4 March 2016

Does the Army need airborne?

The Army is fully invested, but some say the tactic is impractical, costly and disconnected from modern war. 
By Kyle Jahner, Army Times 
ZARAGOZA, Spain — About 1,200 soldiers from 13 countries looked up toward the thin white clouds stretching across the sky. Having just participated in a brief NATO battle demo, they awaited the November event’s finale.
First Lt. Tim Pena would later say it was “a beautiful day to jump.” But he hadn’t quite arrived just yet.
Right on time, three C-17s cleared the hills to the north, about 1,000 feet above the ground. They flew over the fictional village of “Casas Altas” — an assembly of concrete buildings where the brief staged battle had occurred. A few seconds later, soldiers who nine hours earlier had taken off from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, began to pour from each of the two rearward doors, in standard one-second intervals. Over 500 U.S. paratroopers from 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division floated to the rocky ground below — it was a beautiful sight.
The jump capped an event, designed largely for the international press, to wrap up NATO’s broader, 36,000-troop, 30-plus-country exercise known as Trident Juncture. NATO described the demonstration as a message to Russia, though Russia declined an invite.

Paratroopers took part in NATO's Trident Juncture in November. Daniel Woolfolk/Staff

Nevertheless, NATO and U.S. leaders were pleased. The airborne jump may have been the most visually stunning and logistically impressive element of Trident Juncture: hundreds of soldiers in the U.S. travel across the ocean and reach foreign land — on time, without an airstrip, and armed with M4s.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to show what we can do on the Global Response Force,” said Col. Joseph Ryan, the 2nd Brigade commander who jumped along with his soldiers.
The GRF, generally a rotating brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division, is the nation’s quick reaction force designed to rapidly deploy in an emergency. As the Spain exercise demonstrated, Army regards large-scale combat jumps as a crucial capability of the GRF.

Government Should Take This Chance To Shut Down JNU

Given the ongoing battle between the Indian state and a section of JNU students, it is clear that there is a need for a "radical" solution (pun unintended). JNU, the brainchild of Indira Gandhi and her Sancho Panza Education Minister Syed Nurul Hasan, was floated on the lines of colonial Britain's Hailesbury College to produce and train, what she believed, would form the core of a "committed bureaucracy", committed primarily to her persona and idealism with a Leftist hue, not quite Red in thought and belief, but a deep shade of "pink".
But within a few years of its formation, Mrs Gandhi's fond dream went horribly wrong. Despite dollops of state subsidy (an estimated 3.5 lakhs is currently paid by the government of India per year for every JNU student), alumni of the institution turned a deep shade of Red thanks to the curricula and faculty carefully chosen by Prof Hasan from his pool of pro-CPI teachers.

For some years, this served Mrs Gandhi's purpose very well. In the initial years, JNU was peopled mostly by products of "elite" institutions like Delhi's St. Stephen's College who volubly mouthed "revolutionary" slogans, but in practice served the Indian state's objectives with full gusto by joining the civil services in hordes. But the churning of the polity leading to the proclamation of Emergency and Mrs Gandhi's spectacular defeat in the 1977 elections jolted JNU out of its complacency.
The Janata Party government led by the arch-conservative Morarji Desai and his equally right-wing Education Minister, Triguna Sen, had no time for long-haired, jhola-carrying agitators that JNU produced aplenty. Janata leaders were aghast to discover that almost each and every member of the university's faculty was a card-carrying Communist or worse. Professor Hasan's dominance over the university faculty recruitment system throughout the country, especially in prestige national institutions, ensured that new recruits to the teaching community consisted primarily of those who failed to get selected to the civil services, but made for excellent cannon fodder in the Left's war against the Janata Party regime.
Since the Jana Sangh was the only ideological component of the Janata Party (the rest being motley woolly-headed socialists), a clash was inevitable between the JNU's founders and the Janata Party establishment. This clash often spilled over onto the streets, especially over the Desai Government's determination to revise curricula and replace Marxist historiography with a nationalist variant.

U.S-Pakistan Introduce Kashmir in New Strategic Relations


U.S-Pakistan Introduce Kashmir in New Strategic Relations
THE CITIZEN BUREAU,  Thursday, March 03,2016
NEW DELHI: Kashmir has been introduced in the institutionalised annual Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Pakistan for the first time, in a move that should be ringing alarm bells in New Delhi.
This comes after the visible US push for India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue as reported in The Citizen recently.
It follows the tone set in a joint statement issued after the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Washington last October.
The US-Pakistan joint statement issued in Washington on Tuesday clearly states, “The United States and Pakistan emphasized the importance of meaningful dialogue in support of peaceful resolution of outstanding issues, including Kashmir. The delegations underscored that all parties in the region should continuously act with maximum restraint and work collaboratively toward reducing tensions.”

In Parliament Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in an unusually fiery and confident speech, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of overturning the diplomatic gains made by the UPA government in caging Pakistan in one small space. He said years of aggressive diplomacy after the Mumbai terror attack had succeeded in isolating Pakistan, but this was negated entirely by PM Modi’s one visit to Lahore to have tea with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.
PM Modi did not respond to this during his address in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. But if Rahul Gandhi’s charge is now taken in the light of this joint statement, it does confirm a turnaround in US policy towards Pakistan and substantiates what former diplomat MK Bhadrakumar has written, “Pakistan has brilliantly succeeded in inserting the Kashmir issue into the agenda of its annual Strategic Dialogue with the US.”
A shift in US policy towards Pakistan has been visible since the end of last year when statements by US officials were more encouraging and even appreciative of Islamabad. The joint statement confirms this shift with the US commending Pakistan for the “constructive role” it has played in resolving the Afghan issue. And in a reference to the Pathankot attack it has crossed the Indian position by again praising Sharif for the detention of Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar as part of his “stated commitment to take prompt and decisive action on this investigation and to bring the perpetrators of the January 2, 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase to justice.”

India and the South China Sea Dispute

Recent developments have operational implications for India. 
By Abhijit Singh, March 01, 2016

The South China Sea (SCS) is witnessing a dramatic rise in maritime tensions. Last week, China landed two fighter jets on Woody island – a subset of the Paracel group of islands – just days after the PLAplaced surface-to-air missiles at the same location. With a range of about 200 kilometers, the new HQ-9 missiles can target aircraft approaching China’s claimed spaces in the South China Sea. To add to regional worries, the latest satellite images of several of the Spratly Islands showed probable radar infrastructure, suggesting that the PLA may already have established full radar coverage over the SCS.
Needless to say, there has been much speculation over China’s “strategic” intentions in the South China Sea. The act of placing missiles on disputed territory has been widely interpreted as a hardening of Beijing’s maritime posture – not just on account of the direct threat the missiles pose to foreign air-operations in the South China Sea, but also because the new armament complements the PLA’s existing air warfare capability on Woody Islands.

While India isn’t party to the South China Sea dispute, four aspects of the recent developments might interest New Delhi. First, irrespective of the claims and counter-claims by the United States and China, it is clear that Beijing operates from a position of strength in the South China Sea, wherein it has physical control over critical islands in the region. China has shown the U.S. and its allies that what matters in a maritime territorial dispute is the actual ‘possession’ of the islands, and as long as the PLA exercises military control over the features, it will exploit their location to support broader territorial claims. For New Delhi, which has been concerned about the security of its trade-flows and energy interests in the South China Sea, however, Beijing’s placement of missiles points to a sober reality. As the disputed islands are militarized, it could imperil freedom of navigation, making Beijing the main arbiter of the accepted range of ‘legitimate’ operations in the South China Sea.
Second, China’s exertion of authority over areas of maritime interest is mostly through indirect means. In the immediate aftermath of the new radar installations in the Spratly’s and deployment of missiles on Woody Island, it looks increasingly likely that Beijing would impose an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, ensuring the PLA’s dominance over the surrounding air-space and seas. At present, the likelihood of Chinese aggression occurring outside the disputed maritime spaces in Southeast Asia looks remote. Yet, there is no discounting Chinese maritime assertion in other areas where Beijing might have strategic interests – including critical spaces in the Indian Ocean. For Indian observers, it is useful to extrapolate known Chinese positions in the IOR, to assess Beijing’s likely strategic behavior after the PLA has established a foothold in critical Indian Ocean states. Could the PLA, for instance, play a role in assisting Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Maldives in securing vital sea and air pockets in the Indian Ocean? What could the implications of such a move be for India? As a key security provider in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi appreciates the need for greater stability in the region. Will India, however, accept an expanded Chinese role in securing important spaces in its primary area of interest?

A new paradigm for agriculture?

A growth-first approach may work in the short-term, but India needs to prioritize sustainability simultaneously
The increased funding is expected to improve irrigation and crop insurance, create a national e-market for agri-produce, promote production of pulses and subsidize interest on short-term agri-credits. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
The Union Budget 2016-17, seeking to “transform India”, has been hailed for its emphasis on agricultural growth and sustainability. Symbolically, the finance minister put “agriculture and farmers’ welfare” first in his nine-point agenda. The words “agriculture” and “farmer” found 20 and 32 mentions, respectively, in the budget speech, the highest in the last decade.

On the substantive side, the government takes pride in nearly doubling the allocations for the agriculture sector, from Rs.22,958 crore in 2015-16 (revised estimate) to Rs.44,485 crore in 2016-17 (budget estimate). The increase stems in part from the inclusion of the interest subsidy, traditionally part of the finance ministry’s budget, under agriculture. Excluding this, the budget involves a 27% increase in agricultural spending. The increased funding is expected to improve irrigation and crop insurance, create a national e-market for agri-produce, promote production of pulses and subsidize interest on short-term agri-credits.

Afghan troops pull out of more posts in volatile south

Reuters/Abdul Malik

Afghan forces have pulled back from strongpoints in the southern province of Uruzgan, continuing a withdrawal which began last month when they abandoned two districts in the neighboring province of Helmand to the Taliban, officials said on Tuesday.Provincial government spokesman Dost Mohammad Nayab said around 100 troops and police had been pulled from checkpoints in two areas in Shahidi Hassas district and sent to the neighboring district of Deh Rawud.
The Afghan Taliban, seeking to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul and reimpose Islamic rule 15 years after they were ousted from power, said the move, which came after heavy fighting late on Monday, had left the entire area around the village of Yakhdan under their control.
The decision to leave the posts follows months of heavy fighting with the Taliban, who have put government forces under heavy pressure across southern Afghanistan.
"We want to create a reserve battalion in Deh Rawud and we may ask our soldiers and policemen from other districts also to leave their checkpoints," Nayab said.
Nayab said the withdrawal was prompted by a shortage of troops and police, worn down by combat losses and desertions. He said troop numbers in the province were about 1,000 short of their assigned strength while police were hundreds short. 
"Some of them have left the army and police, some have been killed or wounded and some have surrendered to the Taliban," he said. "We have to control situation here until we receive enough forces."
NATO officials have long pressed Afghan commanders to pull troops off isolated and hard-to-defend checkpoints and use them more effectively against the Taliban, who have pressed their insurgency since international troops ended most combat operations in 2014.
Uruzgan, which shares a border with the insurgent heartlands of Helmand and Kandahar, is a poor and largely mountainous region which Dutch and Australian troops struggled to stabilize after the Taliban regime was toppled by U.S.-led forces in 2001.
Along with northern Helmand, much of which has been abandoned to the Taliban, it constitutes one of Afghanistan's main opium smuggling routes, providing a significant source of revenue for the insurgency.
Last month, troops pulled out of the Helmand districts of Musa Qalah and Nawzad, regrouping around a few towns near the provincial capital Lashkar Gah in what authorities said was a tactical decision to deploy forces more effectively.

Pakistan As a Happy Hunting Ground for Terrorist Recruits

Islamic State group in competition for recruits in Pakistan
Associated Press, March 2, 2016
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Trying to lure him into the Islamic State group, the would-be recruiter told Pakistani journalist Hasan Abdullah, “Brother, you could be such an asset to the Ummah"— the Islamic community. Abdullah replied that he was enjoying life and had no plans to join the jihadis.
"The enjoyment of this life is short-lived. You should work for the Akhira” — the Afterlife, the recruiter pressed.
IS had its eye on Abdullah not because he adheres to any extremist ideology but because, as a journalist, the group believed he could be a boon to its propaganda machine, Abdullah told The Associated Press, recounting his meeting with the recruiter.
His encounter was a sign of how the Islamic State group is looking for sophisticated skills as it builds its foothold in new territory: Pakistan. It is courting university students, doctors, lawyers, journalists and businessmen, and using women’s groups for fundraising. It is also wading into fierce competition with the country’s numerous other militant groups, particularly the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida in the Subcontinent, the new branch created by the veteran terror network.

Here in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, IS loyalists have set up their strongest presence, carrying out multiple attacks in the past year and setting up networks.
The port city of some 20 million people on the Arabian Sea has always been a favorite for militants to operate. Wealthy districts running on the city’s profitable commerce hold potential for fundraising, while the crowded, cramped poorer districts that have spread around the city provide recruits and places to hide. It also gives recruiters links to other parts of the country, since its population is full of people who have migrated from tribal regions or Afghanistan, looking for work.

What Constitutes Smart Cities?

MAR 1, 2016 
We recently returned from a research visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Research Institute (JICA-RI). Our trip sought to understand the opportunities and challenges of turning Jakarta, a sprawling megacity of over 10 million people, into a “smart city.” We met with representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, JICA, multinational and local companies, nongovernmental organizations, the city government, and the winners of the 2015 Jakarta Urban Challenge. We asked these people what a “smart city” meant to them. Here are some responses:

· Doing government the right way

· How to manage and make use of our resources to solve city problems in more expedient ways and avoid problems in the future

· Access to more information that one can analyze to provide insights for a city

· Smart planning and budgeting

· The best possible use of technology to enable good governance

· Applying technology to make cities more livable

· Using available innovations (this can include technology but does not have to be technology) that change the way people do things in a city

· One stop service centers—if you need anything from a city, you get it soon and in one place from common centers

· Cities that provide efficient and effective services

It is clear that there are various ways to think about smart cities, a concept that came into the modern consciousness in 2005, when the Clinton Global Initiative challenged Cisco to devise ways to use its technology to make cities more sustainable . This challenge led to a $25 million Connected Urban Development Program . Cisco worked with Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Seoul on “using network connectivity for communication, collaboration, urban planning, and other activities.” Its goals included improving services delivery, traffic flow, and public transportation and ultimately reducing carbon emissions. After a successful five-year pilot, Cisco created its Smart and Connected Communities Division and worked to commercialize its products and services in this space.

U.S. Shale Gas Sets Sail…Now What?

By Jane Nakano, Kevin Book, FEB 25, 2016 

On February 24, a tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) left the Sabine Pass LNG terminal off the coast of Louisiana. The first LNG cargo from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass LNG Project is a significant milestone for the U.S. energy industry, marking the dawn of shale-based LNG exports by the United States. What other implications does the Sabine Pass export have for the United States? Does the shipment foretell the economic viability of U.S. LNG projects or the competitiveness of U.S. LNG exports? This Critical Question illustrates the significance of the Sabine Pass LNG shipment and considers the opportunities and challenges for the U.S LNG export business in the period of low energy prices.

Q1: Is the United States exporting natural gas for the first time?
A1: The United States is hardly new to the gas exporting business. The United States has been exporting natural gas to Asia—primarily Japan—in the form of LNG from Alaska since the late 1960s and to its North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico, via pipelines since the early 1970s and as LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) more recently. Moreover, the United States has a history of reexporting the volumes imported into the United States that U.S. markets no longer need. The customers for reexports have included Brazil and Chile in South America, Spain and the United Kingdom in Europe, as well as China and India in Asia.

Q2: What makes the Sabine Pass LNG export special?
A2: The Sabine Pass facility is the first of the U.S. LNG export projects to have applied for and obtained U.S. government export authorization since the onset of shale gas production transformed the North American natural gas market. Authorized in 2011, the project became the first to liquefy U.S. natural gas extracted from shale and other tight formations and ship it to overseas destinations.
The source of the gas liquefied and shipped from Sabine Pass isn’t the only difference, either. U.S. LNG export contracts are not encumbered by restrictive destination clauses. As a result, Sabine Pass buyers will be able to resell surpluses, subject to a few restrictions. (Free trade agreement [FTA] cargoes cannot be resold to non-FTA parties; the Department of Energy [DOE] requires all buyers to report contract terms, and no sales or resales are allowed to parties subject to diplomatic or trade sanctions.)
Pricing matters, too. Although it may not be obvious amid the current global oil glut, U.S. cargoes also have potential to provide buyers significant discounts during periods of high oil prices because they are linked to the Henry Hub price—a U.S. domestic gas price—rather than indexed to oil benchmarks.

Digital globalization: The new era of global flows

By James Manyika, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Kalin Stamenov, and Dhruv Dhingra

Soaring flows of data and information now generate more economic value than the global goods trade.
Conventional wisdom says that globalization has stalled. But although the global goods trade has flattened and cross-border capital flows have declined sharply since 2008, globalization is not heading into reverse. Rather, it is entering a new phase defined by soaring flows of data and information.
Remarkably, digital flows—which were practically nonexistent just 15 years ago—now exert a larger impact on GDP growth than the centuries-old trade in goods, according to a new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows. And although this shift makes it possible for companies to reach international markets with less capital-intensive business models, it poses new risks and policy challenges as well.
The world is more connected than ever, but the nature of its connections has changed in a fundamental way. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. It is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. In addition to transmitting valuable streams of information and ideas in their own right, data flows enable the movement of goods, services, finance, and people. Virtually every type of cross-border transaction now has a digital component.

Trade was once largely confined to advanced economies and their large multinational companies. Today, a more digital form of globalization has opened the door to developing countries, to small companies and start-ups, and to billions of individuals. Tens of millions of small and midsize enterprises worldwide have turned themselves into exporters by joining e-commerce marketplaces such as Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, and Rakuten. Approximately 12 percent of the global goods trade is conducted via international e-commerce. Even the smallest enterprises can be born global: 86 percent of tech-based start-ups surveyed by MGI report some type of cross-border activity. Today, even the smallest firms can compete with the largest multinationals.

