Operationalizing the multi-domain battle concept effectively will require significant changes to the Department of Defense that would likely constitute a second Goldwater-Nichols-style piece of legislation, altering the structure and operations of the defense community. As politically unlikely as it is to be implemented, that shouldn’t stop us from trying.Read More
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Ben Buchanan, The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust and Fear Between Nations (Oxford University Press, 2017) For the sanguine among us, last month’s NATO meetings were a success. President Donald Trump abandoned his formal charge of NATO’s obsolescence and—however belatedly—acknowledged the US commitment to mutual defense. But for many European leaders, Trump’s stint in Brussels did more to confirm anxieties over American disengagement than it did to assuage them. Speaking shortly after the G7 summit in Sicily that immediately followed the NATO meetings, German chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that America’s reliability could no longer be assumed. And the fight for...Read More
By First Lieutenant David Kearns
As the combat mission in Afghanistan winds down in favor of a strictly advisory role, the Coalition’s success and the long-term security for the struggling nation will depend heavily on the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). While ISAF Forces have been working with and fighting alongside ANSF for years now, the fruits of our labor will be most apparent as we increasingly take a backseat and allow the Afghans to plan, execute, and lead their own missions. Time is short, and while we may not be able to solve all of the Country’s problems, one realm that we can still positively affect is the training and preparation of the Afghan Soldiers and Police.
I was deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM XI-XII with a Combat Engineer Company task organized as a Rifle Company. During our 11 month deployment we operated in multiple districts throughout Wardak and Ghazni Provinces. Throughout this time we were partnered with two separate Afghan National Army (ANA) Companies and one Kandak (Battalion), each with a different personality, strengths, and weaknesses. One of our primary goals was to train these ANA and help them become effective and successful. We were never under any illusion that we could turn these Afghan Soldiers into a fully trained and professional Army in 11 months, however, it was driven from our Company Command Team down to us, that investing in our Afghan Partners would be the most effective and enduring thing we could do. It would be our legacy. The way I viewed it, and what I tried to communicate to the leaders and Soldiers in my Platoon, was “We don’t have enough time to make them perfect, but we can teach them enough that they live long enough to learn everything else they need to know.” It may not be the most eloquent way to put it, but I believed, and still believe, that it was a realistic and achievable goal. By the end of our tour and all the lessons learned that came from it, our Company was successful in training and mentoring a very successful Kandak. There are four principals that embody what made us successful. They are; understand, train, empower, and trust.Read More
Editor’s note: War Books is our weekly series featuring great books on war, strategy, and military history. This week’s edition features titles on 1990s Army leaders and originally appeared last year. After nearly twenty years of continuous use across much of the greater Middle East the US Army finds itself in a precarious position, torn between its recent past and its conception of the future. Although still engaged in the Global War on Terror, the Army has also been tasked to compete, deter, and win against revisionist powers. Pursuant to this task, the Army has made a concerted...Read More
Heavyweights on the Battlefield: Why the US Army Will Need its Largest Armored Vehicles in the Next War
The US Army has a preference for large, heavily armored vehicles. A recent article published by MWI is correct in making that claim. The article is also correct that the US Army’s armored force faces several challenges. But the recommendations prescribed by Capt. Brandon Morgan, the article’s author—which center largely around transitioning to smaller tanks—are based on a misdiagnosis of some of the fundamental aspects of those challenges. In fact, those recommendations would create even more issues. Morgan frames his argument within the context of the past few decades, arguing that while our heavy Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry...Read More
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