This week Tom was our guest speaker for our new class of students (about 1200 military officers) at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This year's class is the largest we have had in many years and Tom hit a home run!
The briefing and subsequent discussion was very thought provoking and it took students out of their comfort zone. Many of us have lived the model of conflict you described consisting of a "first half war" and a "second half peace" where the enemy just sits out the first half because he knows he's unable to go toe to toe with U.S. firepower, but is willing to go on the offensive in the second half. I'm humble enough to say I've been a part of the Army's learning curve on this for over 32 years, in operations from Panama to Haiti to Iraq, and Katrina. The Combined Arms Center, the Intellectual Center of the Army, is committed to not repeating the same errors we did in the past; improving the Army's ability to adapt, while preserving the ability to win our nation's wars.
You posed the questions, "Who is the master of the middle? What is the Department of Everything Else?" Our leadership at the Combined Arms Center here is seeking to answer these same questions, and raise awareness that warfare across the entire spectrum of conflict will require a comprehensive approach. This comprehensive approach includes incorporating military power, interagency and whole of government participation, as well as non-state actors like NGOs and IGOs. Field Manual 3-0 states "This conflict cannot be won by military forces alone; it requires close cooperation and coordination of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic efforts."
Our new doctrine, Field Manual 3-07 Stability Operations, which will be released this fall, attempts to codify our approach to complex operations that will likely be the norm for the foreseeable future. In writing this latest manual, we reached out to our joint, interagency, intergovernmental and non-government partners to make this the most inclusive, collaborative manual ever published. We enjoyed the discussion of your six part system to address the first and second half of conflict, and I'm in agreement that perhaps several of the entities we need to adequately address these challenges may not exist yet.
I call on our best and brightest to continue to brainstorm the details of what this comprehensive approach to winning the peace ultimately looks like. Perhaps the organizations that are required don't currently exist....or borrow from existing organizations and abstractly apply them to different problem sets. Our collaborative efforts to shrink the "Gap" as Tom refers to it, is the great calling of this next greatest generation. New funding, resources, and manning will all have to be carefully considered, and may ultimately require legislation. Solving this problem will require leveraging every element of our national power and including our international and non-government partners.
Our great country has always adapted, equipped, and mobilized when peace and stability in the free world were at stake. After the conflict of WWII it was the Marshall Plan, which resulted in Germany and Japan becoming two economic superpowers. As we continue to support free and democratic states around the globe, our obligations will not diminish any time in the near future - and a comprehensive approach is what it will take to win the peace. Thanks again to Tom for his visit to the college and stimulating the creative thinking of our new student body.
William B. Caldwell, IV
Lieutenant General, US Army
Commanding General, US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth