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from April 2004
Last Number: October 2013
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If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you. Source: "Major Robert Rogers' Famous Ranging Rules," Appendix D, Field Manual 7-85, Ranger Unit Operations Washington:
The first piece, "Integrating Civilian and Military Activities," is Richard A. Lacquement's attempt to remind leaders and planners that in our effort to deny success to the insurgent we need to ensure that we are seeking comprehensive solutions and strategies spanning the political, economic, and cultural elements of the afflicted society. "Clausewitz and the 'New Wars' Scholars" is an examination of the principles underpinning the "new wars" school of military thought and the contribution i...
[...] there is an entire and respected branch of strategy, insurgency theory, based specifically on attrition as the preferred defeat mechanism, and at least one author claims special operations forces produce strategic effect best through attrition.2 The common explanation of insurgency strategy is that it pursues attrition because resource limitations prevent a more nuanced approach; the unstated assumption being if they had sufficient resources, insurgents would fight conventionally. Like...
Sheer capacity and the logic of one of the most fundamental aspects of warfare, the control of physical space (and the people and material in it), will often place members of the armed forces at crucial societal nodes. [...] a dilemma for military units engaged in COIN is that they frequently have greater potential to undermine policy objectives through excessive emphasis on military methods than to achieve the overarching political goals that define success. [...] the virtues of expertise ...
[...] the Anbar Awakening established a successful precedent of the US military partnering with local tribes against insurgents, a tactical approach that could be considered "COIN 1.0." [...] it explains how small-scale, micro-development based on corporate social responsibility practices, rather than traditional foreign aid, will have the greatest and most enduring impact against Islamic insurgencies.
The prevailing sentiment encapsulated in the 2008 Army Posture Statement indicates that skills falling outside of this band necessarily detract from full-spectrum capabilities, while skills within the band are transcendent and enable full-spectrum capabilities. [...] the mindset of mistaking combat capable to mean full-spectrum capable endures.
The significance of this lack of comprehension is threefold: (1) It has led to major errors in strategy and tactics that have led al Qaeda and the jihadis to multiple defeats and disasters; (2) it points to strategic principles that can contribute to the defeat and ultimate eradication of al Qaeda; and (3) since there is no reason to believe that al Qaeda will be the last of its ilk, the next jihadi group may learn enough from the present mistakes to be even more dangerous and more successful...
[...] interviewees frequently associated terms such as "communicator," "facilitator," "consulter," and "collaborative space maker" with the term "commander." According to a former Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) commander and senior service civil affairs leader, this social energy permits "staff guerrilla warfare" or, in the words of a GPF division-level commander, "maneuver warfare in the gaps and seams" of bureaucracies, based on personal relationships and the avoidan...
[...] she argues that the end of the Cold War saw the demise of interstate war in favor of a new type of conflict characterized by civil strife.6 William Lind and Thomas Hammes developed another popular form of new wars thinking. [...] the secondary trinity has potential to play an important role by reminding the researcher to identify and analyze the sociopolitical relationships within the terrorist group and between it and the wider social environment considered to be its "constituents."
The imagery sur- rounding her death was so moving and iconic that she became a symbol and rallying point for Iran's reformist opposition.4 The persuasive power of the image works in part because we are largely unaware of it. Since the first Bible came off Gutenberg's printing press, we have developed a culture of learning based on reading and writing texts, with no corresponding emphasis on visual literacy.
Bradford assembled the works of 60 eminent scholars and military leaders to provide not only a historical perspective on the American military experience, but also an examination of works on military culture and other little-known aspects of military life. The agency is responsible for any number of technological breakthroughs; to name but a few, the Internet, global positioning systems, and a plethora of robotic vehicles.
[...] his story begins well before Ike appears on the scene and concludes long after he was gone. [...] institutional reform tends to be a corporate enterprise.
Beevor covers the amphibious landings, and their supporting airborne and commando operations, with an even hand and a military historian's eye for the balance between essential detail and unnecessary clutter. [...] good writing makes for interesting reading, and Beevor is a writer of considerable skill.
The following quotation from Heinze suggests the distance between the language of Finkel's narrative and Heinze's argument: "Drawing primarily from the English School of international relations theory concerning the relationship between power and legitimacy, I then identify and explain three additional and interrelated elements of efficacy: multilateral legitimation, the humanitarian credentials of the intervener, and the position of the intervener in the prevailing international political co...
[...] is David Segal and Karin De Angelis's chapter on "Changing Conceptions of the Military as a Profession." [...] Richard H. Kohn's "Building Trust" speaks to the often-rocky "unequal dialogue," borrowing Eliot Cohen's term, between service chiefs and their civilian bosses.
