Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC
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This book is an edited volume but not a collage of independent efforts. The authors worked together for 10 months and twice met in conference along with expert commentators. At the same time, the authors do not necessarily agree on all the key assessments. The book is divided in this manner chapter one focuses on the early, pre-Surge years in both campaigns. Chapter two continues the chronological thread but focuses on assessment and adaptation in the Surges in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chapter three examines decision making at the national level and implementation. Chapter four discusses security force assistance, the coalition s development of indigenous armies, and police forces. Chapter five analyzes the complex set of legal issues attendant to irregular conflict, including detention and interrogation policy. Chapter six develops the capstone conclusions of the study and isolates the most important lessons. Supporting these chapters are three annexes one on the human and financial costs of war, and, for reference, two others on the key events in both campaigns. To orient the reader, the lessons encountered in these chapters are divided into a few functional areas national-level decision making unity of effortunity of command, intelligence and understanding the operational environment, character of contemporary conflict, and security force assistance. Clearly, each observer of the Long War would characterize his lessons in a different manner, but the following observations are what the contributors of this volume thought to be most important.
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