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Perspective Taking, Cultural Stress, and the Individual: From the Inside Out

July 10, 2014 Comments off

Perspective Taking, Cultural Stress, and the Individual: From the Inside Out
Source: Army Research Laboratory

In general, Western cultures focus on the world around the individual, and Eastern cultures focus on the group in which one belongs. In understanding how the American military interacts in foreign cultures, Soldier cultural perspectives, or what the individual Soldier brings to the table, must be understood to mitigate the potential effects of culture stress. The ability to maintain unit readiness and mission effectiveness in the midst of increasing peacekeeping missions ultimately depends on the performance of the Soldier. Personal, situational, and organizational factors within dynamic, changing, and stressful environments can affect a Soldier s overall performance. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory will investigate how Soldier individual differences, cultural stress, and perspective taking affect decision making through the Relevant Information for Social-Cultural Depiction. This report will show that inclusion of individual difference variables is essential to social-cultural model development, which will support predictions of decision-making performance in a multicultural environment.

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For man and country: atheist chaplains in the U.S. Army

July 2, 2014 Comments off

For man and country: atheist chaplains in the U.S. Army (PDF)
Source: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Non-theistic Humanists want equal representation in the U.S. Army claiming that no atheist or Humanist chaplains exist to meet the needs of the non-theistic population. Some Humanists consider Humanism a religion and believe the Army needs Humanist chaplains and Distinctive Faith Group Leaders (DFGL) to support this demographic. Other Humanists consider their beliefs non-religious and reject any identification with religion. This thesis examined the purpose and history of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy, the background and history of Humanism, and presented arguments both supporting and opposing atheist chaplains. The researcher interviewed Humanist leaders and U.S. Army chaplains to discover the needs of the non-theistic population and if the Army should appoint Humanist chaplains or DFGLs to meet those needs. The research revealed a gap in designated support for this demographic. The researcher concluded that this group does not have any religious requirements and therefore does not fall under the purview of the Chaplaincy. However, the researcher concluded that a non-religious leader should be available to represent the non-religious and non-theistic Army population.

Cross-Cultural Competence in the Department of Defense: An Annotated Bibliography

June 4, 2014 Comments off

Cross-Cultural Competence in the Department of Defense: An Annotated Bibliography (PDF)
Source: Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Given the current operational context, research both inside and outside the DoD has increasingly focused its efforts on better understanding the factors that contribute to effective cross-cultural performance. Of particular interest is the role cross-cultural competence (3C) plays in Service members’ ability to navigate cultural environments, as well as the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that military training should be targeting to improve performance-related outcomes. Over the past ten years, numerous studies and theoretical pieces have been developed that explore these issues as they relate to both military and general populations. This annotated bibliography represents an initial attempt to gather this collection of work into a single, comprehensive review to be used as a reference for those conducting research in this domain. Annotations hail from a number of different disciplines, including military psychology, organizational psychology, anthropology, and sociology, and range in content from theoretical to empirical studies, efforts at model building and computer technologies for understanding, and various methods for teaching and assessing 3C.

See also: Soldier Development Following Negative Cross-Cultural Experiences: An Integrated Review of the Literature (PDF)

A Soldier’s Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army’s Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession?

May 29, 2014 Comments off

A Soldier’s Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army’s Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession?
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.

The authors argue that an urgent leadership issue has arisen which is strongly, but not favorably, influencing our professional culture–a hostility toward religion and its correct expressions within the military. Setting aside the role of Chaplains as a separate issue, the focus here is on the role religion may play in the moral character of individual soldiers–especially leaders–and how their personal morality, faith-based or not, is to be integrated with their profession’s ethic so they can serve in all cases “without reservation” as their oath requires.

Defense Planning for National Security: Navigation Aids for the Mystery Tour

May 1, 2014 Comments off

Defense Planning for National Security: Navigation Aids for the Mystery Tour
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The challenge that is defense planning includes: “educated futurology” and the humanities as methodological approaches; futurists and scenarios, trend spotting and defense analysis; the impossibility of science in studying the future; the impossibility of verification by empirical testing of hypotheses; the value of the humanities which are politics, strategy, and history for defense planning; the use and misuse of analogy; learning from history; why and how strategic history works; and recommendations for the Army. What can be learned from history and what cannot are discussed in this analysis.

