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Turning Things Around
Atop the Army chain of command, the chief agent of change is General Raymond Odierno, an open-minded, four-star general battle-tested in Iraq and Afghanistan. O,” as the troops called him, was boss of the division whose soldiers captured Saddam Hussein in 2003. In 2007, promoted to head the Multinational Force-Iraq, he oversaw the on-site planning for President George W. Bush Iraqi surge. Three years later he oversaw the withdrawal of combat troops ordered by President Obama.
General Odierno is a champion of the integration of Special Operations into the traditional playbook, and he advocates that kind of army as the primary vehicle for projecting American power in today world.
As MARS members gear up for expanded support of the multitasking military, they may well find doing many things well the core objective of their own training. One thing is sure: Their new boss brought with him a proven penchant for looking ahead.
Well Ahead of the Crowd
Assessing two major strategy documents issued by the Clinton Administration, Klinefelter noted lack of attention to the offensive potential of what he termed Warfare”—meaning information as in Information Technology. He also warned that dominance on that sort of battlefield would require more than the usual military elements like best intelligence, situational awareness, or new command and control tools.”
He called attention to types of information that would be more important, affect more lives and directly challenge national interests”—the vulnerable trillion-dollars-a-day in global financial transactions conducted via the Internet, for just one example.
Klinefelter cautiously-worded conclusion in 1997: While the national administration was rightly attacking the technological and policy issues posed by the IT revolution, challenges do not negate the need for a vision and a strategy.”
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