From the Editor

From Parameters,  Autumn 2003, pp. 2-3.

In This Issue . . .

Since the end of the combat phase of the war with Iraq, it seems as though our nation’s attention and energy have been totally consumed by the tasks necessary to stabilize and reconstruct that country. It is understandable that we are focused on winning the peace in Iraq, but there are other important issues and missions that remain unfinished and incomplete. The war on terror, transformation of the armed services, and the future of Europe, to name but a few, hold historical and geopolitical importance for the future of America. In this issue we present a tour de force of these eclectic demands.

Ralph Peters returns to the pages of Parameters with an examination of where the United States should place its interests and invest its resources in this century. In “The Atlantic Century,” Peters advocates a move away from America’s traditional focus on the Pacific Region, the Middle East, and “Old Europe” to a new emphasis directed to the regions and nations of Africa and Latin America. Peters skewers the stereotypes associated with those two neglected parts of the globe, expounds on their potential, and challenges the United States to bind together North America, Latin America, Africa, and the Atlantic powers on Europe’s western frontier in a mutually beneficial and enduring network of democracies.

Transformation and the accompanying reorganization of the Army are becoming lost in hyperbole and pundit rhetoric. Anyone with a new technology or organizational thought is attempting to cloak it under the banner of transformation. Rising above such clutter is Don Snider’s innovative analysis of defense transformation and “jointness.” He presents the first of two articles in our thematic feature, “Transforming the Joint Force.” Both articles offer supporting views of how the US military should focus on jointness and the accompanying reorganization in support of America’s warfighting profession. Snider makes a compelling case that true jointness can best be realized, along with the associated defense transformation, only through the establishment of a new “joint warfare profession,” building upon the corps of professionals that has evolved since the inception of Goldwater-Nichols. The second article is Michael Noonan and Mark Lewis’s “Conquering the Elements: Thoughts on Joint Force (Re)Organization.” The authors provide an analysis of the innovative and task-organized organizations employed in Operation Iraqi Freedom to make their case for a new “joint force architecture,” an organizational transformation that may offer increased military capability.

There are many lessons to be garnered from our Iraq experience, and not all are confined to recent combat operations. We have attempted to capture a few of these findings and reflections in the thematic presentation, “Lessons of Iraq.” Alan Dowd examines the aftermath of war and the challenges it presents in “Thirteen Years: The Causes and Consequences of the War in Iraq.” Dowd warns that America’s military leaders and policymakers should prepare themselves for a “colder, harsher strain of conflict.” He reminds the reader that it took 13 years for America to arrive at the crossroads presently embodied in postwar Iraq, and it may take another 13 years to move beyond it. “Iraq: Heavy Forces and Decisive Warfare” is William Hawkins’ analysis of decisive warfare and how it should be conducted. The author


views the rapid ground advance on Baghdad as the real “shock and awe” of the war, and calls for the maintenance of America’s heavy force advantage. Cynthia Ayers, in “Iraqi Resistance to Freedom: A Frommian Perspective,” provides a unique analysis of the current thoughts and actions of the Iraqi people. Why would a people, even when they are aware of a regime’s atrocities, not necessarily welcome freedom? Drawing on the work of the German-born psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm to examine the “fear of freedom,” Ayers determines that change may be difficult for the older generations of Iraqis to accept, and that Iraqi children therefore hold the key to their nation’s democratic future.

As alluded to in the introduction, winning the peace can be as difficult and challenging a mission as winning the war. The feature “At War’s End” presents two enlightening and insightful views on the necessity to get this mission right. Nadia Schadlow’s “War and the Art of Governance” is a timely look at Washington’s seeming shortcomings in planning for the challenges associated with “postwar” Iraq. The author makes clear that governance operations have historically occurred “in tandem” with combat operations, and that we need to think about and plan for this last phase of conflict accordingly. William Flavin presents a review of recent US conflict termination operations in “Planning for Conflict Termination and Post-Conflict Success,” to confirm the necessity for civilian and military leaders to recognize that the end-state of a particular conflict is just as critical as the conduct of the war. There is an essential need to develop a robust civil-military plan directed at conflict termination early in the campaign planning process.

One of America’s most distinguished historians takes another look at S. L. A. Marshall’s methodologies and conclusions related to combat fire ratios. John Whiteclay Chambers has discovered an original source who questions some of the conventional thought about Marshall’s methods in “S. L. A. Marshall’s Men Against Fire: New Evidence Regarding Fire Ratios.” Although there have been a number of recent articles challenging Marshall’s findings, this one centers on an interview with a newly discovered independent source who was actually with Marshall during several of his after-action interviews with soldiers in Korea.

Juan Alsace takes John Quincy Adams’ warning to heart in his “In Search of Monsters to Destroy: American Empire in the New Millennium.” Adams cautioned Americans to resist the temptation for going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.” Alsace adroitly argues that this warning to imperialists in 1821 is perhaps even more valid as the country enters the 21st century as the world’s only superpower. As the events of 9/11 so vividly proved, monsters now have found us. Our response to such threats has been “full spectrum dominance” employing all of our power and might. Alsace warns that Americans must undertake a major effort to genuinely engage the world they purport to lead if their empire is to survive.

Robert Cassidy provides our final article in this issue, “Prophets or Praetorians? The Uptonian Paradox and the Powell Corollary.” The author examines the contradiction between the “Uptonian paradox” articulated by Emory Upton in his theme of greater separation between the civilian and military spheres of American society and the Weinberger Doctrine and Powell Corollary related to the use of military force. While fully supportive of the imperative to be subordinate to its civilian masters, the military finds itself in the difficult position of having to tell its civilian leadership when and how it should be employed in the face of asymmetric threats. — RHT  

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Reviewed 22 August 2003. Please send comments or corrections to