* State and Market in Contemporary China

Toward the 13th Five-Year Plan 
Contributor: Chen Ling, Nicholas Consonery, David Hathaway, Jesse Heatley, Jamie Horsley, Roselyn Hsueh, David Kelly, Arthur Kroeber, Dan Markus, Peter Martin, Oliver Melton, Margaret Pearson, Claire Reade, Daniel Rosen, D.D. Wu, Yan Chunlin 

MAR 2, 2016 
The trajectory of China’s economic governance appears to be more in doubt now than at any time in the last quarter century. Although markets have become more important and will continue to grow in significance, at the same time the Chinese state, national and local, is not going anywhere and, in fact, is reasserting itself. The short essays in this volume, contributed by leading experts on Chinese economic policy, provide crisp and insightful analyses of the Chinese state's approach toward markets, the role of key actors and institutions, the evolving nature of industrial policy and the effectiveness of China’s international commitments to constrain such practices, and a preview of the likely contents and significance of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.

* Saudi Arabia and the United States: Common Interests and Continuing Sources of Tension

FEB 29, 2016 
Table of Contents
Strong Ties, But with Significant Tensions
Building a Stronger Relationship
Improving Mutual Public and Policy Level Understanding of the U.S.-Saudi Strategic Partnership 
Making the U.S.-Saudi strategic partnership transparent and developing public understanding 
Explaining Saudi Arabia and Islam 
Explaining the joint fight against Islamic extremism and terrorism 
Developing a Common Understanding of the Strategic and Economic Impact of Energy Interdependence 
Dealing with Iran as a Broad Gulf and Regional Security Threat 
Iran’s nuclear programs 
Iran’s missile build-up 
Conventional and Asymmetric Deterrence and Defense 
The struggle for regional influence 
Working towards a common approach 
Dealing with the Threat Posed by the Mix of Ethnic, Sectarian, Islamist Extremist Threats; Ongoing Fighting; and Longer-term Instability in Syria 
The success of efforts to halt the fighting – a “cessation of hostilities 
The failure of peace and ceasefire efforts and continued civil war: If the civil war continues – driven by Russian intervention and Iranian and Hezbollah support 
Offering a peace and recovery plan that will aid all elements in the struggle 
Dealing with the Threat Posed by the Mix of Ethnic, Sectarian, and Islamist Extremist Threats; Ongoing Fighting; and Longer-term Instability in Iraq
Dealing with the Threat Posed by the Civil War in Yemen
Improving Coordination in Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency, and Countering Violent Islamic Extremism
Dealing with Emergence of the Kurds as a Major Element in the Security of Syria and Iraq 
Dealing with the Broader Regional Forces of Instability that Led to the “Arab Winter,” that Already Affect Key Regional Powers like Egypt and Libya, and Now Threaten the Stability of Other States
Better Defining the U.S. and Saudi/Gulf Strategic Partnership and Relationship
Improving Cooperation in Developing and Coordinating Security Forces, Force Plans, Arms Choices, Training, and Contingency Plans – Bilaterally and on a GCC-wide/Arab Alliance Basis

The United States and Saudi Arabia have been strategic partners during most of the postwar era. In broad terms, the United States and Saudi Arabia have cooperated closely in shaping Gulf and regional security during most of the more than 70 years since President Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy on February 20, 1945. This partnership is even more important today than in the past, given the complex mix of threats posed by Iran, ISIS, civil war, and political upheavals. At the same time, it faces significant issues, and both sides need to make significant adjustments to make it more effective.
Strong Ties, But with Significant Tensions

** The Comparative Metrics of ISIS and "Failed State Wars" in Syria and Iraq

MAR 2, 2016 
The fighting against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh has become at least three different and interrelated conflicts: a fight against Daesh, a low-level sectarian and ethnic civil conflict in Iraq, and an intense civil war in Syria. It also, however, is part of a far broader regional and global conflict against terrorism and extremism, part of the competition between the United States and Russia, part of the competition between the majority of the
Arab world and Iran, and part of an emerging struggle for a Kurdish identify and some form of “federalism” and/or independence that involves a range of separate 
Kurdish identities, Turkey, and the Arab world.
These are also conflicts whose scale literally involves the future of entire population of Syria (where more than half of its citizens are now refugees or independently displaced persons), and Iraq (where some four million citizens are now refugees or internally displaced persons.) They have crippled Iraq’s development and reduced the size of the Syrian economy to some 20-35% of its pre-conflict level, and done so at time when there is a crucial drop in petroleum export revenues. The flood of refugees threatens the stability and economies of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and – along with a rise in Daesh attacks outside the region – has created a crisis in European and United States over terrorism and the acceptance of refugees.

The end result is one of the most complex mixes of conflict, tension, and pressures on all of the states involved in modern history. It is a conflict whose parameters can change radically by the day, but also one whose impact on the region – and the very nature of Iraq and Syria – will play out over at least a decade regardless of how it is ultimately resolved.
A new analysis by the Burke Chair compares a wide range of often conflicting maps, graphics, trend analyses, and summary reports. This analysis is entitled The Comparative Metrics of ISIS and “Failed State Wars” in Syria and Iraq, and it is available on the CSIS website in four different versions.

The full report – which may be too large for some systems to download – is available at  https://csis.org/files/publication/160302_Syria_Iraq_ISIS_Failed_state_Wars.pdf.


Rhetorically, the tendency in the U.S. government is to treat the Islamic State as an insurgent movement rather than a state-like entity. It is often called ISIL — the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant — as if the usage of an acronym will cloak the usage of the word “state.” Even when it is called the “Islamic State,” these words are often prefaced with “so-called” or “self-proclaimed” or bracketed with quotation marks. But in the rhetorical effort to delegitimize the Islamic State, we may have missed the very important nuance that it functions more like a state than like an insurgent movement. If we recognize these state-like attributes, even those we normally attribute to a failing state, our methods for dealing with it change from those we would use to fight a non-state actor to those we would use to fight an inter-state war. In the context of this conflict, this would lead to significant changes in the application of U.S. airpower.

To date, the Islamic State has often been treated as if it were an insurgent movement inside a friendly state (Iraq). This leads to an inappropriate application of a counterinsurgency strategy, where damage done to the organization is intentionally limited to avoid a level of collateral damage that would help the Islamic State’s counter-government narrative. The nonsensical use of leaflet bombs to warn oil truck drivers that they were about to come under attack is but one example of a “zero-collateral” strategy that is inappropriate for the adversary. The Islamic State is not so much an insurgency as it is an emerging state, drawing its territory from two neighboring failed states. Until we start treating the Islamic state as a state, with a state’s vulnerabilities, we will remain trapped in inappropriate strategic applications.

The Islamic State
The Islamic State has many attributes of a state. It controls territory, collects taxation, maintains a military force, promulgates and enforces laws and policies, and pays government employees, including fighters. It gathers resources and maintains a budget. It oversees education, issues IDs, and establishes provincial governments. It has a written set of principles for governance. True, it is a government modeled after a criminal enterprise, but this kind of kleptocracy is not uncommon — the existing governments of Afghanistan, Russia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Togo, and Congo are notoriously kleptocratic. The point of the classification is not so much to pass judgment as it is to analyze vulnerabilities. If the Islamic State is functionally a state, it is subject to a state’s pressure points.

Experts Weigh In (part 3): What is the future of al-Qaida and the Islamic State?

SERIES: Experts Weigh In | Number 28 of 28
Charles Lister and William McCants | February 24, 2016 
Will McCants: As we continue onwards in the so-called Long War, it’s a good time to reflect on where we are in the fight against al-Qaida and its bête noire, the Islamic State. Both organizations have benefited from the chaos unleashed by the Arab Spring uprisings but they have taken different paths. Will those paths converge again or will the two organizations continue to remain at odds? Who has the best strategy at the moment? And what political changes might happen in the coming year that will reconfigure their rivalry for leadership of the global jihad?
To answer these questions, I’ve asked some of the leading experts on the two organizations to weigh in. First was Barak Mendelsohn, who analyzed the factors that explain the resilience and weaknesses of both groups. Then Clint Watts offered ways to avoid the flawed assumptions that have led to mistaken counterterrorism forecasts in recent years. 
Next up is Charles Lister, a resident fellow at the Middle East Institute, to examine the respective courses each group has charted to date and whether that's likely to change. 
Charles Lister: The world of international jihad has had a turbulent few years, and only now is the dust beginning to settle. The emergence of the Islamic State as an independent transnational jihadi rival to al-Qaida sparked a competitive dynamic. That has heightened the threat of attacks in the West and intensified the need for both movements to demonstrate their value on local battlefields. Having spent trillions of dollars pushing back al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan and al-Qaida in Iraq, the jihadi threat we face today far eclipses that seen in 2000 and 2001.

As has been the case for some time, al-Qaida is no longer a grand transnational movement, but rather a loose network of semi-independent armed groups dispersed around the world. Although al-Qaida’s central leadership appears to be increasingly cut off from the world, frequently taking many weeks to respond publicly to significant events, its word remains strong within its affiliates. For example, a secret letter from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to his Syrian affiliate the Nusra Front in early 2015 promptly caused the group to cease plotting attacks abroad.
Seeking rapid and visible results, ISIS worries little about taking the time to win popular acceptance and instead controls territory through force.

Commentary: Putin’s Options for Cyber Escalation Over Ukraine

February 29, 2016 
Part of the Ukrainian power grid was recently taken down by a cyber attack, almost certainly by Russian hackers with ties to the Kremlin, the first time there has been such a determined wartime attack.
In the face of such an unprecedented assault, policymakers and intelligence analysts need to consider what might come next. Russian President Vladimir Putin has numerous options for further escalation, with four obvious scenarios: local instability, intimidation, frozen cyber conflict and coercion.
In the least aggressive scenario, local cyber instability, Putin would continue to use offensive cyber capabilities only within Ukraine to further destabilize and delegitimize the existing government and economy.
The power attack is evidence he has already started down this path. The "little green bytes" might deny service to Ukrainian government and media sites, or further target critical infrastructure. As in other post-Soviet frozen conflicts, the goal is not necessarily to prevail, but to keep Ukraine destabilized for years and unable to pose any challenge.

This option could allow Putin to maintain pressure on Ukraine while avoiding an increase in tensions with the West. He might even be able to accomplish this while claiming to be de-escalating the larger conflict. The international community might be happy, however, to countenance a ‘cyber war’ in Ukraine if it caused little tangible damage to other countries, limited the body count, and generated fewer disturbing media images and political pressure.
Under the second option, intimidation, Putin could use offensive or espionage cyber capabilities against NATO or EU member nations, in effect saying that Russia has additional cards up its sleeve and may play them if necessary.

After all, an intimidating cyber escalation would simply be a natural extension of Putin’s provocative behavior in other military actions. In the last 15 months, Russia has sneaked submarines into Swedish and Finnish territorial waters, stating that Finland’s growing ties with NATO were a "special concern;" flown jet fighters and nuclear-capable bombers along the periphery of Europe; and buzzed NATO ships, including the US guided-missile destroyer USS Ross as it sailed in international waters off the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.
These provocations have already started in cyberspace with more aggressive Russian espionage and limited attacks, which one experienced analyst has called, “letting loose the hounds.” A larger, planned campaign of just-deniable-enough attacks of little green bytes might be one additional tool of provocation for Putin to wield.

* Europe Without the Union

March 2, 2016
The European project was always bound to fail. Europe is a continent riven by geographic barriers. It has spent two millennia not only indulging in massive and constant internal wars, but also keeping written records of them, informing each generation of all the times their forebears were wronged. Over the centuries, great empires have risen and fallen, leaving behind distinct groups of people with different histories, languages and cultures. Any project attempting to fuse these disparate cultures into one monolithic state over the course of just 70 years was by its very nature doomed. It would inevitably encounter insurmountable levels of nationalistic resistance, and eventually the project would stall. That is the point at which we now find ourselves.

