Search Results for: multi domain

Causality Collisions: Why Special Operations Forces Remain the Best Weapon to Defeat ISIS in Syria

Taking meaningful action against a challenging problem requires first and foremost an understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships that characterize the challenge. While that statement might be so obvious as to border on platitude, inaccurately assessing those relationships has proven to derail more than a few US efforts to come to grips with strategic security challenges. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer today than in the struggles that US policymakers have had in crafting a coherent strategy to defeat ISIS. Like the comically overweight character in the Austin Powers film who declared, “I eat because I’m unhappy, I’m unhappy because I...

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The Army Needs an Urban Warfare School and it Needs it Soon

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...

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Swords of the Sulu Sea: Countering the World’s Most Maritime Terrorist Group

Preparing for and preventing terrorist activity in the maritime domain can be challenging; high-profile attacks at sea have been sporadic, varied in type, committed by distinct groups, and often separated by years. Incidents that have made headlines range from hijacking (as in the case of the 1985 capture of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by the Palestinian Liberation Front off the coast of Egypt) to the detonation of explosive-laden small boats alongside larger ships (as al-Qaeda perpetrated in the waters off Yemen against both the USS Cole in 2000 and the French-flagged oil tanker Limburg in 2002) to land-based...

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An Outdated Message to Garcia: Why Hubbard’s Essay Needs to be Shelved for Good

Long a staple of military professional reading lists, “A Message to Garcia,” written by Elbert Hubbard continues to be considered among the most important literary works on leadership—and followership. It held a place of prominence on the Marine Corps Commandant’s reading list from the first list in 1989 all the way through 2015. We have both personally witnessed it being praised in various military education and professional development venues. And our experiences raised serious questions about the work’s enduring value. The lesson intended to be derived from the story is unclear, and its applicability to the modern military professional...

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What an Army Megacities Unit Would Look Like

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...

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