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New York Times Article on Wayne’s Passing

Gen. Wayne A. Downing, 67, Special Operations Leader, Dies

By Thom Shanker

  • July 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 18 — Gen. Wayne A. Downing, who fought in jungles and deserts and commanded American Special Operations forces before becoming a senior adviser to President Bush for counterterrorism, died Wednesday in Peoria, Ill., where he was born and returned to live in retirement. He was 67.

His death was confirmed by the Peoria County coroner, Johnna Ingersoll, who said General Downing, a retired four-star Army officer, was admitted to a hospital on Monday with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, and bacterial meningitis.

After graduating from West Point in 1962, General Downing served for 34 years in uniform, including two infantry combat tours in Vietnam. He was in charge of Special Operations missions during the invasion of Panama in 1989 and commanded a joint Special Operations task force during the first Persian Gulf war, operating deep behind Iraqi lines.

From Army barracks to the polished corridors of power, he had a reputation as offering fearless and blunt assessments of successes and failures up or down the chain of command. He was a frequent critic of bureaucratic rigidity.

“Think like a bank robber,” he famously advised his Special Operations units on how to outwit adversaries, whether they were armed forces lined up in the field or a shadowy terrorist cell.

Gen. Wayne A. Downing

General Downing served in the 1990s as commander of the Special Operations Command, which oversees the military’s unconventional warfare units and elite counterterrorism teams.

That experience earned him an appointment by President Bush as deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism one month after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In that job, General Downing sought to coordinate the sometimes fractious efforts against terrorism.

He was said by colleagues to have been an early champion of fomenting insurrection against Saddam Hussein through a combination of Iraqi rebels supported by American commandos. As the concept circulated at the White House and Pentagon, it became known as the Downing Plan.

General Downing served less than a year in the National Security Council job. Although he never publicly detailed his reasons for leaving, associates said he was frustrated working in the civilian bureaucracy.

Although a veteran of Special Operations, a group that prides itself on being “the quiet professionals,” General Downing was public and scathing when he was asked to investigate security lapses that allowed terrorists to bomb the Khobar Towers barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Air Force personnel in June 1996. His report is still analyzed by military officers as a model of an officer’s duty to offer unvarnished assessments.

In 1999 and 2000, he served on the National Commission on Terrorism mandated by Congress. In 2003, he was appointed the distinguished chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. 

Among his combat decorations was the Purple Heart. He was certified as an Army Ranger master parachutist and free-fall jumpmaster. He had a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane. Survivors include his wife, Kathryn Bickerman Downing; his mother, Eileen Downing; his sister, Marlianne Fortune, all of Peoria; his daughters, Elizabeth Downing Revell of Clifton, Va., and Laura Downing of Brooklyn; a granddaughter; and several stepchildren and stepgrandchildren.

The Army

General Dennis J. Reimer

United States Army Chief of Staff June 1995–June 1999

General Dennis J. Reimer served as the thirty-third Chief of Staff, United States Army from 1995–1999. The majority of the quotations in this chapter are from his collected works, entitled Soldiers Are Our Credentials: The Collected Works and Selected Papers of the Thirty-third Chief of Staff, United States Army. Quotations were also drawn from other material, which is listed in the bibliography.

Soldiers Are Our Credentials!

The Army
Army Missions
The Army-Nation Bond The Army and Peace AUSA
Force Structure
The Human Dimension Jointness
Leadership Climate Leadership Development Logistics


Mentoring Modernization
Recruiting and Retention The Reserve Components Resources

Strategic Environment/Threats Teamwork
The Total Army
Tradition and Heritage Training
Vision and the Future



The Army

The United States Army is an army of citizen-soldiers; it is the Army of the people of the United States. The strength of the United States Army is more than the number of rifles, tanks, artillery pieces, and helicopters. We are the army of a democracy, and our strength is derived from the very soul of our nation. – p. 14

Since 1775, the fate of the nation has often rested in the capable hands of its soldiers. From Yorktown to Gettysburg to Normandy to the Persian Gulf, to discovering and building a nation and protecting others from aggression, ultimately, it is the Army that decides our success in war and peace. The Army is the force of decision. –p. 30

Our Army has defended the American people for over 224 years—one year longer than the age of the nation. Our martial traditions go back even further to the first muster of the Colonial Militia in 1636. The one million men and women serving in today’s Army— active, U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and Department of the Army Civilians—are part of this great legacy of service. As the Army progresses, it will serve us well to keep in mind why the nation has an army, the values that distinguish our soldiers, and the bond between the Army and the Nation—these things will not change. They are the essence of our being, and neither the geostrategic environment nor technology will break the common threads that tie yesterday’s soldiers at Valley Forge to today’s soldiers on the demilitarized zone in Korea, Bosnia, or elsewhere around the globe, to tomorrow’s soldiers in the 21st century. –pp. v, 82

Army Missions

There is a tremendous depth and breadth to our profession. The American soldier has been and will always be more than the warrior holding the spear at the frontline of battle. We deter and respond to aggression, but we also shape the international environment by building regional stability and reducing the possibility of conflict. Our “battlefields” include humanitarian assistance in Rwanda, peacekeeping in the Sinai and Bosnia, forward presence on the Korean peninsula, and nation-building

in Haiti. To meet these challenges, America will need soldiers who possess the moral character, firm will, and professional ability to separate warring parties, reassure fearful civilians, restore public order, keep criminals from taking advantage of a vacuum in civil order, protect and deliver humanitarian assistance, and most important, fight and win our nation’s wars. These things will always require boots on the ground. –pp. 251, 245, 34, 160, 78

Since DESERT STORM, the overwhelming majority of missions to which America has committed its military resources has been done by the Army. These missions range in size from a handful of soldiers to large troop deployments all over the world. With our unique ability to deter or compel any adversary, reassure allies and friends, and support domestic authorities, the Army is the world’s premiere force.

Deter. The first capability that the United States Army has and must have, is the ability to deter war. For over fifty years U.S. troops have deterred aggression in Europe and Korea, creating an environment of stability that has benefited the entire world. T o deter war, we must remain strong. Deterrence is far cheaper than fighting a war.

Compel. If deterrence fails, we still have the responsibility that we’ve always had, to fight and win. To compel our adversaries, the Army is capable of conducting sustained, high-tempo land warfare under all conditions—day and night.

Reassure. We have found that this global village has moved nations closer together, such that our ability to reassure allies and coalition partners is critically important. We do this with programs like “Partnership for Peace” and with other programs as in South America. Reassurance is a sound investment.

Support. The fourth capability that we provide is military support for civilian authorities in a wide range of domestic activities and requirements. The Army has played a vital role in the history of the country and has changed to meet the nation’s changing needs. Domestic crises and natural disasters have always underscored the demand for an Army that can support the needs of the nation within its own borders. We conduct disaster relief operations as a matter of course. During a trip to Poland I had the opportunity to visit with some of the over 50,000 Polish soldiers providing flood relief in their country. It seems domestic support has become a fact of life for most modern militaries, and I think only good can come of efforts where the military is used to promote positive developments. –pp. 32, 76, 103, 31, 104, 147; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


Shape, Respond, Prepare. The United States has moved beyond containment with a new strategic approach that emphasizes global leadership and continuous, meaningful engagement in world affairs. This profound change is reflected in our National Military Strategy which requires us to shaperespond, and prepare.

Shape. We have the opportunity to shape the world we want to live in, to structure an international environment that focuses on economic prosperity and cooperation rather than political confrontation and conflict. Shaping requires us to be involved, face-to- face with our allies and friends, sharing the hardships and risks while promoting the development of stable regimes and regional stability. Peacetime engagement’s purpose is to shape the international environment through a broad range of noncombat activities that demonstrate commitment, improve collective military capabilities, promote democratic ideals, bolster prosperity, relieve suffering, and enhance regional stability. Toward these ends, thousands of U.S. Army soldiers are engaged daily in activities that promote peace and stability. Military-to- military contacts, particularly in the emerging democracies of former Soviet nations, provide opportunities for Army soldiers to teach their counterparts everything from squad tactics to the military’s role in a democracy. These contacts take place not only abroad, but at home as well. Currently, the Army is training soldiers from 134 countries at our installations throughout the United States. Last year, American soldiers participated in 16 NATO “Partnership for Peace” exercises designed to expand and improve interoperability among NATO and other European nations. Similarly, 61 soldiers stand watch on the border between Ecuador and Peru to assist in the peaceful settlement of the border dispute between those two important US trading partners.

The ultimate objective of our shaping efforts is the enhancement of mutual understanding, trust, and confidence, all of which will lessen, or perhaps even obviate, the requirement for nations and groups to resort to the use of force to resolve their differences. Soldiers on the ground help provide regional stability. During the President’s State of the Union Address, he emphasized the global economy and the world’s interdependence and the importance of stability throughout the world. The United States Army is a primary contributor to that stability.

Respond. To be ready to respond, we focus on ensuring near-term readiness so that our forces are ready to react to requirements at home and abroad— the full spectrum of military missions from homeland

defense and support to domestic authorities to major regional conflicts overseas. We’re talking about global power projection—being able to move the capabilities we possess anywhere in the world, whether that be fighting forest fires, providing military support to civilian authorities, or deploying a brigade to Kuwait in order to deter Saddam Hussein. We must be able to move forces very quickly and that requires a total joint effort in terms of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and in many cases the Coast Guard. Responding to the needs of Americans at home and abroad has always been a tenet of our military strategy and the Army’s time-honored task. Every American who has watched an Army National Guard truck deliver a load of sand bags to help shore-up a levee holding back a raging flood, or an Army convoy plow through an ice storm to deliver lifesaving supplies, understands what we mean by the respond pillar of the National Military Strategy.

Prepare. Finally, the strategy requires us, while maintaining current readiness, to prepare now for the security tasks and challenges we will face in the future. Prepare means continually modernizing our forces— updating doctrine and leader development programs— so they are prepared to deal with the security challenges of the future, ensuring that America has, and retains, a strong and capable force. We must prepare the force for the challenges we see deep in the 21st century and to make sure that our soldiers will have at that point in time the best equipment and the best weapon systems that the country can provide.

Today’s National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement has led to a dramatic increase in the use of the Army as an instrument of national policy. We are trying to make the world a safer place for our children and our grandchildren. If we can pull that off, and I think we can, that will be a tremendous contribution we will leave behind to society—not only to American society, but to the world as well. –pp. 125, 118, 119, 114–115, 214, 146, 142, 193; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997, May 21, 1997, Feb. 10, 1998, Jan. 20, 1999, and Feb. 24, 1999

There is more to winning wars and securing a peaceful stable world than winning battles. We would rather deal with problems before they become acute, and diminish threats before they become dangers. There are other tasks, equally important for ensuring the security of the United States, including addressing the conditions that might lead to war, helping nations recover from hardships and conflict, and preempting future wars. “Strategic Preemption” is the ability to halt or prevent a conflict or crisis before it becomes

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


debilitating or protracted—before it spreads out of control. That means that we must be able to respond quickly; we must be able to get our forces there rapidly. A vivid demonstration of the Army’s enhanced capability to project credible power quickly over extended distances occurred in December 1994 when Saddam Hussein made threatening gestures toward Kuwait again. Once President Bill Clinton approved the deployment of an armored brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, to Kuwait, the 5,000-soldier brigade from the 1st Cavalry Division was positioned in Kuwait, with its complete combat vehicle set— drawn from pre-positioned stocks, ready to conduct combat operations—in less than 120 hours. –pp. 214, 125, 119; Cong. Test., Feb. 24, 1999

The Army-Nation Bond

If I have learned anything in these last four years, it is that building a great Army takes a national effort. It needs the support and sacrifice of great Army families. It demands strong national leaders in the presidential administration and the Congress who understand the challenge of keeping an Army trained and ready. It requires the understanding and commitment of America’s employers who make it possible for our citizen-soldiers, the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, to also serve. It relies on our dedicated civilian workforce and our partners in industry who work with us to provide our soldiers the best possible equipment. It draws on our veterans and retirees, who inspire us with their example and continue to serve the Army and their fellow veterans in so many ways. And, of course, the Army’s success is the product of being part of a joint team—a team of Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Army professionals.

Finally, without the support of the American people there could be no Army. They entrust us with their most precious assets—their sons and daughters—and it is our job to ensure they are properly cared for. This means providing them the most realistic training possible and the best caring and concerned leadership we can possibly provide. It is also a shared responsibility with Congress. We must provide them adequate pay, proper medical care, acceptable housing, and stable benefits to include retirement. These are the four areas of quality of life that we think most important. The greatest danger is complacency. We have done our job so well and been so successful that some may be lulled into the belief that victories can be easily or cheaply won—they can’t. Winning requires a quality force of great men and women, well

led, superbly trained, and armed with the most modern weapons and equipment. Building this kind of force requires the best from all the members of Team America. –pp. v, 200, vi

In a democracy an army ultimately depends on the people to provide the resources necessary for national defense. To be willing to provide this support, the people must understand the need for an army and respect and trust it as an institution. Reflecting on the decline of the armed forces after World War I, General George C. Marshall captured the essence of the national debate that habitually follows America’s strategic victories. Recognizing the military must always make a new case for defense before the American public he wrote, “In a democracy where the government is truly an agent of the popular will, military policy is dependent on public opinion, and our organization for war will be good or bad as the public is well informed or poorly informed regarding the factors that bear on the subject.” Almost six decades later, General Marshall’s insight is still relevant. We owe it to the American people, our soldiers and their families to ensure the Army’s story—their story—is told to the nation. The bottom line is the Army has a great story to tell—and our soldiers are our best spokespersons. –pp. 134, 148, 15, 244

The Army and Peace

To the extent we prevent wars we win wars. Every day the Army is deployed around the world in almost a hundred countries—training, helping, keeping the peace, making a difference, and our efforts to prepare for the future are unmatched by any military force on the planet. The Army’s contributions to the prevention of conflict and world stability have been significant. Our participation in operations to reassure warring parties is the only path to peace in many parts of the world. The important army-to-army relationships we have established with friends and allies are also evident in what we do. Partnership for Peace exercises and military-to-military contacts are just some examples of the Army’s involvement in conflict prevention and promoting world order. Every NCO and officer in Europe in 1996 spent 180 days away from their home stations primarily with training in the Partnership for Peace Program. This is above and beyond what Bosnia adds to their OPTEMPO. Partnership for Peace is preventing wars, helping the people in Eastern Europe become democratic

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


societies, shaping the security environment, and enabling us to trade with those countries. –pp. 67, 240, 233, 77, 104; Cong. Test., March 13, 1996

We seek to engage other nations—to promote our common interests—to our mutual advantage. I sincerely believe that before countries and armies can engage each other, they must understand each other. Americans see engagement as a process of sharing ideas—nurturing common interests—and creating relationships where both peoples benefit from the exchange. This process begins with knowing one another. For strong bonds between nations take hold only when they are anchored in understanding. –p. 145

America’s Army sets the example for other countries seeking the proper role of an army in a democracy. In nearly every nation, the dominant armed service is the army. Many armies, however, need to learn how an army serves its nation, without running the nation. By training with U.S. Army units and participating in our institutional training programs, soldiers of emerging democracies receive important lessons in democratic values. Teaching these important lessons and training with others takes significant time and effort, but they are important contributions to regional stability.

We must recognize that we are indispensable for peace in this world. Every Allied officer and foreign military official I meet seeks closer ties and cooperation with the United States Army. We do this primarily through training exercises, student exchange programs, and with our Military Attachés.

The military plays a key role in peace and stability throughout the free world. Soldiers on the ground—the most visible sign of deterrence and reassurance— directly contribute to regional stability and an environment of stability where nations can develop effective government institutions and viable economies. But regional stability does not happen overnight; it is a dangerous and complicated business. It takes time, commitment, and the continuous presence of U.S. forces. Sustained presence, with its resulting regional stability, is a mission that the Army is uniquely structured to carry out. –pp. 31, 141, 30; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997

We used to teach military policeman that their secondary mission is to fight as infantry; now we teach the infantry how to be military policemen. Bosnia also reflects the emphasis we are placing on Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations. Civil Affairs units come primarily from the U.S. Army Reserve. Their

mission is just as critical to the success of the Bosnia operation as that of any maneuver unit we have ever put into combat. –p. 194

Our soldiers are proud of the fact that they have saved thousands of lives and mitigated human suffering through their efforts. In Bosnia there are children that are a year older. There are families that have celebrated another year of holidays and anniversaries together. What a great gift. What a great feeling of satisfaction for having done that. –pp. 240, 104; Cong. Test., Feb. 10, 1998


Every year in the life of the United States Army is precious—year by year we gather here at the AUSA Convention to review one more chapter in our glorious history. –p. 238


Revolutions in military affairs do not occur as quickly as they appear in turning the pages of a history book. A true revolution in military affairs is more than simply “dressing-up” the current force with high-tech weaponry. It requires advancing all the critical aspects of the force. The heart of the Force XXI change process has always been understanding how changing aspects of the force will affect one another and which changes are the most critical. It does us no good to have new weapons without quality soldiers trained to use them, the doctrine to employ them, or the organizations to support them. We have to develop all our capabilities in a synchronized manner—and that takes time and resources. To get change right we focus on the Army’s Six Imperatives:

-Realistic training—ensuring our soldiers and leaders are prepared to execute as part of a joint team, ready to perform any of the diverse, demanding warfighting or security tasks they may be assigned.

-The right doctrine—providing the doctrinal guidance on how to employ the capabilities of our forces to their best effect.

-The proper force mix—having the capability to rapidly deploy exactly the right kinds of forces needed for the task at hand.

-Modern equipment—fielding the equipment required to perform the mission and protect the lives of our soldiers.

-Dynamic leadership—providing professional military leadership that knows how to get the job done right and take care of soldiers.

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


-Quality soldiers—having soldiers grounded in the Army’s values and traditions, armed with the right physical and mental skills.

Those imperatives will never change, but inside each of those imperatives we must change in order to adjust to the changing environment. Properly balancing our Six Imperatives that are our links to the past and the future is the key to success. Without the appropriate balance of these imperatives, U.S. soldiers will pay a heavy price at the opening bell of the next war. General William DePuy described that price as a race between the seasoning process and the casualty process. It’s a race we can ill afford to lose. It’s a race we don’t need to be in. No doubt there will be great challenges, but there will also be wonderful opportunities. –pp. 256, 257, 264, 161, 116, 110, 275, Feb. 24, 1999


Discipline is not the fear of punishment for doing something wrong, but a faith in the value of doing something right. As General John M. Schofield said over a century ago:

“The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh and tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an Army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.”

Schofield framed these words in 1879, but they are as true today as they were then. –pp. 166, 162, 16–17, 246


Doctrine is our collective wisdom about the conduct of war. It is the core process that gives us a better common understanding of both new missions and

capabilities, and assures a unity of effort. Doctrine is a playbook; it’s how we do our tactics, techniques, and procedures. And so that has to be modified as you go along. –pp. 13–14, 236

With the end of the Cold War, a prominent theory arose that there would no longer be a need for large land forces, that power projection and national military strategy could primarily be carried out through precision strikes using technologically advanced smart weapons. Reality proved that theory to be invalid. History has shown that we cannot counter the human dimension of warfare with purely technological solutions. We have been down this road before, sometimes with disastrous results. The price for this wishful thinking has too often been paid by ill- prepared, untrained forces fighting desperately with their valor and their blood to make up for our lack of strategic forethought.

Like those before us, we must harmonize the relationship between dominant maneuver and precision engagement to meet our national security needs and avoid shortsighted and unworkable solutions to solving operational requirements. Our challenge is to avoid dependence on rigid, fleeting, one-dimensional strategies that are overly reliant on either precision engagement or dominant maneuver. Such strategies create imbalance among the operational concepts, reduce national strategic choices, and threaten the possibility of a return to attrition warfare—and with its concomitant price in human suffering. We must keep our investment and application of these operational concepts in harmony. –pp. 83, 80, 81. Cong. Test., March 13, 1997


Soldiers and their families are truly our most precious resource. The emphasis we put on taking care of soldiers pays great dividends—intangible but vital. All you have to do is look in those soldiers’ eyes in Bosnia to know how much they appreciate the emphasis we are putting on taking care of them and their families. – pp. 25, 22

I married a saint. My wife, Mary Jo, has been there every step of the way, through good times and bad. I certainly would not be here without her. She is the perfect Army wife because she cares deeply for Army families, and more importantly, she does something about it. –p. 278

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


Force Structure

Considering a force for the future starts with the National Military Strategy. Strategy comes first. Strategy drives requirements—requirements then determine force structure and everything that follows. The triumphs and failures of American military history can be traced through how well we have kept the demands of strategy and the requirements for military force in balance. When the link between strategy and our rationale for retaining and modernizing forces remained clear and compelling, the military proved an effective instrument of national policy. When strategy and military capability drifted apart we put both our national interests and the men and women of the armed forces at risk. Strategy is important because it is the underpinning for everything we do. –pp. 214, viii, 193; Cong. Test., March 24, 1999

The key to providing the requisite capabilities to the nation is balanced, general purpose forces. Balanced forces provide the broadest range of options to policy makers and offer the most credible deterrent to the wide spectrum of potential threats. There is no substitute for a complementary mix of agile, flexible joint forces that can confront a foe with a complex array of formidable capabilities. Further, these joint forces must be of sufficient size and strength to reassure our allies and execute necessary operations without providing a window of vulnerability for others to exploit. –p. 207; Cong. Test., March 13, 1996, and March 13, 1997

There are no silver bullets. There is no single technology or operational capability that will meet all our future requirements. If we concentrate our resources on any one particular type of conflict, we may deter that conflict while possibly encouraging another. The answer to future challenges will not be found in simple solutions, but in determining how we can make the best use of all the aspects of national power and build effective multi-national coalitions, combining them in creative and innovative ways, and adapting them to the specific needs of each security challenge. –p. 207; Cong. Test., March 13, 1996

To provide leadership and to promote democratic principles, human rights, and free-market economies in the world, the United States will need an Army that is more strategically responsive. Advances in precision weaponry and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will make the future battlefield a much more lethal place. Tomorrow’s tactical engagement areas will likely extend as far as today’s operational

and strategic distances. To survive and accomplish its objectives in such an environment, the Army must become more mentally and physically agile. It must also fight as part of a joint team, contributing its unique capabilities toward the realization of the operational concepts laid out in Joint Vision 2010. While advances in precision weapons will make the battlefield more lethal, events have shown that if we want to protect a people’s cultural and ethnic existence, we have to do it the old—fashioned way— by putting troops on the ground. –pp. 270–271

In preparing to meet the demands of 2020 and beyond, planners must recognize that the future geostrategic environment will be increasingly urbanized, requiring forces that can discriminate between combatants and noncombatants and which can apply appropriate combinations of lethal and nonlethal force. Our forces in the future will have to deal effectively with asymmetric challenges, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, information warfare, special operations or clandestine forces, attempts to deny regional access to our allies and U.S. forces, urban warfare, and an adversary’s use of civilians and refugees as shields against U.S. stand-off precision-guided munitions.

We know what we want the Army’s characteristics to be in 2020. The Army—and our sister services— should be:

-Joint by design, not by accommodation.

-Capable of fully exploiting information-age technologies.

-Led by streamlined headquarters elements. -Mobile—strategically, operationally, and tactically. -Versatile, with units that can perform multiple,

disparate functions.
-Flexible, with units that can deftly transition

between the use of lethal and nonlethal force, as the situation dictates.

-Logistically unencumbered—“just-in-time,” rather than “just-in-case.”

-Capable of implementing the operational concepts of Joint Vision 2010: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full-dimension protection, and focused logistics.

-A force that trains the way it fights. –pp. 118, 120; Cong. Test., May 21, 1997


History is a great teacher. It teaches us who we are by reminding us of who we were. I have been to

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


Gettysburg probably four or five times during my career, and each time I’ve learned something new about what took place on that hallowed ground. It is very important to be reminded occasionally of what war is all about. What our responsibilities as leaders are all about. I would challenge you to continue to study military history and what took place in the past. –p. 239; USMA, May 28, 1998

The Human Dimension

While the complexities of this institution are great, at the core it is very simple. It is all about people. As General Creighton Abrams, the Chief of Staff of the Army in the early 1970s, said, “The Army is not made of people, the Army is people. By people I do not mean personnel…I mean living, breathing, serving human beings. They have needs and interests and desires. They have spirit and will, strengths and abilities. They have weaknesses and faults; and they have means. They are the heart of our preparedness…and this preparedness—as a nation and as an Army—depends upon the spirit of our soldiers. It is the spirit that gives the Army…life.” Without it we cannot succeed.” That is as true today as it was when he said it. It will continue to be true in the 21st century. –pp. 279, 158, 6

The U.S. Army of today and of tomorrow, with its emphasis on developing advanced technology, must give equal, if not greater, emphasis to developing support for the human dimensions of change. Even with the best technology America can afford to provide, at the point of the spear it will still be a very recognizable fight—system against system, soldier against soldier. That is why our emphasis in Army XXI remains on mental agility and the other aspects of change associated with the human dimension. –pp. 165, 161

Every decision we make is a people issue. The greatest asset of the United States Army always has been, is today, and always will be its people. That is the way it has been for 221 years, and it will remain that way in the 21st century. –pp. 17, 78


The nature of modern warfare is joint warfare with land forces at the core of our joint warfighting capability. We can achieve victory only with the complete integration of air, sea, and land power. The

strength of our Army, therefore, is magnified by the synergy achieved through the cooperation and cohesion of a joint effort. Being an integral part of the joint team simply means we fight together. There’s an awful lot of controversy, controversy in terms of jointness while we compete for resources. Yes, we’re going to compete for resources, but we will be joint at the very end. What we must do is make the decisions that are best for the nation. That’s what we’re all pledged to do. But it is really in our own interest, our best interest, to assure that we become even more joint, particularly as we’re becoming smaller. –pp. 33, 43


The unique capability to exercise direct, continuing, and comprehensive control over land, its resources, and people is the essence of the Army’s contribution to the joint force in winning the nation’s wars. The Army is the only Service that has the capability to provide this support across the full spectrum of requirements.

Primary among these contributions is the role land forces play in support of preventive defense. Through peacetime engagement, land forces are active and dominant players in preventive defense activities ranging from nation-building to military-to-military contacts. Through their presence, they provide a unique capability to impart American/democratic values as they interact with nations’ armies and peoples to favorably shape the world environment and help keep potential dangers to our security from becoming full-blown threats.

They are the force that protects and controls populations, restores order, and facilitates the transition from hostilities to peace. It is through this dimension of influence that the land force component, the Army, serves to strengthen the nation’s position in security and foreign policy, in negotiating treaties, in dealing with foreign governments, and in establishing alliances.

The land component is also the force of choice to respond to natural and man-made disasters, assist communities during civil disturbances, and perform civic action/nation-building projects as required. In a dynamic and unpredictable geostrategic environment, the U.S. Army provides a full range of choices to the nation and a hedge against uncertainty—a unique asset, a national asset.

The threat of employing fully trained, highly motivated military forces equipped with modern,

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


powerful warfighting systems serves as a credible deterrent to adversaries who might otherwise perceive the risk of conflict worth the spoils of war. The forward stationing of land forces on foreign soil identifies regions of U.S. vital interests and signals the highest degree of commitment that these interests will be protected. The deployment of military forces in times of crisis commits the prestige, honor, and resolve of the nation. The deployment of land forces is the gravest response that can be made, short of war, to demonstrate the national will to prevent conflict. –pp. 86, 90, 33, 82

If the post–Cold War era has taught us anything, it is that landpower will have a fundamentally increased relevance in the 21st century. The demand for adequate landpower to support this great nation is established by enduring strategic realities. The United States is and will remain a global power with global responsibilities. The world is no longer as vast as it once was. We live in a global economic village where regional and global interdependencies are growing. The well-being of the economy of the United States is dependent upon regional stability elsewhere. Conflict and instability is now land-centered—no one else possesses the wherewithal to challenge U.S. dominance on the sea or in the sky. Land-centered conflict is people-focused and the ability to decisively control the land, populations, or valuable resources is essential to the resolution of conflict. Conflict prevention and conflict resolution—in this world, both today and tomorrow—requires boots on the ground.

During the 40 years from 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Army conducted 10 notable deployments. Since 1990, in the short span of six years, we have deployed 25 times—an increase in missions by a factor of 16. This new paradigm reflects the significance of land forces in supporting the National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. Most future operations will occur on the lower and middle portions of the continuum of military operations ranging from disaster relief to global war, where land forces provide unique and essential capabilities, the most options, and the most useful tools. These types of operations require the commitment of U.S. land forces to establish leadership and to enable our allies and coalition partners. They call for soldiers on the ground, directly interfacing with the civilians and/or military involved in the crisis. The frequency of demands for land forces will increase as the Army is called upon to support peacetime engagement activities, such as multilateral military exercises, training, military-to-military

exchanges, as well as crises on the lower end of the continuum. –pp. 90, 83, 84


My experience is that three things are essential for success:

First, do what’s right every day, legally and morally. You’ll get a lot of advice on what’s legally correct, but it is not enough just to do what is legally right, you must do what is morally right also. The moral litmus test can only come from one person, you, you have to look yourself in the mirror every day and say, “Am I doing what’s right?” That is all I ask of anyone: Do what is right. Leaders must look to their soldiers and focus on the good. No soldier wakes up in the morning and says, “Okay, how am I going to screw this up today?” Soldiers want to do good and commanders should give them that opportunity. An outstanding soldier, Command Sergeant Major Richard Cayton, the former US Forces Command (FORSCOM) sergeant major, summed up a leader’s responsibility this way: “Your soldiers will walk a path and they will come to a crossroad; if you are standing at the crossroad, where you belong, you can guide your soldiers to the right path and make them successful.” The Army’s leaders must ensure that they are always “standing at the crossroads.” If we empower people to do what is legally and morally right, there is no limit to the good we can accomplish

The second point of my leadership philosophy is to create an environment where people can be all they can be. Many soldiers enlisted under this recruiting slogan, and we have a responsibility to assist them in developing mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially to their full potential. It is essential that leaders develop the initiative of subordinates. Initiative will be stifled and creativity destroyed unless soldiers feel they have been given a fair chance to mature and grow. Every soldier must feel he is being treated fairly and that you care and are making an honest attempt to ensure he or she reaches full potential. We have to give them the opportunity to be all they can be. That is what leadership does. At the same time, we also need to challenge ourselves to be all we can be.

The third point of my leadership philosophy is to treat others as you would have them treat you—a basic respect for the dignity of each individual; treating all with dignity and respect. This is a simple restatement of the Golden Rule, but it is a critical issue. The Army is a complex organization and we need people of

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


diverse skills, and we must ensure that all have a path to success.

If we practice three basic rules, we will create a leadership environment in which all soldiers can grow and thrive, and build the teamwork so essential to everything we do. If we do these three things, there are no problems too complex, no challenges too great for us to handle. –pp. 5, 275, 17, 163, 18, 129, 157; USMA, May 28, 1998

When you get down to the fundamental level, leadership is fairly simple and doesn’t change based upon rank. Basically it requires us to know the details of our profession, to truly care and focus on our soldiers, and to lead by example. That focus must be down, not up. For leaders to contribute they must focus primarily on what their troops are doing and not on their boss’ schedule. If our focus is down and we truly care about taking care of soldiers then the contributions naturally flow and success is ensured. As I look back on 35 years of service, I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve had an opportunity to help some people and I’ve seen many of those who work for me develop to be all they can be. I know that’s what I’ll remember most when it’s all said and done. –pp. 206, 129

Command authority is a sacred trust bestowed upon our leaders. When that authority is abused by one or two individuals it diminishes the whole institution. On taking the oath, soldiers voluntarily forego certain individual liberties, to the point that they must be willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of the nation. It is this voluntary surrender of individual liberties for the common good that makes any abuse of authority by leaders appointed over soldiers so egregious and devastating to discipline. We must eliminate any and all abuse of authority. –pp. 69, 163

Soldiers must have absolute trust and confidence in their leaders. Soldiers must trust that their leaders are selfless, objective, knowledgeable, and dedicated to doing what is best for them, their unit, and the Army. They must be confident that their leaders’ decisions always support these same core values. In short, they must have confidence in the chain of command, and that confidence must be earned. Trust and confidence are intangibles, but I guarantee you that without them no organization, especially a military one, will be able to function and work as it should. Military leaders potentially have to make life and death decisions that affect their soldiers through the orders they issue. At the critical time when orders need to be followed

without question, doubt and lack of confidence in the chain of command will cause casualties. Confidence and trust engender discipline, which saves lives. The circumstances that foster trust and confidence must prevail. Leader-subordinate relationships defined by these tenets are absolute and essential to mission accomplishment. –Cong. Test., Feb. 4, 1997

With our diversity in terms of race and gender, one of the things we bring to Bosnia is a role model on how things could and should be. We have been able to leverage that diversity into the finest military organization of the day. Hopefully that lesson will not be lost on the Bosnians. They ultimately will have to make their diversity work for them. However, diversity in itself is not the total answer. What unlocks the great strength in diversity is values-based leadership. Values-based leadership means setting the example and then creating a command climate where soldiers can put values into practice. It is leadership best described by the simple principle “be, know, do.” Leaders must not only exemplify Army values in their words and deeds, they must create the opportunity for every soldier in their command to live them as well. Without values-based leadership and consideration of others, no organization or entity is able to achieve its full potential. You can’t just preach it, you must demonstrate it. That clearly is one of our most important tasks and that’s why the actions of soldiers and leaders of all ranks are so important. Through their example they are truly shaping the environment of the future. –pp. 211, 246

The role of leadership is to turn challenges into opportunities. Problems can be solved by concerned, caring, and committed leaders. Leaders are the key, and leading is our strong suit. I’m basically an optimist and tend to focus on the fact that the U.S. Army has always faced challenges, and one of the things that’s made us great is our ability to solve them. In solving problems, we will make ourselves a stronger Army— we have 222 years of leadership experience to guide us. Make the best out of all the experience you gain— make it work for you. All of us have an opportunity to make history. –pp. 275, 156, 26, 157, 20; USMA, May 28, 1998

Leadership Climate

The environment that Total Army leaders create needs to be ethical as well as predictable. Ensuring an ethical

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


command climate requires commitment to Army values and leadership, as well as an unswerving commitment to doing what is morally and legally right.

–p. 249

The zero-defects mentality—where a commander feels his command must be error free—is not new. But we must possess the moral courage to deny this damaging philosophy that says it is worse to report a mistake than it is to make one. This lack of moral courage in peacetime can have disastrous results in battle. General Matthew B. Ridgway described this as a challenge of moral courage, saying, “It has long seemed to me that the hard decisions are not the ones you make in the heat of battle. Far harder to make are those involved in speaking your mind about some harebrained scheme which proposes to commit troops to action under conditions where failure seems almost certain, and the only results will be the needless sacrifice of priceless lives.” General George C. Marshall, echoing Ridgway’s sentiment, described the need for leaders with the moral courage to tell their superiors when they are wrong. “It is hard to get men to do this, for this is when you lay your career, perhaps your commission, on the line.”

The zero-defects mindset can make the Army, as an institution, very risk adverse, and it can also create an environment where ethics are easily compromised. We must take the time to train subordinates, allow them to make mistakes, and retrain them to standard. Many of us in senior leadership positions today wouldn’t be here if our leaders and mentors hadn’t done this for us. Micromanagement, careerism, integrity violations, and the zero-defects mindset can all be dispelled by positive leadership. We have defeated these attitudes in the past. We must do so again. –pp. 18, 29

Leadership Development

The investment we have made in leadership as an institution is paying huge dividends. Built upon the solid foundation of values and framed by the three pillars of institutional training, operational assignments, and self-development, that model works well whether you’re recruiting soldiers, training them in basic training, or leading them in operations like DESERT THUNDER. Leader development is a twenty-year investment. It takes us 20 years to grow a division commander. So if you want somebody as a leader who can be a division commander in 2020, and you want them with different skill sets, you’ve got to

start right about now in order to develop them because that’s how long it’s going to take. To lead the United States Army in the 21st century, we will have to develop leaders with values—men and women who are dedicated, selfless, committed, flexible, and self- confident, not afraid to take risks—well thought out and sound—and not afraid to act. They must value people and nurture them as their most important investment. –pp. 205, 13, 236, 57


Logistics is the lifeblood of armies—that is an indisputable constant in military history. There will never be a revolution in military affairs until there is a revolution in military logistics. This means putting our faith in concepts like velocity management and total asset visibility, giving up the comfort of stockpiling supplies on an iron mountain. We have to depend on systems that will deliver the right support, at the right place, at the right time. We have to build the systems that will give us the confidence and responsiveness we need. Revolutionizing logistical affairs and business practices is not only central to preparing for future military operations, it is also the fulcrum of our effort to balance readiness and modernization. We mitigate our risks only if we aggressively follow through on our transformation of the Army’s logistical and business practices.

Focused logistics will be the fusion of information, logistics, and transportation technologies to provide rapid crisis response, to track and shift assets even while enroute, and to deliver tailored logistics packages and sustainment directly at the strategic, operational, and tactical level of operations. We’ve demonstrated that in Bosnia, where the rules of engagement allow us to enforce peace and at the same time we’re prepared to go to war in a heartbeat if required. We must be able to transition quickly from lethal to nonlethal means and to be able to deploy that capability on the battlefield in a way that is applicable to each. Logistically, we must be unencumbered. The brute-force logistics of the past, where we stockpiled massive amounts of supplies, will be inadequate for the military operations of the future—we can no longer afford the large amount of equipment that we traditionally moved from one place to the other during the Cold War. We must be able to move quickly around the world and provide our troops with the supplies and repair parts they need in a timely manner.

–pp. 197, 231, 88, 126, 146

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999



Through mentoring we gain confidence in our ability to power down and give subordinates the ability to learn and develop. Mentoring is what differentiates power down from power off. Through mentoring we can program for success without micromanaging.

Everyone wants feedback. We need to tell soldiers when they make mistakes and then coach them to succeed. Part of mentoring is listening to soldiers. You can always learn from them. –pp. 206, 18, 19

America’s Army is unique in the world. Our advantage is the creativity, initiative, and ingenuity of our people. To foster this advantage, we must mentor the next generation of leaders. I’m not talking about some paper program but a real-life leader development program. This is not about picking out someone you like and making them a member of your fan club. This is about one-on-one, face-to-face counseling and preparing junior leaders for increased responsibility. This is what the operational assignment pillar of our leader development program is all about. It cannot be done without devoting adequate quality time to this particular task. This is a window of opportunity that we must leverage to build for the future. General Wilbur Creech, a great Air Force innovator and leader, said it best: “The first duty of any leader is to create more leaders.” The greatest legacy we have is how well we’ve trained our subordinates. When it’s all said and done and time to leave, that’s our report card. – pp. 29, 205, 206, 18


We are moving from an industrial age to an information age, moving from the Army of today to an Army based upon “Knowledge, Speed, and Power.” Knowledge will come from being able to leverage the tremendous capabilities associated with the information-age technology. Speed has two aspects, to be able to move forces, soldiers, anywhere in the world as quickly as possible. The second aspect is to be able to have the mental agility to think quick and to turn inside an enemy’s decision cycle and be able to checkmate him. In other words, we will remove his options so that he will have only two choices: to fight against overwhelming odds or to concede the conflict on our terms. Finally, it’s about power—to be able to have the right force, for the right situation, to be able to mix and match forces so that we can meet the missions we’re given. Knowledge, Speed, and Power

will also help us conduct stability and support operations more effectively by enabling us to put “boots on the ground” in the right locations, quickly, and with the right capabilities to control people and places. Knowledge of the capabilities and locations of friendly and hostile forces, the ability to move quickly anywhere on the globe with the right kinds of forces to do the job, will greatly facilitate peacekeeping, arms control verification, disaster relief, noncombatant evacuation, and counterterrorist missions. –pp. 275, 272

The greatest potential threat to Army readiness is the medium—and long-term impact of an increased operational pace and insufficient modernization funding. By failing to modernize and update our equipment, we put tomorrow’s soldiers at risk. In the event of conflict, a lack of modern equipment will cost the lives of brave soldiers. Soldiers with a technological advantage are not just more capable, they are more survivable. Providing soldiers the modern equipment they need helps to give them the edge. We cannot defer this until conflict seems inevitable. It is the irony of deterrence that we will be challenged when least ready. –Cong. Test., March 13, 1996


The Army’s NCO Corps is the finest in the world—it sets our Army apart and above every other. General Andrei Nikolayev, the Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, was on a two-week tour of military bases in the United States. After visiting the first base and seeing our NCOs in action he told one of his aides, “I know that these men and women wearing sergeants’ uniforms are really officers in disguise.” But as he went from base to base, and talked with the NCOs, he came to realize that they really were not officers. He was stunned and told Secretary of Defense William Perry that, “No military in the world has the quality of NCO…found in the United States.” He went on to say, “That’s what gives America its competitive military advantage.” That’s why we have the best military in the world. –pp. 99, 35, 15–16

The high quality of our NCO Corps was manifested in December 1995 when NATO, with almost 20,000 American soldiers, deployed into war-torn Bosnia- Herzegovina as part of the Implementation Force (IFOR) to enforce the provisions of the Dayton Peace Accord, introduce stability into the region, and set the conditions for peace to take hold. The operation

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


commenced when our soldiers bridged the Sava River between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina under the worst conditions imaginable. The river was at a 100- year high—it was cold, icy, wet, and muddy—and our soldiers put that bridge in without a single injury. Our NCO Corps made that happen. The world media was impressed by the technical competence, drive, determination, and leadership of our NCOs. When one reporter asked how the soldiers endured the cold and went sleepless to complete the bridge, one young leader, SSG Robert Butcher of the 535th Combat Support Equipment Company, said that the soldiers “weren’t going to let the river win.” –pp. 35, 159, 104; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997

Army veterans across the country remember their sergeants. If they were in combat they remember the squad leader who saved their life; veterans from war and peace remember the drill sergeant who changed their life. Even Secretary of Defense William Perry, an enlisted soldier some years ago, remembers his drill sergeant with respect and admiration. As Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney reminded them, they must live the NCO Creed: No one is more professional than the NCO, all soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership, and our NCOs will provide that leadership. NCOs are the backbone of the Army— always have been and always will be. The Army’s success today and in the future has been, and always will be, the result of our NCOs’ enforcement of the Army standards of mutual respect, teamwork, and honor. –p. 99

The Army has earned the admiration of the nation and the world. From Bosnia to Korea to Kuwait to the Olympics to forest fires, floods, and storms, soldiers trained by our drill sergeants have performed magnificently. The Army’s drill sergeants should justifiably feel proud of their part in this success. Drill sergeants accomplish minor miracles. They are charged with the tremendously difficult and absolutely critical task of turning our nation’s young men and women into professional soldiers who can fight and win on the battlefield, soldiers who are worthy of being called “our Nation’s credentials.” Drill sergeants do more than touch the future of our Army—they make it. –pp. 98, 154


While we change, we must continually provide trained and ready forces that are needed every day to support

the nation’s strategic requirements. The world permits no “time-outs” in preparing for the future. There has been over a 300 percent increase in the tempo at which we use ground forces since the end of the Cold War. We do not expect that pace to slow appreciably in the years ahead. So we must be prepared to develop future capabilities and, at the same time, be ever ready to place our soldiers in harm’s way with the absolute confidence that we have done everything required to best prepare them for the job. As President Harry S. Truman reminded the nation after World War II, “We must be prepared to pay the price of peace, or assuredly we will pay the price of war.” –pp. 110, 116; Cong. Test., Feb. 24, 1999

At the outbreak of WWII, the United States was suddenly caught in a strategy and forces mismatch, where our national interests far exceeded the capabilities of our forces. The great leaders of the Second World War, men like Generals Marshall and McNair, demonstrated remarkable leadership in creating an Army to fight a global war on very short order. They implemented new organizations, equipment, doctrine, and training methods overnight. They devised field trials to experiment with ideas and test men and machines. In winning, they also suffered 586,628 casualties. I could not but help wonder how different the campaign in Europe might have been if we had given these leaders more time and resources to prepare for the future, to develop the right equipment and right organizations so that we were prepared to mobilize for the crisis.

In August 1945, the American Army was the largest and most powerful Army in the world. Its 89 divisions had been instrumental in destroying the military might of the Axis powers—a tribute to the millions of brave men and women who served and the tremendous capabilities of corporate America. However, by June 1950, America’s Army had been reduced to a shell of its former self. We had rapidly gone from 89 divisions and eight million soldiers to 10 divisions and less than 600,000 soldiers. In 1950 we learned that deterrence is in the eye of the beholder. The North Koreans looked at South Korea and were not deterred by the 10 understrength and ill-equipped American divisions. Once again we were surprised and once again we paid a very steep price for our unpreparedness. As General Abrams said in 1973, “We paid dearly for our unpreparedness during those early days in Korea with our most precious currency—the lives of our young men. The monuments we raise to their heroism and sacrifice are really surrogates for the monuments we owe ourselves for our blindness to reality, for our

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


indifference to real threats to our security, and our determination to deal in intentions and perceptions, for our unsubstantiated wishful thinking about how war could not come.”

American history has shown, time and time again, that we have asked soldiers to go into harm’s way on short notice to defeat a determined and dangerous foe. When that happens, we must be satisfied that we have done our best to prepare them for the task at hand and ensure that they have the very best weapons and equipment the country can afford.

We must always have an Army of sufficient quality and size to deter potential adversaries and meet our international obligations. We have reached the limit on how small our Army can be and still credibly accomplish the tasks currently assigned to us. Numbers matter. No amount of training or abundance of sophisticated equipment will suffice if we do not have enough quality soldiers to carry out the nation’s bidding. To accomplish our missions many of our soldiers have had back-to-back deployments and extended separations from their families. The average American soldier assigned to a troop unit now spends 138 days a year away from home—and many special units such as MPs, air defense, and transportation have been carrying a heavier load. To accomplish the requirements of our national security strategy, we must be a credible and effective ground fighting force. Today we do not have the luxury of time—nor will we in the future. We must be ready to deal with the world asitis,notaswewishittobe.Wehavepaidthe price—in blood—too often to relearn that lesson.

Peace is the harvest of preparedness. As George Marshall said at the end of World War II, “We are now concerned with the peace of the entire world. And peace can only be maintained by the strong.” –pp. 7, 8, 110, 29; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997, and March 24, 1999

Recruiting and Retention

The Army is blessed with an outstanding corps of professional recruiters who have done a tremendous job of bringing young men and women into the force. Supporting the respond pillar of the National Military Strategy requires above all else, a trained and ready force. Meeting this responsibility starts with recruiting high-quality soldiers. The Army is a learning organization, and that learning is the key to success and personal and professional growth. Potential recruits, and their parents, will see the valuable experience the Army provides.

Be as supportive as you can of our recruiting effort. If you are traveling around and you go by a recruiting station, stop in. Just say hello to those sergeants and the officers out there and tell them that they are doing a great job. They will love to see you. I do that every once in a while, and I think you will be as impressed as I am if you go in there and talk to them. Those recruiters work eighteen hours a day, in many cases six or seven days a week. That is what they have to do in order to make mission. They would appreciate you just stopping by and saying hello—and saying thank you. –pp. 228, 191; Cong. Test., Feb. 10, 1998

The very high reenlistment rates among units that have conducted the most frequent operational deployments under harsh and dangerous conditions say a lot about the professionalism of American soldiers. Our men and women know that they are well trained. They have the tools to put that training into practice. Most important, they believe their effort and sacrifice is making a difference, saving lives, protecting property, and contributing to freedom and prosperity in places where these words had no meaning until an American soldier stood behind them.

Our soldiers sacrifice a great deal to serve their country. It is our obligation to provide them and their families with fair and adequate pay, quality medical care, safe and affordable housing, and stable retirement benefits. We may enlist soldiers, but we retain families. We continue to ask so much of the Army Family every day—they deserve a quality of life equal to that of the society they have pledged their lives to defend. –pp. 102, 10; Cong. Test., Feb. 10, 1998

The Reserve Components

Our approach to Total Army integration must be consistent with our National Military Strategy and the strategic requirements for landpower. In this respect, we must thoroughly understand and appreciate the unique contributions of each Army component. Each force has distinct attributes that best suit the specific needs of shaperespond, and prepare. Active forces are ideally suited for forward presence, global rapid response, and frequent or prolonged deployments. The Army Reserve contributes critical support units, power projection and training enablers, and individual soldiers to support the Total Army. The Army National Guard, through its primary emphasis on combat units, provides critical enablers that complete the Army’s capability to perform the full spectrum of

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


potential missions. In addition to their warfighting missions, they man the frontlines for homeland defense and domestic emergency response.

The Army Reserve and the Army National Guard add resilience to the force, providing the Army with the means to rapidly expand and tailor its capabilities to match the strategic demand for land forces. The United States Army Reserve and Army National Guard, in fact, comprise 54 percent of America’s Army, by far the largest percentage in any of the Services. The Army could not function without them nor expand to meet the nation’s often-changing global responsibilities.

