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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Junior Officers Leading the Charge 
Here's a must-read article for all military junkies from the Wall Street Journal.

I don;t have time for an extensive commentary just now. But the general thrust of the article is right on target.

Military doctrine as written in 2001 simply did not cover the realities of the war on the ground in Iraq.

So we rewrote the doctrine on the fly, in the field.

What's being taught now in the command and staff colleges in the Army wasn't developed at Fort Benning, Fort Sill, Fort Leavenworth and Fort Knox and distributed to the units from on high.

Doctrine is now percolating from the bottom up. Platoon leaders, company commanders, and battalion level staffs--AND their NCO counterparts--are aggressively writing up their tactical techniques and procedures, and pushing them up the chain of command. Frequently, they're bypassing their chain of command altogether, and publishing articles in military periodicals, sharing them on companycommand.com and similar websites, and starting blogs. (This blog was, at one point, reaching a small, but highly neurotic cabal of Pentagon planners back in December-March, and I was pushing the envelope on a lot of things related to logistics and personnel management).

I can say that I had more leeway to exercize initiative in Iraq than I do now that I'm back stateside. The Florida beancounters, damn them, are trying to be careful with taxpayers' money, no matter how aggressively I try to spend it. :-)

The article, further, paints a vivid picture of how the Iraqi population is being engaged at the grass roots and municipal levels--with lieutenants and captains acting, in effect, as negotiating agents for the U.S. Government.

Most Americans will have no idea how good the junior officer corps is right now. It has never been better.

I look at the NCO corps in my own little corner of the Army. The difference before and after the deployment is like night and day.

The war will ultimately be won at the grassroots level. Neither John Kerry nor George Bush can do much, at this point, but resource it or not resource it. There are no magic pills and no magic bullets.

It will be a long, hard slog, as Rumsfeld put it. There will be setbacks and disappointments all along the way. Our enemies and the enemies of the Iraqi people are ruthless and murderous, and they will ratchet up their bloodthirsty tactics to a crescendo between now and the January elections.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Iraq--given U.S. and international support--will succeed in forming some sort of representative government. None. I never did.

It's not going to be a Jeffersonian ideal. The Iraqis--somewhat inconveniently--have minds of their own. And they do not want a secular state. And that's fine by me.

Victory will not be measured in the few months between now and the January election. It's a blip. A blink of an eye. We will not know our success for another decade. Perhaps three decades.

The Democratic genie is out of the bottle in Iraq.

He will not be stuffed back in.

Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
O2
 
O2 Active
 
Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.
 
I was surfing around and found another George Bush site.George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People This place has a ton of funny videos and mp3s.
 
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Hello, I find it very refreshing to occasionally find a post such as yours with a different topic completely different to what I was looking for. It often ads to ones list of lifes experiences.

I tend to have a soft spot for blogs related to article sites and /or sites that have a central theme around article sites type items.

Once again, thank you, hope you don't mind if I visit again sometime :-)
 
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