The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

An Islamic Way of War –the discussion continues

One of the students in CGSC published an interesting and thought provoking article in the Small War Journal regarding the readings and discussion on an Islamic way of war which we addressed in H307.  A snipett and the link to MAJ Khan’s article is below.  The article is well worth reading and may be a part of next year’s lesson reading assignment.  The discussion that follows on the SMJ blog is equally illuminating and can be found at this link.

I encourage all of you to think about the issues Major Khan and the others bring up –your thoughts and views are key to leading troops down range, and also are important to understanding the enemy and effective strategies to defeat them.  I also encourage to comment in this space with your thoughts, or directly to the SMJ blog, or both.

Is There an Islamic Way of War?
by Major Mehar Omar Khan

Download the full article: Is There an Islamic Way of War?

Times have surely changed since that noon of March 10, 1982, when President Ronald Reagan dedicated the March 22nd launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle to the valiant Afghans and termed their struggle (Jihad) against the occupation forces of Soviet Union as a representation of ‘man’s highest aspirations for freedom’. While I remorsefully recognize any nation’s right to change and chop morality in the service of supreme national interest, I refuse to respect those dishonest historians and scare-mongering ‘experts’ who consider it their right to drag a great faith and its messenger into this ugly fight over heaps of sands that hide a lot of oil.

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Current Events, H300, Professional Military Education | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Issues in Afghanistan

Commentator Ralph Peters has to be read very critically.  His current effort is no different.  However, reading him you will be exposed to a variety of issues that we have touched on over the last year.  These issues include, knowing the enemy; strategic to tactical linkages; Vietnam; what is a revolutionary (and what is not); Islam; and intellectual bias.  Its worth a read.

You can’t win hearts, minds of radical Islam


A good first step in waging war is to figure out why your enemy is fighting. For over eight years, we’ve refused to do that in Afghanistan. In the recent Marine offensive against the Taliban in Marjah, this resulted in a clear geographical objective, but a vague pacification mission targeting a stick-figure enemy. Tactical success is built on strategic quicksand.

Read the rest of the article here.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | H300, military history, Professional Military Education | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

So… What do you think?

The goal of military history at CGSC is to demonstrate the use of military history to inform professional military judgment, decision making, and critical thinking. Each history class is designed as a practical demonstration of how that goal can be achieved.

 A secondary goal is to expose students to some of the most important military history issues and thinkers relevant to today’s operating environment.

How well did the three history courses, H100, H200, and H300 accomplish these goals?

As a follow on, did you personally notice a change in your approach to thinking and analyzing important military issues as a result of the readings and discussions presented in your military history class?

March 8, 2010 Posted by | H300 | Leave a comment

Military History and the Future

What are the military implications of this video?  Does history, particularly military history, help understand or put these implications in context?  How?

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Current Events, H300 | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Moderate Islam and Terrorism

Great article from the BBC on a moderate Islamic view of terrorism:

March 2, 2010 Posted by | H300, Professional Military Education | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Generals Cushman and DePuy in the 21st Century


Lieutenant General John H. Cushman, Combined Arms Center (CAC)Commander 1973-1976, and General William E. DePuy, US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Commander 1973-1976, had dyametrically opposed views of the purpose and nature of army doctrine.  Ultimately, General Depuy’s view won out, resulting in the ineffective 1976 FM 100-5 focused on the concept of the “Active Defense.”  General Cushman’s opposing view which included a nuanced view of war-fighting; emphasized education over training; and focused on creative thinking over predictable solutions, was the loser.  Depuy’s view is largely credited with setting the conditions for the transformation to the successful “Airland Battle” doctrine of the 1980s.  Did the army make an error following Depuy’s doctrinal view, and how does this debate provide insights into the on-going doctrinal transformation of the 21st Century?  Was Depuy just “Lucky?”

March 2, 2010 Posted by | H300 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments