Small Wars Journal

September-October 2012 Edition of Military Review

I've been remiss this year in posting the latest from Military Review - one of best professional journals (and arguably "the best" - hey - I'm a Marine and am partial to the Gazette) on the planet. So here is the latest edition. Beat up on me if I miss this jewel of a journal again.

Just War Theory and Democratization by Force: Two Incompatible Agendas by Cora Sol Goldstein, Ph.D. “Is the doctrine of minimum collateral damage compatible with a strategy of democratization by force?”

In Search of the Good War: Just War and Realpolitik in Our Time by Colonel Thomas W. McShane, J.D., U.S. Army, Retired. “Will Just War Theory influence the use of military force more than international law?”

Harnessing Initiative and Innovation: A Process for Mission Command by Lieutenant Colonel Chip Daniels, U.S. Army, Major Mark Huhtanen, U.S. Army, and Major John Poole, U.S. Army. “Establish a shared vision by incorporating subordinates early in the mission command planning process.”

Customary Law and Its Challenges to Afghan Statehood by Kathleen Reedy, Ph.D. “We should focus on developing Afghanistan’s judicial capabilities so that Afghans see their government as legitimate.”

What Comes Next? An Argument for Irregular War in National Defense by Major Phil W. Reynolds, U.S. Army. “A robust strategy of irregular war would provide a low-cost deterrent against asymmetric adversaries.”

An Asset Out of You and Me: Communicating What It Truly Means to be a Soldier by Colonel Lawrence J. Morris, J.D., U.S. Army, Retired. “The Army should fling open the doors, brief national security correspondents and bloggers, and communicate what it truly means to be a member of the profession.”

Nothing is Simple in Afghanistan: The Principles of Sustainment and Logistics in Alexander’s Shadow by Captain Andrew P. Betson, U.S. Army. “Operation Enduring Freedom has helped improve logistics systems within the military over the last decade.”

Transnational Criminal Organizations: Mexico’s Commercial Insurgency by Major Christopher Martinez, U.S. Army. “Mexican transnational criminal organizations have become commercial insurgent groups.”

CGSC: Developing Leaders to Adapt and Dominate for the Army of Today and Tomorrow by Brigadier General (P) Gordon B. "Skip" Davis, Jr., U.S. Army and Lieutenant Colonel James B. Martin, U.S. Army, Retired, Ph.D. “The staff college stands ready to meet the challenge of preparing graduates to lead America’s armed forces in these uncertain times.”

Developing an Effective Command Philosophy by Lieutenant Colonel Harry C. Garner, U.S. Army, Retired. “An effective command philosophy is contingent on first developing a personal leadership philosophy.”

The Next Time We Reinvent Someone Else’s Country… by Major General Michael W. Symanski, U.S. Army Reserve, Retired. “Instead of bearing the crushing expense of a security system against a non-state terrorist, many of our allies want to protect their civilian economies.”

Book Reviews “Contemporary Readings for the Military Professional.”


From MAJ Phil Reynolds "What Comes Next? An Argument for Irregular War in National Defense" - "Using his newly funded authority, the SOCOM commander
could use conventional force officers and NCOs to ensure familiarization with U.S. procedures and combined interoperability."

Great idea for integrating SOCOM and general purpose forces (GPF) but I'm not sure GPF leaders at the battalion and brigade level will happily subordinate themselves to SOCOM bubbas.

Imagine an SF Group with a GPF battalion attached. SOCOM elements are designed to train, develop, and operate together with minimal personnel changes in order to ensure unit cohesion.....they train their GPF attachments that way as well. The GPF CDR decides that some of his elements need to be switched out in order to ensure proper distribution of "combat/ operational" opportunities and because he feels the guys on the line (with the ODAs) need a other words, the GPF CDR wants to exercise his command authority to show he's still in charge. This interrupts the unit cohesion dynamic that the SF element is trying to develop and maintain. Who is really in charge?

Perhaps this is an extreme example but I did see this sort of behavior in my advise & assist brigade while in Iraq. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in MAJ Reynolds scenario. But I still think this could work.