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Land Warfare Papers

Scholarly research papers of up to 10,000 words that contribute to a better understanding of a particular defense or national security historical issue.

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Anatomy of a Failed Occupation: The U.S. Army in the Former Confederate States, 1865-1877
by Louis A. DiMarco (Land Warfare Paper No. 66W, November 2007) discusses post-Civil War Reconstruction, its mismanagement and the resulting failure or subversion of most of its strategic political objectives. After the war, the Confederate capital and most of its major cities were under U.S. control, but a vicious insurgency, shrewd political maneuvering, partisan domestic politics, insufficient resources and a lack of political, military and popular will resulted in the failure of U.S. postwar policy. Today's Army must learn from the lessons of this occupation; if the Army is to win the nation's wars, it must have a robust post-conflict capability.

Task Force 165 Military Intelligence Battalion - Building a Capability
Task Force 165 Military Intelligence Battalion - Building a Capability" by F. Patrick Filbert (Land Warfare Paper No. 65, September 2007) describes the rapid organization of Task Force 165 Military Intelligence battalion and the challenges the Army faced during the process. In early 2004, U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR) was tasked to furnish a division-level MI battalion/task force to provide intelligence support to the Southern European Task Force’s 2005–2006 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) VI rotation. USAREUR did not have an available unit of this type and executed rapid planning to use existing units—and support from other major commands—to build the MI unit. The results of this team’s work were seen during the OEF VI/OEF 04–06 rotation, with lessons learned on how to better build these types of units incorporated into USAREUR’s military decisionmaking process and used during USAREUR transformation post-2006. This process can serve not only as a model for transformation and modularity, but also as a way to augment transformed units which may have less capability to meet current requirements.

The Evolution of the Pentagon's Strategic Warfighting Resource and Risk Process
(Land Warfare Paper No. 64, June 2007, PDF ) by Robert F. Larsen
Discusses the actions the Department of Defense (DoD) has taken to streamline resource management to provide a more joint outlook to weapon systems procurement and capabilities development. Since 2001, there have been major strides in the Pentagon’s strategic warfighting resource and risk process for creating systems that are “born joint,” and DoD is still trying to establish a common framework for a capability-based planning process for all the services. However, as with any major transformation, there will be areas where it can continue to improve. This paper recommends several changes to ensure DoD develops a joint force to meet the nation’s needs, with the intent to help senior leaders optimize investments in joint capabilities areas to meet current and future security challenges.

Confrontation at Anacostia Flats: The Bonus Army of 1932
by Kendall D. Gott
(Land Warfare Paper No. 63W, April 2007, PDF 592K) Describes the Bonus Expeditionary Force's march on Washington, D.C., and the government's efforts to control the disgruntled veterans swarming the city. These veterans of World War I were demanding that Congress pay early the bonus for their military service that was scheduled for disbursement in 1945. The men refused to disperse, and the frustrated Hoover administration finally cleared the capital of the protesters with federal troops. Although the Bonus March occurred more than 70 years ago, the story yields relevant points for today’s leaders. Given the current global environment, employment of American forces in homeland security operations, in civil disturbances or in response to natural or man-made calamities is a probability that the government will face in the foreseeable future. Learning lessons from the Bonus March may well prevent another disaster.

Military Intervention in Iran: Why and How
by Stephen Blanchette, Jr. (Land Warfare Paper No. 62W, March 2007, PDF 140K)
Discusses the current conflict the United States faces with Iran's nuclear enrichment program, a crisis that is making many nations nervous. Israel and the United States have strong motives to strike unilaterally against Iran's nuclear facilities, but unilateral action presents many risks while offering less than certain outcomes. This Land Warfare Paper argues that multinational military intervention will be required to resolve the situation. Military intervention has its limits; such actions would be difficult, says the author, but preferable to nonmilitary alternatives that are likely to fall short of U.S. goals.

The Texas Militia: National and Local Implications
by Bruce L. Brager
(Land Warfare Paper No. 61W, January 2007, PDF 592K) Examines the origins of the Texas Militia as a National Guard unit to better understand the National Guard's federal and state roles in current operations. Historically, the question was how to raise a large force on short notice to defend the country while adapting to the traditional opposition to a large standing army. Today, the opposition has long since disappeared, but a major element of the ongoing debate over U.S. military policy is the balance among regular, National Guard and Reserve troops and how best to use them. Both the need to plan for a future that can never be fully predictable and the need to have a military able to meet expected and unexpected realities and challenges existed in the 19th century when the Texas militia was established, and those issues are still with us in the 21st century.

