Magazine article National Defense

After a Decade of Counterinsurgencies, Army Now Training for Conventional War

Magazine article National Defense

After a Decade of Counterinsurgencies, Army Now Training for Conventional War

Article excerpt

* Critics for years have sounded alarms that the Army is losing its ability to fight major wars as it has focused almost entirely on counterinsurgencies over the past decade.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

No reason to worry. The Army is now getting back to the basics of conventional warfare, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

In October, the Joint Readiness Training Center conducted its first full-spectrum operations rotation against a "hybrid threat," one involving both counterinsurgency and traditional methods of fighting.

"Some very interesting lessons" have come out of the training, Casey said, adding that operations were "a little rusty at the battalion and brigade staff integration and synchronization skills." Setting up a mobile communications network was a challenge, he said. The Army has been spoiled by having a fixed fiber-optic network in Iraq and Afghanistan, he added.

The general noted that the Army has not forgotten how to fight in high-intensity force-on-force situations. When the companies and platoons he watched got close to the enemy, "they were absolutely lethal," he said. …

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