[...] the Army will have to regain its conventional warfighting skills without losing its ability to fight irregular war. [...] ground-truth realities of the war-for example, fighting that is close-in combat and soldier intensive, high tech combined with physical presence; requiring not just military but coordinated interagency solutions; where civil-military unity of effort had to replace departmental stovepipes; and where innovation rules, and adaptable strategic processes are required to ...
[...] the chair of the William Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic, General (Ret.) Frederick Franks, provides the foreword for the book. An interesting point found in one of the book's endnotes is that the career success (promotion to colonel) of cadets re-admitted following the 1976 cheating scandal is commensurate with other members of graduating classes (19.5 percent compared to 20.7 percent).
[...] Absolute War is essentially an operational history of the war, and its coverage virtually ends in 1943. [...] even though it is an operational history, the strategic consequences of these campaigns also get short shrift.
Returning Wars' Wounded, Injured, and Ill is an anthology of 16 chapters that address a spectrum of topics to include veteran demographics, benefits for veterans, disabilities and injuries among members of National Guard and reserve units, and the impact of an injured soldier on family and friends. [...] perhaps arguably so, the most important chapters discuss the physical, psychological, and social impact of wounded warriors' injuries and disabilities.
The reports of Chinese nationals using United Nations peacekeeping missions, mercenaries, or private guards to protect their assets in Africa are certainly worth examination. [...] far, Beijing has had an easy ride.
Richard Gabriel, the prolific author of books on ancient military history, has produced another biography of one of the ancient world's greatest military figures-Thutmose III, the Egyptian pharaoh from 1482 to 1450 B. C. Gabriel finds in Thutmose a warrior whose accomplishments equal (and in some respects exceed) those of Alexander the Great a thousand years later. Thutmose's most bold exploit took the Egyptian army, dragging rafts for the eventual river crossing, all the way from the Lebane...
[...] prominent Japanese naval theorists such as Ogasawara Naganari (1867-1958) wrote simplified versions of Mahan's book, using examples from Japanese naval history. [...] what influence Mahan had on Japanese naval strategy was indirect, filtered by Japanese interpretation and imparted through lectures at the Naval War College. [...] if the Imperial Japanese Navy took its focus on the decisive naval battle from Mahan indirectly, it also directly learned that the United States considered th...
Masterfully integrating a relatively narrow yet rich trove of unique materials, D. M. Giangreco has produced an engagingly written piece of history that, if nothing else, adds texture to the fabric of World War I. Most likely, students of Harry S. Truman will see this work as basic confirmation of the person they have encountered in other writings. Entering active service despite being technically unqualified due to poor eyesight, Truman found himself elected to officership by his battery-ma...
[...] he is calling for the United States to reinvent itself following the recent Republican administrations "as though their life depends on it, which it does." According to Schama, America's future depends on the ability of the current President to marshal all the good will and resolution his campaign and election generated to contain and defeat "the hydra-headed monster of recession."
[...] he explores more deeply Iran, Iraq, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, along with other security problems, overlaying all of this with US grand strategy for the region. [...] Islamism and Islamic terrorism are symptoms of the challenges in these societies rather than causal factors.
A major shift in the alignment of US military power has been occurring in the first year of the Obama Administration, as evidenced by the recent withdrawal of US forces from the Iraqi cities and the planned withdrawal of the majority of American soldiers in 2011. Where the US military goes from here and what that destination means in terms of emerging strategy, operational art, and tactics, as well as force structure, training, and doctrine will influence the next generation of military forc...
Why did he not recognize the manifest dangers of the administration's military policy and at least inject some cautionary words into the internal debate? [...] why would Acheson so cavalierly discount Chinese and third-party warnings while lending his support to a headlong march to the Yalu that risked so much for relatively little gain? McMahon believes the answers lie in Acheson's personal history of successful risk-taking, disdain for China's military prowess (widespread throughout the US...
Scott Stephenson, a West Point graduate and associate professor of history at the US Army Command and General Staff College, has written a moving and often brilliant book that should serve as a model for the so-called "new military history" focused more on institutions than battlefield operations. The German army that crossed the Rhine and paraded through German cities looked a lot more combat capable than it really was. (former US Army Chief of Staff Edward "Shy" Meyer might have called it ...
[...] hang on they did, buying time for the planning and execution of the daring and successful 15 September 1950 amphibious operation at Inchon, on the western side of the peninsula more than 200 miles northwest of Pusan. In addition to efforts to arouse a public to support "us" and oppose "them," emotions are at work as soldiers and civilians die while true or false reports of rape, murder, and mayhem become public.
The author focuses on examples of nighttime city bombing, arguments on how best to damage the German economy, diversion of heavy bombers to ground support during the Normandy campaign, debates on the primacy of oil targets, and other interesting issues to demonstrate the impact of advanced photography and analysis techniques. Ehlers also provides not only the positions of Allied leaders, he uses German leaders' discussions of the bombing's impact on the economy and warfighting capabilities t...
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