Al Paddock explores the divorce between active and reserve component psychological operations units.
Jack Midgley considers how the Army should prepare itself to accomplish partner nation capability-building missions.
About the Author(s)
What is it?
The Army antiterrorism (AT) theme for the fourth quarter, fiscal year 2011 (4Q/FY11), -Antiterrorism Doctrine -- focuses on the understanding and integration of the AT doctrine contained in FM 3-37.2 ("Antiterrorism") released in February 2011.
Why is it important to the Army?
Describing what constitutes AT, how it applies in a given situation, what actions are necessary to prevent a terrorist attack, and how to determine if a unit, installation, or facility has the appropriate protection resources are complex and important issues. Determining the approach for these fundamental elements is certainly worth contemplating. Army AT policy (AR 525-13) provides the baseline fundamentals of what must be done. However, policy does not describe the countless possibilities driven by the threat, security environment, available resources, and numerous other variables. Moreover, the Army guides, but does not dictate, those actions through doctrine. Until recently there was no doctrinal "guide" for AT to help units develop their AT plans and programs. In February 2011, the Army unveiled its first ever AT doctrine, FM 3-37.2, "Antiterrorism."
What is the Army doing?
To meet a growing and evolving terrorist threat, the Army combined the most important elements of AT policy with the doctrinal wisdom and practical application from operational forces, installations, and stand-alone facilities. By leveraging extensive AT expertise from across the force, sound doctrinal principles, processes, and tools emerged. FM 3-37.2 establishes AT principles (assess, detect, warn, defend, and recover), integrates AT within the combating terrorism framework and protection warfighting function, and builds on the Army's effective operations and intelligence processes.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
An Army-wide AT Awareness Month is planned for August 2011. The timing of this year's observance is especially important given the approaching 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the homeland.
During the month of August, units, installations, and facilities should focus efforts to heighten awareness and vigilance across the Army community to prevent and protect against acts of terrorism. The four themes, all related to doctrinal precepts, for the Army's AT awareness month included:
• Recognizing and reporting suspicious activity or high-risk behavior
• Application of Army AT principles
• Integrating AT into the operations process
• Procedures for law enforcement and community response to an active shooter
Related STAND-TO! editions:
One key quote from page 11: "Violent extremism in various forms will continue to constitute the most likely and immediate threat around the world. A more dangerous threat will come from emergent hybrid adversaries who combine the agility and flexibility of being an irregular and decentralized enemy with the power and technology of a nation state. These security challenges, in whatever form they are manifested, constitute the threat that the Army and our Nation will face for the foreseeable future."
What is it?
The Army Capabilities Integration Center's Future Warfare Division is sponsoring a symposium entitled "A Vision of Alternative Futures," Nov. 3-4, in McLean, Va. The symposium will focus on challenges facing the military and how they might affect the future of armed conflict. In doing so, Future Warfare Division is seeking a diverse group of participants from academia and industry who are —to write papers on grounded projections of future armed conflict and submit them for possible presentation at the symposium.
Why is this important for the Army?
Theories about the character of future warfare must be grounded in knowledge of emerging threats to national security. For example, prior to 9/11, national defense concepts were based on an assumption that conventional threats would come from hostile nations. In hindsight, this assumption was flawed; the real and emerging threats to national security were coming from non-state actors.
But the character of future warfare is not limited to emerging or sudden threats to national security, it is also affected by the underlying assumptions the military operates within. In a future where defense costs and response timelines will likely be constrained, the Army must continually examine assumptions governing its concepts and long-term planning; as well as "weak signals" developing in a global operating environment to better prepare for future strategic surprise.
What will the Army do?
A thorough study of contemporary conflict in an historical perspective is needed to help frame future challenges to national and international security, analyze underlying assumptions, and identify "weak signals" in a global operating environment to build relevant capabilities to meet those challenges.
Potential areas for study could include expanded globalization and evolution of science, technology, and engineering developments; what "weak signals" futures analysts got right (or wrong) in the past; where conflicts are likely to rise and where stability is likely to take root; social, economic, or environmental trends likely to affect future armed conflicts; the changing global demographics and generational values and their impact on future conflicts and forces.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The symposium will seek to explore factors that may impact armed conflict in the future. Outcomes drawn from the presentations will be used to help guide Army concept, capability, training, and leadership development. Following the symposium, papers will be posted online. Some travel funding may be available. For further details email the point of contact.