Total Army integration is not about how reserve component units can supplement or replace active units—it is a process of combining the three components to create the force our nation needs—it is all about quality—ensuring we have the best mix of forces available to get the job done. One Team, One Fight, One Future represents the Army’s concept for developing Total Army integration programs. More than just a slogan, these words reflect three ideas that are the core of our effort to provide the most effective and efficient landpower for the 21st century. The Army components must be supported, resourced, and modernized as one fully and completely integrated team. This team must function and fight together as a Total Army, with each component sharing in the duties and responsibilities of the nation’s defense. Most importantly, the team must draw on the knowledge, expertise, and wisdom of senior leaders from across the force to make the right decisions to prepare the Army to meet America’s future national security needs. These are the thoughts that stand behind our commitment to One Team, One Fight, One Future. – pp. 214, 215, 213

Fifty-three years ago, in one of the greatest examples of power projection the world has ever seen, we began the liberation of Europe with the invasion of Normandy. This enormous task commanded a total effort. In the first wave to hit OMAHA BEACH on D- Day, Regular Army soldiers from the Big Red One, the 1st Infantry Division, served alongside National Guard soldiers from the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division—one team, one fight. Today elements of the 116th Infantry Regiment are at Fort Polk, Louisiana, preparing to return to Europe—this time to Bosnia—preparing once again to serve alongside the soldiers of the Big Red One. Fifty-three years have passed since we invaded Normandy, but it’s still the same tradition. It’s still the same teamwork. –p. 169

Our reserve component soldiers are our strongest link to the American people. The reserve components are the visible presence of America’s Army in our nation’s communities. The Army National Guard and Army Reserve expand the opportunities for every citizen to serve the nation and expand our nation’s power, making America equal to any challenge wherever and whenever it might appear. –pp. 212, 215


We know we have a great Army, but we also recognize keeping it great is no easy task; it requires tough, difficult choices, and one of the most difficult is how to balance requirements with resources. We have to do the best job with the resources we have. We owe that to the American taxpayer—and more importantly, we owe it to our soldiers.

America’s Army is cost-effective. Our Army receives less than 25 percent of the total Department of Defense budget. Spending on the entire Army accounts for less than 1 percent of GDP—the lowest level of spending since Pearl Harbor. Our reduced resourcing reflects both the change in the nation’s national security needs since the end of the Cold War, and the priority given to balancing the federal budget in order to maintain the health of our economy. And this shift has had a profound effect on our nation. Reduced defense expenditures have amounted to a peace dividend of $700 billion over the last decade. And this year for the first year in almost thirty years we have a balanced budget, a budget surplus, and a thriving economy. This should not be surprising, for during the same time, the Army has helped maintain peace and stability around the world, stability that has added almost 2 million jobs to the American economy.

–pp. 240, 10


The American people trust us in a way they trust nobody else. They give us their sons and daughters and they expect us to take care of them. They do not ask what we are going to do with them. They just expect us to do what is right. That is why the opportunity and responsibility to train these young men and women and to ensure they are prepared to do their mission when they deploy is so important. –p. 36

The end of the Cold War was a victory for the people of the world, and as a global leader we have an

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


obligation to do what we can to make the next century safer and better than the one we are about to complete. You will deal with a wide range of responsibilities from warfighting to peacekeeping. That is a reflection of the world we live in. We are involved with shaping the future—shaping the future and making it better for our children and grandchildren—and what a wonderful opportunity that is—and what a great challenge. – Cong. Test., May 21, 1997; USMA, May 28, 1998


No one gives more than an Army soldier. In Bosnia, America’s Army undertook the difficult mission of bringing peace to an area of the world mired in ethnic hatred and civil war. There is no doubt that thousands of people in that area owe their lives to the sacrifices and service of our soldiers. The promise of a brighter future is also within their grasp and really up to the people in that land. I cannot imagine a greater gift to give than the one our soldiers are giving. What a great contribution to make to society. –pp. 229, 159, 184

Some soldiers win fame and honor on the battlefield. Others quietly contribute every day to winning the peace for us, our children, and our grandchildren. In Central Europe the accession of Poland and the Czech Republic to full NATO membership has been ably assisted by the hard work of our soldiers serving there. In Bosnia they endure considerable hardship in order to ensure that the people of that war-torn land have an opportunity for a future. No bands, no parades for them—but they know in their hearts that their efforts will help to assure peace in Europe and the world for the next generation. We’re so very fortunate to have them. –pp. 135, 184

Whatever we do—wherever we go—we must never forget it is all about the American soldier. They suffered at Valley Forge. They were the “first wavers” at OMAHA BEACH. They walked point in Ia Drang. They crushed the Iraqi Army. They separated warring factions in Bosnia. The secret of success for us is very simple; it’s the young men and women who serve in our Army today. These are wonderful, wonderful young men and women. –pp. 238, 227, 237

The most important and the “smartest” weapon in the Army’s defense arsenal is the soldier, carrying out the will of the nation. They ask for so little and they do so much for our Army and for the Nation. Ultimately, America’s soldiers will be the ones to achieve the

nation’s goals. The Army’s strength always has been, and always will be, the American soldier—our nation’s tired, cold, dirty, magnificent soldiers. –pp. 91, 160, 83; Cong. Test., Feb. 4, 1997, and March 13, 1997

The 8th ID in World War II: In September 1944, on the Crozon Peninsula, German MG Hermann Ramcke asked to discuss surrender terms with the American Army. General Ramcke was in his bunker. His staff brought the 8th Infantry Division’s Assistant Division Commander, BG Charles Canham, down the concrete stairway to the underground headquarters. Ramcke addressed Canham through his interpreter. He said, “I am to surrender to you. Let me see your credentials.” Pointing to the American infantrymen crowding the dugout entrance, Canham replied, “These are my credentials.” That sentiment is true today. Soldiers are our credentials! –p. iv

The Army has provided 220 years of selfless service to our nation. Millions of Americans have served in this great Army. They have accomplished a great deal and have made many sacrifices. The greatest and enduring lesson of our past is that people are the single most important element of any successful force. The great spirit, courage, selfless dedication, and commitment, so clearly demonstrated by American soldiers throughout history, have passed from generation to generation to the talented people that make up today’s Army. Today’s soldiers continue to make this the finest Army in the world. –p. 3; Cong. Test., Feb. 24, 1999

Soldiers come in all sizes, all colors, and from different races. There is not an adequate way to describe them. MacArthur did it best when he described him as “one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame is the birthright of every American. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history…. When I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history.” Wherever I have been in the last 37 years I have seen those soldiers of whom MacArthur spoke. They have done the nation’s bidding. They were a band of brothers; they sacrificed and served. “They have drained deep the chalice of courage,” and some gave, as Lincoln said, “The last

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


full measure of devotion.” They made things better, and they made a difference. Soldiers—what a noble title. –pp. 276, 241–242, 279, 237

What a magnificent story Steven Spielberg tells in his film Saving Private Ryan. For me the most profound moment was when Private James Francis Ryan from Iowa was standing on the windswept cliffs of Normandy, by the sweeping fields of crosses and stars of David—youth long gone, the war and the terror of Normandy many years in his past—and he turned to his wife and said, “Tell me I’m a good man. Tell me I did a good job.” He had to know if saving him had been worth the sacrifice of Captain John Miller and a handful of brave men. But Saving Private Ryan was more than just a movie about Captain John Miller and the men who saved James Francis Ryan. It was about a generation who saved the world, a generation who gave us the priceless gift of freedom, and a generation that told us, as John Miller told James Francis Ryan at the end, “Earn it.” All of us who serve in the military today take that charge to heart. There are thousands of monuments to the American soldier from the bronze and marble monuments rising on the fields of Gettysburg to the simple crosses in Arlington. Each speaks to a special moment of service and sacrifice. Each reminds us of the men and women of America’s Army—working at a refugee center in Bosnia, standing guard at the DMZ in Korea—America’s sons and daughters—our most precious asset. It is in their eyes, in their hearts, and through their deeds that we answer James Francis Ryan. Yes, the American soldier has led a good life. –pp. 242, 237

Strategic Environment/Threats

Today’s global security environment remains complex and full of unknowns. No longer are we confronted with “a clear and present danger.” Traditional national and ethnic enmities will sustain the demand for high- technology weaponry, further retarding economic development while raising the cost of conflict. Ethnic divisions that were suppressed by the Cold War can erupt with suddenness and ferocity, as the tragedy in Bosnia-Herzegovina demonstrated all too vividly. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, and nuclear), the threat of terrorism, international crime, and drug trafficking pose a serious danger to the security of the United States and to global stability. Uneven economic development will prolong poverty throughout many

parts of the globe, promoting terrorism and malignant drug-based economies. The gap between rich and poor societies has expanded dramatically, separating nations and continents into fundamentally different worlds. We must also anticipate that our military forces will face transnational threats whose power, influence, and interests transcend borders. The pace of global urbanization is another issue of growing importance for military operations.

The current and projected security environments suggest many potential challenges from either states or individuals who comprise “transnational groups.” Faced with superior US conventional military power, potential foes are far more likely to seek out asymmetrical responses and countermeasures, avoiding our strengths and attacking our vulnerabilities. Potential foes may devise unique weapons or strategies that avoid direct confrontation with our combat forces and strike at our bases, diplomatic posts, economic interests, telecommunications, computer networks, or the American homeland. In addition, we may have to conduct many different types of military operations (working with the other Armed Services and federal agencies) possibly simultaneously with little or no reaction time.

Conflict today is marked by increased precision and firepower across expanded battlefield dimensions, increased speed and tempo, the ability to see the enemy at any time and anywhere and the means to take the battle to him continuously. Precision-guided munitions and high-technology weapons proliferation among developing nations will make future battlefields, even in the developing world, high-risk environments. Increasingly lethal weapons, along with enhanced sensors, sophisticated countermeasures, and reduced signature platforms will provide regional adversaries with capabilities that are disproportionate to overall force size or level of economic development. –pp. 5, 117, 207, 255; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997


Teamwork, the ability to work together for a common cause, is critical to everything the Army does. The breadth and depth of Army operations, the many ways we use our force to secure the safety of the American people, demand a high level of teamwork. We have to be able to take soldiers with diverse backgrounds and experience and combine them into effective, cohesive

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


teams, often very quickly under stressful and dangerous conditions. And we must form these teams constantly and unendingly, building teamwork, and then forming new teams to meet every mission.

Shared standards and shared experiences create the cohesion that is extremely important to building trust among soldiers. When that experience is done to standard, it builds cohesion and teamwork. Teammates complement one another’s strengths and compensate for one another’s limitations. The result is a unit whose performance as a whole is greater than the sum of the individual efforts of its members.

Teamwork is absolutely essential for units to fight and win on the battlefield or to perform other critical, tough missions. Soldiers have to know that they can rely on each other and their leaders; this fact mandates mutual trust and respect. Soldiers who don’t treat each other with respect cannot be relied upon to risk their lives for each other on the modern battlefield. Developing these values—this discipline and teamwork in soldiers—takes both time and resources, but it is a necessary process.

The Army must create an environment where all soldiers, regardless of race or gender, feel that they are vital members of the team. The Army is a diverse organization. There is great strength in this diversity and we can only leverage that strength when everybody feels they are a valued member of the team. We have been successful for 221 years because of the strong bond of trust and confidence shared by our soldiers. This trust and confidence is based on our commitment to Army values, discipline, and teamwork. These fundamentals have been the touchstone for our efforts during the last year and the azimuth for the path we will take to the future. –pp. 163, 251, 164, 247, 163, 154, 231; Cong. Test., March 13, 1997

As I think back over my 37 years of military service, I have learned that the Army’s waxing and waning has had less to do with the resources available than with our commitment to pull together. The Army is at heart a community, a community of active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers, civilian employees, and their families. Communities thrive when people care about one another, work for the common good, and trust one another. Today’s Army is seeded with this spirit and sense of community, the commitment to address our shortfalls and build upon our strengths. I am optimistic about the future and convinced that because we hold tight to a strong tradition of commitment to one another, we are and will remain the best army on Earth. –pp. 246, 217


There is a tremendous synergy that you get from being able to know where all the friendly forces are 100 percent of the time and being able to locate a large number of the enemy all of the time. It enables you to do certain things that you never have done before on the battlefield. The tactical agility associated with this type of knowledge gives you the speed necessary to turn within the enemy’s decision cycle. By ensuring that the right force is at the right place at the right time we have the power necessary to accomplish any mission.

I traveled to the National Training Center with Secretary of Defense William Cohen and we visited the task force operations centers and the operations officer talked to him about situational awareness. He said, “You know, before we had situational awareness, before we were able to answer the questions, ‘Where am I?’ ‘Where are my buddies?’ and ‘Where is the enemy?’ I spent 70 percent of my time gathering information, and 30 percent of my time trying to make a recommendation or give advice to the command. With situational awareness, that’ s reversed. I now spend 30 percent of my time gathering information and 70 percent analyzing it and making recommendations.” That is powerful. –pp. 73, 269, 126–127, 142

The key to winning future wars is learning how to use information systems to best advantage. Getting the most out of our future force will not happen without deliberate, disciplined effort. Technology can become a straitjacket for the military mind as easily as it can be used to unleash the power of our soldiers. During the Vietnam War, helicopters could whisk commanders to any battlefield at any time. Some used this technology to extend their control over subordinate leaders. We called them “squad leaders in the sky.” We must be smarter than that! Leading in the Information Age requires new trust and confidence—trust in technology and the confidence to share information and decisionmaking. New information systems serve as “enablers” for shared understanding, trust, and synergy. They allow for rapid and accurate commander’s intent dissemination and promote immediate group discussion and interaction to foster high-quality, effective battlefield performance. Without discipline, accumulating masses of data through information technology can quickly lead to over-centralized decisionmaking. We must have the trust and confidence to empower leaders at all levels

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


with information, allowing them to exercise their good judgment and initiative. –pp. 247–248, 175

Information Age technology offers the Army the opportunity to greatly enhance mobility, lethality, and communications. There is much talk about what technology is going to give us—and it will—to a point. Technology is critical but it will not change the fundamental principles of war or the foundations upon which the institution of the Army rests. The cornerstone of America’s Army will continue to be quality soldiers who possess a strong sense of values. To some the idea of Information Age warfare conjures up images of bloodless conflict, images that resemble a computer game more than the bloody wars we have known in the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. The style of warfare will change, but its impact on nations, armies, and soldiers will not. The fates of nations and armies will still be decided by war, but with speed and lethality unmatched in the past. It is also false to believe that new technology will automatically result in large-scale reductions in the size of the Army. All these capabilities that we talked about—to reassure, to support, to deter, and to compel—are embedded in the United States Army. But they require boots on the ground. Whatever technological and operational changes may occur, however, soldiers will always be the key to victory. We’ll keep our combination of high technology and quality soldiers. It’s unbeatable. –pp. 160, 91, 74, 46

The Total Army

The first and oldest Army tradition is our citizen- soldier heritage. The idea of the citizen-soldier is the heart of republican democracy. This tradition recognizes that citizenship carries both rights and responsibilities. Foremost among our responsibilities is each citizen’s obligation to serve the common good and, when necessary, to take up arms in the common defense. The opportunity and honor to serve this great country are an essential part of what binds us together as one people. A clear but bitter lesson of the Vietnam War is that when America fights with anything less than a Total Army effort, we diminish ourselves. Committing the T otal Army is an unmistakable statement of our nation’s purpose, a bold declaration to any foe that they are facing the resolve of all Americans. Learning this lesson well after the Vietnam War, Army Chief of Staff General Creighton W. Abrams restructured the force, ensuring that in future conflicts America’s Army would fight the first battle

together. This fundamental concept remains at the core of the Army’s traditions.

Today’s Army is a multidimensional team. It is composed of active component, Army National Guard, United States Army Reserve, Department of the Army Civilians, as well as many different races and creeds, men and women. Our unity as a total force is evident when I travel and talk to soldiers. When I ask them, “Where are you from?” or ask them whether they are Army National Guard, Army Reserve, or active component, they really do not care. The soldiers always focus on the fact that they are wearing U.S. Army tags on their BDUs.

We can be optimistic about the future. We know that in peace and war we must always depend on each other. As a smaller Army, it is more important than ever that we leverage the capabilities of entire force (active, Reserve, and civilian), our nation’s industrial base, and the academic genius of our learning institutions. We are one Army whose sum is far greater than any of its parts. We must maximize the unique capabilities and talents each component brings to the warfighting table. Our commitment to one another is the key to remaining the best Army in the world. –pp. 213, 166, 193, 217, 4

Tradition and Heritage

Values and traditions are the soul of the Army. For over two hundred years, from Bunker Hill, to Gettysburg, to the Bulge, and on to Somalia, these values and traditions were forged by the harsh and unforgiving flames of combat. The Army and its soldiers draw strength from our values and traditions. They are and will always be our anchor in difficult and turbulent times. They inspire us to do what is right, day-in and day-out, in peace and in war. They are the keys to our success in the future. –pp. 162, 239, 173

Ours is a profession filled with glorious traditions and as we move to the future, we shall build on those great traditions. Tradition and ceremony are the torch by which we pass the light of our Army values from one generation of soldiers to the next. We need to keep that torch burning brightly to light our way into the 21st century.

General Jonathan Wainwright, when he surrendered at Corregidor and as he brought the American flag down for the last time, folded that flag and gave it to a young soldier and said, “Young man, carry this flag and when it’s all over give it to the Secretary of War.”

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


The soldier took that flag and he carried it to his death. Before he died, he gave it to a second soldier who was so weak that he could not carry the whole flag, but he took a scissors and cut a piece of cloth from the flag and sewed it inside his field jacket and true to his charge, he carried it to the end of his ordeal. He presented the patch of cloth to the Secretary of War. Today that tattered piece of the red, white, and blue hangs silently on the walls of the museum at West Point and speaks volumes about the courage, the selfless service, and the sacrifice of our soldiers. It speaks volumes about the spirit of an Army that couldn’t be beaten, no matter what the odds.

Why do we keep going back to memories of the past? Because today’s soldiers are linked to the soldiers of the past. There’s a brotherhood in history. We must never, never forget their lessons. –pp. 169, 38, 168


At 1607 hours on 26 February 1991, Captain H. R. McMaster led a nine-tank formation across a desolate part of the southern Iraqi desert. As McMaster crested a small rise, he encountered nine Iraqi T-72s dug in on the reverse slope. In a short fight lasting only 28 minutes, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment’s E Troop destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, eight BMP Soviet armored personnel carriers, and nearly 50 other vehicles. This action and others like it during Operation DESERT STORM and missions in Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia have earned the U.S. Army the reputation as the best-trained army in the world. The execution that earned this reputation, however, was not an accident and did not occur overnight. One of the most important lessons learned from DESERT STORM was that the war was not won in 100 hours or 9 months. Developing the combination of people and equipment that performed so magnificently in that operation took us more than 15 years. DESERT STORM’s success was not magic, but rather the direct result of tough, realistic, training honed to a razor’s edge at home station and in our Combat Training Center (CTC) program. –p. 51

Commanders in Bosnia are blazing new trails. They are dealing with the challenges of how you separate warring factions and build trust in an environment previously devoid of it. There are no school solutions about any of these problems and in fact the people on the ground are writing the book. Yet, no one seems daunted by the challenge. There are a lot of reasons

for that. First and foremost, the soldiers have been well trained. They are confident. I talked to a number of them and they all told me that they had not experienced any surprises. Pre-deployment training had been tough but realistic. This is the proof of the pudding and Bosnia validates the need for tough, realistic training. –p. 22

Our CTC program is the crown jewel of the Army training program. CTCs are about training hard and learning. What really counts is how much units learn and improve during the course of a cycle. By that measure, units are still learning the vital skills that will make them winners on the battlefield. By that measure, learning is winning. The CTCs provide units with a focused, distraction-free, and realistic training environment unavailable at home station. Additionally, the CTCs provide a high-quality, experienced cadre of observers, controllers, and opposing forces that also cannot be replicated at home station. The teaching, coaching, and mentoring they provide is one of the greatest benefits of the process. We never attempt to compare one unit’s performance against another. There are two reasons for this. First, the conditions are never the same and, more importantly, we must protect the integrity of the after action review process. I firmly believe that our AARs are both unique and the true strength of our training process. The minute soldiers and leaders feel that they are going to be criticized for their mistakes we will change the learning and assessment process of the CTC program to an evaluation process and we will destroy the goodness of what we are doing there. –pp. 202, 199

FM 25-101 states that the CTCs were designed “to provide the most realistic training short of combat.” We want this experience to be the toughest experience our soldiers will ever have to endure—“the more we sweat in training the less we bleed in war.” In meeting this objective they have been a remarkable success. The CTCs give us the unique ability to synchronize all elements of the combined arms team in an environment that closely approximates combat.

The sophistication of the CTCs has increased by “an order of magnitude” since the end of the Cold War, but continues to be focused on tough, realistic, high- intensity combat. We need to begin to look at expanding their role in training for the asymmetrical threats we anticipate our soldiers will face in the years ahead. This training will not dilute or detract from our warfighting focus, but it will place additional emphasis on emerging threats, such as urban combat, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999


greater intermingling of combatants and noncombatants on the battlefield. –pp. 55, 199; Cong. Test., Feb. 10, 1998

More training is not always better training. I do not believe we can do more with less. However, I do believe we must get the best out of what we get. Fewer but higher-quality training events are more important than ensuring every moment on the training schedule is chock full of activity. Sometimes less is better. Former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan’s adage that “More is not better, better is better,” is true today.

The Army must move more toward a “continuum of training.” Training realism must be achieved at home and at the CTCs. Commanders must train within the band of excellence throughout the year. Home-station training plays a large role in sustaining readiness within that band of excellence. CTC rotations should not be viewed as “Superbowl” events. Our Army never has an “off-season.” –pp. 248–249, 54, 55


Values and strong bonds are what make soldiers successful and inspire the sense of purpose necessary to sustain our soldiers in combat and help them deal with the demanding requirements of all other military operations. Values are at the core of everything our Army is and does. The ethical revolution after Vietnam again reminded us of the vital importance of our core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity and Personal courage. You can remember those because the first letter of each word spells out the abbreviation “LDRSHIP.” We don’t want you just to remember those words, we want you to live them, we want you to lead from up front in all that you do. As Drill Sergeant of the Year SFC Mark Barnes said, “How you inspire and lead has a lot to do with what obstacles soldiers can overcome.”

pp. 78, 114, 123, 113, 111, 276, 253

The values on which we have created the premier land combat force in the world will be critical to our success in the years ahead. Values are the solid foundation upon which the Army is built, values which define the fundamental character of the United States Army. In the future, a source of strength will be these values. They are the signposts that will guide us from the past to the future. They are the constant that makes

a difference. Values and traditions have sustained us for 222 years—through the good times and the bad. They sustain us today, and God willing, so will it always be. –pp. 123, 169, 14

Leaders of character and competence live Army values. They build and maintain an Army where people do what is right, treat others as they themselves want to be treated, and where everyone can truly be all they can be. You have to spend time discussing values, explaining to new soldiers coming into the Army what values are all about, and reinforcing those values to all soldiers on a daily basis through leadership, action, and example. Internalizing these values—living them—is what builds professional soldiers. –pp. 83, 114, 161, 162

Values that emphasize only individual self-interest are cold comfort in times of hardship and danger. Rather, the Army emphasizes “shared” values, the values that make individuals reach beyond themselves. Army values build strong, cohesive organizations that, in turn, become the source of strength and solidarity for the team. –p. 251

We must recognize the importance of balancing moral and physical courage. Physical bravery is without question an important part of being a soldier. There will always be a special place for the extraordinary heroism that is the legacy of American soldiers in battle. But bravery in battle is only part of what makes a successful soldier. Soldiering is also about the moral courage reflected in the discipline and mental toughness to handle both lethal and nonlethal engagements. Today’s soldiers must be able to implement disciplined rules of engagement under stressful and demanding conditions. Our soldiers’ performance in Bosnia is an outstanding example of the other “face” of courage. –p. 247

Don’t ever forget your values—Duty, Honor, Country“Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”* Over 37 years, from Vietnam to the Pentagon, those three hallowed words, Duty, Honor, Country, have never failed me. They won’t fail you either. –p. 276 * GEN Douglas MacArthur

General Dennis J. Reimer: 1995–1999



From World War II we learned that victory in battle really comes from a balance in moral and material strength. Our industrial base gave us the weapons of war, but it was the support, the energy, and the initiative and sacrifice of the American people, and our friends and allies around the world, that enabled us to endure.

