Scales: Enhanced troop training central to future military

SAN DIEGO'Military leaders need to move beyond the capture and dissemination of information and toward troop training if they want to be successful with current operations in Iraq and with tomorrow's wars, according to a former president of the Army War College.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, co-author The Iraq War, said the next focus should be on the "human, cultural, cognitive era of warfare." Scales described this as preparing world-class, small military units for tactical warfare, such as what is being seen in Fallujah. Such military units would consist of fewer than 11 soldiers functioning in a cohesive manner much like a professional sports team, Scales explained.

"We're trying to build leaders who are not only good at intimate killing, but [at] nation-building," Scales said during a panel discussion at the AFCEA West 2006 show. "We have absolute dominance everywhere else. This is a transformation that must be made. Improving the way we select, train, bomb ... will be an amplifying factor in making our military smarter in the future."

Rear Adm. Charles Martoglio, director of the Navy Strategy and Policy Division, agreed that the human factor trumps technology in the global war on terrorism.

"The focus on the global war is more on people than it is on systems or equipment," Martoglio said. "It is on the skill sets and how we train and educate our people."

Air Force Col. Gary L. Crowder, vice commander of the 505th Command and Control Wing, questioned whether the military was properly resourced to complete the task in Iraq.

"The United States government is not organized to fight this war," Crowder said. "We are going have to figure out a way to better resource the military."

In Iraq, Marine Corps units are still grappling with how to locate enemy forces, said Brig. Gen. Joe Dunford, director of plans, policy and operations for Marine Corps headquarters.

"As we look ahead, we have to come up with a better way," Dunford said. "We're not connecting enough dots."

The panel was titled: "Warfighters' Lessons Learned'What Have We Learned We Need to Do from Combat?" and was moderated by Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

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