This new report, issued on June 11, listed Army suicides (confirmed and potential) by soldiers on active duty and reservists not on active duty for May, April, and for 2008 and 2009 year-to-date. By implication, the Army intends to release monthly updates of its suicide statistics, joining other regular statistical releases such recruiting and retention and mobilized reservists.
The Army's leadership appears to have succumbed to pressure to do something" about its suicide problem." All of the military services should vigorously fund and implement suicide prevention programs. Commanders at all levels should give sincere attention to the issue. And as a general matter, the Congress should fully fund Secretary Gates's priorities to improve the welfare of the troops and their families. Gates is right to express his concern about the potential fragility of the all-volunteer force and the imperative of preserving it. Attention to suicide, its causes and prevention, is part of this.
The Army's response is typical for any bureaucracy: collect the statistics, slice them up, and tabulate them in a recurring report. Regrettably, on the matter of suicides the Army's bureaucratic response is misguided.
First, by collecting up these individual tragedies into summary statistics, the Army is showing disrespect to these soldiers and the personal circumstances that led to each dreadful ending.
Second, by submitting to the pressure for regular reporting on suicides, the Army is ratifying the entirely false notion that those who volunteer for military service are victims, and that suicide is one of those terrible ways that these ostensibly misguided volunteers occasionally pay for their victimhood. The Army apparently won't dare defend the notion that military service may have saved some of its soldiers from suicide by affording them a meaningful life they may not have found in their civilian youth.
Finally, the Army's summary statistics on suicide are presented without any attempt at context. For example:
1. What is the suicide rate (suicides per 100,000 per year)?
2. How does this rate compare to the 18-24 year old civilian cohort?
3. What are the suicide rates of those who have deployed compared to those who have not? Combat action versus no combat action?
4. What is the Army's suicide rate in 2009 compared to 1999, 1989, and 1979?
The Army's monthly suicide watch" report reflects a bureaucracy entirely on the defensive. It is disrespectful to the slain soldiers and ratifies a false narrative about military service. Most tellingly, it shows an Army leadership un—to defend its institution.
One of my pet peeves is commonality of language -- calling a spade a spade and sticking with doctrinally acceptable terms to describe doctrine that is, well, accepted. Before you go changing the language, please do us all a favor and change the doctrine first, ensure the new terminology is better suited than the old, and above all - make sure the new and improved terminology finds its way into the DoD Dictionary of Military Terms.
That's why I commend the attached document -- the Army Doctrine Update that was sent out just prior to the release of Army Field Manual 3-0, Operations. It spells out how NOT to misuse terminology associated or otherwise related to the FM. I haven't seen something like this before and hopefully it will put to bed a lot of confusion.
Some examples from the document:
1. Terms UA, UE, and SUA are out. Use corps, division, and brigade combat team (BCT).
2. Know the difference between maneuver and movement (we don't maneuver networks; we move them).
3. Battlespace is no longer a joint or Army term. Use "operational environment."
4. The operational environment is described and evaluated using the variables of political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and information with the addition of physical environment and time (PMESII-PT). Use the factors of METT-TC as the categories into which relevant information is grouped for a military operation.
5. Use "civil considerations" (the C in METT-TC), not "human terrain."
6. Don't use colors as shorthand for something else, for example: Red COP for enemy COP; Blue forces for friendly forces.
7. Don't use "red zone" at all; the term is "close combat."
8. The operations process consists of the following activities: plan, prepare, execute, and assess. The shorthand for this process is the verb "conduct."
9. Use relevant information, not relevant combat information.
10. Use common operational picture (COP), not common relevant operational picture (CROP).
11. Use "battle" only in the context of a set of related engagements against an enemy. "Operation" is more inclusive. It is the correct term in almost all other contexts.
12. Full spectrum operations is the name of the Army's operational concept. The operational concept is the foundation for all Army doctrine. Note that civil support operations are only executed domestically and stability operations are only executed overseas.
13. Effects Based Operations: For several years, the joint community has experimented with using effects to better link higher-level objectives to tactical actions. These efforts produced the EBO Concept. The proponent for EBO is the U.S. Joint Forces Command. EBO is designed to improve the planning, preparation, execution, and assessment activities of joint forces at the strategic and operational levels of war. However, EBO is not part of joint or Army doctrine. As defined by USJFCOM, it is not designed for use by Army tactical forces." Bottom line, the Army does not do EBO.
To the uninformed this discussion may seem arcane or silly - but military operations are based on precision and that precision is based on precise terminology. I again commend the Army in taking an important step in ensuring we at least begin each endeavor on the same sheet of music.