Crises abound, and though they all have different facades, each stems from the same underlying issue: Citizens ultimately prize their national and regional identities over the supranational dream. The sovereign debt crisis and repeating Grexit scares, born of the introduction of the euro in 1999, have exposed Northern Europe's unwillingness to subsidize the south. The Brexit referendum, scheduled for June, can trace its roots to the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, and the ensuing wave of Polish migration to the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, amid the ongoing immigration crisis, national leaders are appeasing their populations by bypassing European rules and re-erecting border controls to stem the flow of refugees across their territory. In all of these situations, the same factors are at work: The driving forces within Europe are national in nature, and countries will ultimately put their own interests first.

Today's problems were both predictable and predicted. The next step, however, is harder to foresee. Having identified a system's inherent flaw, one can very well state that it is unsustainable, but unfortunately the flaw provides no guide as to the exact circumstances of the system's end. There are still many different ways that the demise of the European Union's current form could come about. For example, the project could unravel via market forces, as it nearly did in 2012 when investors tested the commitment of the core to save the periphery and found it to be (barely) willing to do so. Or a disaffected populace could elect a nationalist party such as France's National Front, which could either lead the country out of the European Union or make the bloc so unmanageable that it ceases to function. Perhaps the most likely scenario at this point would be for the European Union to survive as a ghost of its former self, with its laws ignored and stripped back to the extent that it holds only a loose grip on its members.

Putin's Rational Choices

February 29, 2016
There Is More to His Strategy Than Western Weakness
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s September 2015 decision todeploy military forces to Syria’s battlefields surprised even the sharpest foreign policy experts. Yet Putin does tend to do the unexpected, especially lately. His annexation of Crimea and support for the two breakaway statelets in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region are cases in point.
In the summer of 2014, the self-proclaimed republics were heading for defeat. The Ukrainian army and a gaggle of warlord-led private militias had advanced into the rebel-held territories, and it seemed as though the rebels would not be able to hold out for much longer. To save them, Putin supplied the arms and personnel for a counteroffensive and to help open a new front on Ukraine’s southern coast near Novoazovsk. The maneuver was designed to split Ukrainian forces.

The Russian intervention did, in fact, push the Donbas front westward. Putin eventually halted the rebels’ Russian-backed offensive—but not before the rout of Ukrainian forces at Debaltseve in February 2015. Trapped in a pocket and taking fire from all directions save one, Ukrainian troops retreated in humiliation.
Putin’s escalation largely nullified Ukraine’s previous gains and sent a message about Moscow’s resolve. Today, back-and-forth shelling along the new front continues, and the resulting stalemate gives Putin leverage.

From Ukraine, Putin went to Syria. Critics—for example, Gary Kasparov, a former leader of Russia’s political opposition and a chess grand master, as well as Western commentators—have implied that it was U.S. President Barack Obama’s

Report: Russian Hackers Could Penetrate U.S. Computer Systems Through Russian-Made Security Software

DIA: Russian Software Could Threaten U.S. Industrial Control Systems
Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon, March 1, 2016

The Defense Intelligence Agency warned this month that Russian government hackers could penetrate U.S. industrial control networks using commercial security software.
The agency stated in a recent notice circulated within the Pentagon that security software being developed by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian-origin company, will create vulnerabilities for U.S. industrial control systems and so-called supervisory control and data acquisition software, or SCADA, systems, if purchased and deployed by American utilities.

A DIA spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Kaspersky Lab, in a statement, denied its security products could be used against U.S. infrastructure.
In a related development, two U.S. military commanders urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this month to do more to defend critical infrastructure from cyber attacks against industrial control systems.
“We respectfully request your assistance in providing focus and visibility on an emerging threat that we believe will have serious consequences on our ability to execute assigned missions if not addressed – cyber security of [Defense Department] critical infrastructure Industrial Control Systems,” Northern Command’s Adm. William Gortney and Pacific Command’s Adm. Harry Harris stated in a Feb. 11 letter to Carter.

On the potential Russian government exploitation of security software, defense officials familiar with the DIA report said the agency fears U.S. electrical and water utilities, as well as other critical industrial sectors, will purchase and use the Kaspersky security software.
The agency said the software could permit Russian government hackers, considered among the most advanced nation-state cyber spies, to gain access to industrial control software, specifically remote-controlled SCADA programs that run the electrical grid, oil and gas networks, water pipelines and dams, and wastewater systems.

Beam Battles: The Return of Great Power Electronic Warfare

James Mugg, March 2, 2016
The Battle of the Beams was a period during World War II concerning German attempts to harness radio navigation for night bombing in the UK and the resulting British countermeasures. The British eventually managed to jam or distort all three iterations of German radio signals, making it more difficult for the bombers to hit their targets. That episode dramatically illustrates the ephemeral nature of advantages in electronic warfare, especially when operating against an agile and sophisticated foe.

Since the end of the Cold War and the onset of the War on Terror, the principal targets of Western military power have been relatively low-tech groups in the Middle East. Electronic warfare platforms like the U.S. Navy’s EA-6B Prowlerwere used to jam enemy communications during operations, and the relatively low tech of the enemy limited their ability to counter. But the constant threat to ground troops from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) led to the development of counter-IED jamming systems, and a new “invisible war” emerged. As quickly as vehicle-mounted jammers could be reprogrammed, insurgents made use of a variety of commercial technologies—cell-phones, key-fobs, door remotes—to adapt.
The focus of electronic warfare understandably changed to deal with the threat of the day, but a focus on counter-IED systems has had consequences for wider development. For example, the ALQ-99 jamming pod used on the Prowler, and on the new EA-18G Growler, was first used as far back as the Vietnam War and its successor is still years away.
A lack of new developments in electronic warfare since the end of the Cold War has led to a closing of the technological gap between the United States (and allies such as Australia), and potential adversaries such as Russia or China. This trend has been especially clear since Russian EW capabilities were used in Eastern Ukraine. The Russian land-based Krasukha-4 jamming system proved too muchfor the Ukrainians to handle, and was described by Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army units in Europe, as “eye-watering” in sophistication.

