The Commander's Emergency Response Program
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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With the rapid and synchronized operations to reach Baghdad and Kabul now history, U.S. joint task forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are in what John Keegan calls the small change of soldiering. The metaphor is apt. For some commanders, such unorthodox operations do not fulfill a warriors calling. Yet these dangerous missions can exceed conventional battles in terms of time, life, blood, and national treasure. Remaining hostile elements are smaller and more difficult to identify and defang. The time span of conflict now depends on how long it will take to grow Iraqi and Afghan institutions of self-government and security, while potential battlefields extend to wherever the Fedayeen, the Taliban, or al Qaeda may be hiding. The current phase must be about winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi and Afghan people. As stated in Joint Publication 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations, military combat operations must give way to civilian dominance as the threat wanes and civil infrastructures are reestablished.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics