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The 800-Pound Gorilla and Stability Operations

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officers wait for the start of their meeting with officers from United States Forces-Iraq. Its a small room, seating about ten people, but with only three Department of State representatives there should be plenty of room for the military participants. The door swings open, and twenty officers walk in the room and scramble for seats. One opens up a satchel and pulls out sets of briefing slides-it looks like there are close to fifty slides for the briefing. After lots of shuffling around, an officer starts the presentation. Today, hes talking about how the military will support the Provincial Reconstruction Teams he goes through the entire military planning process Mission analysis, courses of action, the results of the militarys war gaming, and which course of action the military supports. Throughout the hour-long meeting, the Foreign Service Officers listen politely and ask a few questions. They ponder the complex diagrams, troop-to-task calculations, logistics concepts. Their few questions are answered in sentences filled mostly with abbreviations or acronyms. Its as if questions or discussion will ruin the rhythm and timing of the briefing. At the end of the meeting, the senior military officer comments, Thanks for listening to us today. We think weve got a good plan here and are ready to support you. After all, civilians are in the lead for improving civil capacity in Iraq, and were here to help. Please let us know what you think, but were ready to execute right away

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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