To Americans the terrible struggle in Korea will always remain foremost for us a lesson in the cost of unpreparedness. The outbreak of the Korean War was a bitter reminder that the lack of a modernized, capable military force in a troubled world is not a good precursor for peace. In contrast, Vietnam taught us that the lack of strong moral unity, within the nation—within the service itself—with friends and allies—can be equally devastating in war. After the twin lessons of Korea and Vietnam—the American Army entered the 1980s with introspection and renewed determination. The result was an impressive performance in DESERT STORM. This success was a combination of material improvement, and equally important, moral reinforcement through training, through an emphasis on values of service to the nation, through closer ties to our citizens, through teamwork with our coalition partners.

And from DESERT STORM we have learned more lessons about the balance of material and moral forces—both requirements for today and the future. DESERT STORM demonstrated that material strength alone is not a guarantor of victory. All weapons have their limitations. Precision-guided munitions, for example, made significant contributions but they are not the solution to every military problem. As the potential of future threats demonstrates, no thinking adversary, even one substantially overmatched in conventional military power, will allow an opponent to execute a plan unchecked. They will develop countermeasures and asymmetrical responses. War is constant struggle of action and counteraction between two determined foes. This is a lesson we will never forget.

DESERT STORM also reinforced the importance of the link between soldiers and citizens. For example, during the war we had a critical shortage of tires for our heavy trucks. It turned out there was only one manufacturer for the tires in the whole country. This private company immediately offered to contact its dealers throughout the nation and ask them to ship whatever stocks they had to the nearest airport. In Waco, Texas, there was a local tire salesman named Ken Oliver who had 74 tires. When he heard of the

Army’s need, he rented a cargo trailer with his own money, hooked it up to his pickup truck, and drove all night to the closest air force base. He said that he had “figured our troops must have needed those tires as quickly as possible and he didn’t want waste any time getting them there.” DESERT STORM truly reflected the commitment and resolve of the American people when they are behind a noble and just cause. That in essence is how America sees its Army. –pp. 145, 146

Vision and the Future

We must build the Army of tomorrow, the Army that will be required to meet the needs of a vastly different world. The secret of future victories lies in what we do today to prepare the force for the tasks ahead. Our vision of the Army is a direct legacy of the bloody lessons learned on the battlefield. A vision that is rooted in the tradition of 224 years of selfless service and mission accomplishment—a vision that will ensure our ability to meet the nation’s needs of the 21st century: trained and ready, a force of quality soldiers and civilians; values-based, an integral part of the joint team, equipped with the most modern weapons and equipment, able to respond to our nation’s needs, changing to meet the challenges of today, tomorrow, and the 21st century. Whatever surprises the new millennium may have in store one thing is certain—we can look to our roots, to our legacy as the “Sword of the Republic,” to help us prepare our Army for the future. –pp. 8, 9, 3, 34; Cong. Test., Sept. 29, 1998

In the United States we have a flourishing market of futurists—respected thinkers who tell us how the world will be in the next century. But mostly what they do is extend current trends to the future—and depending on which trends they pick, we are either entering a coming age of anarchy or the end of history. But our past tells us that the future is not a trend. It is something we fashion with our own hands. –p. 147


God bless our great soldiers, past and present. God bless the great Nation they serve. –p. 171

Reimer Directs Review of Army Modeling and Simulation Efforts

Please Note: The remaining pages are not available. The Library may have a copy.

Soldiers are our credentials!

I am very pleased to introduce this historic 75th Anniversary edition of Military Review. As the US Army’s professional journal, it has enriched and broadened the scope of intellec- tual thought for thousands of military leaders over the years. This edition features reprints of articles by some famous authors, many penned early in their careers. Articles such as these have long served as the foundation for the exchange of ideas on military affairs and the doctrinal development of our professional Army. I want to thank the editors and staff of Military Review, past and present, who over the last three-quarters of a century have created a professional military journal that we are all truly proud of.

This is also a perfect opportunity to thank those who have written and submitted articles for publication. Their contributions have generated important debate on leadership, strategy, doctrine, technology and operational art. From their work, we have learned the enormous value of the continued participation of all military professionals in sharing thoughts, lessons learned and ideas.

As we stand on the threshold of the new millennium, we also find ourselves in an era of unprecedented change. The Cold War environment that gripped the world after World War II has literally evaporated. For our Army, the 21st century really began in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. Today, we are confronted with a less dangerous, but much more complex, threat environment. During the Cold War, we built a threat-based force. Our doctrine, training and equipment were driven by the Soviet threat. All that changed with the fall of the wall.

Today, we continue to adhere to our time-honored values of courage, loyalty, honor, respect, selfless service, integrity and duty, but our Army is changing as it plays a major role in our new national security strategy of engagement and enlargement. We are now a capabilities-based force, relevant to the new needs of the nation. Our new national security strategy is supported by our four capabilities: to compel our nation’s enemies, to deter potential enemies, to reassure our friends and allies and, in domestic crisis, to support the nation.

Today more than ever, we must tap into the perspectives and ideas of our young leaders—the torchbearers destined to lead our information age Army, unmatched in capability, quality and service to the nation. Over its 75-year history, Military Review has been a valuable spokesman and a beacon of knowledge, permitting our Army’s leaders to grow intellectually and giving us an Army envied around the world.

Soldiers are our credentials!

General Dennis J. Reimer

United States Army Chief of Staff


January-February 1997 • MILITARY REVIEW

Empowerment, Environment and The Golden Rule

Rule,” which puts caring, respect and fairness for soldiers first. 

Leadership for the 21st Century
General Dennis J. Reimer, US Army

This January-February 1996 lead article is one of three Army Chief of Staff General Dennis J. Reimer has written for Military Review. His command philosophy is simple: Leaders should do “what is legally and morally right;” create an environment tolerant of mistakes and free of the zero-defects mentality, where soldiers can achieve their potential; and live by the “Golden Rule,” which puts caring, respect and fairness for soldiers first.

AT A STAFF MEETING one morning, the, colonel reprimanded the post quartermaster because the paradeground flagpole was not perpendicular. Then, pointing to a lieutenant, he snapped: ‘Lieutenant, if I told you to put up a flagpole and get it straight, how would you go about it?’ ‘I’d say, sergeant, erect the flagpole,’” the lieutenant replied.”

The lieutenant in this story, Samuel Sturgis, went on to become a lieutenant general and the chief of Army engineers. This anecdote about him is not unique. Incidents like this happen every day in America’s Army and help explain the essence of US Army leadership.

Secretary of Defense William Perry likes to relate a story about General Andrei Nikolayev, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, when Nikolayev was on a two-week tour of military bases in the United States. After visiting the first base and seeing our noncommissioned officers (NCOs) in action, he told one of his aides, “I know that these men and women wearing sergeants’ uniforms are really officers in disguise.”

But as he went from base to base and talked with the NCOs, Nikolayev came to realize they really were not officers. He was stunned and after two weeks told Perry that, “No military in the world has the quality of NCO . . . Found in the United States.” he went on to to say, “That’s what gives America its competitive military advantage.”

Our NCOs are one reason we have the best military in the world.

As the Army chief of staff, my fundamental duty isto ensure America’s Army is trained and ready to defend the nation’s security and freedom. I am also concerned with creating stability within the force after a long and significant draw down. I want to create an environment in which all soldiers can “be all they can be.”

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Assessment of Khobar Towers Bombing

Downing Report


On June 25, 1996, a terrorist truck bomb exploded outside the northern perimeter of Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, a facility housing U.S. and allied forces supporting the coalition air operation over Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Estimates of the size of the bomb range from the equivalent of 3,000 to more than 30,000 pounds of TNT. The Task Force estimated that the bomb was between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds, most likely about 5,000 pounds. While U.S. Air Force Security Police observers on the roof of the building overlooking the perimeter identified the attack in progress and alerted many occupants to the threat, evacuation was incomplete when the bomb exploded. Nineteen fatalities and approximately 500 U.S. wounded resulted from the attack. The perpetrators escaped. Subsequently, the Secretary of Defense directed an assessment of facts and circumstances surrounding this attack and of the security of U.S. forces in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. 


Purpose of the Task Force. On June 28, 1996, the Secretary of Defense appointed retired General Wayne Downing, the former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Special Operations Command, to conduct an assessment of the facts and circumstances surrounding the Khobar Towers bombing. General Downing was directed to assemble a Task Force and assess the following areas: 

the adequacy of security at Khobar Towers;the division of responsibility between Saudi authorities and United States Central Command for security at Khobar Towers, as well as the division of responsibility between Department of Defense and the host country authorities elsewhere in the region;the “sufficiency and effectiveness” of intelligence about terrorism in the Area of Responsibility;the adequacy of U.S. Central Command’s “security policies”;the adequacy of “funding and resources for security” at Khobar Towers and elsewhere in the Area of Responsibility;the adequacy of “coordination on intelligence and antiterrorism countermeasures” among U.S. Central Command, U.S. embassies, host governments, and allies whose personnel are collocated with U.S. forces; andrecommendations on how to prevent new attacks, or minimize the damage of successful attacks.

The Charter emphasized that the assessment was “…not a criminal investigation.” The Charter granted General Downing and his Task Force access to all information pertinent to the assessment. The Task Force was charged to visit such places as the Director deemed necessary to accomplish his objectives. 

General Downing retired as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command in April 1996. With almost thirty-four years of active military service, he is recognized as an authority on combating terrorism. He is highly regarded as a leader and expert by friends and allies in the Special Operations community around the world. His knowledge of the issues was considered essential to an objective assessment of the Khobar Towers bombing and security measures in the region. His previous commands include Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Operations Command; Commander, Joint Special Operations Command; and Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. He is a highly decorated combat veteran with two combat tours in Vietnam and service in both Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama and Operation DESERT STORM. As the Commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Force assigned to U.S. Central Command during Operation DESERT STORM, he planned and led operations in support of the coalition war effort.

Additional Taskings. Supplemental tasks assigned to the Task Force following publication of the Charter focused on questions about the perimeter fence in the vicinity of Building 131, Khobar Towers, and actions to improve security in this area. 

Composition of the Task Force. General Downing assembled a joint service task force from multiple disciplines to cover all areas of the assessment. The Task Force was composed of active and retired military persons, Department of Defense civilians, and representatives from multiple U.S. Government agencies, including the State Department, Department of Energy, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. It included experts in intelligence, counterintelligence, terrorism, force protection and antiterrorism, physical security, operations security, explosives, programming and budgeting, command relationships, training and education, medical matters, and the southwest Asia region. 

The Assessment Task Force was led by General Downing. Retired Air Force Lieutenant General James Clapper served as the head of the intelligence assessment team. 

As the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), General Clapper brought unique insights and knowledge of the Intelligence Community to the Task Force. General Clapper has also served as the Director of Intelligence of three unified commands: U.S. Forces Korea, U.S. Pacific Command, and Strategic Air Command, as well as the senior intelligence officer of the Air Force. He flew 73 combat support missions over Laos and Cambodia. General Clapper retired in 1995 with over thirty-two years of active military service.


The Task Force undertook the assessment in two distinct phases. Phase I focused on research and analysis of previous reports, documents, policies, assessments, statutes, directives, instructions, and regulations relevant to force protection in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. Phase II included on-site assessments of the security of U.S. military forces and facilities in the theater and detailed interviews with commanders, staff, and service members at all levels involved in security matters at Khobar Towers and other U.S. military facilities in southwest Asia. 

Phase I: Review of Past Reports. The Task Force review of past studies relevant to the Khobar Towers bombing included the following: 

Long Commission Report. On October 23, 1983, a large truck laden with the equivalent of over 12,000 pounds of TNT crashed through the perimeter of the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force compound at Beirut International Airport. It penetrated the Battalion Landing Team headquarters building and exploded, destroying the building and resulting in the deaths of 241 U.S. servicemen. The Commission found that the command had failed to take adequate security measures commensurate with the increasing Threat Level in Lebanon. While the Battalion Landing Team had adapted to the threat from indirect fire and sniper attack, it had created an exploitable vulnerability by concentrating troops in the headquarters building. Importantly, the Commission determined that as the mission of the U.S. contingent to the Multinational Force and the threat to that contingent changed over time, no senior U.S. commander had compared the evolving mission with previous guidance to determine whether it was adequate to protect the Marine force on the ground. This was exacerbated by a complex, unwieldy chain of command. 

Inman Commission Report. Following the devastating bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in April and November 1983, the Secretary of State Advisory Panel on Overseas Security developed 90 recommendations on improving the protection and hardening of U.S. Government facilities overseas. The recommendations of the Report became standards of protection for the Chief of Mission and Regional Security Officer that are also applied to Department of Defense noncombatant forces overseas. 

Report on Corrective Actions on the Shootdown of Two U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters over Northern Iraq. This 1995 assessment identified the challenge of transitioning a Joint Task Force from a contingency operation to a semi-permanent mission functioning under largely peacetime conditions and constraints. The changing nature of the Joint Task Force in Operation PROVIDE COMFORT led to failures in command and control and contributed to the shootdown. The report recommended a review of Joint Task Forces supporting contingency operations worldwide to assess their continued need and the appropriateness of their structure for the mission. 

Vulnerability Assessments of Locations in the Arabian Gulf. Two Vulnerability Assessments of Khobar Towers were made by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations prior to the bombing. The first Vulnerability Assessment was completed on July 18, 1995. The second Assessment was completed on January 8, 1996 in reaction to the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing in Riyadh. Corrective actions for deficiencies noted in the January 1996 assessment were essentially complete at the time of the bombing. Exceptions included the “…relocating (of) mission personnel to other facilities within the compound, thereby eliminating the concentration of aircrews…” and adding “Shatter Resistant Window Film to all windows within the compound.” 

Antiterrorism Task Force Report. In response to the November 13, 1995 Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard car bombing in Riyadh, a DoD-wide assessment of antiterrorism readiness was conducted. The Antiterrorism Task Force reviewed the security posture of DoD facilities and personnel in representative countries, antiterrorism education and training, and the effectiveness of interagency antiterrorism coordination, including intelligence sharing and dissemination. Further, it developed a phased program of improvement, currently being implemented within the Department of Defense. The Antiterrorism Task Force did not visit Saudi Arabia during its assessment of the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

Office of Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard Bombing, Riyadh, November 13, 1995 Accountability Review Board. Following the bombing, the Deputy Secretary of State directed an investigation pursuant to the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986. The Board looked at security systems and procedures; availability of intelligence; U.S. Government security threat analysis and assessment systems; policies governing Department of Defense/Department of State relationships; lines of authority between military commands in Saudi Arabia and parent commands; and the special U.S.-Saudi relationship. The Accountability Review Board determined that in the mindset of U.S. elements in Saudi Arabia, the threat from terrorism was low. U.S. elements were resistant to actions that might have questioned the host nation’s ability to protect U.S. service members. Because of the systemic assumption that security was not a problem in Saudi Arabia, the Accountability Review Board found no individual responsibility for the bombing. The Board recommended clarification of the responsibilities of the combatant commander and Chief of Mission for security of DoD forces in Saudi Arabia. 

Phase II. Assessment of the Khobar Towers Bombing. Based on the Phase I review, the Task Force prepared detailed questions related to each assessment area specified in the Charter and then developed supporting data collection plans for relevant U.S. military sites in Saudi Arabia and selected locations in other countries of the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. To provide background information and context, as well as to develop an understanding of the responsibilities and authorities of U.S. Central Command, the Task Force started its assessment at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Concurrently with this visit, other members of the Assessment Task Force interviewed airmen who were at Khobar Towers at the time of the bombing at their home stations at Eglin and Patrick Air Force Bases. The Task Force then proceeded to Riyadh and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where the preponderance of the assessment effort was concentrated. The Task Force examined force protection measures, readiness, policies, programs, lines of responsibility, training, intelligence support, and medical care to determine the facts surrounding the bombing and the current state of security in Dhahran, Riyadh, and Jeddah. General Downing met with Saudi officials to discuss their understanding of responsibilities for force protection of U.S. forces, measures adopted to secure U.S. facilities in the Kingdom, and the extent of U.S.-Saudi cooperation. The Task Force then traveled to Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt to assess force protection at representative sites where U.S. forces are concentrated. General Downing met with host country officials in each country. The Task Force assessed the security posture at all sites visited in the theater and provided appropriate commanders a debriefing of those findings and recommendations that would immediately enhance force protection. In all, the Task Force visited 36 sites and conducted over 400 interviews from the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command to individual soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen stationed in southwest Asia. Finally, General Downing and a small team visited Israel, Jordan, France and United Kingdom to discuss force protection issues with antiterrorism experts in those countries. 



The Changed Security Environment. For nearly 50 years following the end of World War II, the United States and its allies engaged in a protracted struggle with the former Soviet Union and its client states. This conflict, often manifested in bloody civil wars in which U.S. and Soviet forces participated both directly and in support of proxies, was fought to prevent Communist expansion and to promote democratic ideals and free market economic systems. The specter of nuclear war limited direct confrontation between U.S. and Soviet forces and caused both nations to restrain the hostile actions of allies and friends. This phenomenon created a bipolar world with relatively well defined “rules” of political and military conduct. However, even in this relatively controlled environment, U.S. military forces stationed overseas came under periodic attack from terrorist elements operating both independently and under state sponsorship. 

In the few short years since the end of the Cold War, the international security environment remains unsettled. The expected peace from the end of the Cold War has not materialized. Regional and intra-state conflict, once suppressed by the influence of the United States and Soviet Union, has occurred frequently in formerly peaceful regions. Peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations, primarily under the auspices of the United Nations, but most recently in Bosnia under the authority of NATO, have increased in number and scope during this period. Other threats to peace have emerged as well. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means in some regions threaten long-term prospects for peace. Terrorism of a more virulent nature has struck at both civilian and military targets to weaken resolve and coerce stronger powers into acceding to the will of the few. 

In this environment, the strategy of engagement and enlargement has committed the United States to the security of friends and allies throughout the world in an effort to develop a community of nations with shared interests in peace and stability and the economic benefits that accrue from this condition. U.S. forces operating overseas remain a critical component of this strategy. These forces are engaged daily in operations to deter and prevent hostile action against friends and allies and in security assistance activities to provide these nations a self-defense capability over the longer term. Their presence demonstrates U.S. commitment to the security of these friends and allies and grants the United States access to critical facilities needed to defend its vital interests. Executing the national strategy requires the physical presence of U.S. forces in many nations, exposing them to a variety of hostile acts. 

Threats to U.S. Forces. Even with the downsizing of their armed forces, the United States and its allies retain conventional force dominance across all military dimensions. The inability of enemies to challenge this U.S. and allied military power directly will likely lead to their asymmetric use of force to deter U.S. initiatives, attack forward deployed forces, and attempt to drive a wedge between the United States and its coalition partners. These attacks are intended to weaken U.S. resolve to maintain a force presence in threatened regions and to influence U.S. public and congressional opinion. Asymmetric use of force could include employment of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. In either case, the target will be U.S. citizens. Creation of casualties, whether from attacks like the one on Khobar Towers or more discrete attacks designed to establish a pattern of insecurity and helplessness, allows an enemy to demonstrate U.S. vulnerabilities at overseas locations and achieve his political aims through indirect means. 

Terrorism–An Undeclared War Against the United States.  Some describe terrorism as “a weapon of the weak,” but it is no less a powerful strategy. At least since 1983, certain states have supported terrorism against the United States and its allies. Terrorism provides these nations a force projection capability far beyond their conventional military means. 

In some cases, terrorist organizations have no direct state affiliation, but operate with impunity across national borders in support of multiple causes. The emergence of Afghan war mujahadin veterans from across the Muslim world has created a loose network of international terrorists, the “terrorist’s Internet,” whose potential for violence is immense. 

The DoD defines terrorism as “…the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.” U.S. military members, their families, and facilities have become important, and increasingly frequent, targets over the past 25 years. Terrorist attacks have killed over 300 DoD service members and civilians and injured more than 1,000 during this period, including the attack on Khobar Towers. The losses in property damage total in the millions of dollars. Recent terrorist attacks indicate a tendency toward more lethal devices. The estimated 3,000 to 8,000 pound bomb employed at Khobar Towers represents a continuing escalation of violence in Saudi Arabia. The use of chemicals in the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo demonstrated the potential that these weapons could have in the hands of well-financed terrorists. 

The small group of rogue nations and transnational terrorist organizations, operating outside the norms and conventions of international law, will continue to present a viable threat to U.S. and allied interests. They and their state sponsors have begun an undeclared war on the United States. These terrorists are not criminals in the conventional sense. They must be seen as “soldiers” employing different means of achieving their political and military goals. They wear uniforms we cannot recognize and use tactics that we find repugnant and cowardly. Cells are the military units of terrorists, notoriously difficult to penetrate and attack. Conventional analysis provides few clues to their targets, priorities, and mode of attack. 

To counter this enemy capability, U.S. armed forces must develop appropriate countermeasures. Combating terrorism must focus on offensive and defensive means to preempt, deter, or thwart terrorist attacks on U.S. servicemen and women, their families, and facilities and mitigate damage when attacks succeed.

Future intelligence collection and analysis must provide improved indications and warnings of attack and increased specificity at the tactical level. Because the terrorist has the ability to choose “where, when, and how” he will attack, his actions will always be difficult to predict. He has the advantage of time – time to select his target and the choice of the exact time of attack. Fanatics will be prepared to sacrifice their lives to achieve their goals. Human intelligence (HUMINT) will assume greater importance to the effort than technical intelligence, although they will remain complementary disciplines and cannot succeed in isolation from each other. Precise warning of terrorist attacks depends on HUMINT to identify specific targets and the time and nature of the attack. The United States must invest more time, effort, and resources into developing these crucial sources of information. Moreover, policy restrictions on recruitment of sources may hamper the efforts of national intelligence agencies and must be reexamined. 

If the United States proves incapable of responding, terrorism will continue to be a threat to the nation. 

U.S. Military Involvement in Peacetime Operations. To a far greater extent than just five years ago, the U.S. armed forces are engaged in ad hoc peacetime missions around the world, some without any definable end date. The five regional combatant commanders plan and execute operations daily in their theaters involving thousands of troops trained, equipped and prepared by their parent services. These missions include peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance, training with allies and other friends, deterrence of aggression through force presence and rapid force projection, and limited combat operations. The increased level of activity has important impacts on the far smaller armed forces of today. 

Units often deploy several times a year to overseas missions, which adversely affects their training, maintenance, and readiness for major warfighting contingencies. Service members spend longer periods of time away from their home stations, families, and friends. The austerity of living conditions and severity of the climates affect morale and are only partially offset by the opportunity to practice their profession in demanding environments. In many cases, these non-traditional peacetime missions are not addressed by current doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures, requiring leaders and soldiers to adapt as they execute their tasks. Importantly, they have performed extraordinarily well, applying their superior training and education to unfamiliar situations, making prudent decisions even when senior leaders are not on the scene, and accomplishing the myriad tasks they have been assigned with enormous success. 

For example, following Operation DESERT STORM, U.S. forces deployed into southeastern Turkey to protect Kurdish refugees from Iraqi repression and provide humanitarian assistance. Begun in 1991 as a contingency operation, the Joint Task Force-PROVIDE COMFORT mission continues today, having assumed a semi-permanence transcending the original intent. In 1993-1994, U.S. joint forces were engaged in humanitarian assistance and peace enforcement in Somalia, first through the U.S.-led operation UNITAF and then a UN-sponsored, multinational coalition operation under UNOSOM II. U.S. forces also remain committed to security in the Balkans, with an armored division and air elements engaged with the Implementation Force (JOINT ENDEAVOR), a general support hospital in Zagreb (UNPROFOR), a peacekeeping force in Macedonia (ABLE SENTRY), and naval forces committed to operations off the coast of the Former Yugoslavia (SHARP GUARD). Many of these forces have been in place for two and three years. Commitments to Rwanda and Haiti have further stretched U.S. capabilities to respond to crises in other regions of the world. 

The commitment of U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf following the war with Iraq later became semi-permanent. Over time the mission changed. Although the United States maintains a strength of almost 6,000 servicemen and women in Saudi Arabia to support Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and DESERT FALCON, the rotation policies established by the services mean that over 25,000 servicemen and women serve in the Kingdom in any given year. This creates enormous challenges for continuity of operations, teamwork and unit cohesion, development of cooperative relations with the Saudi military and police, and ultimately for security of the force. Protection of U.S. forces against the terrorist threat in the Gulf, as well as in other regions of the world, must be considered in light of existing force policies, strategies, and procedures established to meet the challenges of this high tempo of operations worldwide. 

