonstrated that civil-military officers, information operations, public affairs officers, psychological operations and other nonlethal means were more effective than conventional military operations in an asymmetric insurgency.
★ ★ ★ 2006 ★ ★ ★
Implications of Laser Weapons for Ground Combat Operations
by LTG Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., USA Ret. and COL Richard J. Dunn III, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 06-4, December 2006)
This Landpower Essay briefly describes the components of laser weapons and their vast operational capabilities against specific targets. The challenge to the U.S. military is that its understanding of laser weapons technologies is outpacing efforts to bring these capabilities into the force, because the funding necessary to bring them to maturity is lagging behind what is required. To maximize the potential of these weapons, the United States needs operational concepts to guide investment in this technology, and developing these concepts merits top priority for U.S. military intellectual energy.
Military Cultural Awareness: From Anthropology to Application
by Dr. John W. Jandora (Landpower Essay 06-3, November 2006)
This Landpower Essay analyzes the need for cultural awareness among Soldiers, describes the elements necessary to create a cultural awareness training program and outlines how this training will benefit the United States' efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it won't be easy; a study of the current cultural environment concluded that a massive instructional effort is required to create sufficient military experts in even just one subset of one cultural area.This essay offers some solutions, including creating a new special cadre that will get total immersion in the culture, and describes how such a force will benefit the war effort.
Lessons from the Past: Making the Army's Doctrine "Right Enough" Today
by BG Huba Wass de Czege, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 06-2, September 2006)
This Landpower Essay briefly describes the process through which the post-Vietnam and Cold War Army doctrine was written and offers suggestions to the current authors to create a better doctrine for the future. The new Field Manual will require the reinterpretation of the recent and ongoing technical revolution, the renewal and enrichment of old forgotten concepts, an adjustment of command and control doctrine, a new and more specific logic for estimating the need for ground forces and a broader reframing of the problem to arrive at a more satisfactory solution for mission categories and operational concepts. BG Wass de Czege was a co-author of the original AirLand Battle doctrine, and his insights into the process can help shape a "right enough" doctrine for the current environment that will better enable the Army to conduct effective operations.
America's Army as First Responder
by BG Zeb B. Bradford, Jr., USA Ret. and LTG Frederic J. Brown, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 06-1, April 2006)
This Landpower Essay analyzes the need for a better-trained emergency response system in light of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the feasibility of the Army as that system. Since the Katrina disaster, the nation has had a much greater awareness of its weaknesses and vulnerabilities regarding emergency response to both natural and man-made catastrophes. The authors argue that the Army, comprising active forces, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, has enormous de facto capability for dealing with emergencies and that such capability should be exploited to the fullest by effectively organizing and mobilizing the vast resources already in existence.
★ ★ ★ 2005 ★ ★ ★
Combating Terrorism: A Joint Interagency Approach
by LTC Fred T. Krawchuk (Landpower Essay 05-1, January 2005)
This Landpower Essay addresses the importance to strategists of understanding terrorist organizations, tactics, doctrine, communications, ideology and personalities and how that understanding can help produce an appropriate strategy and organization to detect, deter and defeat terrorist networks. The author proposes the development of flexible and efficient capabilities through the establishment of innovative interagency organizations known as Joint Interagency Action Teams. He goes on to describe a military professional development program with an interagency focus, to include promotions and school and assignment selections that reflect the importance of personnel adequately trained for interagency assignments. In his view, "putting the best and the brightest of military officers and NCOs in critical interagency liaison jobs is crucial" to preparing the U.S. military for future counterterrorism operations.
★ ★ ★ 2004 ★ ★ ★
Nonlinear, Noncontiguous Operations and the Control of Indirect Fires and Close Air Support
by Donald F. Wilkins (Landpower Essay 04-8W, December 2004)
This Landpower Essay examines the Joint Observer Controller (JOC), a proposed system using an integrated design comprising readily available technologies to simplify and improve observation and control of indirect fires (IF) and close air support (CAS), making joint fires available to small units and logistics units. In many of its missions the Army is operating in small groups, often widely dispersed, and specialized fire support personnel are not always available. The JOC concept's process simplification, system integration and expert systems would enable the typical Soldier to control IF/CAS in the multiple methods provided by all the services and ensure commanders more flexibility in providing inorganic weapon support.
TTHS is Not a Four-Letter Word
by MAJ Scott T. Nestler (Landpower Essay 04-7W, November 2004)
This Landpower Essay takes a look at Trainees, Transients, Holdees and Students (TTHS)—the term used by the Army to represent Soldiers not assigned to units. The author expresses the opinion that while TTHS is often viewed in a negative light and seen as the reason the Army cannot have more units in the force structure, it may be more appropriate to consider TTHS as the investment required for the Army to have trained and educated leaders and Soldiers ready and available to perform their missions.
Special Operators: A Key Ingredient for Successful Peacekeeping Operations Management
by Joseph L. Homza (Landpower Essay 04-6W, October 2004)
This Landpower Essay uses the Military Observer Mission Ecuador and Peru (MOMEP) in the late 1990s, (in which the author participated) as an example of a regional mutlinational peacekeeping effort, conducted by conventional forces from various nations with influence and guidance from U.S. special operations forces, that succeeded without reliance upon the United Nations.
Army Reserve Expeditionary Forces
by Mark Gerner (Landpower Essay 04-5W, September 2004)
This Landpower Essay looks at the U.S. Army return to an “expeditionary mind-set” and describes a concept and method, originally proposed within the Army Reserve, that will organize the force into modular capabilities operating in a predictable pattern of employment and help develop a sustainable force.
Reinventing the Army Reserve—Again
by COL Gary C. Howard, USAR Ret. (Landpower Essay 04-4, November 2004)
This Landpower Essay addresses some of the major issues facing Army Reserve (and Army National Guard) forces as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq continue far beyond the time lines and troop requirements envisioned by the military's civilian leadership. Among his concerns are better preparation of Reserve units and soldiers for combat on short notice, helping Reservists balance their civilian and military responsibilities, and supporting the soldiers, their families, their employers and their communities in the process.
Terrorism and Asymmetric Warfare
by SGT Russell P. Galeti, Jr. (Landpower Essay 04-3, October 2004)
This Landpower Essay looks at the transformations that have taken place as the U.S. approach to global security has evolved from the "single-minded crusade" of the Cold War era to the "information-centric age" of unpredictable asymmetric warfare.
Conventional Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict: The 82d Airborne in Firebase Shkin
by CPT David L. Buffaloe (Landpower Essay 04-2, October 2004)
This Landpower Essay is a first-person account of this company commander's successful experience fighting insurgency at the small-unit level in Afghanistan. As well as sharing lessons learned from both civil-military operations (CMOs) and intense combat operations, he encourages the Army leadership to focus some of the Army's doctrine and training on preparing young company commanders to lead combined-arms warfare, to conduct CMOs and to develop and exploit their own intelligence.
Breaking the Saber: The Subtle Demise of Cavalry in the Future Force
by COL John D. Rosenberger, USA Ret. (Landpower Essay 04-1, June 2004)
This Landpower Essay examines the debate surrounding traditional cavalry organizations—not the mechanized infantry and armor units bearing the name only, but those units that perform reconnaissance and security missions for their parent unit—and their potential role (or lack thereof) in the Future Force.
★ ★ ★ 2003 ★ ★ ★
Gun-Fired Precision Munitions for a Transformed Army
by David A. Sparrow and Cynthia Dion-Schwarz (Landpower Essay 03-4, November 2003)
This Landpower Essay examines not only the potential benefits to be gained from the development and fielding of gun-launched indirect-fire precision munitions but also a new approach for acquiring them.
The Army National Guard—Back to the Future
by LTG H Steven Blum (Landpower Essay 03-3, September 2003)
This Landpower Essay outlines the National Guard Bureau's vision for "a relevant, reliable, ready and accessible National Guard transformed for [its] 21st century" roles in homeland defense and national security.
Bases of Readiness: Installation Sustainability and the Future of Transformation
by COL Stanley H. Lillie and Paul A. Martin (Landpower Essay 03-2, July 2003)
This Landpower Essay looks at the challenges facing the Army as it struggles to sustain its readiness capacity while fulfilling its 21st century environmental responsibilities.
Hammond and Letterman: A Tale of Two Men Who Changed Army Medicine
by John T. Greenwood (Landpower Essay 03-1, June 2003)
This Landpower Essay takes a look at William Hammond and Jonathan Letterman, who transformed the Army Medical Department during the Civil War into the world’s finest military medical organization. Although their Army careers ended unfortunately, their reforms lived on and have saved the lives of countless American soldiers.
★ ★ ★ 2002 ★ ★ ★
North Korea: The Eastern End of the "Axis of Evil"
by MG Edward B. Atkeson, USA Ret., and Peter Gillette (Landpower Essay 02-5, November 2002)
This Landpower Essay examines U.S. interests in Korea and the rationale for our involvement. This paper also looks at with weapons of mass destruction, conventional forces, North Korea as a terrorist state, regional strategic interests and reconciliation.
Iran: Next in the Crosshairs?
by MG Edward B. Atkeson, USA Ret., and Douglas Bush (Landpower Essay 02-4, September 2002)
This Landpower Essay examines the pertinent history of Iran focusing on relations with the U.S., American policy toward Iran and future security options.
Has Warfare Changed? Sorting Apples From Oranges
by MG James M. Dubik (Landpower Essay 02-3, July 2002)
This Landpower Essay discusses the distinction between the nature and conduct of war.
The Challenge of Iraq
by MG Edward B. Atkeson, USA Ret., and Steven Mullen (Landpower Essay 02-2, June 2002)
This Landpower Essay looks at Iraq’s role in post-9/11 national security challenges.
Ammunition Readiness: Current Problems and Future Implications for Army Transformation
by Steven Mullen (Landpower Essay 02-1, February 2002)
This Landpower Essay looks at underfunded ammunition readiness and concludes that it is now time to adequately fund the most essential ingredient for success in combat.
★ ★ ★ 2001 ★ ★ ★
Will the Next QDR Repeat the Mistakes of the Past?
by William R. Hawkins (Landpower Essay 01-2, July 2001)
This Landpower Essay questions whether the 2001 QDR can base its analysis on a realistic assessment of what it takes to decisively win modern wars and, if not, the implications for the Army.
The Center of Gravity Fad: Consequence of the Absence of an Overarching American Theory of War
by COL Gordon M. Wells (Landpower Essay 01-1, March 2001)
This Landpower Essay examines the confusion surrounding the definition of "center of gravity" and its intrinsic link with combat power and commander's will, as well as the need for doctrine based on a solid, comprehensive theory of war.
★ ★ ★ 2000 ★ ★ ★
Educating the Enlisted Force: A Message for NCOs
by SGM Kenneth M. Buggs (Landpower Essay 00-1, February 2000)
This Landpower Essay, the winner of the 1999 AUSA Professional Writing Award at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, encourages NCOs to use all available tools and opportunities to educate the Soldiers in their charge.