Contemporary Operations


American Advisors: Security Force Assistance Model in the Long War

American Advisors: Security Force Assistance Model in the Long War

By Lieutenant Colonel Joshua J. Potter, US Army

127 Pages

Published: 2011

This manuscript describes how US military advisors prepare for and conduct operations in war. Through two separate year-long combat tours as a military advisor in Iraq, the author brings true vignettes into modern military strategy and operational art. Further, the author provides multiple perspectives in command relationships. Through years of personal experience, direct interviews, and Warfighting knowledge, the author challenges conventionally accepted truths and establishes a new standard for understanding the impact of American advisors on the modern battleground.

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Art of War Papers: Key Considerations for Irregular Security Forces in Counterinsurgency

Art of War Papers:

Key Considerations for Irregular Security Forces in Counterinsurgency

By Robert L. Green, MAJ, US Army

150 Pages

Published: 2012

Counterinsurgents have raised and employed irregular security forces in many campaigns over the last century. Irregular security forces are indigenous forces, not part of the regular police or military organizations of the host nation, that are recruited locally to provide a basic level of security in a given area. Irregular security forces, when used in conjunction with all other available capabilities, contribute to, but do not in and of themselves, ensure success. While irregular security forces can be effective in conducting local security, intelligence gathering, surveillance and other tasks in their home areas, tasks that may prove more difficult for regular security forces, irregular forces are no silver bullet to achieving success.

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Art of War Papers: Operations at the Border

Art of War Papers:

Operations at the Border

By Eric Hunter Haas, MAJ, US Army

134 Pages

Published: 2012

Disrupting an insurgent’s access to sanctuary and safe-haven is a critical aspect of operational planning for counterinsurgent forces. By denying an insurgent’s access to safe-havens early in the conflict, the counterinsurgent will gain a marked advantage over the initially weaker force. Only through a deep understanding of how the insurgent is using international, tribal, or cultural borders to evade the counterinsurgent force can the counterinsurgent disrupt the insurgent operations. In order to accomplish this, the counterinsurgent must understand the physical terrain and cultural demographics, nest border operations into the overarching strategy, and employ security forces to reinforce success.

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Art of War Papers: Stabilizing the Debate between Population and Enemy-Centric Counterinsurgency Success Demands a Balanced Approach

Art of War Papers:

Stabilizing the Debate between Population and Enemy-Centric Counterinsurgency Success Demands a Balanced Approach

By Nathan Ray Springer, MAJ, US Army

150 Pages

Published: 2012

This thesis contends the debate on whether to embrace a population-centric or enemy-centric counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan detracts focus from building a balanced approach, customized for the human and political landscape in each area of operation (AO). The debate should be finally resolved since each strategic axis represents a crucial portion of the ideal hybrid approach, which necessarily looks different from one AO to the next.

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Between the Rivers: Combat Action in Iraq 2003-2005

Between the Rivers: Combat Action in Iraq 2003-2005

By John J. McGrath

142 Pages

Published: 2012

Making history useful to the reader – this is one of the missions of the Combat Studies Institute. We strive to produce works that recount historical events to inform decision makers and to enable experiential learning. This collection of events put together by John McGrath, which occurred in Iraq during the 2003-2005 timeframe, addresses that mission.

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The Brigade: A History

The Brigade: A History

By John J. McGrath

251 Pages

Published: 2004

Boston native John McGrath has worked for the US Army in one capacity or another since 1978. A retired Army Reserve officer, Mr. McGrath served in infantry, field artillery and logistics units, both on active duty and as a reservist. Before coming to work at the Combat Studies Institute, he worked for 4 years at the US Army Center of Military History in Washington, DC, as a historian and archivist. Prior to that, Mr. McGrath worked fulltime for the US Army Reserve in Massachusetts for over 15 years, both as an active duty reservist and as a civilian military technician. He also served as a mobilized reservist in 1991 in Saudi Arabia with the 22d Support Command during Operation DESERT STORM as the command historian and in 1992 at the US Army Center of Military History as a researcher/writer.