DoD Focus for Combating Terrorism. The Task Force found in its interviews, discussions with senior leaders, and site surveys that there was no single element in the DoD responsible for force protection. This had an adverse impact on the posture of forces in the field. Security policies and standards, doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures, and resources available varied significantly among both service and joint forces. Threat assessments varied within the Department of Defense. Antiterrorism efforts did not have sufficient priority to posture forces effectively against the threat. The strategic strength of the United States in technology has not been applied to contraband detection devices, protective measures, and facility hardening that could have saved lives and simultaneously decreased manpower requirements for force protection. The episodic nature of terrorist acts against the United States did not sustain efforts to enhance force protection over time. 

The continued threat from terrorism strongly argues for a single element within the DoD to develop policy and standards for force protection, to act as an advocate for greater priority to this effort, to assist commanders in developing and implementing force protection measures at overseas sites, and to manage resources on both a routine and emergency basis. This agency must have resources, authority to act, and the mandate to support directly forces challenged by terrorist threats. Importantly, it should direct an aggressive research and development program, in cooperation with U.S. allies, to develop and field force protection devices and systems. This DoD focal point should have responsibility within its force protection mandate for both antiterrorism and counterterrorism. 

The DoD element should not become a substitute for commanders at all levels applying experience, expertise, and resources to the protection of their forces. Force protection is a responsibility of command.


Part II addresses the major force protection policies, infrastructure, and systems in place in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing. It will discuss the evolution of DoD and U.S. Central Command policies and responses to the new circumstances that have emerged since Operation DESERT STORM. Where appropriate, the Report discusses service policies, as well. In accordance with the Charter, training and education, the sufficiency and effectiveness of intelligence, and the division of responsibilities for force protection matters between the United States and the countries in the region are addressed. The Report also discusses application of the Department of State/Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding on Overseas Security Support to forces in southwest Asia. Finally, this part presents an assessment of the security posture of U.S. forces throughout the Area of Responsibility. It is important to note that the Task Force did not conduct in-depth assessments of the security of U.S. military persons and facilities at each location. Findings in the Report identify major shortcomings or systemic problems that require resolution. Specific measures to improve immediate security were provided to commanders prior to the Task Force’s departure from each site visited. 

Both combatant and noncombatant U.S. forces are represented in the theater. Combatant forces are those forces charged with conducting military operations to support U.S. policy and are assigned to the unified combatant commander. Noncombatant forces, as defined by the Department of Defense/Department of State Memorandum of Understanding, are those DoD personnel not assigned to, and under the command of, a unified combatant commander. Most noncombatant forces provide military representation, security assistance, and other support to the host nation for the U.S. Chief of Mission . (See the discussion and recommendations in Finding 16


FINDING 1:  There are no published DoD physical security standards for force protection of fixed facilities.

DoD Handbook 0-2000.12-H, Protection of DoD Personnel and Activities Against Acts of Terrorism and Political Turbulence, provides suggested actions that service components should consider in their efforts to combat terrorism. The foreword states: 

The suggested protected measures in this Handbook are not established as formal DoD guidance, but should be considered for evaluation and implementation by the DoD Components in executing their responsibilities assigned in the DoD Directive 2000.12. 

This Handbook provides guidance on physical security measures in a number of areas, including: 

  • Assessment of Vulnerability
  • Physical Security System Components
  • Physical Security Measures for Installations, Facilities, or Residences

Because neither the Handbook nor any DoD directive provides formal force protection standards with which the service components must comply, commanders are left to a subjective determination of what is safe or unsafe. 

Unlike the Department of Defense, the Department of State has mandated physical security standards. The preface to the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security Security Standards states: 

Therefore, these standards, most of which have been developed in consultation with the Overseas Security Policy Group, will apply, except where indicated otherwise, to all agencies under the authority of the Chief of Mission.

Regional Security Officers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the standards which are detailed and descriptive. They rely in part on the assessed Threat Level in the country. They are regularly supplemented. Most importantly, they are recognized as requirements by the Department of State. 

In many interviews with the Task Force, it was evident that leaders were unaware that the DoD Handbook existed and provided guidelines for use in antiterrorism planning. It was not found in many locations. Although no standard can ensure safety, they can establish a baseline from which a commander can meaningfully assess the threat and plan for future improvements. 

Vulnerability Assessments. The vulnerability assessment is one tool suggested by DoD Handbook O-2000.12-H which can assist the commander. The purpose of a vulnerability assessment is to aid commanders in identifying: 

  1. Weaknesses in the physical security plans, programs, and structures.
  2. Inefficiencies and diminution of effectiveness in personnel practices and procedures relating to security, incident control, incident response, and incident resolution, including but not limited to law enforcement and security, intelligence, command, communications, medical, and public affairs.
  3. Enhancements in operational procedures during times of peace, mobilization, crisis, and war.
  4. Resource requirements necessary to meet DoD, Service, combatant command, and local security requirements.

The DoD Handbook recommends that vulnerability assessments be performed on a “regular basis”, but does not establish a standard for frequency, format, or content.

U.S. Air Force vulnerability assessments are the responsibility of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Air Force Office of Special Investigations Pamphlet 71-104, Volume 1, Antiterrorism Services, March 1, 1995, outlines the scope of their support to Air Force and DoD antiterrorism programs. It provides an extensive set of guidelines for conducting vulnerability assessments. The pamphlet is not, however, directive in nature. The U.S. Army Military Police provide the same service to Army commanders. A variety of regulations and pamphlets provide guidance for commanders on risk assessments and physical security standards. 

USCENTCOM Regulation 525-22, Operations, Force Protection Board, April 24, 1996, created the Force Protection Board. This entity monitors vulnerability assessment schedules for the Command and ensures vulnerability assessments are conducted “...IAW standards that satisfy all service and DOS requirements,” but does not define those requirements. The regulation directs the Force Protection Board to “…monitor vulnerability assessment results, compiling requests for assistance from local commanders unable to implement measures recommended by assessments.” Prior to the publication of this regulation, there is no indication of any requirement for review or monitoring of vulnerability assessments at any level in U.S. Central Command. 

Standards for New Construction and Modification of Existing Structures. The nature of U.S. contingency operations often precludes new construction overseas. U.S. forces must frequently accept operating locations, installations, and facilities that present serious force protection challenges. Facilities at sites in the Gulf region ranged from military provided temperate shelters to portable, sheet-metal buildings, to prefabricated concrete high-rise apartment buildings, to custom-built reinforced concrete housing. Locations varied from relatively isolated areas, to host nation military bases, to crowded, urban residential areas. 

DoD O-2000.12-H provides guidance on physical security for U.S. occupied facilities. It does not consider the structural characteristics of buildings to be protected. It does not define standards for design, materials, or construction of new buildings or modification of existing buildings. Expedient and even long-term upgrades to buildings to enhance force protection are often based solely on the experience of the construction engineer and the availability of funds. Commanders and staffs throughout the theater did not have an adequate appreciation for force protection standards against the range of possible terrorist attacks. Construction and modification standards are required to ensure that buildings occupied by U.S. forces provide appropriate protection in the specific threat environment in each country. 

The addition of Shatter Resistant Window Film is listed in the DoD Handbook as a suggested measure to mitigate the effects of blast, but it is not required. 

Stand-Off Distances. The DoD Handbook provides some guidance on stand-off distance which applies to new construction at DoD sites. There is no guidance for stand-off distances for existing structures. Most of the individuals interviewed believed that at least 100 feet of stand-off was required. 

The most recent Vulnerability Assessment of Khobar Towers completed in January 1996 did not mention any requirement for stand-off from the perimeter. However, Captain Christopher McLane, an Explosive Ordnance Detachment officer with the 4404th Wing (Provisional), prepared a background paper, which was appended to this Vulnerability Assessment, on explosive effects of a 200-pound bomb at Khobar Towers. The paper emphasized the importance of stand-off to the protection of service members. 

The Significance of Blast.  DoD must address the significance of blast effects with formal standards. At Khobar Towers, blast effects caused concrete spalling and severe window frame failure. Glass fragmentation was a critical factor in the large number of injuries and contributed significantly to the cause of death. Two of the 19 deceased had injuries known to be caused by glass fragments that were severe enough to cause death even without other contributing forces. Of the remaining 17 deceased, 10 had glass injuries that were significant and which may have caused death even without blunt force trauma. Thus, for 12 of 19 deaths, glass fragmentation was a significant factor. 

More than 90% of the people injured suffered laceration injuries, many of which were significant. For many individuals, lacerations were the only listed injuries. The lack of emergency lighting systems in the building hallways and stairwells and, with few exceptions, outside on the compound contributed to secondary injury as people encountered shattered glass during the evacuation of buildings. 

Warning System. There are no DoD standards for warning systems. This was a significant factor that contributed to the injuries sustained in the attack on Khobar Towers. Saudi construction standards for Khobar Towers-type buildings did not require a fire alarm system. The warning systems in the U.S.-occupied portion of Khobar Towers were limited to Giant Voice, a system used during Operation DESERT STORM to alert people of Scud missile attacks, and manual warnings, like knocking on doors. Standards must address requirements for and utility of warning systems in a range of potential environments. 


Establish prescriptive DoD physical security standards. 

Designate a single agency within DoD to develop, issue, and inspect compliance with force protection physical security standards. 

Provide this DoD agency with sufficient resources to assist field commanders on a worldwide basis with force protection matters. Consider designating an existing organization, such as a national laboratory, Defense Special Weapons Agency, or the Corps of Engineers, to provide this expertise. 

Provide funds and authority to this agency to manage Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) efforts to enhance force protection and physical security measures. 


FINDING 2:  Force protection requirements had not been given high priority for funding.

Priorities for Force Protection. Until the June 25, 1996 bombing attack on Khobar Towers, force protection of personnel and facilities in the U.S. Central Command theater did not have a high priority. 

Accordingly, the services and the service component commands did not identify force protection requirements or assign them an appropriate funding priority. For example, annual budget guidance from the service components of U.S. Central Command to units in the region did not emphasize force protection as a budget consideration. Consequently, the budget submissions for fiscal years 1994 through 1996 from units in the U. S. Central Command Area of Responsibility did not reflect force protection measures as a major funding requirement. 

Funding for force protection was not an issue with commanders in the region, based on interviews with the Task Force. Units in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where the preponderance of U.S. forces resided, were taking full advantage of resources available through Foreign Military Sales cases, host nation support, and assistance-in-kind. These sources provided security guards, housing, vehicles, and facilities maintenance. The availability of these alternative funding sources reduced the amount of DoD funding requested through the service budget processes for force protection. 

With one exception, U. S Naval Forces Central Command in fiscal year 1995, all unfunded requirements of U.S. Central Command units in the theater were fully funded through the normal service budget processes. In fact, U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia was unable to obligate all of its allocated funds in fiscal year 1995 before the end of the fiscal year. 

Guidance on Force Protection Funding. Service components of combatant commands have responsibility for requesting and justifying resources, and allocating appropriate funding to subordinate commands to meet requirements of the combatant commander. U.S. Central Command has no direct involvement in the service components’ budget formulation processes that support its requirements. The Command addresses funding issues of the components only by exception. Combatant commands can exert influence on service Program Objectives Memorandums (POM) through the Commander-in-Chief’s Integrated Priorities List (IPL), submitted annually to the Secretary of Defense. However, Integrated Priorities Lists have not identified force protection as a high priority item in the past. 

DoD and U.S. Central Command have not published guidance on force protection standards (see Finding 1) and program and budget priorities that would allow force protection requirements to compete for service funds on a sustained basis. The current emphasis on force protection and antiterrorism results from the two recent bombings and may decline without greater emphasis on long-term planning and programming. As an example, since the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing in November 1995, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has received a special Chief of Naval Operations force protection allocation of $6.5 million, of which $6 million was reallocated from other Navy programs. From Fiscal Year 1994 to the present, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command force protection funding requirements have increased from $315,100 to $7,241,000. Antiterrorism and force protection initiatives have become an urgent priority. 

Even if guidance were provided, no process exists to clearly identify and communicate force protection requirements for decision in the DoD Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS). As identified by the Antiterrorism Task Force, the DoD does not have a distinct budget category or program element for force protection. Currently, service program and budget processes can only identify high dollar programs or significant force protection facility improvements. Most often included in Operations and Maintenance accounts, force protection requirements and related budget items are not readily visible to DoD decision makers. 


Establish priorities for force protection requirements in the Defense Planning Guidance and, as recommended by the Antiterrorism Task Force report, include force protection as a Defense-wide special interest item. 

Coordinate DoD priorities for force protection of noncombatant forces with the Department of State (See Finding 16).

Address force protection in the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment (JWCA) process. 

Implement the recommendations of the Antiterrorism Task Force on establishment of a separate Office of the Secretary of Defense-managed program element to fund high priority antiterrorism requirements. 

Encourage combatant commanders to articulate and prioritize force protection requirements in their Integrated Priorities List. 


FINDING 3:  Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and other U.S. Central Command units in the region were not structured and supported to sustain a long-term commitment that involved expanded missions, to include increased force protection from an emerging and viable terrorist threat. 

Historical Perspective. Joint Task Force – Southwest Asia was activated in August 1992. Its duties included the enforcement of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Gulf region. 

In October 1994, USCENTCOM responded to Iraqi massed armor units at the Kuwaiti border by sending air and ground forces to the region (Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR). This action was in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 which prohibited Iraqi force enhancements south of 32 degrees North latitude. 

Operation SOUTHERN WATCH remains a long-term U.S. Central Command operational commitment and the primary mission for the standing Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia. Joint Task Force operations continue to support United Nations missions, maintain forces fully prepared for contingency operations and transition to war, and support working relationships with allied partners, the British, French, and Saudis. 

The presence of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) in Saudi Arabia predates Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia. Activated on March 13, 1991 at Al Kharj Air Base, it primarily comprised the assets of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional) which had operated in the theater during the Gulf War. On June 23, 1992, the Wing moved to its current location at Dhahran. It is the only U.S. Air Force combatant unit in the southwest Asia Area of Responsibility. 

Structure. The Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia staff includes service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. As stated, the Joint Task Force commander is an Air Force major general. The Deputy Commander is either a Navy rear admiral or Marine Corps brigadier or major general. The staff includes 185 personnel, of which 183 are on a temporary 90-day assignment to the Headquarters. Two positions, the commander and the recently requested position of Force Protection Officer, are 12-month unaccompanied tours. Of the 185 persons assigned to the Joint Task Force, 14 are Army, 28 are Navy, and 129 are Air Force. Additionally, there are 14 other billets that include DoD contractors and a National Intelligence Support Team. 

“A JTF may be established on a geographical area or functional basis when the mission has a specific limited objective and does not require overall centralized control of logistics. The mission assigned to a JTF should require execution of responsibilities involving a joint force on a significant scale and close integration of effort, or should require coordination within a subordinate area or coordination of local defense of a subordinate area. A JTF is dissolved by the proper authority when the purpose for which it was created has been achieved or when it is no longer needed.”Joint Publication 0-2 Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF)

An examination of the organization and structure of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia indicates that it is functionally organized as a Joint Force Air Component Command (JFACC) staff. To carry out his mission, the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia serves primarily as the Joint Force Air Component Commander (Forward) for the Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command. During the transition from peacetime to wartime operations, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and its Air Operations Center become the nucleus of the Joint Force Air Component Command staff and is absorbed by the Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, the JFACC in war. 

“The joint force air component commander’s (JFACC) responsibilities will be assigned by the joint force commander (normally these would include, but not be limited to, planning, coordination, allocation, and tasking based on the joint force commander’s apportionment decision). Using the joint force commander’s guidance and authority, and in coordination with other Service component commanders and other assigned or supporting commanders, the joint force air component commander will recommend to the joint force commander apportionment of air sorties to various missions or geographic areas.”Joint Publication 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
“One week we are constructing and tracking metrics, just like a MAJCOM headquarters staff, the next week we could be preparing for very senior visitors during advanced terrorist threat conditions, and the next week we do the normal work required in a contingency zone. To make matters worse, on 12 December, we intended to conduct a mass casualty exercise from a simulated bomb explosion in a facility in Khobar Towers! This is probably the most likely scenario for a real world terrorist tragedy in Dhahran. … For some reason, we cannot or will not decide whether we are in a contingency deployment, a normal TDY, or assigned to a MAJCOM staff. The constantly changing of gears confuses the troops, erodes our effectiveness as leaders, and adversely impacts the mission.”Former squadron commander in end-of-tour report

The mission of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) is to “…serve as the front line defense against possible Iraqi aggression. To enforce UN Security Council Resolutions 687, 688, and 949 and protect US forces stationed in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia”  The 4404th Wing (Provisional) consists of six provisional groups and has over 5,000 personnel assigned at nine locations in three countries. From the start of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, the Wing was structured and manned to carry out a temporary mission, insuring that Iraq complied with the post-Operation DESERT STORM United Nations sanctions. It is manned primarily by airmen who rotate on temporary duty assignments. Eleven individuals are on one-year tours with the Wing. They include the Wing Commander, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Operations Group Commander, Logistics Group Commander, Support Group Commander, 4409th Operations Group Commander in Riyadh, 4406th Air Support Operations Group commander in Al Jaber, Kuwait, 4404th Civil Engineer Squadron Commander, Support Squadron Commander, and two contracting officers. Plans are to expand the number of one-year tours to eighteen individuals in the near future. The flying units assigned to the Wing deploy to the Area of Responsibility as integral squadrons and detachments. As a result of its ad hoc origins, the Wing, like the Joint Task Force headquarters, does not possess the support infrastructure found in a permanently established organization. 

Manning Policies. While Operation SOUTHERN WATCH remains a long-term U.S. Central Command operational commitment under the standing Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia, the Joint Task Force staff is manned and supported with temporary duty people as a short term contingency operation. As the Joint Task Force mission continued into 1995, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command decided to extend the tour length of the commander of the Joint Task Force to a one year assignment. Since the Khobar Towers bombing, the Joint Task Force has requested only that the position of the Force Protection Officer on the Joint Task Force staff be extended to a one year tour. However, plans are currently being developed to expand the number of permanent party to as many as 12 additional staff. 

The 4404th Wing (Provisional) Installation Security Plan (dated 15 May 1996) assumes a “…low ground attack threat area, and the employment of existing security procedures by both security personnel and personnel working around US resources will deter most clandestine activities by groups or individuals.” It also states that “…available security forces are capable of maintaining up to THREATCON Bravo posture for an extended period of time.

Except for a brief period during Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR, when its strength peaked at over 7,000 airmen, the 4404th Wing (Provisional) has been manned at minimum levels. This policy was intended to reduce the visibility of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, limit exposure to risk, reduce the impact on Air Force units worldwide from whom the airmen were assigned, and insure that they were fully committed during their short tours of duty. This manning provided little flexibility to respond to changes in threat or mission requirements. Any increase in threat and resulting declaration of increased Threat Condition required an enhanced state of alert with commensurate additions to normal guard force manning. This taxed the limited capabilities of the 4404th Security Police Squadron. For example, in April 1996, when the 4404th Support Group Commander considered raising the Wing Threat Condition from BRAVO to CHARLIE, he was told by the Security Police Squadron commander that there were insufficient personnel to sustain the number of posts required at Threat Condition CHARLIE. The low manning level of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) results, in part, from the U.S. Air Forces Central Command manpower policy of no growth in the theater and elimination of unnecessary requirements wherever possible.  (See Finding 10 which addresses Threat Levels and Threat Conditions)

Rotation Policy. U.S. Central Command service component commanders establish temporary duty policies and, as a result, there are no standard rotation policies for units or individual augmentees supporting contingency operations in the Gulf region. 

In the Air Force, operational organizations deploy as units with existing chains of command, while the majority of support personnel, to include Air Force Security Police, rotate as individuals. Air Force flying squadrons are assigned as units to the 4404th Wing (Provisional) on 15-, 30-, 45-, 60-, and 90-day rotations depending on the type unit. Army Patriot units in Saudi Arabia rotate every 120 days. Embarked naval personnel deploy for 179 days from home port for duty in the Arabian Gulf region. The temporary duty tour lengths for individuals ashore in the Gulf region vary by service: Army – 120 to 179 days, Navy – 105 days, and Air Force – 15 to 179 days with 90 days as the norm. Permanent duty tour lengths are consistent throughout the region, 24 months for accompanied tours and 12 months for unaccompanied tours. 

These extremely short tours adversely affected the continuity and effectiveness of force protection teams and individuals. Security Police commanders, Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents, and the Wing Intelligence officers are all assigned on 90 day tours of duty. This inhibited the development of institutional knowledge of the security environment.

At the small unit level, the Security Police do not have the opportunity to develop the teamwork critical to security operations in a high threat environment. They currently man observation posts and entry control points primarily as individuals, but do not have the time or manpower to develop the unit skills needed for patrolling, escort duties, or response to a penetration of the perimeter. The frequency of individual rotations into the Security Police Squadron means that the squadron always has a wide mix of experience and knowledge. It never stabilizes long enough to conduct training and develop unit cohesion. Some individuals are learning procedures unique to Khobar Towers and the region, while the others are training new arrivals on-the-job in the techniques and procedures of police work at Khobar Towers and manning guard posts in the austere operating environment in the command. 

Frequent rotations of intelligence and counterintelligence personnel in the region have had adverse impacts on both intelligence collection and force protection. The typical Air Force 90-day temporary duty rotation does not support effective liaison with host nation counterparts and force protection teams. Experienced collectors in the region noted that, given the nature of the host nation culture, counterpart relationships take at least one year to establish.  Where information of more tactical relevance is collected, short tour lengths inhibit the establishment of adequate working relationships with local police and security officials.

The frequent rotation of individual augmentees has an adverse impact on continuity of operations and force protection initiatives. The rotation policy for Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and the 4404th Wing (Provisional) conforms with the U.S. Air Force policy of insuring that airmen do not exceed 120-days of temporary duty annually. This policy creates a turnover of between 200 to 300 personnel each week, about 10% of the 4404th Wing’s total manning at Dhahran.

In contrast, the rotation policy for U.S. units and individual augmentees temporarily assigned in support of the Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina was recommended by the Commander-in-Chief, European Command and approved by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; units deploy for one year and individual augmentees for 179 days. 

Short-term Contingency versus Semi-Permanent Force. Over almost a four year period, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia missions have grown and, as a result of the November 1995 bombing at the Office of Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, the command has found itself operating in an increasingly hostile terrorist threat environment. Despite these changes in mission and threat and the indefinite extension of the Task Force time horizon, the force structure and attendant support policies have remained essentially unchanged. 

Policy reviews did take place. As a result of the shootdown of two U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters by two U.S. Air Force F-15s over northern Iraq in April 1994, an investigation was conducted. In June 1995, the Joint Staff addressed one of the findings of the investigation which stated: 

…JTFs are designed to be of limited duration, but several of our JTFs have been in operation for several years, and in many cases they are staffed by personnel on temporary assignment from their regular station and duties.

Subsequently, “Each Theater Commander-in-Chief was directed by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff to review Joint Task Force operations to ensure that each is conducted in accordance with published joint doctrine and to establish programs of regular oversight of all Joint Task Forces.” The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command determined that the program to require “seamless” transitions of individuals at Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and the 4404th Wing (Provisional) ensured continuity for commanders, staff personnel, and operating forces. 

Further, during the period April 11 to April 25, 1996, a team from the Joint Staff/J-7, Evaluation and Analysis Division, began the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Task Force Review Program with a visit to Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia to observe U.S. Central Command exercise INITIAL LINK 96. The observation team made many positive comments concerning the mission focus of the Joint Task Force and how they continued to overcome the many challenges presented by limited resources when working short rotations in a joint and combined arena. One of the recommendations of the J-7 team to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff was to “...consider investigation of force options or doctrinal adjustments to meet demands arising from transition between a Joint Task Force and a semi-permanent force.” Specifically, changes to the force package and/or doctrinal procedures were needed to resolve the problems associated with a long term presence. 

The Task Force supports this last Joint Staff/J-7 recommendation. It is apparent that the current organization and structure of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and the 4404th Wing (Provisional) are not suited for a long term presence in Saudi Arabia under existing threat conditions. 


Review the composition of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and other U.S. Central Command units to insure that they are structured and have resources appropriate for the mission and the conditions. 

Review current manning and rotation policies, to include tour lengths for key leaders and staff, with the aim of promoting continuity in the chain of command and unit cohesion. 


FINDING 4: Current U.S. Central Command command relationships do not contribute to enhanced security for forces operating in the region.

