Preparing General Purpose Forces in the United States and British Armies for Counterinsurgent Operations
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The U.S. Army has directed that its entire force must be capable of conducting what it terms Full Spectrum Operations, which is being able to conduct offensive, defensive, stability, andor civil support operations, simultaneously in the 21st Century. Historical study and oral history interviews of the experiences of the British and American Armies in the Malayan Emergency, the Vietnam War and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom illustrate that the general purpose forces of these organizations can conduct successful counterinsurgency operations. This same study also highlights that while these forces are adaptable at the tactical and operational level, their ability to adjust to changing conditions in the contemporary operating environment is due primarily to personal study and initiative. In order to develop true full spectrum capabilities, the United States Army must develop an institutional educational program that provides leaders with solid foundations in conduct offensive, defensive, stability, and civil support operations. The doctrinal basis for this system should include input from the recent and current operational theaters as well as in depth historical study in order to both keep it relevant to current events and to provide the breadth and depth that will ensure leaders do not cherry pick tactics, techniques or procedures. Educating leaders in all aspects of Full Spectrum Operations will allow them to tailor properly the training of their units for the missions they will face in the contemporary operating environment.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics