Train as you fight. It’s the first of the Army’s ten principles of training, meant to ensure that the Army will develop and execute tough, realistic training. As long as we train as we fight, no soldier should confront a situation or an environment for the first time in combat. Unfortunately, the Army occasionally ignores this principle. Case in point: despite history and global urbanization trends, the Army doesn’t adequately train for operations in urban environments. It is time that changed. The Army needs to establish an urban warfare school to prepare soldiers to fight and survive in dense...Read More
Author: John Spencer
With an increased defense budget on the horizon, it is important to keep in mind that we cannot spend our way to victory against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq or Syria. This was the logic behind owner George Steinbrenner’s New York Yankees outspending their opponents, yet still losing to Billy Beane’s upstart Oakland A’s in 2002. Similarly, when it comes to defeating violent groups such as ISIS, the military needs more “Moneyball” — that is, better data and metrics to assess what it means to achieve “victory.” Like Michael Lewis’s bestseller, the book “Moneyball...Read More
A few weeks ago, I published the article “It’s Time to Create a Megacities Combat Unit.” This article received both criticism and support. Some of the supportive messages suggested that I take the next step and offer an organizational solution. If trends in both global population movement and the nature of warfare—both of which I discussed in the previous article—do in fact warrant the establishment of a brigade trained and equipped for the full range of military operations in a megacity, the next question to be addressed is clear. What would such a unit look like? One of the...Read More
Medical advancements in the past 15 years have enhanced battlefield life-saving techniques and improved the lives of thousands of physically wounded vets. But less progress has been made in treating the invisible injuries of war. Fixing this requires a deep rethinking of how we handle treatment of PTSD.Read More
Global population growth and migration trends make it increasingly likely that the US Army will find itself fighting in megacities in the future. In order to be prepared for the challenges this will pose, the Army should create a unit manned, equipped, and trained entirely for this purpose.Read More
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