The End of U.S. Primacy in Asia

Washington is being outmaneuvered in the Pacific.
Richard Javad Heydarian, March 3, 2016
The world is steadily confronting the prospect of full-fledged Chinese domination in the world’s most important waterway, the South China Sea. America’s decades-long naval hegemony in Asia, as we know it, may soon vanish into thin air as a resurgent China reclaims primacy in the region. Though economically vulnerable, Beijing has lacked nothing in terms of geopolitical assertiveness. In a span of two months, China has dramatically redrawn the operational landscape in adjacent waters.

China kicked off the year with a bang, conducting several test flights to its newly built airstrips in the Spratly chain of islands. This was followed by China’s decision to (once again) deploy a giant oil rig, Haiyang Shiyou 981, into Vietnamese-claimed waters in the South China Sea, just as Hanoi deliberated on a high-stakes leadership transition. When President Barack Obama, during his “short-sleeve” summit with Southeast Asian leaders in Sunnylands, sought to mobilize regional diplomatic pressure on China, Beijingupped the ante by redeploying an HQ-9 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to the disputed Paracel chain of islands.
Days later, China also dispatched fighter jets to its military facilities in the area. More worryingly, China has placed high-frequency radar facilities across four artificial islands, which could allow Beijing to, as reported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, eventually “establish effective control over the sea and airspace throughout the South China Sea.” Chinese officials, however, have adamantly downplayed the strategic relevance of these developments.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi characterized them as "limited and necessary self-defense facilities," while the Chinese defense ministry dismissed all criticisms as Western media "hype." Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying took a step further, comparing China’s recent military maneuvers as perfectly routine and “not substantively different from the United States defending Hawaii." In fact, China tried to justify these military deployments as a response to America’s Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), with the latest one targeting China’s excessive sovereignty in the Paracel chain of islands. Yet China’s actions clearly contradict President Xi Jinping’s pledge, during his visit to Washington last year, to avoid militarizing the disputes.

When It Comes to Tech and Terrorism, the Government Is Asking for the Wrong Kind of Help

February 29, 2016 By Yaya J. Fanusie Quartz
There are many ways the tech industry can help turn up the heat on terrorists without compromising the rest of us. 
US government officials and political candidates are increasingly criticizing Silicon Valley for not doing enough to prevent terrorists from capitalizing on technology. The critiques have put Silicon Valley executives on the defensive, pushing back on insinuations that the providers of encrypted iPhones and Twitter accounts are responsible for terrorists getting away with murder. The gulf between Silicon Valley and Washington appears to be widening.
Still, something is missing in this discussion about tech and terrorism, and it is a concept Silicon Valley already understands well: market opportunity.
As a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, I have seen private-sector technology assist intelligence analysis and law enforcement–as well as tech firms’ bottom lines. One salient example is Palantir, founded in 2004 to provide big data analysis for the intelligence community and which now earns $1.5 billion in revenue. The firm’s software helps clients connect the dots within large data sets, using technology inspired by PayPal, where some of Palantir’s leadership used to work. Forbes ranked Palantir fourth on its list of unicorns for 2016.

Will New Technology Tip the Scales Against Military Intervention?

Christopher A. Preble, March 2, 2016
A recent New York Times editorial cast a skeptical eye toward the many calls for huge increases in U.S. military spending. “Giving the Pentagon a blank check does not ensure security,” the Times editors observed. “It got most of what it wanted in the decade after 9/11, yet America still struggles to keep Afghanistan and Iraq from falling to insurgents.”

Why do we spend so much, and appear to get so little?
One reason is our enthusiasm for using technology to solve problems that defy technological solutions. There’s an understandable tendency to focus on the whiz-bang aspects of America’s military hardware, from drones and precision-guided munitions, all the way down to the gear carried by the typical grunt. Fixating merely on the U.S. military’s capabilities could lead to overconfidence: “How can we lose?”
At least, that’s what we used to think. Now, after Iraq and Afghanistan, and Libya and Yemen (bet you forgot that one, and our other invisible wars), you’re more likely to hear “Why don’t we win?” It turns out that technology is not the critical factor behind a country’s success or failure in war. And, in fairness, it rarely has been. We also have to account for the intensity of an aggressor’s desire to win, and the victim’s desire to avoid defeat.

To be sure, colonial masters of old often managed to wreak horrific destruction on highly motivated but outgunned “indigs.” Think Omdurman (1898). In a number of cases, very small numbers of foreign overlords were able to subdue huge populations of resentful but fearful subjects. The restless natives would rise up, kill a few foreigners, thus inviting a more brutal crackdown. Then the pattern repeated. For centuries.

Political entities—from the clan and tribe to the nation-state—grew richer by conquering foreign peoples and taking their stuff. In more recent times, we’ve figured out other ways to achieve prosperity. Unabashed imperialism finds few adherents today. Evolving norms favor self-determination and respect for human rights. Equally important, I think, are the rising costs and declining gains of military intervention.

Isis: Pentagon launches 'aggressive cyberwar' against Daesh to curb spread of propaganda

By Jason Murdock February 29, 2016 
The attacks will include efforts to prevent the spread of video and images on Facebook and Twitter.Flickr/Marvin Lynchard
US cyber experts have ramped up offensive cyberattacks against the Islamic State (Isis) in an attempt to disrupt the group's ability to use the internet to spread propaganda and launch recruitment drives, according to US officials.
The operations, led from US Cyber Command at Ford Meade, Maryland, have now been stepped up by high-level government players who have argued the US is falling behind in the ongoing cyberwar, reported the Associated Press. According to those close to the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the cyberattacks will now aim to see 'what works and what doesn't'.
While they declined to discuss specific details, the officials said the attacks will include efforts to prevent the spread of video and image distribution on websites like Facebook and Twitter. Other attacks will likely include attempting to curb Islamic State-affiliated targets from conducting financial or logistical transactions online.

The news comes following a meeting at Fort Meade on 27 January between intelligence commanders, defence secretary Ashton Carter and Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The officials close to the meeting revealed the secretary was becoming frustrated that US Cyber Command, which officially started operations in 2010, is not effectivelty blocking the communications and terrorist campaigns, instead choosing to focus its attention on hackers from the traditional hacking culprits of China, Russia and Iran. Now, US cyber-tactics are expected to become increasingly agressive.