Commander’s Legal Handbook 2013

April 15, 2014 Comments off

Commander’s Legal Handbook 2013 (PDF)
Source: Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, United States Army

This Handbook is designed to assist you in taking proper immediate action when faced with a variety of legal issues that might arise during your command. The purpose of your actions should be to preserve the legal situation until you can consult with your servicing Judge Advocate. However, like most aspects of your command responsibilities, you can fail if you just wait for things to come to you. You need to be proactive in preventing problems before they occur.

In the legal arena, this means establishing and enforcing high standards, ensuring your Soldiers are fully aware of those standards and properly trained to comply with them. You must also properly train your Soldiers on all Army policies and higher level command standards so that they also understand and comply with them. Soldiers must also be well-versed in the Army Values and be able to apply those values to real-world situations, which will usually keep them well within legal bounds.

All Soldiers have seen issues in the news that can occur when we are not proactive about discipline and standards: Abuse of prisoners, desecration of corpses, hazing, and sexual assault to name recent examples. All of these circumstances present serious legal issues. But, fundamentally, they also represent a breakdown in unit standards, training, and discipline. Your objective as a Commander should be to develop solid systems and a command climate that prevents legal issues, rather than just reacting to them. In sum, it is every bit as important to train your Soldiers to maintain a high level of discipline and compliance with law, policy, and military standards, as it is to train them to perform your Mission Essential Task List (METL). In legal circles, we call this effort to prevent legal problems before they arise by properly training Soldiers, “preventive law.” The responsibility to practice preventive law belongs to the Commander.

See also: 2013 Fiscal Law Deskbook (PDF)
See also: Military Citation Guide (PDF)

U.S. Army — Uniform Policy: Leaders Training

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Uniform Policy: Leaders Training (PDF of PPT slides)
Source: U.S. Army
Army’s new grooming/appearance regulations

Senior Officer Talent Management: Fostering Institutional Adaptability

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Senior Officer Talent Management: Fostering Institutional Adaptability
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The Army has for years been successful at creating senior leaders adept in the art and science of land combat after honing their leadership at the direct and organizational levels. While those experiences remain invaluable, undue reliance upon them to create the Army’s future institutional leaders is increasingly risky in today’s rapidly changing world. The contemporary and future operating environments demand an innovative and highly adaptive Institutional Army, capable of rapidly responding to operational demands. Incremental adjustments to current senior officer management practices will not create that adaptability. An entirely new approach is required, one that unleashes the unique potential of each person—full-career officer talent management.

U.S. Army Field Manual — Cyber Electromagnetic Activities

February 20, 2014 Comments off

FM 3-38: Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (PDF)
Source: U.S. Army (via Federation of American Scientists)

United States (U.S.) forces operate in an increasingly network-based world. The proliferation of information technologies is changing the way humans interact with each other and their environment, including interactions during military operations. This broad and rapidly changing operational environment requires that today’s Army must operate in cyberspace and leverage an electromagnetic spectrum that is increasingly competitive, congested, and contested.

FM 3-38, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities, is the first doctrinal field manual of its kind. The integration and synchronization of cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) is a new concept. The Army codified the concept of CEMA in Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 3-0, Unified Land Operations, and ADP 6-0, Mission Command. The mission command warfighting function now includes four primary staff tasks: conduct the operations process (plan, prepare, execute, assess), conduct knowledge management and information management, conduct inform and influence activities (IIA), and conduct CEMA. The purpose of FM 3-38 is to provide an overview of principles, tactics, and procedures on Army integration of CEMA as part of unified land operations.

At its heart, CEMA are designed to posture the Army to address the increasing importance of cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) and their role in unified land operations. CEMA are implemented via the integration and synchronization of cyberspace operations, electronic warfare (EW), and spectrum management operations (SMO).

New Realities: Energy Security in the 2010s and Implications for the U.S. Military – Executive Summaries

January 29, 2014 Comments off

New Realities: Energy Security in the 2010s and Implications for the U.S. Military – Executive Summaries
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The rapidly changing global energy supply situation, coupled with a host of social, political, and economic challenges facing consumer states, has significant implications for the United States generally and for the U.S. military specifically. The U.S. Army War College gathered experts from the policymaking community, academia, think tanks, the private sector, and the military services at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, DC on 19-20 November 2013 to address first the major ‘new realities’ both geographically and technologically and then the specific military implications. This compendium of executive summaries is based on the presentations delivered at that conference, which was funded through the generous support of the U.S. Army War College Foundation.

Changing Minds In The Army: Why It Is So Difficult and What To Do About It

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Changing Minds In The Army: Why It Is So Difficult and What To Do About It
Source: Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College

History and organizational studies both demonstrate that changing one’s mind is quite difficult, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that this change needs to occur. This monograph explains how smart, professional, and incredibly performance-oriented Army senior leaders develop frames of reference and then oftentimes cling to their outdated frames in the face of new information. It describes the influence of individual-level concepts—personality, cognitive dissonance reduction, the hardwiring of the brain, the imprints of early career events, and senior leader intuition—along with group level factors to explain how frames of reference are established, exercised, and rewarded. It concludes by offering recommendations to senior leaders on how to structure Army leader development systems to create leaders comfortable with changing their minds when the environment dictates.

Army 2020 and Beyond Sustainment White Paper

October 31, 2013 Comments off

Army 2020 and Beyond Sustainment White Paper (PDF)
Source: U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command

Our nation and armed forces are transitioning from more than a decade of war to a future that presents us with a range of challenges. Significant change in security policy over the past 18 months, combined with fiscal uncertainty means that we must re-think how the Army sustains itself in the next war, particularly as we transition from being an Army at war to an Army in preparation for the next conflict.

This white paper is a key document for change in the sustainment community and will inform both the revision of the Army Functional Concept for Sustainment and the broader force modernization process. It leverages the Global Logistics 2020 effort, looking at the contemporary issues that will drive change in how the sustainment community shapes the future. It provides a broader, integrated view of national strategic issues, the industrial base, the generating force, and the operating force executing sustainment activities in support of the warfighter.

This white paper proposes an approach called Globally Responsive Sustainment. This approach identifies a range of attributes that will shape the future sustainment force. It follows the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations, which describes the need for Globally Integrated Operations. Globally Responsive Sustainment is the Army’s contribution to meeting the need of Globally Integrated Operations. Globally Responsive Sustainment seeks to produce a sustainment system that is optimized, integrated, and synchronized, while ensuring that it is affordable, relevant, and avoids unnecessary redundancy. Globally Responsive Sustainment proposes a future sustainment force that is agile and flexible, integrated, protected, trained and ready, precise and responsive, and affordable. Although much of this approach for the future has yet to be realized, the “Big Ideas” that the sustainment community is pursuing have been identified in this white paper. These will evolve toward our vision of Globally Responsive Sustainment.

The Effectiveness of Drone Strikes in Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Campaigns

October 16, 2013 Comments off

The Effectiveness of Drone Strikes in Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Campaigns
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The United States increasingly relies on unmanned aerial vehicles to target insurgent and terrorist groups around the world. This monograph analyzes the available research and evidence that assesses the political and military consequences of drone strikes. It is not clear if drone strikes have degraded their targets, or that they kill enough civilians to create sizable public backlashes against the United States. Drones are a politically and militarily attractive way to counter insurgents and terrorists, but, paradoxically, this may lead to their use in situations where they are less likely to be effective and where they are difficult to predict consequences.

Strategic Landpower Task Force Research Report

October 16, 2013 Comments off

Strategic Landpower Task Force Research Report
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The 21st-century security environment compels the United States to develop more effective and efficient ways to promote its national interests. This includes refining methods for developing and applying landpower. One of the most important aspects of improving American landpower is augmenting the ability of the U.S. military in the human domain of conflict.

While discussion of the human domain is new for the U.S. military, it reflects long-standing ideas. Skilled military leaders have always understood that war has both a physical and a psychological dimension. The physical dimension allows an army, navy, and air force to compel enemies and noncombatants to act in a specific way. By contrast, effects in the psychological dimension are indirect, leading both enemies and noncombatants to choose to act in a specific way, either by fear of what will happen to them if they do not or the promise of reward if they do. The two dimensions clearly overlap: physically compelling enemies to do something, or killing them, has psychological effects on anyone who observes or hears about it. But skill in one dimension does not automati­cally equate to success in the other.

History’s greatest military strategists have capitalized on this intersection to amplify their in­fluence beyond what they can physically affect and to make the most efficient use possible of their resources. As Sun Tzu, the Chinese theorist of war, wrote more than 2,000 years ago, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Although he used different words, Sun Tzu was talking about the psychological dimension of armed conflict. And the past 10 years have shown that, in 21st-century conflict, the psychological dimension is as important as the physical, and often more so.