Doctrine.  Joint Publication 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces, states: “The authority vested in a commander must be commensurate with the responsibility assigned.” In the past two years, the responsibilities of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia have expanded beyond the enforcement of a no-fly zone over southern Iraq to include the enforcement of a no-drive zone in southern Iraq. Following the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing in November 1995, he assumed oversight for force protection against a viable terrorist threat for all U.S. combatant forces in Saudi Arabia. His command authority has not changed commensurably with the assignment of the force protection mission. 

Command Relationships. The Unified Command Plan assigns unified combatant commanders responsibility for “…maintaining the security of the command, including its assigned or attached forces and assets.” Since the end of Operation DESERT STORM, the U.S. Central Command has had ground, naval and air forces continuously assigned in its Area of Responsibility. Without a forward headquarters in the theater, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command has exercised operational control of these assigned combatant forces through his service component commanders, who, with the exception of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, are located over 7,000 miles away. 

As stated in Finding 3, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia was established on August 26, 1992. The first 90-day rotation of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia commanders began on November 17, 1992. At that time, the Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia command relationships were clarified by U.S. Central Command as follows:

  • Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia assumed tactical control of forces provided by U.S. Central Command components in support of Operation Southern Watch.
  • Central Command component commanders retained operational control of forces in support of Operation Southern Watch.

With this command relationship arrangement, the authority of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia is limited. Under tactical control, he can task assigned units to accomplish missions and control their movements or maneuvers, but he does not have the authority to structure and direct those units to carry out other specified tasks, such as directing where they will live and what specific force protection measures they are to take. Only the commander who has operational control over these forces can direct the execution of these other specified tasks. Authority for these tasks for Air Force units rested with the Air Component Commander at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, who exercised operational control of deployed forces through the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional).

Operational control: “. . . includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations . . . normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions . . . It does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training.” 
Tactical control: “Command authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to the detailed and, usually, local direction and control of movements or maneuvers necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned.”Joint Publication 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces (UNAAF)

Since the Gulf War, U. S. Army forces in the Central Command Area of Responsibility have remained under the operational control of the Commander, U.S. Army Forces Central Command, located at Ft McPherson, Georgia. Army forces in Saudi Arabia include the Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia and a rotating U.S. Army Patriot missile battalion task force which is deployed on a 120-day rotation. The Patriot Task Force has the mission of conducting tactical ballistic missile defense of specified assets in southwest Asia and maintaining pre-positioned Patriot missile equipment in the theater. The Commander, U.S. Army Forces Central Command exercises operational controlof Army forces in Saudi Arabia through the Commander, U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia, located at Lucky Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and the Commander, U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Kuwait, located at Camp Doha outside of Kuwait City, Kuwait. 

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, located at Manama, Bahrain, exercises operational control of U. S. Navy forces in the Area of Responsibility. The commander is the only U.S. Central Command component commander forward deployed in the theater. The 5th Fleet, his other combatant position, was activated on July 1, 1995. 

The Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, located at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, is dual-hatted as the Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command (Designate) for planning. When designated, he exercises operational control of Marine Corps forces in the Area of Responsibility. 

U.S. Central Command peacetime command relationships are depicted below.
Figure 1. U.S. Central Command Command Relationships

The Commander, Special Operations Command Central, located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, exercises operational control of special operations forces in the Area of Responsibility. He coordinates operations with Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia as required.

Guidance.  As a result of the November 13, 1995 Office of Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command published a Letter of Instruction for Force Protection, dated April 12, 1996. The Letter of Instruction stated that “…mission and operational command and control authority are not issues herein, only the clarification of existing lines of authority and responsibility for security and protection of DoD forces within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” In this Letter of Instruction, the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia was assigned responsibility for force protection oversight for all combatant forces operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; but he was not given sufficient authority to direct force protection actions.

As the Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia commander during the November 13, 1995 bombing, then-Major General Carl Franklin took action to enhance the force protection of all U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, despite not having been assigned that authority. He created a permanent Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia Force Protection Officer position and established a Force Protection Working Group composed of representatives from each combatant unit. The Working Group developed a concept of operations to implement the Joint Task Force force protection responsibilities later tasked in the April 14, 1996 U.S. Central Command Letter of Instruction. 

Major General Kurt Anderson assumed command of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia on April 22, 1996, but was not briefed by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command on force protection issues prior to assuming his post. Without operational control of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH forces, Major General Anderson did not view his responsibilities as directive in nature, a change from the position of his predecessor. 

Following the Khobar Towers bombing, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command published Force Protection Operations Order 96-01, dated July 14, 1996, which outlined force protection responsibilities for combatant and noncombatant command forces within the U. S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. The Operations Order states: “USCENTCOM designated senior officers will assume authority and responsibility for force protection of combatant command units in specified country.” Although the Operations Order assigns designated senior officers force protection “authority and responsibility” for combatant command forces in each country, only one designated senior officer, the Commander, U. S. Naval Forces Central Command, has operational control of the forces for whom he assumes force protection responsibilities. The other “designated senior officers” throughout the theater do not have the authority to structure and direct the command to carry out those force protection responsibilities. This has created confusion regarding force protection authorities and responsibilities. For example:

  • U.S. Air Force units in Kuwait are under the operational control of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) which is under the tactical control of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia, but for force protection, they are under the Commander, Office of Military Cooperation, Kuwait who does not have the command authority to direct force protection actions.
  • U.S. Air Force units in the United Arab Emirates are under the operational control of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) which is under the tactical control of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia, but for force protection, they fall under the U.S. Liaison Office, United Arab Emirates which does not have the command authority to direct force protection actions.
  • U.S. Army Special Operations Forces periodically deploy to Kuwait under the operational control of U.S. Special Operations Command Central at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Depending on the operation, tactical control can be given to a supported commander in the Area of Responsibility, such as a designated Joint Task Force commander. For force protection they are under the senior combatant commander in Kuwait, who is the Commander, Office of Military Cooperation, Kuwait, who does not have the command authority to direct force protection actions.
  • Air Expeditionary Force III forces that deployed to Qatar from July through August 1996 were under the operational control of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), under the tactical control of either the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia or the Commander, Joint Task Force-Rugged Nautilus, but for force protection were under U.S. Liaison Office, Qatar which does not have the command authority to direct force protection actions.
  • Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) deploy to the Arabian Gulf under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Recently, 11th MEU(SOC) conducted independent operations in Kuwait. Although the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command could have transferred tactical control to a designated combatant commander ashore, he did not. Force protection was the responsibility of the Commander, Office of Military Cooperation, Kuwait, who does not have the command authority to direct force protection actions.

The command relationships do not contribute to enhanced security for U.S. forces in the region.  An exception, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has force protection responsibilities for both combatant and noncombatant forces in Bahrain, as well as operational control of all U.S. Navy forces operating in the Area of Responsibility. Operational control of forces provides the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command the authority to structure and direct the command to carry out force protection responsibilities. As a result, there appeared to be a markedly better level and standardization of force protection in Bahrain than in other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia.

RECOMMENDATION:  Assign operational control of all combatant forces operating in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to one headquarters.



FINDING 5:  Force protection practices were inconsistent in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf region.

Because of the lack of published standards (Finding 1), inadequate command structure (Finding 3), and existing command relationships (Finding 4), standards and practices for force protection vary widely. In the absence of definitive guidance, site commanders approach force protection based on general guidance from their service component commands and/or their own knowledge and experience and that of their staff.

Oversight and Manning. As discussed in Finding 4, force protection oversight for combatant forces was first assigned to the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia in the April 12, 1996 Letter of Instruction. It was strengthened as a new mission for the Joint Task Force in the July 14, 1996 U.S. Central Command Operations Order 96-01. Even with the recent establishment of the one-person, possibly increasing to 13-person, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia Force Protection Office, challenges will continue. The scope of the Office is limited to combatant forces in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, the Office will not have the ability to affect directly the security of combatant units in other countries of the region, even though forces operating in these countries are under the tactical control of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia. Nor will it have the ability to standardize policies and procedures within the region. 

Similarly, the 4404th Wing (Provisional) was not manned to adequately supervise force protection at its numerous bases throughout the region. 

Tactics and Techniques. Based upon site surveys at each location, the Task Force determined that tactics and techniques for protecting entry onto installations varied widely, even among those installations in the same Threat Condition. At Eskan Village, Riyadh, service members entering the base went through two checkpoints. The first was manned by Saudi forces, who checked all members, including U.S., host nation, and Third Country National citizens. The second check point was manned by U.S. forces, who also checked all people. This contrasted with Khobar Towers, where all base entry points were manned by both Saudi and U.S. forces. At Camp Doha, Kuwait, an initial checkpoint several kilometers from the base was manned by both Kuwaiti and U.S. military forces, while the base entry point was manned by armed contract security guards. At Ali Al-Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Bangladeshi military forces, contracted by the government of Kuwait, provided entry control. At the Sahara Residence, a billeting facility in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, entry was controlled by unarmed contract security guards, while at Manai Plaza in Bahrain, another billeting complex, entry was controlled by Marines from the U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team (FAST) and Bahrainian special forces troops. Entry control at the Administrative Support Unit Bahrain was provided by U.S. Navy and Bahrainian forces, with heavy weapons support from the Marine Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team. 

Security for travel of U.S. servicemembers between housing and work areas was inconsistent, based on observations of the Task Force. 

The Task Force noted that personnel restrictions based on Threat Condition varied widely. In Kuwait, airmen at Al Jaber Air Base, also in Threat Condition CHARLIE, were restricted to their compound, while Army troops at Camp Doha, in the same Threat Condition were not restricted to base. However, Air Force forces at Camp Doha, under the command of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), were restricted to the base. 

The U.S. Marine FAST security teams were the most impressive security forces observed in the theater. They are superbly trained, well equipped, and well led. They provide a useful model for development of service training programs.

Security assets in the theater ranged from solely host nation forces at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to a combination of armed contract forces and Army Military Police at Camp Doha, Kuwait. At Manai Plaza, Bahrain, the superbly trained and well-equipped Marine Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team had deployed from the United States specifically to perform security missions. The layered security provided by U.S. Air Force Security Police at the Air Expeditionary Force III operation at Doha Air Base, Qatar, afforded excellent protection to people and aircraft. At Camp Doha, Kuwait, U.S. forces freely patrolled the outside of the installation, in close coordination with Kuwaiti forces. At Khobar Towers and King Abd Al Aziz Air Base, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, U.S. forces were not allowed to patrol outside of their area of the Base, but were allowed to patrol the route between the housing area and the Air Base. 

U.S. Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) CompanyDedicated, armed, combat-trained cadreTask organized and equipped to perform security missions of short durationAugment installation security when the threat condition has been elevated beyond the capability of the permanent security forceTrain installation security forces in antiterrorism and weapons marksmanshipAssist the base security officer in the preparation of base defense and other security plansRequested by combatant and fleet commanders-in-chiefDeploy only upon approval of the Chief of Naval Operations

The adequacy of coordination with host country officials on antiterrorism measures varied by country. In some countries in the region, U.S. security officials established a continuing dialogue with the local chief and regional commander of the military police. This included mutual inspections of the perimeter and discussions on entry control. In other countries, the relationship between U.S. and local security force personnel had not developed to the degree where an easy exchange of information or coordination was possible.


Develop common guidance, procedures, and standards to protect the force. Assigning operational control of all combatant forces to one headquarters (Finding 4) will facilitate a common approach. 

Closely coordinate all antiterrorism countermeasures with host country agencies.


FINDING 6:  There is no theater-specific training guidance for individuals or units deploying to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. 

General pre-deployment and in-country sustainment training. U.S. Central Command relies on the service component commands to develop pre-deployment and in-country sustainment standards for preparation and training of units and people deploying to southwest Asia.This has resulted in differences in the level of preparedness of units and individuals assigned. 

In contrast U.S. European Command has developed and directed minimum standards of preparation and training for units and individuals deploying to Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR in Former Yugoslavia. This directive applies to all services and supporting combatant commands. 

U.S. Army units from U.S. European Command tasked to support U.S. Central Command in Saudi Arabia use the European Command approach in their preparation for deployment. In the absence of direction from U.S. Central Command, they have developed specific training programs which include force protection. Likewise, Army air defense units from the continental United States follow a pre-deployment training model based upon their evaluation of mission requirements. The only directed training requirements come from U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia and relate to proficiency in guard force Standing Operating Procedures for sites in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar./

Task Force 6-52 Air Defense Artillery, the 120-day rotational Patriot Battalion Task Force, was temporarily assigned to U.S. Army Forces Central Command, but permanently assigned to U.S. European Command. The Task Force provided pre-deployment and in-country sustainment force protection training and education, as well as mission related training, to its soldiers. This training complied with, and exceeds, requirements in existing U.S. Army Regulation 525-13, The Army Combating Terrorism Program, and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Europe directive for Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR. The training requirements provided in the above regulation and message were more definitive than those provided to U.S. Air Force units in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

Air Force units and members are prepared for worldwide deployment through the Operational Readiness Inspection Program and in accordance with the U.S. Air Force Instructions (AFI 10-403 Deployment Planning; AFI 10-215 Support for Contingency Operations). These documents provide guidelines for the administrative preparation and basic equipment requirements for airmen deploying for more than 15 days. This preparation does not include any regional orientation or specific training on force protection. 

U.S. Central Command has provided direction to deploying forces for defense against weapons of mass destruction. This includes equipment required for deployment to the Area of Responsibility, as well as individual and unit training requirements. 

Antiterrorism pre-deployment and in-country training and education.

…the key to an effective antiterrorism program is to develop an awareness that is both sustained and expanded as the Service member progresses from initial entry to termination of a military career…the member must be trained in the techniques of protection and security commensurate with the threat in his locale…

Existing regulations and instructions, including DoD Instructions, Directives and Handbooks O-2000.12, O-2000.12-H, and 2000.14, and Joint Publication 3-07.2, provide broad, non-specific guidance on required antiterrorism training for a temporary duty deployment. 

U.S. Central Command regulations and orders (CENTCOM Regulation 190-2, OPORD 96-01) provide guidance on antiterrorism training requirements only for those soldiers who are on temporary duty from the Headquarters, U.S. Central Command or assigned to an overseas Security Assistance Office. 

The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy antiterrorism/combating terrorism instructions and regulations provide specific guidance on antiterrorism training and education for service members in a temporary duty status. In comparison, USAF Instruction 31-210, The Air Force Antiterrorism Program, only provides general guidance and is vague as to what is required for service members on temporary duty. 

DoD instructions and service regulations concerning the training requirements of the unit and installation-appointed antiterrorism officer(s) were being met. For some of these officers, their training was received several years prior to their assignment to an antiterrorism officer position. For example, the antiterrorism officer at Khobar Towers was the Security Police commander, Lieutenant Colonel James Traister. He received the required training “five to ten” years prior to his assignment. Even though he met requirements, he personally felt that he was not current. 

Guard force pre-deployment and in-country training. The U.S. Air Force Security Police and guard forces had no specific guidance, directives, or training programs for operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. 

As stated earlier in this Finding, U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia established a guard force Standard Operating Procedure which included training programs and certification procedures for all soldiers assigned to a guard force or post. 


Establish training qualification and certification procedures for all units, individuals, and civilians prior to deployment to and after arrival in the Area of Responsibility. This should include force protection measures and be applicable to service members on both permanent change of station and temporary duty assignment. 

Conduct mandatory force protection and risk management training for all officers and senior noncommissioned officers deploying to high threat areas. Integrate this training into officer and noncommissioned officer professional military education to assure long-term development of knowledge and skills to combat terrorism at all levels.

Support development of antiterrorism training and education supporting materials, using innovative media methodologies, as recommended by the Antiterrorism Task Force and directed by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Conduct refresher training for installation/unit antiterrorism officers immediately prior to assignment in the theater, as outlined in DoD Instruction 2000.14.




FINDING 7:  Intelligence provided warning of the terrorist threat to U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia. 

Prior to the Fall of 1994, the terrorist threat in Saudi Arabia was benign, marred only by three isolated attacks against U.S. military targets in early 1991 during Operation DESERT STORM and the hijacking of a Saudi Airbus in 1994. Two incidents occurred almost simultaneously on February 3, 1991, in Jeddah. Unknown persons doused a U.S. transport bus with kerosene. Individuals fired shots at an other U.S. military bus, injuring three U.S. soldiers and a Saudi guard. On March 28, 1991, an unknown individual fired at least six shots at a U.S. Marine vehicle, slightly injuring three Marines. The internal security picture in Saudi Arabia began to change in late 1994. The volume and tone of reporting on potential terrorist threats became more ominous. The hypothesis was that much of this activity was a product of state-sponsored actions. 

After the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing on November 13, 1995, the security situation in Saudi Arabia became a matter of greater concern to U.S. officials. The volume of reporting on terrorist-related developments grew, as did the pace and intensity of meetings, briefings, and other actions. The military commanders in the theater issued warnings and directed various security enhancements based on this reporting. For example, in April 1995, U.S. Central Command, at the behest of the Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia commander, then-Major General Franklin, dispatched a message to all U.S. military units in the Area of Responsibility conveying concern about the general security environment and enjoining commanders to heighten security awareness. 

Overall, the intelligence provided commanders warning that the terrorist threat to U.S. servicemembers and facilities was increasing. As a result, those responsible for force protection at Khobar Towers and other U.S. Government facilities in Saudi Arabia had time and motivation to reduce vulnerabilities. (See Finding 20 and 22)


FINDING 8: This finding and its recommendations are classified in their entirety.


FINDING 9:  The ability of the theater and national intelligence community to conduct in-depth, long term analysis of trends, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists is deficient

At the national level, developments in Saudi Arabia were closely monitored in parallel with the country team. Beginning in the spring 1995, concerns about the possibility of terrorism began to increase. The Intelligence Community responded to the new information with a series of reports which were expanded and updated as new intelligence was collected. Additionally, these events were documented in the Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary, the National Military Joint Intelligence Center Executive Highlights, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Daily Intelligence Briefing, and the Military Intelligence Digest

However, the focus of this reporting was on current events and the promulgation of timely warnings and advisories. The military intelligence community lacks sufficient in-depth, long-term analysis of trends, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists. For example, Defense Intelligence Agency had 40 people assigned to the terrorist mission at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing, yet only seven analysts were committed to accomplish detailed assessments because of other priority commitments. Similar conditions exist at the service component commands and in the military department elements charged with analyzing terrorism. This is particularly critical in the realm of terrorism analysis which must promote insight and anticipation of future potential, not just repetition of historical anecdote. 

RECOMMENDATION: Allocate sufficient analytic resources to conduct in-depth, detailed analysis of trends, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists. 


FINDING 10:  The Department of State and elements within the DoD ascribe different Threat Level assessments for countries of the same region, causing confusion among recipients of this information. 

In the DoD, the Threat Level provides an estimate of the risk to personnel, facilities, or interests from terrorist attack. Analysis to derive Threat Levels is performed by the intelligence staff at each level of command, and the resulting Threat Levels can differ at each echelon. The Threat Levels range from NEGLIGIBLE to LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH or CRITICAL, based on a systematic analysis of the factors of existence of terrorism, terrorist capability, history of terrorism, intentions of terrorist groups, and targeting by terrorist groups. A matrix below reflects these factors and the judgments made for each: 


X – Factor MUST be Present O – Factor MAY or MAY NOT be Present 

In response to Threat Levels, commanders adopt or change Threat Conditions (THREATCONS), which are measures to protect people and facilities from the postulated threat. THREATCONS range from NORMAL through ALPHA, BRAVO, CHARLIE, and DELTA. Each THREATCON potentially entails increasingly stringent security measures. These terms, criteria, and their relationships in DoD are illustrated below: 

Law Enforcement 

While the Department of Defense focuses exclusively on terrorism factors when determining Threat Levels, the Department of State addresses broader factors, such as political violence–which encompasses terrorism, counterintelligence, anti-U.S. technical intelligence, and activities against the U.S. community. These factors reflect wider U.S. interests in each country. The Department of State assesses Threat Levels annually for each country, and these Threat Levels serve to justify annual budget requirements for security upgrades. The Department of State Threat Levels range from NO DATA to LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, and CRITICAL, as shown below: 

Activities vs. US
No Data....

CRITICAL: U.S. interests targeted, attacks occurred 
HIGH: Credible threat exists, anti-U.S. incidents occurred 
MEDIUM: Potential for anti-U.S. activity, political instability 
LOW: Little evidence of anti-U.S. activity, stable country 
NO DATA: No data available

Similarly, the Department of State Threat Conditions (THREATCONs) use the same levels as the Department of Defense, but they, too, are defined differently. THREATCONs are an amalgam of the factors of national terrorist threat warning, which would derive from the assessment of Threat Levels, other Human Intelligence input, regional surveys, and other threat assessments from the Department of Defense or host nation, as shown below: 

National Terrorist
Threat Warning
Regional DOS
Survey Teams
DoD/Host Nation
Threat Assessments

In Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Central Command, DIA and Department of State terrorist threat levels were modified based on incidents or updated intelligence. However, they were inconsistent

U.S. service members, depending on their organizational affiliation, fall under different jurisdictions for purposes of assessing Threat Levels and Conditions. Restrictions on members activities based on these threat declarations varied accordingly. In Dhahran, for example, combatant forces were in Threat Condition CHARLIE and restricted to base. As cited in Finding 5, in Kuwait, airmen at Al Jaber Air Base under Threat Condition CHARLIE were restricted to their compound, while Army troops at Camp Doha, in the same Threat Condition, were not restricted to base. However, Air Force airmen at Camp Doha, under the command of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), were restricted to base. Similar disparities in threat assessments prevail in Egypt. Senior officials at both U.S. Central Command headquarters and in the Area of Responsibility observed that these parallel systems caused confusion, particularly in a country in which both combatant and noncombatant forces were stationed. 

Previous studies, notably the DoD Antiterrorism Task Force report and the Accountability Review Board report, addressed this issue. The former recommended adoption of the DoD terrorism threat assessment methodology as the interagency standard. The latter recommended (a) adopting a single interagency-agreed Threat Level for locations with elements under Chief of Mission Authority, except in the situation where the threat is specific to one element; (b) avoiding dual Threat Levels for one location; and (c) keeping resource allocation considerations separate from Threat Level assessments. 

RECOMMENDATION: Institute one interagency methodology for assessing and declaring terrorist Threat Levels, allowing commanders to determine Threat Conditions in a local area. 


FINDING 11: The lack of an organic intelligence support capability in U.S. Air Force Security Police units adversely affects their ability to accomplish the base defense mission.

U.S. Air Force Security Police forces do not have a dedicated, organic intelligence element to support operations in a high-threat, air base defense environment. The Security Police units depend on a combination of the local Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment and the Wing Intelligence staff to provide their intelligence. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations focuses on intelligence collection, liaison with host country officials, assessing physical vulnerabilities, and advising the Wing Commander and other installation officials. The Wing Intelligence staff focuses on support to the operational flying mission, in this case, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, as its highest and most time consuming priority. The Wing Intelligence staff does not commit analytic resources to the Security Police base defense mission. 

At Khobar Towers, the Security Police unit depended upon periodic vulnerability assessments performed by ad hoc composite assessment teams to determine vulnerabilities. The Security Police commander essentially served as his own intelligence officer for base defense with assistance from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment. Given the scope of his responsibilities and austere manning levels, he had little opportunity to conduct base defense-related intelligence assessments. 

In contrast, U.S. Army Military Police battalions have an assigned intelligence section. In an Air Force context, such an intelligence staff would perform “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield” analytic functions, such as assessment of avenues of approach and methods of attack; levy collection requirements on the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and keep the front-line Security Policemen trained and current on the threat. Just as dedicated intelligence staffs support combat flying squadrons in the planning, conduct, and assessment of their missions, so should the Security Police have benefit of an analogous organic capability in the conduct of their combat mission–particularly in a high threat environment, such as Saudi Arabia. This intelligence support requirement for base defense applies in any expeditionary context. 

RECOMMENDATION: Provide U.S. Air Force Security Police units assigned an air base defense mission an organic intelligence capability. 


FINDING 12: This finding and its recommendation are classified in their entirety.


FINDING 13: This finding is classified in its entirety (there was no recommendation for this finding).


FINDING 14: While the communications architecture in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility supported the flow of intelligence throughout the upper echelons of the chain of command, field units had limited access due to classification restrictions.

The proliferation of secure phones, facsimile machines, and video teleconferencing capabilities and general upgrades in connectivity were evident throughout the Area of Responsibility. At almost every location, users cited the utility of certain systems. U.S. Central Command and Headquarters, Air Force Office of Special Investigations extensively used terrorism-specific systems to provide analytical support to the field. U.S. Central Command and U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia commended the message-handling capabilities of the systems employed. 

Despite the improved capabilities these systems provided, classification levels often restricted their utility at the field level. The small number of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities in the Area of Responsibility limited the dissemination of certain highly classified messages. Additionally, not all of the systems used at the command level and above, such as the Defense Intelligence Threat Data System, were readily available at lower levels. 


Make collateral communication systems available to the lowest appropriate level.

Distribute appropriate information to all key force protection officials, as well as coalition partners. 



FINDING 15:  The division of responsibility between U.S. and host nation police and military forces for security at facilities throughout Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf is clear.

Throughout the region, the Task Force found that security responsibilities between U.S. and host nation forces were clearly understood. External security responsibilities, from the fence line outward, are the domain of the host nation, while most internal security matters, inside the fence, are the responsibility of U.S. forces. However, the Task Force was unable to find any instance of this division of responsibility formalized in a memorandum of understanding. 

Language barriers between U.S. and host nation forces significantly degrade response times and would hinder overall command and control measures during a terrorist incident. During the assessment, Task Force members did not find interpreters assigned to any security force in the Area of Responsibility. For example, at Khobar Towers, the 4404th Wing (Provisional) had only one interpreter, on duty or on-call 24-hours a day. When the Security Police needed to talk to their Saudi civilian police counterparts, they first had to contact the interpreter, brief him on the situation, and request that he contact the Saudi police. 


Promulgate memorandums of understanding (MOU) between host nation and U.S. forces, delineating responsibilities for protecting U.S. operated facilities, to include procedures for upgrading security when Threat Levels change. 

Increase the number of interpreters available to security forces. 




FINDING 16:  (a) U.S. Embassy security resources are insufficient to adequately protect large numbers of noncombatant military forces in selected countries.

(b) The U.S. Defense Representative has insufficient resources to adequately protect large numbers of noncombatant military forces in selected countries.

(c) The U.S. Defense Representative does not have directive authority over selected “stovepipe” organizations.

“Stovepipe” is a term that refers to military organizations that are located in a combatant command area of responsibility, but are not assigned to the combatant command itself. Some of these organizations are under the direction of the Chief of Mission for force protection in accordance with the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986 and the Department of State/Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding. However, they may be under the operational control of their service, joint command, or defense agency in the United States. Generally, these organizations are not security assistance organizations in the U.S. mission, but may perform security assistance-related functions. 

Responsibility. By statute, presidential letter of instruction, and memorandum of understanding, the Secretary of State is responsible for the security of service members assigned to diplomatic missions and their dependents. The exception to this responsibility is for those forces “…under the command of a [combatant commander].”

The unified combatant commander, in this case the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command, has command of “…all forces operating within the geographic area assigned, except as directed by the Secretary of Defense.” Inherent within command is responsibility for force protection of those assigned. With these complementary responsibilities, two issues arise: 

  • Sufficiency of Department of State and DOD assets allocated for force protection, especially in the case of “stovepipe” organizations; and
  • Proper apportionment of those assets given the inherent responsibility of commanders to provide force protection for their units.

The Unified Command Plan, dated December 28, 1995, makes the unified combatant commander responsible for maintaining the security of the command, including its assigned or attached forces and assets and protecting the United States, its possessions and bases against the attack or hostile incursion. 

Under the Department of State/Department of Defense (DOS/DoD) Memorandum of Understanding, the responsibility for protection of “combatant” forces remains with combatant commanders. This includes service members and dependents performing strictly military functions, not otherwise assigned to the Chief of Mission [emphasis added.] The DoD activities overseas which fall under the control of the Chief of Mission include those of the Defense Security Assistance Agency, Defense Attach€ Office, Joint U.S. Military Aid Group, Office of Military Cooperation, Security Assistance Office, U.S. Military Training Mission and other similar activities. Generally, these activities are considered “noncombatant.” 

Within Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Military Training Mission and Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard are two separate “noncombatant” organizations. The Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, a “stovepipe” organization reporting to the U.S. Army Materiel Command, Alexandria, Virginia, has at least 136 U.S. service members and five separate compounds. Its mission as a security assistance organization is to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard for land defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Military Training Mission, a joint security assistance organization, has approximately 190 U.S. military employees at various locations. There are other stovepipe organizations in the theater. They include numerous Technical Assistance Field Teams (TAFT) and offices and individuals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Air Force Materiel Command, Center for Naval Analysis, Defense Logistics Agency, DoD Schools System, Defense Courier Service, Defense Commissary Agency, Air Mobility Command, Military Sealift Command, and Military Transportation Management Command, among others. None of these organizations are assigned to U.S. Central Command. They are specifically exempted by the Secretary of Defense. 

The Chief, U.S. Military Training Mission is the U.S. Defense Representative for Saudi Arabia. He is not in the chain of command of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard or any other stovepipe organization. 

Standards.  A DoD noncombatant activity must comply with the minimum standards promulgated by the Department of State and must coordinate with the Regional Security Officer when it desires to exceed those standards or provide protection at a higher Threat Level and must then provide the resources for that higher level of protection through “established funding mechanisms”. The Department of State is responsible for conducting surveys of all Defense component offices attached to U.S. missions abroad and makes recommendations based on standards established in the Physical Security Standards Handbook, the so-called “Inman Standards” established following the bombing of the U.S. Embassy Beirut in 1983. 

Resources.  The U.S. Embassy Riyadh has a limited capability to assess the security of U.S. military noncombatant forces in Saudi Arabia, particularly given the large size and geographic dispersion of these commands. The Regional Security Officer in Riyadh currently has only one full time assistant. The State Department has had to augment his staff with temporary duty people during heightened threat levels. Prior to the November 1995 bombing of the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, the Regional Security Officer focused on non-military elements of the U.S. community in country. Now, with the added security requirements of the military community assigned to the Mission, his office cannot provide timely support. Other embassies had similar problems meeting the force protection requirements of large noncombatant elements in their countries. 

There is a disparity in the availability of funding for noncombatant organizations. Some can use individual Foreign Military Sales, so-called “case,” funds for security matters without coordination with the U.S. Defense Representative. As an example, the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard has access to a master case which can be used anywhere for the security of its operations. Other case funds are dependent on prior agreements with the host nation. 

There is also a disparity in manpower resources. U.S. Military Training Mission did not have a force protection officer until one was sent on temporary duty by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command after the Khobar Towers bombing. Because of the Saudis’ flexibility, the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard hired a Special Assistant for Security for at least one year with its own case funds. 

The U.S. Defense Representative is the U.S. Central Command representative to the Chief of Mission. He is a coordinator for security matters for DoD noncombatant command forces. Without responsibility and directive authority, the other noncombatant commanders cannot be directed to take force protection actions by the U.S. Defense Representative. Currently, U.S. Defense Representatives in the U.S. Central Command theater require written agreements with stovepipe organizations which set out responsibilities and acknowledge the position of the U.S. Defense Representative, but do not shift force protection responsibility. 

Execution of Policy. The Chief of Mission and Regional Security Officer in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been diligent in carrying out their responsibilities. Both country teams were engaged and proactive in force protection matters. This included intelligence dissemination and physical security awareness. The breadth of the mission, however, especially where there was a substantial increase in the threat, caused a workload beyond the manning of these staffs. Chiefs of Mission and Regional Security Officers throughout the U.S. Central Command area visited by the Task Force do not have sufficient resources to coordinate and oversee force protection for large contingents of servicemen and women. This includes a lack of staff to conduct vulnerability assessments and verify that standards have been met. 

As an example, the Department of State Inspector General conducted a security oversight inspection of Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and constituent posts in September 1994 and did not examine any noncombatant activities. The report indicates that, because of the low terrorism threat at that time, the physical and residential security programs required a minimum of the Regional Security Officer’s and on-post security officer’s time. However, the threat began to change significantly shortly afterward. Before the Department of State Threat Level was changed, the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), in lieu of asking the Regional Security Officer, asked the 202d Military Intelligence Detachment to conduct a vulnerability assessment of U.S. SANG sites and residences in September 1995. The vulnerability assessment was completed and reviewed by the 202d Military Intelligence Detachment. The Regional Security Officer in Riyadh was unable to accomplish this task because of the lack of resources. 

The DoD Antiterrorism Task Force report and DoD’s Draft response to the Accountability Review Board report recognized many of these issues. The Board recommended shifting responsibility for security of noncombatant forces to DoD. The Memorandum of Understanding recognizes, at least, a mechanism to allow DoD to use its assets to supplement what it believes are appropriate and necessary force protection measures which cannot be supplied by the Department of State. 

There are some stovepipe organizations which are not accountable to either the unified combatant commander or the Chief of Mission for force protection. For example, in Qatar, the organizations which unload and guard equipment from Army War Reserve ships at the port of Um Said are assigned to the U.S. Army Military Transportation Management Command and Army Materiel Command, not to the unified combatant commander. Although the Chief of Mission and his staff, including the U.S. Liaison Officer, LTC Bruce Deane, are addressing the force protection requirements of these organizations, confusion persists about their authority and responsibility for doing so. 

Force protection activities functioned best in countries such as Bahrain where the U.S. Defense Representative was “triple-hatted” as U.S. Defense Representative, a commander of combatant forces, and a service component commander. This allowed a single DOD office to represent and fully protect both combatant and non-combatant forces. The central management of assets by the U.S. Defense Representative is necessary. However, limitations on case funds and directive authority impede centralization of force protection activities in the single U.S. Defense Representative, especially where the combatant command forces have a large, semi-permanent presence. 

The Secretary of Defense has the statutory authority to assign all DoD forces to a combatant command under the provisions of the Goldwater-Nichols Act. By assigning all forces to the combatant commander, except for those who actually work under the direction of the Chief of Mission (for example, the Defense Attache, the Security Assistance Officer, and the Marine Security Detachment should remain assigned to the Chief of Mission), the Secretary of Defense could achieve a unity of command throughout the theater for force protection for combatants and noncombatants alike. Under 10 U.S.C. 164, the Secretary of Defense may assign to the unified combatant commander necessary resources to accomplish the force protection mission. The Secretary and the unified combatant commander may also structure and tailor the missions of designated stovepipe organizations, newly assigned to the unified combatant commander, to accommodate the concerns of the Secretary of State as expressed in the DoD/Department of State Memorandum of Understanding. 


Assign all DoD personnel to the unified combatant commander, except those whose principal function supports the Chief of Mission. 

Provide the U.S. Defense Representative directive authority for force protection matters over ALL DoD personnel not assigned to the unified combatant commander.

Provide the U.S. Defense Representative with appropriate staff to assist the Chief of Mission in the execution of force protection responsibilities, to include conducting vulnerability assessments, identifying funds for force protection, and developing force protection standards. 


FINDING 17:  U.S. forces and facilities in Saudi Arabia and the region are vulnerable to terrorist attack. 

U.S. forces and facilities in Saudi Arabia remain vulnerable to various forms of terrorist attack. The proposed move to Prince Sultan Air Base at Al-Kharj will resolve vulnerabilities related to the forces supporting Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, but will create other challenges because U.S. airmen and aircraft will then be concentrated in fewer locations. U.S. military persons remaining in Riyadh and Jeddah will remain vulnerable. 

The security posture of U.S. forces and facilities varied throughout the Area of Responsibility. (See Findings 1, 3, 4, and 6) Force protection practices were inconsistent.  (See Finding 5) The threat changes continually and must be monitored closely. Those facilities located in the most populated and commercialized areas within the region were the most difficult to defend. Commanders who did not take a proactive approach to force protection and antiterrorism and whose facilities were located in populated areas were more vulnerable to terrorist attack. Specific recommendations for force protection enhancement were provided to commanders at each site. 

The Assessment Task Force visited the following locations: 

Saudi Arabia

Khobar Towers, Dhahran

King Abd Al Aziz Air Base, Dhahran

Office of Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, Riyadh

U.S. Military Training Mission, Riyadh

Eskan Village, Riyadh

ELF-1 Riyadh Air Base, Riyadh

Patriot Battery (Charlie), Riyadh

Patriot Battery (Delta), Riyadh

Prince Sultan Air Base, Al-Kharj

Oscar Site, Al-Kharj

P-3 Operating Location, Jeddah

Arabian Homes (Sierra Village), Jeddah 


Al Jaber Air Base

Camp Doha

Ali Al-Salem Air Base

Flag officer quarters, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command 


Naval Administrative Support Unit

Headquarters, U.S. Navy Central Command

DoD Dependent School

Manai Towers

Mina Sulman Pier

Aviation Unit (U.S. Naval Forces Central Command)

Flag officer quarters

Shaykh Isa Air Base 


Doha International Airport

Army Prepositioned Equipment Site, Al Sayliyah

Army housing area Jasmine

Umm Saeed Port 

United Arab Emirates

Sahara Residence, Abu Dhabi

Al Dhafra Air Base 


Peace Vector Site I

Peace Vector Site III

Peace Vector Site IV

Naval Medical Research Unit-3

Commissary / warehouse

Office of Military Cooperation housing sites

Commander, Office of Military Cooperation, quarters



Conduct vulnerability assessments for every site within the Area of Responsibility and repeat them on an appropriate schedule. Each site must be examined individually and in-depth. 

Locate facilities in secluded areas, wherever possible. 

Assign all security force members a weapon. Rifles and machine guns must be zeroed and fired for sustainment training. Identify special weapons requirements early and train to meet requirements. Stress weapons maintenance.

Examine and prioritize terrorist threats for both potential of occurrence and degree of vulnerability at each site. Prepare defenses accordingly. 

Coordinate with host nation police and military forces to develop and maintain a combined ability to counter the surface-to-air missile threat from terrorist elements. 


Employ integrated technology, including intrusion detection systems, ground sensors, closed circuit television, day and night surveillance cameras, thermal imaging, perimeter lighting, and advanced communication equipment, to improve the security of all sites. 

Employ technology-based explosive detection and countermeasure devices. 

Physically harden structures based on the threat. 

Develop guidance on required stand-off distances and the construction of blast walls and the hardening of buildings. 

Relocate and consolidate units at vulnerable facilities to more secure, U.S.-controlled compounds or bases. 

Reinforce the entry control points to U.S. facilities and provide defense in depth. 

Cable single rows of Jersey barriers together.

Use enhanced barriers, similar to those designed by the United Kingdom and Israel, to shield and protect vulnerable compounds and structures. (See Finding 26)

Establish threat based stand-off or exclusion areas around compounds and bases. 

Procure personal protective equipment suitable for extreme hot weather operations. 

The last recommendation of Finding 17 Physical Security is classified.


Harden or procure armored buses to transport service members between housing areas and work sites. 

Provide armed guards, at a minimum in pairs, on buses and provide armored escort vehicles. 

Ensure host country military and police are actively involved in securing routes of travel. 

Provide and maintain communications for all modes of transportation and centrally control and monitor transportation movements. 


Provide personal protection antiterrorism training to all deployed service members and their families. 

Conduct training exercises to rehearse responses to a terrorist attack, including building evacuation and re-assembly procedures. 

Develop and use an extensive list of potential terrorist scenarios to assess force protection measures at each site in the Area of Responsibility. 


The Task Force could not physically survey all locations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility within the time frame of this Report. Locations in the theater which the Task Force did not survey should be assessed as soon as possible. These include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Oman, Sudan, and Yemen. The Task Force had only a limited opportunity to assess force protection in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. Urgent priorities to improve force protection have been identified at U.S. facilities in these countries. A follow-on assessment team should conduct a more in-depth survey of these sites. 


Part III describes policies, procedures, and actions of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) at Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to maintain a force protection posture commensurate with the threat to U.S. service members and facilities. It specifically addresses the security infrastructure and systems in place at the time of the June 25, 1996 bomb attack on Khobar Towers, the housing and administrative complex for the 4404th Wing (Provisional) and for U.S. Army, British, French, and Saudi forces in the Dhahran area. Questions related to the fence surrounding the complex and initiatives to move the fence to achieve greater stand-off distance between the external perimeter and buildings on the interior are addressed. This part also discusses medical care and resources available for force protection. 

As at all U.S. overseas facilities, the host nation exercised sovereignty over its territory outside of U.S. installations and assumed responsibility for the overall security and safety of U.S. servicemen and women. 


The security infrastructure and systems at Khobar Towers proved inadequate to deter and defend against the June 25, 1996 terrorist bomb attack. This was despite significant efforts by the United States and Saudi Arabia to enhance security of the facility following the November 13, 1995 bombing of the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh. The following findings discuss physical security of the Towers, including measures taken with regard to the interior and exterior of the complex, the guard force, and the warning system. As it did at all other sites visited, the Assessment Task Force provided immediate recommendations to improve security of service members and facilities to the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional) prior to its departure. 

The 4404th Wing (Provisional) initiated extensive force protection measures beginning in November 1995. These initiatives focused on the threat from a bomb penetrating to the interior of Khobar Towers. The Wing did not take adequate protective measures to meet other viable terrorist threats to service members and facilities in the Dhahran area. These threats included attacks by stand-off weapons, assassination and/or kidnapping of individuals, ambush of vehicles, and stand-off bombs. 


FINDING 18: While intelligence did not provide the tactical details of date, time, place, and exact method of attack on Khobar Towers, a considerable body of information was available that indicated terrorists had the capability and intention to target U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, and that Khobar Towers was a potential target.

As described in Finding 7, much of the local in-country intelligence effort was devoted to pursuing leads on alleged plots, anonymous threats, visual and photographic surveillance of U.S. installations and people, travel of suspected terrorists, and other fragmentary reports. A general picture of an increasingly threatening environment emerged. In March 1996, a senior intelligence official wrote: 

Briefed BGen Schwalier, Commander of the 4404th …and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment in Dhahran. Stated that there was an increasing amount of circumstantial information indicating that some terrorist activity could occur during and immediately after the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, 19 April to 17 May 1996)…BGen Schwalier stated he appreciated the briefing and was very much concerned about possible terrorist activity. 

The commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment at Dhahran Air Base sent a message on April 4, 1996 to Headquarters, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., which recounted the general threat situation at Khobar Towers and identified the vulnerabilities of the installation and specifically highlighted concern for the portion of the perimeter adjacent to the parking lot in the vicinity of Buildings 131 and 133.He observed that: 

Security measures here are outstanding, which in my view would lead a would-be terrorist to attempt an attack from a position outside the perimeter…


...if a truck parks close to the fence line, and the driver makes a quick getaway, I think the building should be cleared immediately

Although he did not show the April 4th message to any member of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) chain of command, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander stated that, over a period of time, he briefed the commander and his senior staff on the contents of his message. 

In response to this message, Headquarters, Air Force Office of Special Investigations sent a Special Agent to Khobar Towers from May 22 through May 25, 1996 to assess physical security. The Special Agent gave a memorandum to the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander on May 28, 1996, but never spoke with Brigadier General Schwalier, who was unaware of the Special Agent visit. Furthermore, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander never briefed the Commander on the recommendations made by the Special Agent, citing that “…most [of the recommendations] have been implemented” and that he did not think the “…command would build a wall based solely on this recommendation.” 

On April 12, 1996, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander briefed Brigadier General Schwalier and ten of his selected key staff. He explained the significance of the Hajj season and described the current threat, to include a large quantity of explosives destined for coalition military targets with the potential for use in a bombing attack. In his concluding summary, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander pointed out that this “…information is sensitive and cannot be released down the chain of command.” He said that security measures must be implemented without saying why. The Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander was conservative in his strict interpretation of the rules on protecting intelligence information. The Wing did not initiate any changes in the security posture or Threat Level of the command as a result of this briefing. The prevalent view among the Wing leadership was that any bomb attack would be of the magnitude of the bomb which exploded at the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard. Brigadier General Schwalier commented that his frame of reference with respect to the size of a potential bomb was “small.” Similarly, Lieutenant Colonel James Traister, Commander, 4404th Security Police Squadron, never considered a bomb the size of the one that exploded on June 25th to be a viable threat. He said “…in my mind 200 pounds is a large size. Three hundred pounds is large. Five hundred pounds is large. I did not in any way, shape or form expect three to five (thousand pounds).

In April and May 1996, several incidents occurred which, while individually insignificant, indicated possible reconnaissance and surveillance of the Khobar Towers complex. None of these incidents have yet been linked to the actual attack. 

On June 17, 1996, an intelligence report on increased security in Saudi Arabia appeared in the Defense Intelligence Agency Military Intelligence Digest (MID). The Military Intelligence Digest provides a high-level, executive summary of intelligence reporting to a large number of recipients. Published five days a week, the MID is not designed nor intended as a medium for time sensitive warnings. The report in question summarized original field reporting by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. In an insert box near the end of the article, it stated that “…in light of growing anti-U.S. sentiment and the increased frequency of these incidents, a pattern appears to be developing that warrants improved security efforts.” The information in this report was known to appropriate U.S. command officials in Saudi Arabia.

The Military Intelligence Digest is also routinely distributed electronically, and it is common practice for recipients to extract articles which are pertinent locally to include in their own tailored summaries. This was done at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command. The article was read by the Commander-in-Chief. Similarly, the 4404th Wing Director of Intelligence included the text of the article in an intelligence reading file intended for Brigadier General Schwalier. Neither these key individuals nor their intelligence directors regarded the article as new information or as warning of an imminent attack. 

There was no intelligence from any source which warned specifically of the nature, timing, and magnitude of the June 25, 1996 attack on Khobar Towers. However, a considerable body of information, including a series of ten suspicious incidents in the preceding 90 days, was available that indicated terrorists had both the capability and intention to target U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, and that Khobar Towers was a potential target. 

Brigadier General Schwalier was not well served by an ad hoc intelligence structure. He did not have a dedicated, organic, and focused intelligence analytic capability. The combination of frequent rotations, inconsistency in the professional qualifications of officers assigned to counterintelligence duties, and their lack of area expertise degraded the support provided to the Wing Commander. 


The first two recommendations for Finding 18 are classified.

Provide commanders of units operating in a high threat air base defense environment direct access to a dedicated intelligence analytic capability. (See Finding 11)



FINDING 19:  The chain of command did not provide adequate guidance and support to the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional).

The Assessment Task Force has been directed to “Examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the June 25, 1996 bomb attack against Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and assess whether the extent to which the casualties and damage sustained was the result of inadequate security infrastructures, policies, or systems….” The Task Force determined that conditions and circumstances created at all levels of the chain of command caused vulnerabilities that were exploited in the actual attack. This Finding summarizes facts presented elsewhere in this Report. It provides examples of inadequate guidance and support from each level of the chain of command above the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional). The actions of the Commander, 4404th Wing are discussed in Findings 20 and 22.

Department of Defense

  • DoD has not published physical security standards for force protection of fixed facilities. (See Finding 1
  • Antiterrorism training guidance is inadequate and non-specific. (See Finding 6
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not challenge the command relationships, structure, and resources of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia as the mission expanded, the mandate became indefinite, and the threat to U.S. forces changed. The discussion in Findings 3 and 4 makes clear that command and force protection responsibilities and authorities are interdependent. The Joint Staff, J-7 Evaluation and Analysis Division, made an assessment of CENTCOM Exercise INITIAL LINK 96. April 11-25, 1996. One of the recommendations states: “…consider investigation of force options or doctrinal adjustments to meet demands arising from transition between a JTF and a semi-permanent force.” 
  • U.S. Air Force manning and rotation policies did not support the stability or cohesion of Air Force units in the region. (See Findings 3, 18, and 20)

U.S. Central Command

  • Command relationships did not support the enhancement of force protection under increased Threat Conditions. (See Finding 4) 
  • The April 12, 1996 Letter of Instruction on Force Protection caused confusion, and its implementation was subject to differing interpretations. (See Finding 4) 
  • There are no established theater standards for physical security. (See Finding 5) A wide variance exists in force protection practices throughout the theater. (See Findings 5 and 17) Although U.S. Central Command issued a message immediately after the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing emphasizing the importance of force protection, the Command did not inspect the force protection posture of its combatant units in the theater. 
  • There are no theater-specific training programs.  Findings 6 and 20 discuss the impact throughout the theater and at Khobar Towers.  
  • U.S. Central Command accepted U.S. Air Force manning and rotation policies for the region. The impact of this policy is discussed in Findings 3, 18, and 20
  • Despite the increased emphasis on force protection, units remained understaffed to accomplish their mission under the increased Threat Conditions. Findings 3, 11 and 20 discuss the impact of this shortfall on operations and intelligence. 
  • No member of the U.S. Central Command chain of command inspected force protection at Khobar Towers. This information is based on interviews with General Peay, Lieutenant General Franklin, Lieutenant General Jumper and Brigadier General Schwalier. Brigadier General Schwalier stated that Major General Hurd (CENTCOM J-3) toured Khobar Towers with him in December 1995. However, there was no inspection of force protection measures at Khobar Towers.

