From the Editor

From Parameters,  Spring 2005, pp. 2-4.

In This Issue . . .

Senator Saxby Chambliss examines the current debate regarding America’s intelligence capabilities in “We Have Not Correctly Framed the Debate on Intelligence Reform.” The glaring intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, combined with our inability to correctly assess Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programs and his relationship with other Islamist terrorists, led the Administration and the Congress to attempt a rapid overhaul of our intelligence community and its accompanying capabilities. The author outlines his concern that, as with any reform of this nature, it is the manner in which the debate is framed that will determine the final success or failure of the process. Senator Chambliss examines several critical capabilities and relationships key to successful intelligence reform, chief among which is the role of the new Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and concludes there is a need to focus on four critical points: (1) The necessity to recognize current weaknesses in the field of human intelligence (HUMINT) and to take the appropriate corrective actions. (2) The need to improve congressional oversight of the intelligence process through the establishment of subcommittees within the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. (3) A requirement to reorganize military intelligence to allow for unity of command and an efficient relationship with the new DNI. (4) Finally, the need to improve current capabilities related to the sharing of intelligence.

Colin Gray provides an introspective analysis of warfare since the end of the Cold War and reminds the reader that the essential “nature” of war is unchanging. The author begins his article “How Has War Changed Since the End of the Cold War?” with a number of caveats necessary to place the warnings that appear later in the article in the proper context. These caveats range from the requirement to understand that war is far more than the simple exercise of military power, to such matters as the danger inherent in preparing for the wrong strategic future. Gray examines eight points related to how war has changed, and how it has not. He concludes with a number of arguments that summarize his exploration. First, the “objective” nature of war is not changing. Second, it’s essential to view the context of war beyond the simple application of military power. Third, war is as much about the peace that follows as it is about combat. Finally, military strategists and planners need to understand that trends decline and expire over time and that “surprise” does happen.

Professor George Quester’s “Demographic Trends and Military Recruitment: Surprising Possibilities” affords the reader insight into many of the factors affecting the ability of the armed services to recruit over the upcoming decade. The author explores such variables as the “graying” of America, lower birthrates in developed nations, shifts in populations to urban areas, and higher birthrates in underdeveloped countries to predict extreme stress on the recruit-


ment of military-age personnel. He suggests a number of alternatives to current recruiting and personnel management practices based on the evolving nature of war and the increased use of technology. Quester analyzes an increase in the number of women in military service, extension of current service obligation and retention policies, greater reliance on new immigrants to the United States, and recruitment abroad as possible solutions for the diminishing number of military-age personnel. The author goes on to conclude that current demographic projections, even if only partially correct, demand radical changes in the recruitment and retention policies of all the services.

The thematic presentation “Shaping Strategy for a New Era” contains three articles related to the development of strategic thought in a rapidly evolving and asymmetric world. The first article in this triumvirate is Dr. Steven Metz and Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Millen’s “Intervention, Stabilization, and Transformation Operations: The Role of Landpower in the New Strategic Environment.” The authors present the reader with the rationale for developing a new strategy that permits US forces to go beyond initial intervention in a particular conflict to the equally critical stabilization and transformation phases. Metz and Millen agree that the American military does the “intervention thing” well, but it is in the realm of stabilization and transformation operations that we require new and innovative concepts, among which is the ability to integrate such operations with broader interagency and multinational requirements. The authors postulate that the initial building blocks already exist within the US military for support of this new grand strategy, but there is a critical need to rapidly augment these capabilities and expand them throughout the agencies of government. They conclude with the warning that in today’s world it is no longer sufficient to simply defeat foes militarily, it has become necessary to transform them into nonbelligerents, allies, and friends.

Colonel Timothy K. Deady, USAR, presents “Lessons from a Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899-1902,”our second article in the feature. Deady uses the United States’ experience during the Philippine insurrection and its aftermath to extrapolate a strategy suitable for countering and defeating insurgencies. The author’s review of the strategy and its application during the 1899-1902 period translates into “lessons learned” with specific implications for ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Deady comes to the conclusion that victory in today’s counterinsurgencies requires the same patience, dedication, and willingness to remain that it did a century ago. Our final article in this thematic presentation is Christopher Henzel’s masterfully researched and detailed presentation of the history of Sunni Islam and its impact on the establishment of al Qaeda. “The Origins of al Qaeda’s Ideology: Implications for US Strategy” details the origins of Sunnism and the personalities responsible for morphing it into the current militant form exemplified by the likes of al Qaeda. Henzel explores the influences of insiders and outsiders on Sunni Islam and the resulting rivalries and clashing philosophies that spawned the cur-


rent Salafist reform movement (al Qaeda) and its ideology. The author implores America and the world at large to exploit ties with existing Sunni regimes in a mutual battle against revolutionary Salafists. He cautions that it is equally important during this battle that existing Muslim regimes fully understand there is no intent on the part of America to remake traditional Muslim culture; otherwise, the clash of civilizations sought by al Qaeda and some US pundits will be assured.

“The Media as an Instrument of War” is BBC news producer Kenneth Payne’s in-depth analysis of the ability of the media to influence conflict in the modern era. He explores the media’s legal status on the battlefield and efforts to control their access and product. Perhaps the most enlightening portion of the article is the author’s detailed examination of the inherent tension between the goals of an impartial and balanced media and the military objectives of the combatants. Payne’s insight into such issues as public affairs versus information operations, the embedding of reporters, and legal protections afforded the media provides readers with a genuinely new perspective on the emerging role of the media in time of conflict.

Our concluding article in this issue is an insider’s assessment of the individual’s ability to function during network-centric combat. “Cognitive Readiness in Network-Centric Operations” is authored by three current or former members of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research: Nancy J. Wesensten, Colonel Gregory Belenky (USA Ret.), and Thomas J. Balkin. The authors have joined together to develop a thesis based on the premise that in network-centric warfare, highly complex groups organized from the “bottom up” (self-synchronized), when provided with accurate and detailed information, will be significantly more successful than the traditional top-down command and controlled organizations. The authors present historical examples and the results of individual research to conclude that self-synchronization leads to emergent properties and efficiencies unachievable with top-down direction. This truly revolutionary article will provide commanders a new way of viewing organizational and individual performances on today’s and tomorrow’s network-centric battlefields.

The Book Reviews section again offers expert appraisals on an array of contemporary literature of interest to senior military and defense professionals. Colonel Stuart Herrington (USA Ret.) leads the section with his insightful review of Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War, by James H. Willbanks. Shannon French contributes an excellent look at Martin Cook’s The Moral Warrior: Ethics and Service in the U.S. Military. Colonel David Jablonsky (USA Ret.) offers a deeply moving review of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, by Jon Meacham. Colonel Robert Doughty (USA Ret.) brings his expertise to bear on Dennis Showalter’s The Wars of German Unification. These and many other reviews of current titles will doubtless send readers to their favorite local bookstores or on-line outlets. — RHT

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Reviewed 17 February 2005. Please send comments or corrections to