SWJ Odds and Ends

US Army Center for Lessons Learned PRT Playbook

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) were established as a result of the need to develop the infrastructure necessary for the Afghan and Iraqi people to succeed in a post-conflict environment. The efforts of PRTs take place every day during a time when major conflict is commonplace in both countries. PRTs have become an integral part of the long-term strategy to transition the lines of security, governance, and economics to the indigenous people. Integrated appropriately, PRTs serve as combat multipliers for maneuver commanders engaged in governance and economics, as well as other critical lines of operation. In addition, PRTs serve as force multipliers for U.S. Government (USG) development agencies engaged across the stability and reconstruction sectors.

This playbook focuses on PRTs in general, with additional information specific to Iraq and Afghanistan. The information contained in this playbook comes from multiple sources inside and outside the USG with the understanding that the manner in which PRTs operate is likely to change over time.

The intent of this publication is to share knowledge, support discussion, and impart lessons and information in an expeditious manner. This Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) publication is not a doctrinal product. The information provided in this publication is written by USG employees for those individuals who will serve in a stability and reconstruction environment.

Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned September 07 Newsletter

- The results of recent collection team visits with two aviation units, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 167 and Marine Fixed Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA (AW)) 242.

- A report documenting the results of a questionnaire distributed to selected reserve officers soliciting their comments on aspects of their professional military education (PME) experiences.

- The results of a collection effort with 3d Battalion 2d Marines on its experiences performing counterinsurgency operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07.

- Highlights of several resources that have been added recently to the MCCLL repositories concerning Marine Corps and U.S. Army military transition team experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- The latest status of the ongoing program to develop a Joint Lessons Learned Information System (JLLIS) and a Joint Lessons Learned Repository (JLLR).

- The results of a collection effort by the Command and Control Training and Education Center of Excellence (C2 TECOE) with three battalions deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 to document their command and control training lessons and observations.

- Reserve PME.

- More...

Grunts and Jarheads: Rethinking the Army-Marine Division of Labor - US Army Strategic Studies Institute Op-Ed by Dr. Steven Metz

Debate rages today about the future of America's ground forces. Gone are the days when serious strategists could suggest that that utility of landpower was receding. Now no one questions its importance. But there is disagreement on the type and number of ground forces that the nation needs.

Among the most contentious points are the size of the force (by how much should the Army and Marines be enlarged?), specialized formations for irregular warfare and stabilization operations, and the role of the reserve components. All of these are vitally important. There is, though, another issue which receives less attention: the relationship between the Army and the Marine Corps—the two primary components of America's ground forces. Does the United States need two ground forces with virtually similar capabilities? I once heard a perplexed foreign officer say, "I'll never understand your military—not only does your navy have an army, but your navy's army has an air force!" Is there a strategic reason for this beyond simple tradition? If not, what should the division of labor within the ground forces be? These are not new questions but are ones that should be asked anew, given the evolving national security environment.

To answer these questions, we must first be clear on what we want ground forces to do. While nearly all strategists agree that irregular warfare and stabilization operations will be the most common tasks for the U.S. military in coming decades, there is also a broad consensus that it must retain the capability for conventional warfighting. This means the ground forces must be capable of multidivision stabilization or combat operations of relatively short duration, and smaller scale counterinsurgency support or stabilization operations lasting many years. In most cases, major operations would take place within the context of a multinational coalition, but the United States must also be able to undertake unilateral or near-unilateral action...

Negotiation in the New Strategic Environment: Lessons from Iraq - US Army Strategic Studies Institute monograph by Mr. David M Tressler

In stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations like the U.S. mission in Iraq, negotiation is a common activity. The success or failure of the thousands of negotiations taking place daily between U.S. military officers and local civilian and military leaders in Iraq affects tactical and operational results and the U.S. military's ability to achieve American strategic objectives. By training its leaders, especially junior ones, to negotiate effectively, the U.S. military will be better prepared to succeed in the increasingly complex operations it is conducting—in Iraq as well as the ones it will face in the new strategic environment of the 21st century.

This monograph analyzes the U.S. Army's current pre-deployment negotiation training and compares it with the negotiating experience of U.S. Army and Marine Corps officers deployed to Iraq. The author argues that successfully adapting to the nature of the contemporary operating environment requires changes that include increased training in negotiation. Based on interviews with U.S. officers, the author identifies three key elements of negotiation in SSTR operations and offers recommendations for U.S. soldiers to consider when negotiating with local Iraqi leaders; for U.S. military trainers to consider when reviewing their pre-deployment negotiation training curriculum; and for the Army and Marine Corps training and doctrine commands to consider when planning and structuring pre-deployment training.

To Understand Sheiks in Iraq, Marines Ask 'Mac' -- Greg Jaffe, Wall Street Journal

Earlier this summer, William "Mac" McCallister's Marine Corps bosses asked him for help selecting gifts for tribal sheiks who had teamed up with U.S. forces to fight radical Islamists.