Conceptual Underpinnings of the Air Assault Concept: The Hogaboom, Rogers and Howze Boards
by Colonel Mark A. Olinger
(Land Warfare Paper No. 60W, December 2006, PDF 300K) This paper assesses the boards used by the Army and Marine Corps in the development of air assault forces between the Korean War and July 1965. First, it discusses the strategic environment and how the services were influenced by it. Second, it briefly outlines the growth of the air assault concept after the Korean War. Third is a series of discussions on the boards used by the services; an outline of the force structure; and an analysis of the boards as potential models of transformation are also presented. Finally, an analysis of the applicable theories and the strategic implications of air assault forces and their long-term efficacy concludes the paper.

MG Matthew Ridgway as the 82d Airborne Division Commander: A Case Study on the Impact of Vision and Character in Leadership
by Captain Bryan N. Groves
(Land Warfare Paper No. 59, September 2006, PDF, 300K) Explores the pioneering aspects of Ridgway’s leadership and outlines how he navigated the tumultuous early days of airborne training and warfare. The paper also illustrates the steps Ridgway followed to prepare the 82d for its successful participation in Operation Overlord. By applying lessons learned from Ridgway’s character and vision, current and aspiring military leaders can grow in their leadership ability.

Defining Asymmetric Warfare
by Major David L. Buffaloe
(Land Warfare Paper No. 58, September 2006, PDF 490K) Surveys some of the history and literature of asymmetric warfare, citing and critiquing some of the best attempts to define the terms. The author adds his own discussion of the term, its concepts and its implications, and proposes his own definition in an attempt to resurrect the term before it becomes completely obsolete. America’s sole-superpower status forces us to continually engage in asymmetric warfare since no force can win a traditional war against us. Even traditional wars today—such as the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom—and in the future will have many asymmetric elements and implications, especially after the traditional war has been won.

SysAdmin: Toward Barnett’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Force
by Dr. James B. Ellsworth
(Land Warfare Paper No. 57, September 2006, PDF, 271K) Briefly examines Stability, Security, Transition and Reconstruction operations and recommends creation of an independent joint command--drawing on the example of U.S. Special Operations Command--to conduct them. Missions focused on these operations--overpowered by immediate lessons and imperatives from Afghanistan and Iraq--have likely received less attention than they did before the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland. Yet power projection for humanitarian purposes is a potent extension of a time-honored military principle into the realm of grand strategy. To be effective, however, the forces engaged in these missions cannot merely be assembled ad hoc from units designed, equipped and trained for major combat.

Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky: Practitioner and Theorist of War
by Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Paul McPadden
(Land Warfare Paper No. 56W, August 2006, PDF, 710 Kb) Examines Tukhachevsky’s life on a personal level, as a practitioner of war and as a military theorist, revealing an officer who was able to practice and convey in writing an uncanny conceptualization and prescient vision of modern warfare at the tactical, strategic and operational levels. His military prowess and writings on warfare significantly affected the Soviet military in the interwar years, Soviet operations on the Eastern Front against the Germans, and the development of operational thinking for the remainder of the 20th century and well beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. Tukhachevsky’s displayed military prowess in his writing on warfare and in practice merit him significant recognition for his contribution to the understanding, conceptualization and vision of Soviet warfare and all levels of modern warfare in the 20th century.

The Fall of France and the Summer of 1940
by Thomas D. Morgan
(Land Warfare Paper 55, April 2006, PDF 211K) Briefly describes the fateful summer of 1940 that saw Germany victorious on the continent of Europe, which established the reason for the eventual Allied Liberation of France in 1944. There are many lessons—both political and military—to be learned from the fall of France in 1940. An irresolute French government, a weak allied alliance and a passive attitude in the face of fascism after the bloodbath of World War I allowed Nazi Germany to win the first rounds of World War II. The events of the summer of 1940 show how battlefield leadership, modern tactics and doctrine, and effective military organization won out over modern equipment. France had in many cases better equipment than Germany; it was how the Germans used what they had that counted.

Transforming U.S. Army Logistics: A Strategic "Supply Chain" Approach for Inventory Management
by Colonel Greg H. Parlier, USA Retired
(LWP 54, September 2005, PDF 871K) Introduces and presents a systems approach to guiding an ongoing project that addresses many of the significant challenges confronting logistics transformation. The focus is on inventory management policy prescriptions illuminated through the prism of an enterprisewide supply chain analysis emphasizing Army aviation systems. The author concludes that as the U.S. Army transitions toward a readiness-focused force, the logistics piece of the force likewise needs to transition. Currently, it does not know how to transition because it has not sufficiently measured the true effectiveness of the inventory and supply system. This paper provides not only an argument for pursing such measures and a resulting transformation but also a framework in which to achieve both.

Trading the Saber for Stealth: Can Surveillance Technology Replace Traditional Aggressive Reconnaissance?
by Major Curtis D. Taylor
(Land Warfare Paper 53, September 2005, PDF 288K) Takes a look at how the Modular Force design will fundamentally change the way Army forces conduct reconnaissance on the future battlefield. Tactical reconnaissance organizations will replace their traditional combat capability with a surveillance capability. This raises fundamental questions about the nature of effective reconnaissance operations: Is close combat with the enemy an essential part of effective reconnaissance? Do combat formations still have to fight for information or do modern surveillance technologies change this paradigm? The author seeks to answer this question through an examination of Soldier interviews collected by the Center for Army Lessons Learned following the opening months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The study conclusively determines that the rapid tempo of modern warfare has rendered lightly armored scout units virtually ineffective in the heavy force.

The Case for Consolidating Tactical and Operational Systems
by CW3 William R. (Buck) Clemons
(Land Warfare Paper 52, September 2005, PDF 3.3M) Examines the background of the major warfighting applications—such as the Joint Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (JADOCS), Portable Flight Planning System (PFPS), Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) and Command and Control Personal Computer (C2PC)—used by the Army and other services. It demonstrates how these applications are duplicated in functionality and how they are unnecessarily divided between tactical and operational systems. By showing how the various applications use the same maps, drawing functions, three-dimensional viewing functions and common operational picture display functions, the author illustrates the logical necessity for change and proposes a single application to resolve these issues.

Over By Christmas: Campaigning, Delusions and Force Requirements
by Major General J. B. A. Bailey, British Army Retired
(Land Warfare Paper 51W, September 2005, PDF 278K) Examines the evidence that over the last hundred years military establishments and their political masters have underestimated the length and costs of their campaigns and have frequently had little idea of the actual nature of their undertakings. A common factor in this appears to be the desire that campaigns should be short, decisive and cheap, and therefore with less risk but a greater likelihood of popular support—to be “home by Christmas.” This delusion has often been reached irrespective of historical evidence and analysis of current capabilities. The result, according to Bailey, is that those seeking a short, decisive and cheap campaign have very often laid the foundations for the opposite. Their unpreparedness and delusions have abetted costly attrition, and the resulting bill in international calamity, casualties and materiel has been shocking. This unpromising context and the growing complexity of battlespace lead Bailey to pose several questions: What is the utility of U.S. military power today and in the future? Is it to be put to some greater mission than short, selective, warfighting operations? If the West is to have some neo-imperial mission to be “a force for good in the world,” has this mission ever been clearly articulated and its implications understood? Have American forces and other agencies been configured and equipped to do more than fight the wars that they would like to fight, rather than the operations which they will actually encounter?

Improving Tactical PSYOP Video Dissemination in Media-Austere Operating Environments
by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Tulák
(Land Warfare Paper 50W, January 2005, PDF, 337K) Examines the importance to psychological operations of modern and versatile tactical video dissemination that complements tactical operations and adheres to force-protection constraints to bring video products directly to the target audience. At the close of the 20th century it was recognized that the most likely operations to involve PSYOP forces would be conducted in a "low-tech environment"; current post-combat operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere support this contention.

The Yin and Yang of Junior Officer Learning: The Historical Development of the Army's Institutional Education Program for Captains
by Lieutenant Colonel Kelly C. Jordan
(Land Warfare Paper 49, October 2004, PDF, 1.2M) Looks at the traditional balance between education and training. In the author's view, recent developments suggest that as the Army requires its junior leaders, especially captains, to perform more complex tasks, the balance should increasingly tilt toward education in the captains' institutional experience to better prepare them for the situations they will face as the Army's most junior commanders.

Joint Fires as They Were Meant to Be: V Corps and the 4th Air Support Operations Group During Operation Iraqi Freedom (10/15/2004)
by Dr. Charles E. Kirkpatrick
(Land Warfare Paper 48, October 2004, PDF, 2.5M) Discusses the development and employment within V Corps of a successful team effort (Army and Air Force) known as "corps shaping"--the use of close air support aircraft directed by 4th Air Support Operations Group controllers in response to target selections made by the V Corps Fire Effects Coordination Center to attack Iraqi forces within the V Corps zone to shape the battlefield for subsequent divisional maneuver.

Land Warfare in the Information Age (09/17/2004)
(LWP 47, September 2004, PDF, 254K) by Colonel Robert M. Toguchi and Richard J. Rinaldo, uses historical research to develop an alternative framework for characterizing the enduring elements of land warfare. By describing the characteristics of the Algebraic, the Cognitive and the Moral realms of land warfare, they provide a relatively fresh and comprehensive frame of reference that can be used for a variety of purposes. One important conclusion of the paper is the importance of the Soldier as the ultimate instrument of land warfare

Suicide Bombings in Operation Iraqi Freedom (09/15/2004)
(LWP 46W, September 2004, PDF, 441K) Dr. Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan. Bunker and Sullivan collaborate on an analysis of suicide bombings in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their research details the historical and strategic context of this form of warfare, how it has affected Coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and how the U.S. Army needs to adapt to the enemy’s continuing use of suicide attacks in the future. Web exclusive.

