From the Editor

From Parameters,  Autumn 2004, pp. 2-3.

In this Issue…

The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq by coalition forces have led to renewed attention on certain issues related to the size and composition of America’s Army, many of which remain unanswered or at least controversial. Michael O’Hanlon provides readers with a detailed analysis of the current size and missions of American ground forces in his article, “The Need to Increase the Size of the Deployable Army.” The author assesses the number of ground forces readily available and contrasts that number against current deployments and missions to determine a need for an additional 40,000 troops. O’Hanlon also examines alternatives to generating this increase in personnel through such measures as reinstituting the draft and developing peacekeeping organizations in branches of the government outside DOD.

Bill Park provides the first of two articles in the feature “Regional Issues for Iraq,” with his “Iraq’s Kurds and Turkey: Challenges for US Policy.” The author provides unique insight on the future of Kurdish autonomy in a democratic Iraq. Park recalls previous attempts by the Kurds to establish an ethnically-based federation within the Iraqi state, much to the distress and misgivings of their neighbor to the north. He concludes that the possible fragmentation of Iraq is a real fear for America and the future of the Administration’s commitment to the democratization of the region. The second article in this feature examines Iran’s sojourn into the world of nuclear power and its impact on the Gulf region. Richard Russell’s, “Iran in Iraq’s Shadow: Dealing with Tehran’s Nuclear Weapons Bid,” is a candid analysis of Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations and the accompanying nuclear programs. Russell tells the reader that Iran emerged from its war with Iraq a broken power (militarily). He adroitly points out that in Iran’s geopolitical landscape and strategic calculus, America remains the “demon” threatening its vision of the Middle East region. It is Iran’s attempts to overcome its military deficiencies and to counter the perceived threat from America that is driving Tehran’s nuclear program. The author predicts that if the United States does not play a more active role, Tehran will certainly, if it hasn’t already, succeed in its quest.

Four scholars from the US Army War College’s Department of Command, Leadership, and Management have joined forces to provide a cautionary perspective on recent attempts to map leader competencies. “Mapping the Route of Leadership Education: Caution Ahead” examines that part of transformation associated with the practices and philosophies used in professional military education. The authors examine the body of expertise and abstract knowledge that forms the traits that members of the profession are expected to apply within their granted jurisdiction, and caution against the development of lists (competency maps) and the resulting “competency traps.” Rather, the authors advocate a framework utilizing context-relevant studies to justify continuous curriculum adjustment facilitated by a network of the various elements within the professional military education system.

The “Perspectives on North America and Europe” feature showcases two articles examining future transatlantic relations and the influence of the military on Canada’s future as a global power. Alan Dowd’s candid analysis of European attempts to come together under the auspices of the European Union and the forces that appear to be pulling her further apart will leave US readers with concern, not simply for Europe’s future, but rather regarding what role America will play in Europe’s future. “A Differ-


ent Course? America and Europe in the 21st Century,” details the history of how US and European relations have devolved to their current state. The author examines the major organs of power and determines that by forcing many of the new political unions and accompanying geographic expansion, Europe’s new founding fathers may be attempting too much and reaching too far. Dowd insightfully discerns that the ongoing war on terror and coalition efforts in Iraq have further strained already raw relationships. He concludes that indeed the transatlantic community is still a community with much common ground, but it is also imperative that all concerned understand that neither party can ever rightfully be the master of the other. Joseph Nunez, a professor at the US Army War College, provides the second article in the feature, “Canada’s Global Role: A Strategic Assessment of its Military Power.” It is a revealing review of Canadian military power and its impact on Canada’s role as a global power. Nunez reexamines the history of the US-Canada defense relationship in determining that Canada is “a regional power without a region.” Like it or not, Nunez tells Canadians their future security is linked inextricably to the United States. He concludes that Canada needs to invest in its future by developing a robust and flexible military capable of being a full partner in Northern Command.

Gary Felicetti and John Luce, two attorneys serving with the US Coast Guard, provide a revisionist view of the commentary that has been associated with the Posse Comitatus Act. “The Posse Comitatus Act: Liberation from the Lawyers” is a no-nonsense analysis of the act and its origins. The authors tell us that much of what we hear from sources both within and outside the Department of Defense amounts to gross mischaracterizations of the act and has the potential to undermine national security while doing nothing to protect civil liberties.

Sergio Catignani’s “Motivating Soldiers: The Example of the Israeli Defense Forces” explores the key factors that enhance combat motivation and enable conventional forces to win conflicts. Catignani chooses the IDF for his examination based on their operational successes against overwhelming odds during their brief 56-year history. The lessons learned and their applicability for today’s military are obvious and provide the reader with an appreciation of what motivates soldiers in combat and peace. The author concludes that unit cohesion is the key to an individual’s desire to fight. Members of an organization fight because they do not want to let others in the organization down. Likewise, there is a societal aspect to unit cohesion that is linked directly to the citizen’s desire to serve in defense of the nation.

The concluding article in this issue is Nader Elhefnawy’s examination of the realities associated with national mobilization. “National Mobilization: An Option in Future Conflicts?” debunks much of the rhetoric and hyperbole associated with calls for national mobilization. Elhefnawy analyzes the economic structures, technology, and cultural attitudes of today to reveal that any attempt by America at national mobilization to meet future military challenges would be problematic at best. He concludes with the sobering assessment that the United States’ fiscal problems and capabilities must be recognized in any attempt to take on additional military burdens. The danger of “overstretch” is a reality that the situation in Iraq has highlighted only too glaringly.

Book Reviews provides a particularly rich and eclectic array, with Martin Blumenson’s sterling review of Rick Atkinson’s In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat leading the way. Andrew Bacevich’s critical look at William E. Odom and Robert Dujarric’s America’s Inadvertent Empire, along with Richard Halloran’s candid consideration of James Mann’s The Rise of the Vulcans and Jeff Record’s review of John Keegan’s The Iraq War, headline this feature. — RHT

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Reviewed 16 August 2004. Please send comments or corrections to