Review: ‘Dark Territory’ Illuminates Cybersecurity’s Shadows

By JONATHAN A. KNEE FEB. 29, 2016 
Fred Kaplan has written a consistently eye-opening history of our government’s efforts to effectively manage our national security in the face of the largely open global communications network established by the World Wide Web.
The great strengths of “Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War” (Simon & Schuster) are the depth of its reporting and the breadth of its ambition. Mr. Kaplan understands that the line between cyber wars and conventional ones has become more apparent than real and does not shy away from examining the full implications for both. He also explores the substantive and political drivers of the turf wars among the multiple agencies and branches of government that have a dog in the fight.
Tackling a subject that, as the current controversy over Apple’s standoff with the Justice Department confirms, attracts fierce partisans, Mr. Kaplan manages to keep his head and let the breathtaking facts mostly speak for themselves.

The result is not just a page-turner but consistently surprising. Who knew that the 1983 movie “War Games” had such a significant impact on President Reagan and the ultimate direction of our national policy, or that a different movie, “Sneakers,” viewed a decade later by the National Security Agency’s director, would as well? And what were the odds that one of the screenwriters of both films lived a few blocks from the Air Force-funded RAND Corporation? Critical plot elements, it turns out, were contributed by one of the original programmers for the North American Aerospace Defense Command computer, who the screenwriters met through RAND. They were unaware that at the time the programmer still sat on the scientific advisory board of the National Security Agency.

Want to be a better leader? Observe more and react less


Overloaded executives need coping mechanisms. This personal reflection shows how meditation can help.
Most time-strapped executives know they should plan ahead and prioritize, focus on the important as much as the urgent, invest in their health (including getting enough sleep), make time for family and relationships, and limit (even if they don’t entirely avoid) mindless escapism. But doing this is easier said than done, as we all know—and as I, too, have learned during years of trying unsuccessfully to boost my effectiveness.

In my case, I stumbled upon an ancient meditation technique that, to my surprise, improved my mind’s ability to better resist the typical temptations that get in the way of developing productive and healthy habits. Much in the same way that intense, focused physical activity serves to energize and revitalize the body during the rest of the day, meditation is for me—and for the many other people who use it—like a mental aerobic exercise that declutters and detoxifies the mind to enhance its metabolic activity.
Before my chance discovery of this timeless technique, I was skeptical, despite the accounts of the many accomplished practitioners who have preceded my own beginning efforts.1Just as learning to swim or the enjoyment of floating in water can’t be experienced by reading books about it or hearing others’ accounts of the joy of aquatic self-buoyancy, so the benefits of meditation can only begin to be understood by taking an experiential plunge.

So why write about it? Because I think today’s “always on” work culture is taking a heavy toll on today’s leaders, and we need coping mechanisms. Meditation isn’t the only one; it’s just one that I feel somewhat qualified to talk about because of my experiences with it over the past five years. I’m far from alone; mindfulness has been gaining currency in business circles, and a few business schools also have been wading into the topic of meditation through the leadership of professors like Ben Bryant at IMD, Bill George at Harvard, and Jeremy Hunter at the Drucker School of Management.2

The art and science of well-being at work

Leaders of high-intensity, high-performing organizations are beginning to recognize the important effects of mindfulness, exercise, and sleep on the body—and the brain.
Living in a fast-paced, digitally focused, hyperconnected world often means sacrificing the ability to step back and take a breath. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey Publishing’s Lucia Rahilly taps principal Manish Chopra, specialist Els van der Helm, and author and McKinsey alumna Caroline Webb for their experience and expertise on the mind–body connection and why executives are increasingly taking notice.
Lucia Rahilly: Welcome to the McKinsey Podcast. I’m Lucia Rahilly, McKinsey’s publications director—and I have a confession to make: today I am really overtired. Nonetheless, I plan to have a pretty productive day through some combination of caffeine, maybe a little sugar, hopefully the odd adrenaline rush. So I’m doing what most of us do, which is powering through the fatigue. But is my lack of sleep having more of an effect on my performance than I realize?

We’re going to talk about sleep and other risks to executive well-being posed by today’s relentlessly fast and furious work culture. We’ll also discuss some techniques that high-performing business leaders use to manage those risks successfully. Joining me in New York today are Manish Chopra, a partner in McKinsey’s New York office and author of the book The Equanimous Mind, which chronicles the impact of meditation on his personal and professional life. Welcome, Manish.



The staff director of the National Committee on the Future of the Army addresses some of the criticism of its final report at War on the Rocks.
Conrad Crane is correct that more work could be done on the seven issues he highlighted in his critique of the recentreport issued by National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA). However, there were important factors that kept the breadth of an already lengthy 200-page report limited, such as the deadline set by Congress and the inherent limits of discussing the future of the Army in an unclassified forum. The commissioners rightly prioritized the work to get after the congressionally mandated tasks and considerations in a transparent, objective, and evidence-based manner. As someone intimately involved with the work of the commission — I have the honor of serving as its staff director — I will address each of Crane’s seven points.

1) Once cut, the Army is not easily expansible

The commission concluded that a conscription force would not yield the quality of soldiers needed for the future Army. The very first recommendation, “The nation must maintain and sustain an All-Volunteer Force,” was placed up front for this reason. The cost of manning the All-Volunteer Force will increase, but this is a cost the United States must pay. The report identifies work from other commissions and task forces that proposed cost reduction initiatives in military compensation and health care (page 44).

2) Deeper analysis on options to better integrate the active and reserve components
Recommendation 28 addresses the need to develop selection and promotion incentives for cross-component assignments. Regular Army promotion boards will follow guidance from the secretary of the Army, but changing the culture will take time and continued leader emphasis. Consider how negatively some in the Army viewed joint assignments before the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act. The Army has come a long way since then. One of the commissioners had personal experience as a Regular Army soldier detailed to an Army National Guard unit. Sergeant Major of the Army (retired) Raymond Chandler’s career demonstrated that a Regular Army soldier serving within a Reserve Component unit does not have to limit promotion.
The commission’s call for greater use of multi-component units did not include discussion of how to design such units. Unit design work is clearly an internal Army task. Some lessons learned in designing multicomponent units were offered as part of the Operational Subcommittee Multicomponent Units paper issued by the commission last year.