Surprise, Shock and Daring: The Future of Mobile, All-Arms Warfare (04/15/2004)
(LWP 45, April 2004, PDF, 789K) COL James B. Hickey, USA. Examines the intended nature of the U.S. Army's Future Force and offers specific recommendations for doctrinal development of operational surprise, tactical shock effect, and daring and creative leadership as the Army's Current Force evolves into a strategically agile and adaptive joint and expeditionary force.

The Enduring Relevance of Landpower: Flexibility and Adaptability for Joint Campaigns (10/15/2003)
(LWP 44, October 2003, PDF, 185K), MG Michael A. Vane and COL Robert M. Toguchi. Examines the requirements of the geostrategic environment of the 21st century for a transformed U.S. military--a capabilities-based joint force prepared and ready to dominate any situation across the spectrum of operations--with particular emphasis on land forces as the "instrument of choice to achieve durable strategic results and advantage."

Continuous Concentric Pressure (09/15/2003)
(LWP 43, September 2003, PDF, 251K), John A. Bonin and Mark H. Gerner. Offers a concept of strategic theater operations in which the theater joint commander applies pressure against an adversary through multiple lines of operation conducted simultaneously and/or sequentially by joint multiservice forces. Each line of operation contributes to either an action or a threat of action against enemy centers of gravity. The authors focus on the role of landpower as a critical element that provides a direct and decisive means to defeat the enemy, reassure allies and establish post-hostility security.

How We Got There: Air Assault Warfare and the Emergence of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1950-1965 (05/15/2003)
(LWP 42, May 2003, PDF, 605K), John M. Carland. Examines one of the most radical transformations in the Army's history—its move (in little more than 50 years) from a horse- and foot-mobile force to one that could move entire divisions by air (first by parachute and glider, then by helicopter).

U.S. Army Civil Affairs-The Army's "Ounce of Prevention" (03/15/2003)
(LWP 41, March 2003, PDF, 297K), Bruce B. Bingham, Daniel L.Rubini and Michael J. Cleary. Takes a timely look at one of the least known and most misunderstood Army missions—the Civil Affairs element of Army Special Operations. Although the paper predates (by just a matter of weeks) the war with Iraq, it goes a long way toward explaining what is happening now, in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad.

Conceptual Foundations of a Transformed U.S. Army (03/15/2002)
(LWP 40, March 2002, PDF, 119K), Huba Wass de Czege and Richard Hart Sinnreich. Describes the challenges U.S. military forces will confront in the next several decades and how the Army must play its part in meeting them.

The Army's "Twofer": The Dual Role of the Interim Force (10/15/2001)
(LWP 39, October 2001, PDF, 65K), James. M. Dubik. Explains the two roles of the Interim Force--to provide a rapidly deployable, highly lethal and highly mobile ground force capable of full-spectrum operations in a joint and coalition environment and to serve as a bridge from the heavier Legacy Force of today to the more mobile (and more lethal) Objective Force of tomorrow.

The People's Liberation Army in the Land of Elusive Sheen (09/15/2001)
(LWP 38, September 2001, PDF, 107K), Edward B. Atkeson. Examines the dimensions of China’s People’s Liberation Army, its organization, orientation and capabilities, and some of the challenges it faces in fulfilling its mission. Also examines the political-economic context of those challenges, especially with respect to Taiwan, the United States and other neighboring countries.

Crossroads in U.S. Military Capability: The 21st Century U.S. Army and the Abrams Doctrine (08/15/2001)
(LWP 37, August 2001, PDF, 188K), John R. Groves. Examines application of the post-Vietnam Abrams Doctrine (which calls for the employment of U.S. reserve component forces as full partners in Army operations) in a global environment that finds the U.S. military called upon frequently to do non-wartime yet militarily compatible missions worldwide.

The Janus Paradox: The Army's Preparation for Conflicts of the 21st Century (10/15/2000)
(LWP 36, October 2000, PDF, 144K), Wayne M. Hall. Addresses, in the context of the Army Transformation process, the immensity of the Army’s C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) challenges, the meaning of "information superiority" and the necessity to recognize and prepare for the many and varied threats of asymmetric warfare.

The Anatomy of Change: Why Armies Succeed or Fail at Transformation (09/15/2000)
(LWP 35, September 2000, PDF, 144K), Bryon E. Greenwald. Analyzes the nature of change in the context of military organizations and identifies the internal and external factors involved in modernizing an army. Contends that only by understanding the anatomy of change can a military leader succeed where many others have failed.