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Envisioning Future Warfare

Envisioning Future Warfare

By GEN Gordon Sullivan et al.

80 Pages

Published: 1995

The strategic environment at the end of the 20th century is characterized by two competing trends. First, the international system has entered a period of increased instability. Second, we are witnessing the maturation of information processing technology and its subsequent impact on economics, politics, and the conduct of war. This collection of three articles by General Gordon R. Sullivan and Colonel James M. Dubik explores these trends and seeks to envision their implications on future war.

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Fire for Effect: Field Artillery and Close Air Support in the US Army

Fire for Effect: Field Artillery and Close Air Support in the US Army

By John J. McGrath

198 Pages

Published: 2010

The Combat Studies Institute is pleased to announce its latest Special Study, Fire for Effect: Field Artillery and Close Air Support in the US Army, by historian John J. McGrath. The genesis of this work was the controversial decision in 2001 to deploy Army combat units to Afghanistan without their supporting field artillery units. Fire for Effect provides a historical survey of the relationship between field artillery and close air support (CAS) in the US Army since World War I.

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From One Leader to Another

From One Leader to Another

By CSM Joe B. Parson (Gen. Ed.)

404 Pages

Published: 2013

This work is a collection of observations, insights, and advice from over 50 serving and retired Senior Non-Commissioned Officers. These experienced Army leaders have provided for the reader, outstanding mentorship on leadership skills, tasks, and responsibilities relevant to our Army today. There is much wisdom and advice “from one leader to another” in the following pages. CSI - The Past is Prologue!

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From One Leader to Another

From One Leader to Another Vol II

By CSM Joe B. Parson (Gen. Ed.)

322 Pages

Published: 2014

This outstanding resource contains a wealth of knowledge from some of the most experienced Non-Commissioned Officers from across our Army. Every NCO can learn important lessons from fellow NCOs and I encourage you to pass on that knowledge to your Soldiers.

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General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition Command and General Staff College 2012 Award Winning Essays

General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition Command and General Staff College 2012 Award Winning Essays

Award Winning Essays

74 Pages

Published: 2013

During each session of the Intermediate Level Education Course, the Command and General Staff College holds the General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition. Students author and submit papers on various leadership topics. Winning papers are selected by a panel of judges and are evaluated on originality, scholarship, writing style and value to the profession.

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Occasional Paper 1 Traditions, Changes, and Challenges: Military Operations and the Middle Eastern City

Occasional Paper 1 Traditions, Changes, and Challenges: Military Operations and the Middle Eastern City

By Louis A. DiMarco

81 Pages

Published: 2004

The Middle East is one of the most urbanized regions of the world, and growth continues at an unprecedented rate. With operations ongoing in the Middle East today, it is fitting that this inaugural study should focus on military aspects of the urban areas of that region. There is an undoubted need for US military planners to possess a solid foundation of military history, cultural awareness, and an understanding of the intricacies of city design and function in this critical region. Each conflict brings its own challenges and dynamics. The challenges of a Middle Eastern fight require decisive involvement in that region’s cities. The enemy is adaptive—we must be adaptive as well. This call to study and understand history and culture is the first step along that road to critical thinking and adaptability.

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Occasional Paper 4 Field Artillery in Military Operations Other than War: An Overview of the US Experience

Occasional Paper 4 Field Artillery in Military Operations Other than War: An Overview of the US Experience

By Lawrence A. Yates

55 Pages

Published: 2004

The initial conflicts in the Global War on Terrorism, Afghanistan and Iraq, pose significant challenges for the armed forces of the United States and its coalition allies. Among the challenges is the use of field artillery in those campaigns that fall short of conventional warfare. Engaged in a spectrum from full-scale combat to stability and support operations, the military is faced with an ever-changing environment in which to use its combat power. For instance, it is axiomatic that the massive application of firepower necessary to destroy targets in decisive phase III combat operations is not necessary in phase IV stability operations.

