- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
The argument that the military must retain the ability to "fight and win the Nation’s wars" when shaping operations are resourced as lesser included capabilities is incongruous with current national security strategy aspirations. And it is not realistic to expect the whole-of-government engagement capability to increase given the current fiscal environment. The argument to limit resource expenditures, however, is compelling in light of U.S. fiscal circumstances. Faced with a volatile operating environment, austere resources, and an ambiguous group of adversaries, the Nation must strive for dynamic equilibrium as it adapts the joint force to win conflicts, manage security environments, and shape civil order within constrained resources. The new security culture must embrace the military’s "shape" and "win" roles. Shaping operations are primarily landpower centric because they are conducted in the human domain among the people. The Army must and will carry the burden of successfully executing shaping operations in support of America’s foreign policy security goals.
General Barno, a highly decorated military officer with over 30 years of service, has served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and around the world, to include command at every level. He served many of his early years in special operations forces with Army Ranger battalions, to include combat in both the Grenada and Panama invasions. In 2003, he was selected to establish a new three-star operational headquarters in Afghanistan and take command of the 20,000 U.S. and Coalition Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. For 19 months in this position, he was responsible for the overall military leadership of this complex political-military mission, devising a highly innovative counterinsurgency strategy in close partnership with the U.S. embassy and coalition allies.His responsibilities included regional military efforts with neighboring nations and involved close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan, the United Nations, NATO International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. Department of State and USAID, and the senior military leaders of many surrounding nations and numerous allies.
From 2006-2010, General Barno served as the Director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. Concurrently, he was the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans and Families from 2007-2009. He frequently serves as an expert consultant on counterinsurgency and irregular warfare, professional military education and the changing character of conflict, supporting a wide-range of government and other organizations. General Barno is widely published and has testified before Congress numerous times. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, General Barno also earned his master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. General Barno has received numerous awards for his military and public service.| Argument |