These forces are especially crucial today, said David Barno, a retired lieutenant general who commanded U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan from late 2003 through mid 2005.
“They can get a power grid up and operating and look at how societies interact. These are the skills that are typically outside the mainstream of the combat-centric military…but in the environments we’re in now, they’re absolutely essential,” Barno explained. “They are the glue that binds the military effort to the civilian population.”
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