Mr. McCallister, the Marines' resident expert on tribal culture, settled on the perfect gift: a Mameluke sword. The swords, which all Marine officers carry, date back to 1804 when a Marine lieutenant led a group of Arabs in a successful attack on pirates and was awarded a sword by an Ottoman pasha.

There was only one problem: The swords were banned as gifts because their value exceeds the government limit of $305.

So Mr. McCallister launched an impassioned campaign to obtain a waiver. Sheiks, who see themselves as products of a warrior culture, would love the swords, he insisted in an email to his bosses. Every time the sheik carried one, it would remind his constituents of their special "warrior bond" with the Corps, he wrote.

Expertise in 1,000-year-old tribal customs has given Mr. McCallister a position of some importance in the U.S. effort to pacify Iraq. The 46-year-old retired Army major has spent the past four years in Iraq studying the tribes' myths, histories and ancient legal system. Although he's completely self-taught, his ideas have helped shape the Marine Corps' strategy in western Iraq, which calls for forging alliances with tribal sheiks to drive out radical Islamist fighters. The success here in Anbar Province contrasts with more mixed results countrywide and is likely to be a big part of a much anticipated status report by Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, due out today.

"Mac has been worth his weight in gold to us," says Marine Brig. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq. "Most of us are no better than observers of tribal society. Mac is one of the few experts." ...

After Words Video Interview: LTC John Nagl

Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl helped write "The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual," which was prepared under the guidance of Gen. David Petraeus (currently leading the "surge" in Iraq). LTC Nagl, a veteran of both Opertation Desert Storm and the current war in Iraq, talks about the manual with Sean Naylor, senior writer for Army Times and the author of "Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda."

Latin America's New Security Reality: Irregular Asymmetric Conflict and Hugo Chavez - US Army Strategic Studies Institute monograph by Dr. Max G. Manwaring

In 2005, Dr. Manwaring wrote a monograph entitled Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivarian Socialism, and Asymmetric Warfare. It came at a time when the United States and Venezuela were accelerating a verbal sparing match regarding which country was destabilizing Latin America more. President Chavez shows no sign of standing down; he slowly and deliberately centralizes his power in Venezuela, and carefully and adroitly articulates his Bolivarian dream (the idea of a Latin American Liberation Movement against U.S. economic and political imperialism). Yet, most North Americans dismiss Chavez as a "nut case," or—even if he is a threat to the security and stability of the Hemisphere—the possibilities of that threat coming to fruition are too far into the future to worry about.

Dr. Manwaring's intent is to explain in greater depth what President Chavez is doing and how he is doing it. First, he explains that Hugo Chavez's threat is straightforward, and that it is being translated into a consistent, subtle, ambiguous, and ambitious struggle for power that is beginning to insinuate itself into political life in much of the Western Hemisphere. Second, he shows how President Chavez is encouraging his Venezuelan and other followers to pursue a confrontational, populist, and nationalistic agenda that will be achieved only by (1) radically changing the traditional politics of the Venezuelan state—and other Latin American states—to that of "direct" (totalitarian) democracy; (2) destroying North American hegemony throughout all of Latin America by conducting an irregular Fourth-Generation War "Super Insurgency"; and, (3) country-by-country, building a great new Bolivarian state out of a phased Program for the Liberation of Latin America.

Johns Hopkins University Unrestricted Warfare Symposium

The proceedings from the 2007 Unrestricted Warfare Symposium hosted by Johns Hopkins University are available on the JHU website (link above). Web page includes the entire proceedings book, individual papers as well as presentations.

Right Sizing the People's Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China's Military - US Army Strategic Studies Institute book by Mr. Roy Kamphausen and Dr. Andrew Scobell

This volume addresses how the leadership of China and the PLA view what size of PLA best meets China's requirements. Among other things, this analytical process makes important new contributions on the question of PLA transparency, long an issue among PLA watchers. A great deal of emphasis has been put on understanding not only how, but also why a military modernizes itself. Some of the determining factors are national policies and strategy, doctrine, organizational structure, missions, and service cultures. While this list is not exhaustive, it does begin to paint a picture of just how broad and deep military interests run. It is important when we look at the structure and strategy for growth within the Chinese military that we see the world as China sees it. We need to see a world in which the "Taiwan issue" as well as that of North Korea and others are not viewed as short-term concerns, but fit into how China sees itself in a long-term leadership role in the region and in the world.

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Thanks Grim - link above now updated to the RCT 6 Blog - Dave

It's actually their unit blog I was talking about -- the website is perfectly good, but not that different from anyone else's. Their unit blog, though, is forward looking. There aren't that many units that do a blog-as-such yet, but Sgt. Deboard runs one for RCT-6:

http://fightin6thmarines.vox.com/

Though his duties means he can update it only every few days, it's still the best unit blog I've yet to see.