Army Manual Recognizes Value of Stability Operations
By Seaman William Selby, USN
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2008 Stabilizing war-torn nations is as important as conducting offensive and defensive operations, according to a new Army operations manual.
The 15th edition of Army Field Manual 3-0, titled “Operations,” will change the way the Army operates for the next 10 to 15 years, Army Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commander of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan., said during a teleconference with online journalists and “bloggers” yesterday.
The new Army operations manual will be available tomorrow and is the first major rewrite since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“The doctrine is recognition that stability ops are as important, perhaps if not more so, than traditional combat operations,” Caldwell said.
“We thought that if you could conduct operations at a high-end level -- major wars, then you can do the lesser,” he said. “What these past six years have shown us is that’s not the case.”
He added that “specific skill sets and organizational elements” are needed to operate in the environment in which the Army operates today.
The field manual also discusses a renewed focus on general leadership in the Army. “There’s an emphasis on the art of command that stresses knowledge and understanding over a process and technology,” Caldwell said.
In addition, Caldwell stressed the importance of training soldiers according to the tenets of the new manual.
“We are, in fact, making a major effort in shifting everything from cultural astuteness, awareness and inculcating that in the training very early on, helping our young men and women understand that their actions, in fact, have strategic implications,” he said.
“We have to emphasize doctrine as the driver for change,” Caldwell said, noting he was echoing sentiments by Army Chief of Staff Gen George W. Casey Jr. “We’ll never cement change into our organization until we adapt our institution, and that change begins with doctrinal manual 3-0.”
(Seaman William Selby works for the New Media branch of American Forces Information Service.)