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Occasional Paper 7 Easier Said than Done: Making the Transition between Combat Operations and Stability Operations

Occasional Paper 7 Easier Said than Done: Making the Transition between Combat Operations and Stability Operations

By David P. Cavaleri

105 Pages

Published: 2005

Easier Said Than Done: Making the Transition Between Combat Operations and Stability Operations is another in the Combat Studies Institute’s (CSI) Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) Occasional Papers series. The impetus for this series that concerns topics relevant to ongoing and future operations came from the Commanding General, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, V Corps commander in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, directed CSI to examine historical topics that would benefit American and coalition soldiers and planners in both Iraq today, and in the broader GWOT spectrum now and in the future.

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Occasional Paper 8 Combating the Modern Hydra: Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism

Occasional Paper 8 Combating the Modern Hydra: Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism

By Sean N. Kalic

83 Pages

Published: 2005

Combating a Modern Hydra: Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism is number eight in the Combat Studies Institute’s Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Occasional Paper series. This work resulted from discussions at Fort Leavenworth about the nature of the enemy facing the United States and its allies since 11 September 2001. Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network had been present at some level in the national and international consciousness since the late 1990s. The events of 11 September 2001 and subsequent global operations taken against Al Qaeda have brought this group to the forefront of the GWOT.

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Occasional Paper 9 Law of War: Can 20th Century Standards Apply to the Global War on Terrorism?

Occasional Paper 9 Law of War: Can 20th Century Standards Apply to the Global War on Terrorism?

By David P. Cavaleri

119 Pages

Published: 2005

The Law of War: Can 20th-Century Standards Apply to the Global War on Terrorism? is the ninth offering in the Combat Studies Institute’s (CSI) Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) Occasional Papers series. Mr. David Cavaleri, a retired Armor lieutenant colonel and CSI historian, has produced a study that examines the evolution and continued applicability of the corpus, both conventional and customary, that constitutes the law of war. As background, Mr. Cavaleri provides a theoretical framework and the development of the law within Western and, specifically, US Army doctrine and regulation. He then presents a case study of the British suppression of the Mau Mau insurgency in 1950s Kenya, a conflict with particular resonance today.

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Occasional Paper 10 Eyes Behind the Lines: US Army Long-Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Units

Occasional Paper 10 Eyes Behind the Lines: US Army Long-Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Units?

By James F. Gebhardt

187 Pages

Published: 2005

Eyes Behind the Lines: US Army Long-Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Units is the 10th study in the Combat Studies Institute (CSI) Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Occasional Paper series. This work is an outgrowth of concerns identified by the authors of On Point: The United States Army in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Specifically, these authors called into question the use of long-range surveillance (LRS) assets by commanders during that campaign and suggested an assessment ought to be made about their continuing utility and means of employment.

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Occasional Paper 12: Public War, Private Fight? The United States and Private Military Companies

Occasional Paper 12: Public War, Private Fight? The United States and Private Military Companies

By Deborah C. Kidwell

82 Pages

Published: 2005

Former Army Chief of Staff J. Lawton Collins was inducted into the Fort Leavenworth Memorial Hall of Fame on 17 May 1983. The Hall of Fame was established to honor American soldiers who have contributed significantly to the defense of the United States. General Collins, recognized as the "best" corps commander during World War II, was elected by a panel of distinguished historians.

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Occasional Paper 14: The Posse Comitatus Act and the United States Army

Occasional Paper 14: The Posse Comitatus Act and the United States Army

By Matt Matthews

95 Pages

Published: 2006

​Anytime the use of US Armed Forces in support of civil authorities is considered, government and military leaders, pundits, and citizens reflexively turn to the Posse Comitatus Act for guidance. Since 9/11, the US Armed Forces face an increased likelihood that they will be called on to participate in actions typically viewed as civil matters. Many have also called for an increased role for the US Armed Forces in responding to natural disasters. Though many constitutional provisions, laws, and legal rulings govern this question, in the minds of many, the Posse Comitatus Act has prominence. Most individuals think they know what the Posse Comitatus Act allows and disallows; most of them are wrong.

