Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Army beats Navy

Time to give credit where credit is due. Though they have some legacy tail, hoops, and bureaucratic issues to wear off - even I have to admit that no other organization has improved its game during this war than the US Army.

From trying to break the "select in my own image" diktat of selection boards to opening their minds, the Army gets and "A" for effort, and a not too bad grade for execution.

A perfect example is the newly published FM3-07, Stability Operations manual. LTG William Caldwell is making a personal effort to not only sell wholesale, but retail as well this new publication. The grunt work credit goes to his trusty side-kick LTC Steve Leonard, who over the last 18 months or so has taken the point to produce what is one of the more readable doctrine publications I have read.

Seriously, for its genre - this is readable; and you know me, if I don't like something I would tell you. The substance is even better.

I would offer to you that you should read it and to the most part ignore some of the stuff you are going to read about it. The WaPo describes it as an "...unprecedented doctrine..." when it isn't. It is just a well researched collection of a global collection of best practices and centuries of experience. Just because something hasn't had a "FM" tag in front of it, doesn't mean it is unprecedented. This is part of a long running discussion on what tools you need to do a set of jobs. I don't care much for the This-vs-That discussion on what an Army can or cannot be. You can do and prepare for both. From the parts I have seen - I think this outlines that well if people will allow themselves to see past binary discussions.

For an example, some are making the common mistake that Stability Operations and its sister the Comprehensive Approach are somehow unrelated to "kinetic ops." Just the opposite. Without the Safe and Secure Environment created by kinetic ops, none of the other things can follow. And they follow - not the other way around.

FM3-07 explains all that quite well - but for some reason some are already not quite getting it. Enough of my second hand info - download it and read it yourself.

BZ Army and the Combined Arms Center; you did good. Sad to say, I simply do not see the intellectual counterpart in the US Navy. Some of our best minds remain untapped, underutilized, over controlled, bu11sh1t bingo'd into buzzword lingo-limbo, and chop-chained into nothingness.

More over at

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