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Landpower Essays

Landpower Essays provide an outlet for original essays on topics designed to stimulate professional discussion and further public awareness of the Landpower aspects of national security.

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Plan "C" is for Culture: Out of Iraq, Opportunity
(Landpower Essay No. 07-4, May 2007, PDF 438K ) by Gregory Paul P. Meyjes
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 doing 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
(Landpower Essay No. 07-3, May 2007, PDF 438K ) by CSM Ronald T. Riling
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
(Landpower Essay No. 07-2, May 2007, PDF 438K ) by Zeb B. Bradford, Jr. and Frederic J. Brown
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
(Landpower Essay No. 07-1, February 2007, PDF 438K ) 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 had more of an effect than conventional military operations in an asymmetric insurgency.

Implications of Laser Weapons for Ground Combat Operations
(PDF, 692K, Landpower Essay No. 06-4, December 2006) 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
(PDF, 429K, Landpower Essay No. 06-3, November 2006) by Dr. John W. Jandora
Analyzes the need for cultural awareness among Soldiers, describes the elements necessary to create a cultural awareness training program and 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 (10/30/2006)
(PDF, 529K Landpower Essay No. 06-2, September 2006) 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 (05/03/2006)
( PDF, 277K, Landpower Essay 06-1, April 2006) by Zeb B. Bradford, Jr. and Frederic J. Brown, U.S. Army Retired.
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.

Combating Terrorism: A Joint Interagency Approach (01/15/2005)
( PDF, 247K, Landpower Essay 05-1, January 2005) by Lieutenant Colonel Fred T. Krawchuk, U.S. Army. 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.

Nonlinear, Noncontiguous Operations and the Control of Indirect Fires and Close Air Support (12/15/2004)
( PDF, 1.9MB, Landpower Essay 04-8W, December 2004) by Donald F. Wilkins (, ) 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.. Web exclusive.

TTHS is Not a Four-Letter Word (11/15/2004)
( PDF, 830K, Landpower Essay 04-7W, November 2004) by Major Scott T. Nestler. The Army uses the term Trainees, Transients, Holdees and Students (TTHS) 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. Web exclusive.

Reinventing the Army Reserve--Again (11/01/2004)
( PDF, 212K, Landpower Essay 04-4, November 2004) by Colonel Gary C. Howard, USA Reserve Retired. 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.

Special Operators: A Key Ingredient for Successful Peacekeeping Operations Management (10/15/2004)
( PDF, 501K, Landpower Essay 04-6W, October 2004) by Joseph L. Homza. The author, a participant in the Military Observer Mission Ecuador and Peru (MOMEP) in the late 1990s, presents MOMEP 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. Web exclusive.

Conventional Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict: The 82d Airborne in Firebase Shkin (10/15/2004)
( PDF, 265K, Landpower Essay 04-2, October 2004) by Captain David L. Buffaloe. This 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 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.

Terrorism and Asymmetric Warfare (10/10/2004)
( PDF, 232K, Landpower Essay 04-3, October 2004) by Sergeant Russell P. Galeti, Jr. 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.

Army Reserve Expeditionary Forces (09/30/2004)
( PDF, 503K, LPE 04-5W, September 2004), Mark Gerner. As the U.S. Army re-forms back into an “expeditionary mind-set,” Gerner 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. Web exclusive

Breaking the Saber: The Subtle Demise of Cavalry in the Future Force (06/15/2004)
( PDF, 260K, LPE 04-1, June 2004), Colonel John D. Rosenberger, USA Retired. 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.

Gun-Fired Precision Munitions for a Transformed Army (11/15/2003)
( PDF, 283K, LPE 03-4, November 2003), David A. Sparrow and Cynthia Dion-Schwarz. 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 (09/15/2003)
( PDF, 233K, LPE 03-3, September 2003), Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum. Outlines the 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 (07/15/2003)
( PDF, 195K, LPE 03-2, July 2003), Stanley H. Lillie and Paul A. Martin. Looks at the challenges facing the Army as it struggles to sustain its readiness capacity while fulfilling its 21st century environmental responsibilities.

Hammond & Letterman: A Tale of Two Men Who Changed Army Medicine (06/15/2003)
( PDF, 199K, LPE 03-1, June 2003), John T. Greenwood. The story of 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. [Limited distribution—available only online.]

North Korea: The Eastern End of the "Axis of Evil" (11/15/2002)
( PDF, 119K, LPE 02-5, November 2002), Edward B. Atkeson and Peter Gillette. Examines U.S. interests in Korea and the rationale for our involvement. Also deals with weapons of mass destruction, conventional forces, North Korea as a terrorist state, regional strategic interests and reconciliation.

Iran: Next in the Crosshairs? (09/15/2002)
( PDF, 165K, LPE 02-4, September 2002), Edward B. Atkeson and Douglas Bush. 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 (07/15/2002)
( PDF, 70K, LPE 02-3, July 2002), James M. Dubik. Discusses the distinction between the nature and conduct of war.

The Challenge of Iraq (06/15/2002)
( PDF, 111 K, LPE 02-2, June 2002), Edward B. Atkeson and Steven Mullen. Analysis of Iraq’s role in post-9/11 national security challenges.

Ammunition Readiness: Current Problems and Future Implications for Army Transformation (02/15/2002)
( PDF 30K, LPE 02-1, February 2002), Steven Mullen. While ammunition readiness has long been underfunded, it is now time to adequately fund the most essential ingredient for success in combat.

Will the Next QDR Repeat the Mistakes of the Past? (07/15/2001)
( PDF 61K, LPE 01-2, July 2001), William R. Hawkins. If the 2001 QDR can base its analysis on a realistic assessment of what it takes to decisively win modern wars, than the Army will do well. If the QDR goes down any other line of thought, then more than just the Army will suffer in the end.

The Center of Gravity Fad: Consequence of the Absence of an Overarching American Theory of War (03/15/2001)
( PDF 127K, LPE 01-1, March 2001), Col. Gordon M. Wells, USA. An examination of 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.

Educating the Enlisted Force: A Message for NCOs (02/15/2000)
(PDF 65K, LPE 00-1, February 2000), SGM Kenneth M. Buggs, USA. Winner of the 1999 AUSA Professional Writing Award at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.