Archive for Saturday, August 2, 2008

Civilians joining fall classes

August 2, 2008

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— The number of students at Fort Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College is growing, and one reason is an aggressive effort by the post's commanding general to attract civilian government employees.

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV has been encouraging government agencies to consider sending their staff members to Leavenworth for advanced education. He said Friday that agreements have been signed between the Army and six agencies to educate their staff free of charge.

The premise is that fighting the nation's wars takes more than a military solution, a concept known as the comprehensive approach.

"It's a recognition that the military alone, though we win every battle we are engaged in, we can't win the peace alone," Caldwell said. "Never again will the military operate independently."

This fall, the class dominated by more than 1,000 Army majors will include staff from several agencies, including the FBI and State Department. Caldwell said the agency exchange has the support of Army Secretary Pete Geren and Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey.

Col. Bill Raymond, director of the school, said a larger class reflects the Army's ability to send majors to school despite fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The comprehensive approach is embedded in recent Army doctrines on operations, fighting insurgents and building stability. It is a term that is already used by some U.S. allies to describe the collective efforts of the military, diplomatic and economic agencies to achieve a common policy goal.

"If all you have is a hammer in your tool box, then every problem looks like a nail," Raymond said. "You can't just go in with force. Maybe everybody's rioting because the water's not running."

The upcoming stability manual notes that after the Mexican War in the 1840s, Gen. Winfield Scott instituted garbage collection and job programs for the populace there after military operations ceased.

"If we want the United States to be prepared for the next operation, we need to have this interagency understanding," he said.

Raymond said there is pent-up demand for majors to attend the command college as the Army grows its ranks. Other government agencies may want to send personnel, but they lack the people and resources to significant numbers of staff for 10 months.

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