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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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