The Army yesterday rolled out the first revision of its operations manual since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, putting stability operations - nation-building - on par with combat. Army officials said the revision reflects a focus on fighting terrorism.
"The field manual is our Army's blueprint for an uncertain future," said Lieutenant General William Caldwell IV, commander of Fort Leavenworth, where the document was produced. "It does provide the blueprint for how we, as an Army, will operate over the next 10 to 15 years." The new manual reflects Army experiences over the past six years of fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq, as well as with relief efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Caldwell said he and Wallace also have been discussing the operations manual with Army "graybeards." They recognize that the United States has few military peers that would challenge it in conventional combat, the signature threat of the Cold War era. "The environment has changed, and we need to alter our view as to how we organize, train, and prepare ourselves to operate in the 21st century," Caldwell said.
On the other: GEN Casey. Now presumably the Chief of Staff of the Army has met LTG Caldwell. But you wouldn't be able to tell from Yochi Dreazen's searing account of the current advisor training mission:
"I'm just not convinced that anytime in the near future we're going to decide to build someone else's army from the ground up," said the Army's chief of staff, Gen. George Casey. "And to me, the 'advisory corps' is our Army Special Forces -- that's what they do."
Actually, sir, that used to be what they do. Now they're treated as just another direct action unit (albeit one with fancy language skills). And besides, last Charlie checked, there weren't that many of them...in fact, there are so few that the Marines are standing up new Security Cooperation MAGTFs to backfill the SF traditional advising mission. So maybe some folks in the Chief's office could page through FM 3-0 over the weekend, look into that "uncertain future" and changed environment hullaballoo, and see about helping out the advisors and training teams?
Also, for the record, Charlie isn't convinced that we're going to roll tanks across the Korean DMZ or the North European Plain "in the near future," but she isn't, like, totally opposed to an armor division or two. You know?
Come on George, get on board for the big win.