Irregular Warfare Mandates Unconventional Means

May 11, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Being successful in the era of irregular warfare will require a focus on new ways of building and preparing the force, according to a panel of military and civilian experts. Speaking at the 2011 Joint Warfighting Conference, the Wednesday panelists emphasized training and education using innovative approaches to build a force capable of winning in a rapidly changing arena. Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard Jr., USMC, prospective deputy commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, declared that the key to the future will be education-however, there is no silver bullet. The military must invest in officers and senior enlisted personnel both in training and education. The true art will be not necessarily having the answers, but instead knowing to ask the right questions, he said, citing the need for a doctrinal framework that is flexible. Training should focus on methodologies and critical thinking rather than on specific skills that might not be useful, emphasized Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr., USAF (Ret.), former deputy judge advocate general, U.S. Air Force. Capt. Evin Thompson, USN, Naval Special Warfare Branch head, Expeditionary Warfare Division, Navy Staff, decried the military culture that does not like to share information. We need to turn our military into an organization with an external outlook so that we can communicate with everyone with whom we share this world, he stated. Above all, the military must create an environment that effectively recruits and keeps technologically, offered Eric Bassel, director of the SANS Institute. The military needs to create a recruitment, training, education and assessment process for the cyber side to keep cyber experts for the long term.

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