The Real “Long War”: The Illicit Drug Trade and the Role of the Military

October 11, 2013 Comments off

The Real “Long War”: The Illicit Drug Trade and the Role of the Military
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The 21st century has seen the growth of a number of nontraditional threats to international stability on which, trade, and thus U.S. peace and security, depends, and for the moment at least a reduced likelihood of continental scale warfighting operations, and something of a de-emphasis on major involvement in counterinsurgency operations. These nontraditional threats are, however, very real and should command a higher priority than they have done in the past, even in a period of budgetary constraint. The military have cost-effective contributions to make in countering the manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs, and in many cases can do so without serious detriment to their main warfighting role. Successfully completing this mission, however, will require the military to rethink their integration with the nonmilitary aspects of a whole-of-government approach, and almost certainly, their institutional preference for speedy victories in short wars.

An Assessment of the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

October 10, 2013 Comments off

An Assessment of the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

In July 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which outlines five strategic initiatives: 1) Treat cyberspace as another operational domain; 2) Employ new defense operating concepts to protect DoD networks; 3) Partner with other U.S. Government agencies and the private sector; 4) Build relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen cyber security; and, 5) Leverage national intellect and capabilities through cyber workforce training and rapid technological innovation. First, the monograph explores the evolution of cyberspace strategy through a series of government publications leading up to the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace. It is seen that, although each strategy has different emphases on ideas, some major themes recur. Second, each strategic initiative is elaborated and critiqued in terms of significance, novelty, and practicality. Third, the monograph critiques the DoD Strategy as a whole. Is it comprehensive and adequate to maintain U.S. superiority in cyberspace against a rapidly changing threat landscape? Shortcomings in the strategy are identified, and recommendations are made for improvement in future versions of the strategy.

Closing the Candor Chasm: The Missing Element of Army Professionalism

September 26, 2013 Comments off

Closing the Candor Chasm: The Missing Element of Army Professionalism
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Candor stands as the keystone element in creating the foundation of trust in the Army, yet the topic is muted. Stewards of the Army Profession build trust through authentic communication—in education, training, and modeled in application. Candor was previously included in Army Doctrine, yet nearly no mention of it currently exists in professional military education and dialogue. Through personal experiences and review of literature, two examples—the demands placed on the Army Reserve Components and a review of the Army’s counseling and evaluation environment—serve as illustrations where candor requires revitalization. Candor must be reinforced to be valued or it remains peripheral, serving as a lesson that is equally damaging to individual character as is it institutionally to the Army.

The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills

August 27, 2013 Comments off

The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (PDF)
Source: Headquarters, Department of the Army (via Federation of American Scientists)

This training circular provides all Soldiers the doctrinal basis for the Warrior Ethos, Warrior Tasks, and other combat-critical tasks. It also updates weapon, equipment, and munitions information. This FM is not intended to serve as a stand-alone publication. It should be used with other Army publications that contain more in-depth information.

The target audience for this publication includes individual Soldiers and noncommissioned officers throughout the Army.

The Struggle for Yemen and the Challenge of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

July 16, 2013 Comments off

The Struggle for Yemen and the Challenge of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

In recent years, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been widely recognized as a more dangerous regional and international terrorist organization than the original al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden until his death in 2011. In 2010-11, AQAP was able to present a strong challenge to Yemen’s government by capturing and retaining large areas in the southern part of the country. Yemen’s new reform President defeated AQAP and recaptured areas under their control in 2012, but the terrorists remain an extremely dangerous force seeking to reassert themselves at this time of transition in Yemen.

The Future of the Arab Gulf Monarchies in the Age of Uncertainties

June 14, 2013 Comments off

The Future of the Arab Gulf Monarchies in the Age of Uncertainties

Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Seismic cultural and political shifts are under way in the Arab Gulf monarchies. The political upheavals and transitions that have swept through the Arab world over the last 2 years have not toppled the Arab Gulf rulers, but did not leave them untouched, either. Rulers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states face heightened internal and external challenges and uncertainties. Pro-democracy protests and calls are extending from Bahrain to other oil-rich countries of the Arabian Peninsula. The expectations of GCC citizens, particularly the educated youth, are increasingly moving from socio-economic demands to political ones. They are now not only asking for jobs or wage increases, but also for more political participation and accountability. Chief among internal challenges is the resurgence in several GCC countries, particularly Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, of a decades-long sectarian rift between the Sunni regimes and their Shia subjects. The Gulf regimes’ already tense relations with Iran have worsened on the basis of alleged Iranian interference inflaming sectarian tensions in Bahrain and across the broader region.

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