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Occasional Paper 22 The US Army on the Mexican Border

Occasional Paper 22 The US Army on the Mexican Border

By Matt M. Matthews

110 Pages

Published: 2007

Since the mid-19th century, the United States has frequently employed the US Army on its southern border to perform various roles in support of the Nation—from outright war, to patrolling the border, to chasing bandits while securing persons and property on both sides of the border, and most recently to supporting civil law enforcement and antidrug efforts. Events since 9/11, such as the recent deployment of National Guard Soldiers to the Mexican border, are only the latest manifestation of this long tradition.

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Occasional Paper 29 Army Support During the Hurricane Katrina Disaster

Occasional Paper 29 Army Support During the Hurricane Katrina Disaster

By James A. Wombwell

281 Pages

Published: 2009

The Combat Studies Institute (CSI) is pleased to announce its latest publication in the Long War Series, Occasional Paper 29, Army Support During the Hurricane Katrina Disaster, by Mr. James A. Wombwell. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm and was the costliest hurricane as well as one of the five deadliest storms in the history of the United States. It caused extensive destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas. The most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the levee system catastrophically failed, flooding the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes.

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Occasional Paper 32 The Long War Against Piracy: Historical Trends

Occasional Paper 32 The Long War Against Piracy: Historical Trends

By James A. Wombwell

208 Pages

Published: 2010

The Combat Studies Institute is pleased to present Occasional Paper 32, The Long War Against Piracy: Historical Trends, by CSI historian James A. Wombwell. This study surveys the experience of the United States, Great Britain, and other seafaring nations in addressing the problem of piracy at sea, then derives insights from that experience that may be relevant to the suppression of the current surge of piratical activity. Wombwell, a retired naval officer, traces the course of several outbreaks of piracy during the past 300 years in a variety of geographical areas. Although each case varies in its details, Wombwell concludes that enough similarities exist to permit several useful generalizations.

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Occasional Paper 37 Unmanned Aerial Systems: A Historical Perspective

Occasional Paper 37 Unmanned Aerial Systems: A Historical Perspective

By John David Blom

153 Pages

Published: 2010

In the Long War, formerly called the Global War on Terror, the armed forces of the United States have utilized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) extensively to support combat, security, and stability operations. The concept of unmanned flight is nothing new to the military. Experiments with pilotless aircraft began at the end of World War I.

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Population-Centric Counterinsurgency: A False Idol?

Population-Centric Counterinsurgency: A False Idol?

By Dan G. Cox and Thomas Bruscino (eds.)

139 Pages

Published: 2011

Rarely is it a good idea for any field of human endeavor to be dominated by a single theory aimed at addressing a pressing problem. However, such dominance has recently occurred in the American approach to counterinsurgency warfare. In recent years, driven by the perceived failures in the American war in Iraq, the United States military, and in particular the United States Army, has determined that when it comes to counterinsurgency, the population-centric approach is the only way to go.

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SAMS Monograph Series: Stability Economics - The Economic Foundations of Security in Post-conflict Environments

SAMS Monograph Series: Stability Economics - The Economic Foundations of Security in Post-conflict Environments

By Nathan W. Toronto and Dan G. Cox (Gen. Ed.)

266 Pages

Published: 2012

In the years after invading Iraq and Afghanistan, the US military realized that it had a problem: How does a military force set the economic conditions for security success? This problem was certainly not novel—the military had confronted it before in such diverse locations as Grenada, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. The scale and complexity of the problem, however, were unlike anything military planners had confronted beforehand. This was especially the case in Iraq, where some commentators expected oil production to drive reconstruction.

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Scouts Out! The Development of Reconnaissance Units in Modern Armies

Scouts Out! The Development of Reconnaissance Units in Modern Armies

By John J. McGrath

272 Pages

Published: 2008

Reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance are battlefield missions as old as military history itself and missions for which many armies have created specialized units to perform. In most cases, these units were trained, equipped, and used differently from the majority of an army’s fighting units. Horse cavalry performed these missions for centuries, for it had speed and mobility far in excess of main battle units. Once the horse was replaced by mechanization, however, the mobility advantage once enjoyed by the horse cavalry disappeared.

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Success in the Shadows: Operation Enduring Freedom–Philippines and the Global War on Terror, 2002–2015

Success in the Shadows

Operation Enduring Freedom–Philippines and the Global War on Terror, 2002–2015

By Barry M. Stentiford

120 Pages

Published: 2018

Written by a reserve officer who spent a tour in the Philippines producing a classified history for US Special Operations Command, this first-ever publicly available history of OEF-P provides both a detailed accounting of the operation’s successes and a model for trainers and advisers providing assistance to host-nation security forces around the globe. Stentiford emphasizes that what made OEF-P a success was an adherence to time-honored principles of counterinsurgency: insisting that host-nation forces take the lead and conducting operations with a minimal footprint that bought the essential time for the mission to succeed. Success in the Shadows is both a fitting tribute to the operators who performed this vital mission and a primer for those who will be called upon to do so in the future.

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Through the Lens of Cultural Awareness

Through the Lens of Cultural Awareness

By William D. Wunderle

152 Pages

Published: 2006

Conducting the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and projecting United States (US) influence worldwide has meant an increasing number of US diplomats and military forces are assigned to locations around the world, some of which have not previously had a significant US presence. In the current security environment, understanding foreign cultures and societies has become a national priority. Cultural understanding is necessary both to defeat adversaries and to work successfully with allies.

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Through the Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Lens: Perspectives on the Operational Environment, Vol I

Through the Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Lens: Perspectives on the Operational Environment, Vol I

By Dr. David A. Anderson, Ms. Heather R. Karambelas, General Editors

196 Pages

Published: 2015

Life-long learning is a continuous endeavor. The Army profession expects our members to submit scholarly writings and share what they’ve learned through expertise, research and experience. These are invaluable contributions to broadening our institution’s professional body of knowledge. Publishing scholarly works benefits the writer’s professional qualifications, supports research efforts across the military, academic, and educational community, and enhances the organization’s collective wisdom.

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Through the Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Lens: Perspectives on the Operational Environment, Vol 2

Through the Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Lens: Perspectives on the Operational Environment, Vol 2

By Dr. David A. Anderson, Ms. Heather R. Karambelas, General Editors

140 Pages

Published: 2017

The Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations (DJIMO) faculty, at the US Army Command and General Staff College, has collaborated on this second edition of scholarly work. For the authors, publishing these types of research papers represents a demonstration of their commitment to the profession and a strong sense of duty to our country.

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Weapon of Choice: ARSOF in Afghanistan

Weapon of Choice: ARSOF in Afghanistan

By Charles H. Briscoe, Richard L. Kiper, Kalev I. Sepp, James A. Schroder

438 Pages

Published: 2003

The purpose of this book is to share Army special operations soldier stories with the general American public to show them what various elements accomplished during the war to drive the Taliban from power and to destroy al-Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan as part of the global war on terrorism. The purpose of the book is not to resolve Army special operations doctrinal issues, to clarify or update military defi nitions, or to be the “defi nitive” history of the continuing unconventional war in Afghanistan.

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Wrath of Achilles: Essays on Command in Battle

Wrath of Achilles: Essays on Command in Battle

By Colonel Richard D. Hooker, Jr.

220 Pages

Published: 2011

“Sing Goddess, of the wrath of Achilles, Peleus’ son.” So begins the Iliad, the greatest war epic in western culture. Since the dawn of recorded history, the history of man has been nearly synonymous with the history of war, a history that begins with Homer and continues today. Then as now, war remains the ultimate arbiter of human affairs, an awful and ever-present reminder of humanity’s failure to escape its wrathful roots.

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