U.S. Air Forces Central Command. U.S. Air Forces Central Command had operational control of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) under the command relationships established by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command. Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, did not provide sufficient guidance and assistance to adequately protect the 4404th Wing (Provisional). Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces Central Command was not organized or structured to execute its full responsibilities for the security of forces in the Area of Responsibility. It relied upon Headquarters, U.S. Air Combat Command for some critical functions, like Inspector General inspections. This reliance on Air Combat Command did not, however, relieve U.S. Air Forces Central Command of its command responsibilities. 

  • Physical security inspections were not conducted in the region. There is no record of any message traffic or written directives from CENTAF to the 4404th Wing (Provisional) concerning force protection matters. Although vulnerability assessments were performend and copies forwarded, there is no evidence they were reviewed at higher headquarters (See Finding 1).
  • No member of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command chain of command inspected physical security at Khobar Towers.
  • Vulnerability assessments were not reviewed.  (See Finding 20)
  • Theater specific training in antiterrorism was not conducted prior to deployment. The command relied on generic Air Force deployment standards. (See Findings 5, 6 and 20)
  • Despite end-of-tour reports from the Security Police Squadron commanders, no effort was made to modify the Air Force 90-day rotation policy.  (See Finding 3)
  • Security Police were not structured for sustained Threat Condition CHARLIE operations.  (See Findings 3 and 20)

RECOMMENDATION: That the Secretary of Defense take action, as appropriate. 


Background.  Khobar Towers is a housing complex built by the Saudis in 1979 near the city of Dhahran, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, but essentially unoccupied until the Gulf War in 1990. During and following the War, coalition forces operating in the Dhahran area occupied the Towers, including service members from the United States, Saudi Arabia, France, and the United Kingdom. Saudi military families currently live in the southern section of the complex. The living quarters are primarily high-rise apartments up to eight stories tall. The complex also includes office space and administrative facilities. The perimeter of the U.S., French, and British area is surrounded by a fence and a row of concrete Jersey barriers. Buildings 131 and 133, the buildings most severely damaged during the bombing, are eight-story apartment complexes facing the north perimeter. There is a parking lot outside of the north perimeter which is adjacent to a park and a small group of houses. (Figure 2 and Diagram 1, Khobar Towers) 

Figure 2. Photograph of Khobar Towers after the Bombing

The Fence.The fence surrounding the Khobar Towers housing complex had not changed substantially since U.S. forces first occupied the complex in 1990. The fence was not substantially repaired or upgraded until after the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing on November 13, 1995. At that time, the perimeter fence was a chain link fence approximately seven to eight feet high, including three strands of barbed wire or one row of concertina along the top. It was surrounded with Jersey barriers. There were few lights, and no surveillance cameras, sensors, or alarms were in use. 

Diagram 1. Sketch of Khobar Towers

FINDING 20: The Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional) did not adequately protect his forces from a terrorist attack.

Background. A vulnerability assessment of Khobar Towers was initiated on June 26, 1995, five months before the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing. This assessment was completed on July 18, 1995 and received three months later by the 4404th Wing (Provisional) in September or October 1995. A review of end-of-tour reports written by previous commanders of the 4404th Security Police Squadron revealed little activity in force protection or physical security upgrades until after the November 1995 bombing. 

Following the November 1995 bombing in Riyadh, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations began immediately updating the July 18, 1995 Vulnerability Assessment. The updated assessment was provided to the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional) in January 1996. This assessment made 39 recommendations. Some of the vulnerabilities noted in the January 8, 1996 report included:

  • Apparently abandoned vehicles located close to the fence.
  • Heavy growth of vegetation along the fence line that obstructed the view of security patrols and provided concealment for potential intruders.
  • Jersey barriers and other equipment located next to the fence, effectively reducing the height of the fence. 

Neither vulnerability assessment specifically addressed the north parking area outside of the fence as a vulnerability, other than noting the overgrown vegetation. 

Also after the November 1995 bombing, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command sent a message to his component commanders and the Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia emphasizing the importance of force protection. In it, he identified areas of concern, one of which was Khobar Towers. Then-Major General Carl Franklin, Commander, Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia, sent a memorandum to Brigadier General Schwalier indicating that he planned to assess the status of security in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Area of Responsibility, even though as a commander exercising tactical control, he technically did not have this authority. General Franklin asked of Brigadier General Schwalier that “…we work to identify potential weaknesses, shortfalls, and requirements.” He also stated that intelligence reports indicated that Khobar Towers was an area requiring specific attention and increased emphasis. 

In November 1995 after the bombing at the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard, Colonel Gary Boyle, the 4404th Support Group Commander, and the Saudi Royal Air Force liaison officer between the U.S. and Saudi military, toured the perimeter of Khobar Towers and inspected the condition of the fence. Colonel Boyle directed the liaison officer’s attention to a number of deficiencies, including the state of repair of the fence. The barbed wire atop the approximately seven to eight foot high fence had been removed in some locations permitting easier access to the complex. The bottom of the fence had been cut away in several other locations. The lack of security on the north perimeter was specifically addressed. The liaison officer indicated that the deficiencies noted outside the fence were the responsibility of the Saudi civilian police. Colonel Boyle testified that he asked the liaison officer if the fence could be moved 10 to 15 feet to expand the perimeter near Building 131. As stated in Colonel Boyle’s testimony, the liaison officer explained to Boyle that he did not have the authority to move the perimeter. However, the liaison officer stated that he would coordinate with Saudi civilian officials who could address the problem. The liaison officer informed the Task Force that he was never asked by U.S. officials to move the fence. 

The defense of Khobar Towers is to stop and eliminate any threat (human bomber or car bomber) from getting past 12th Street into the compound. This is the assumption that all personnel perform their jobs, and everything falls into place, with lots of luck. This plan is not designed to stop stand-off type weapons, like RPG, mortar fire, or sniper fire. Our intent is to make the base as hard a target as possible to force the enemy to go elsewhere.
Lieutenant Colonel Traister, Chief, Security Police, 4404th Wing (Provisional) at Khobar Towers, from his end-of-tour report, dated June 21, 1996

When Lieutenant Colonel James Traister, the new Security Police Squadron commander, arrived at Dhahran in March 1996, he met with the Wing Commander, Brigadier General Schwalier, to discuss security concerns and priorities. During this initial meeting on March 20, 1996, General Schwalier asked Lieutenant Colonel Traister how he would prevent a car bomb from entering Khobar Towers and destroying the complex. Lieutenant Colonel Traister made that concern his primary focus as he surveyed the physical security of the facility. He improved security measures at the main gate and strengthened the perimeter fence to prevent vehicles from crashing through. Additional Jersey barriers were added inside the fence around the entire perimeter. Another checkpoint was placed at the entry control point, resulting in two separate check stations. The serpentine approach to the gate was lengthened, insuring that vehicles approaching the complex slowed sufficiently for the security force to react to a possible penetration. M-60 machine guns were positioned on either side of the entry road in reinforced bunkers at the second checkpoint to defeat a forced entry. Additionally, two large trucks were positioned and continuously manned on either side of the road just behind the check point to block the road or ram any vehicle attempting to run the gate. 

In late March, Lieutenant Colonel Traister, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander, Captain Washburn, the Security Police operations officer and second-in-command to Lieutenant Colonel Traister, and the 4404th Wing interpreter, met with an officer of the Royal Saudi Military Police. They toured the perimeter and discussed security enhancements. The officer agreed to move barriers that were directly against the outside of the fence to a distance of five feet from the fence and to place two rows of concertina wire along the bottom of the barriers and one along the top to delay or prevent people from crossing the barriers. Lieutenant Colonel Traister asked the officer if the vegetation along the fence could be trimmed to allow better observation of the perimeter. The officer replied that it could not be cut down, explaining that the vegetation served as a barrier to prevent local Saudis from viewing what Americans were doing inside the compound. 

As these improvements were being made, intelligence reporting indicated an escalating threat of terrorist activity, including several suspicious incidents in the vicinity of Khobar Towers. During this period, Lieutenant Colonel Traister took several additional security measures.

  • Increased the scrutiny of workers entering Khobar Towers.
  • Erected additional Jersey barriers at the entrances to the complex and along the interior of the fence line.
  • Requested an increase in 24-hour Saudi patrols outside the fence.
  • Established procedures to allow Air Force Security Police to report rapidly the license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles observed around the Khobar Towers area to the local Saudi police.
  • Added observation posts on top of selected perimeter buildings.

Leaders and staffs at various levels met regularly to discuss force protection in committees formed for that purpose. A partial list includes: 

Executive Force Protection Committee  
Riyadh Force Protection Committee Various
4404th Wing Security Council
4404th Wing Security Council, Phase II
4404th Wing Installation Readiness Council
Threat Working Group
Coalition Threat Working Group
4404th Wing (Provisional) 
4404th Wing (Provisional) 
4404th Wing (Provisional) 
4404th Wing (Provisional) 
4404th Wing (Provisional) 
4404th Wing (Provisional)

As an ancillary matter, regular meetings were held concerning force protection which included Saudi military officials. These officials provided copies of contemporaneous letters written to discuss the matters covered at these meetings. They were not translated or retained by the 4404th Wing (Provisional). They were not otherwise filed or kept as a matter of record. This made it difficult, and in some instances impossible, to ascertain what happened and what concerns were raised at these meetings. The Task Force did obtain some notes kept by Saudi military officials and the U.S. contract interpreter. There was no mention in these notes of the expansion of the perimeter. 

These groups “reviewed and coordinated” measures to counter terrorism. The Force Protection/Security Councils provided a forum to share ideas, but implementation remained a command responsibility. There was little or no physical command inspection or follow-up.

Lessons Learned: The things learned are there is a lack of follow-up on projects, the leadership are [sic] unaware of problems until too late, little or no Staff Assistant Visits or Assessment at Dhahran flightline.
Minutes from March 26, 1996 4404th Wing Security Council meeting. Lt Col Traister, Recorder

The Wing relied on Saudi officials to exercise their responsibilities outside the perimeter. In response to verbal requests from the Security Police, Saudi military officials wrote to civilian police officials on May 12, 1996, requesting increased Saudi police patrols in the north parking lot near Building 131. Subsequently, more frequent patrols were observed by U.S. forces. 

At 9:49PM June 25, 1996, the night of the bomb attack, security police, while conducting a check on the observation post on top of Building 131, observed two individuals park a tanker truck against the vegetation growing on the north perimeter fence in front of the building. The guards on duty, observed the two individuals leave the truck, run, enter a car, and depart the parking lot at a high rate of speed. They immediately recognized the threat posed by the truck to Building 131, and began alerting building occupants by running down the hallways and knocking on doors. Although alerted by the sentries, the Security Police Command Center had not contacted the Wing Operations Center to activate the Giant Voice warning system by the time the bomb exploded at 9:55PM. Only the top three floors had been notified. At 9:56PM, all telephone communications were lost and were not restored until 10:35PM. 

1979Khobar Towers construction completed by Saudi Government
1990First use of Khobar Towers by U.S. forces.
1992In June, the 4404th Wing (Provisional) moves into Khobar Towers.
September or October4404th Wing (Provisional) receives July 1995 AFOSI Vulnerability Assessment.
NovemberColonel Boyle, 4404th Support Group Commander, and Saudi Royal Air Force liaison officer, tour Khobar Towers perimeter and inspect fence.
November 13OPM/SANG bombing, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Juanuary 8AFOSI completes Vulnerability Assessment of Khobar Towers
March 20Lieutenant Colonel Traister, new Security Police Squadron commander, has initial meeting with Brigadier General Schwalier. Traister begins aggressive effort to protect against a vehicle entering the base with a bomb.
MarchLate March, Lieutenant Colonel Traister, the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander, and the Wing interpreter meet with Royal Saudi Military Police. Lieutenant Colonel Traister verbally requests fence be moved; told by the Saudi official that he cannot take action.
April 3Request for four additional explosive detection dog teams sent to U.S. Central Command Air Forces. Teams arrive on 14 April.
April 1-25Security Police report five incidents of possible surveillance of Khobar Towers.
April 12The Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander briefs Brigadier General Schwalier and key 4404th Wing staff on the current threat.
May 12Saudi official sends a letter to the Chief of Police, Eastern Sector requesting increased police patrols in the Khobar Towers area.
May 31Perpetrators of the OPM/SANG bombing on November 13, 1995 beheaded.
June 259:49PM – Security police observe suspicious activity. They begin alerting building occupants in Building 131. 9:55PM – Bomb detonates.


General.Brigadier General Schwalier had both command responsibility and command authority for force protection matters in the 4404th Wing (Provisional). Therefore, he could take appropriate measures to protect his force and had the responsibility to notify his superiors when he was unable to do so. 

During his one-year tenure, two vulnerability assessments of Khobar Towers were conducted. Khobar Towers was identified to General Schwalier as one of the three highest priority soft targets in the region. Additionally, he was made aware of the terrorist threat in the area, a point underscored by the bombing at the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard in November 1995. 

In his end-of-tour report, written on the morning before the bombing of Khobar Towers, Brigadier General Schwalier stated: 

During my tour, the Wing focused on the following three areas:

1) Improving combat capability;

2) Improving relationships with host nations; and

3) Improving work, recreation, and living areas – as well as improving ourselves.

Force protection, despite the significant change in terrorist threat during his command tenure, was not mentioned. 

During his tour of duty, Brigadier General Schwalier never raised to his superiors force protection matters that were beyond his capability to correct. Nor did he raise the issue of expanding the perimeter or security outside of the fence with his Saudi counterparts in the Eastern Province.  (See Finding 21)

Intelligence. Intelligence is a fundamental responsibility of command. It is now evident that Brigadier General Schwalier was not well served by an ad hoc intelligence structure. He lacked direct access to a dedicated, organic, and focused intelligence analytic capability. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations “stovepipe” system, in effect, denied him direct access to the Office of Special Investigations Detachment Commander’s prophetic April 4 message. This same system did not allow him to receive the TDY Special Agent’s germane force protection recommendations one month before the bombing.  (See Finding 18)

Nevertheless, the Commander was aware of a considerable body of information, including the series of ten suspicious incidents from April through June 1996. These incidents and information, taken together, indicated that terrorists had demonstrated the capability and intention to target U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, and that Khobar Towers was a potential target. This is discussed in detail in Finding 18.

Focus of Force Protection. The vulnerability assessment completed in January 1996 addressed five possible terrorist scenarios developed by the Department of State. These scenarios included a suicide car bombing that could be “..quite large,” a parked and abandoned car bomb, a man portable bomb device, a man-pack bomb or body charge, and a letter or package bomb. Recognizing that the host nation was responsible for external security, the 4404th Wing (Provisional) chose to concentrate the majority of its force protection efforts on preventing a penetration of the perimeter by a car, truck, or man-pack suicide bomb. 

The Commander did not take actions that could have mitigated the effects of other forms of terrorist attack or secondary effects of a penetrating bomb. 

Glass Fragmentation

Glass Fragmentation at Khobar Towers
…windows throughout Khobar Towers are untreated and are not protected by any blast mitigation scheme. The blast from a car bomb or other device would shatter windows sending shrapnel into quarters and offices throughout the affected buildings. 
January 8, 1996 Vulnerability Assessment, Khobar Towers

In the 4404th Wing (Provisional) budget, items such as Mylar, a shatter resistant window film coating, and surveillance systems for the fence line were deferred until budgets in later years, despite the fact that funds for requested items, even unfunded requirements, had never been denied by U.S. Air Forces Central Command or U.S. Air Combat Command. The decision to budget Mylar in later years was made despite Recommendation #36 in the January 1996 Vulnerability Assessment:

RECOMMENDATION 36: Install 4 mil SRWF on all perimeter glass. According to US Embassy Sources SRWF has an approximate cost of $50.00 per square meter. If the cost of upgrading all perimeter windows is deemed too great, begin with the perimeter faces of buildings 133 and 131, then work roughly clockwise around KT through to building 117. (emphasis added)

Also included in the January 1996 Vulnerability Assessment was a “Bullet Background Paper on Explosive Effects” prepared on November 19, 1995 by Captain McLane, Dhahran Explosive Ordnance Detachment. The assessment, also discussed at Finding 1, assumed a 200 pound car bomb and determined the effects of the resulting blast on buildings in Khobar Towers. The paper compared over pressures from a notional explosive device using 200 pounds of plastic explosive C4. It determined that such a bomb exploding at 165 feet (the actual distance on June 25, 1996 was 80 feet) would damage buildings and kill or injure exposed people. Captain McLane went on to recommend a 300 foot (92.5 meter) perimeter to mitigate the effects of a 200 pound blast. There is no evidence that any action was taken regarding this aspect of the assessment by the Commander. 

The Effect of a 200 Pound Bomb at Khobar Towers
Even if the bomb at Khobar Towers had been much smaller — similar to that used at OPM/SANG on November 13, 1995 — the casualties would have been significant. A Task Force explosives expert calculated that if a 200 pound bomb had exploded 80 feet from Building 131, severe window frame failure and spalling of reinforced concrete would have resulted. Injuries from glass fragments would have been extensive. Major structural damage would probably have caused the building to be condemned. The Task Force estimated between five and 11 deaths would have occurred from the 200 pound blast. The estimate assumes that people were in approximately the same position as they were on June 25th. Deaths would have resulted from the effects of the flying glass and not from blunt trauma.

Stand-off Distance. Lieutenant Colonel Traister had coordinated with the commander of the local Saudi Military Police about expanding the north perimeter of the fence line in April 1996 and, according to U.S. sources, received the same response that Colonel Boyle had received from a Saudi official in November 1995. Brigadier General Schwalier did not appeal this decision to his counterpart or refer it to his superiors. In any event, the impetus to move the fence was prompted by the requirement for 10 to 15 feet of additional clear zone that would allow improved U.S. observation of the exterior. Neither Colonel Boyle nor Lieutenant Colonel Traister sought additional stand-off distance against a bomb attack. 

Movement of Personnel to Less Vulnerable Buildings.The vulnerability assessments completed in July 1995 and January 1996 did not directly address the danger presented by the northern perimeter of Khobar Towers and did not recommend moving airmen from Buildings 131 or 133. The January 1996 Vulnerability Assessment indirectly mentioned movement of personnel to safer buildings. Recommendations #23 and #24 of that Assessment called for “…contingency planning for relocation of mission essential personnel to other facilities within the compound…” and “…alternative lodging of key personnel and distinguished visitors during increased threat conditions.” Relocation of mission essential personnel to other buildings within the compound was considered by the Wing and rejected in order to maintain unit integrity within buildings. Alternative lodging of key personnel and distinguished visitors was briefed as being implemented; however, the Task Force could find no evidence supporting this assertion. 

Despite the risk to airmen identified in Findings #23 and #24 of the January 1996 Assessment, the rooms facing the vulnerable exterior perimeter of Khobar Towers remained occupied. Colonel Boyle stated that it would have adversely affected the quality of life at Khobar Towers had the Wing been forced to put two or three persons into each room of the interior buildings. Brigadier General Schwalier testified that he never thought of evacuating these rooms. 

Guard Force at Khobar Towers. The Security Police had no special training program on the threat they were facing, and terrorist response exercises were not conducted. Rather than specific Rules of Engagement, general law enforcement doctrine on the use of force was in effect. The Security Police were not drilled using theater-specific situational training exercises. Guards were on 12-hour shifts for six days or longer. Some worked on the same observation post for 12 hours at a time, exposed to 100 degree heat, with only meal and comfort breaks. 

During interviews of security force personnel by the Task Force, most related that they had been briefed on the threat from a vehicle bomb, but could not recall being briefed on the magnitude and nature of other threats. Without exception, they knew the Threat Level and Threat Condition at Khobar Towers. There is evidence that the Security Police commander would brief his forces when information was received. Occasionally, an Office of Special Investigations agent would brief sentries at Guard Mount. However, some only remembered being briefed to be “Be careful and alert out there!” during briefings given at the beginning of their shift. 

Although Security Police arrived trained and qualified on their weapons, they did not deploy with assigned weapons from their home base. This practice resulted in a situation where individuals were issued weapons that they had not maintained, zeroed, or fired. This situation was exacerbated by the lack of weapons training conducted in-country by the 4404th Security Police Squadron. 

The Task Force observed weapons which were dirty and/or not well maintained at Khobar Towers and other locations in the region. In some instances, it was doubtful that these weapons would have functioned properly, if fired. 

Manning. As was pointed out in Finding 3, the guard force was not manned to sustain the security measures inherent in high Threat Conditions. Prior to the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard bombing in Riyadh, the Security Police manning at Dhahran was set at 165 airmen. This number was based on validated requirements to provide security for both Khobar Towers and King Abd Al Aziz Air Base. These requirements were adequate for protection based on the past threat in Saudi Arabia and allowed the security force to work eight-hour shift schedules, similar to stateside bases. After the Riyadh bombing on November 13, 1995, the Security Police implemented additional measures to bolster security at Khobar Towers. As the threat continued to rise, they increased manning at static posts, doubled roving patrols in the complex, and added observation posts on the rooftops of several buildings, including Building 131. These additional posts required that security forces work extended shifts. The only request for additional manning of the Security Police came shortly after Lieutenant Colonel Traister arrived in March 1996, when he requested permission from Brigadier General Schwalier to obtain four more explosive detection dog teams. The request was submitted to the Security Police Office at Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina on April 3, 1996, and the teams arrived on April 14, 1996. No other request for additional security forces was submitted. 

In April 1996, as the threat escalated, the 4404thSupport Group commander, Colonel Boyle, discussed the possibility of raising the Wing Threat Condition (THREATCON) to CHARLIE. During this discussion, Lieutenant Colonel Traister stated that he did not have enough people to sustain the number of posts required for THREATCON CHARLIE and felt it would be difficult to justify a request for additional people. The decision not to go to THREATCON CHARLIE appeared to have been based on the availability of security forces and their ability to sustain operations for an extended period of time, rather than what was required by the threat. 

Orientation and Training. The 4404th Security Police Squadron had no formal training program. Upon arriving at Dhahran, each airman was required to attend the “Right Start” briefing which informed them of local conditions and the generic threat. Then they were assigned to a shift, where area and specific post and duty requirements were learned on-the-job. Some personnel stated that they believed that they weren’t allowed to conduct exercises because that would upset the Saudi population in the local area. 

Antiterrorism measures adopted by the 4404th Wing (Provisional) focused on Khobar Towers and did not extend beyond the perimeter of the compound. Based on current threat information, there was a risk to personnel traveling outside of Khobar Towers and 4404th Wing airmen were vulnerable to attack from snipers, assassination, kidnapping, and indirect fire.

Overall, the orientation and training of personnel was inadequate for the environment in which they were operating. 

The Threat from Third Country National Workers. Although warned of the threat posed by Third Country National workers to the operational security of Khobar Towers, the 4404th Wing commander continued to employ them extensively. When the Task Force visited Dhahran, it observed a large number of Third Country National workers throughout Khobar Towers. They were observed sweeping the halls adjacent to a briefing room at the Air Operations Center during an aircrew briefing. 

Evacuation and Warning Procedures. The 4404th Wing (Provisional) and subordinate groups and squadrons did not practice evacuation procedures. There was an evacuation of two buildings for a suspected package bomb in May 1996 which served to replace a planned rehearsal of evacuation procedures. One planned exercise was apparently canceled because of Saudi sensitivities. 

As was pointed out in Finding 1, there are no DoD standards for warning systems, and Saudi construction standards for Khobar Towers-type buildings did not require a fire alarm system. Consequently, U.S. forces moved into facilities that did not have a system that could have served for mass warning notification of an attack. Nor did the buildings have emergency lighting systems. The warning systems in the U.S.-occupied portion of Khobar Towers were limited to Giant Voice, a system designed during Operation DESERT STORM to alert people of Scud missile attacks, and manual warnings, like knocking on doors. On the night of the bomb attack, three Security Policemen attempted to conduct floor-by-floor manual notification. This process allowed them to alert only the top three floors of Building 131 before the bomb exploded. Figure 3 outlines the warning system procedures in place on June 25, 1996. 

Figure 3. Giant Voice Warning System Activation Process

Although Giant Voice provided an audible siren and voice capability, the system had limited application. Personal observation by the Task Force revealed that in the voice mode, Giant Voice was barely audible from inside Khobar Towers buildings because of the noise from air conditioning units and could not be well understood outside of the buildings. Procedures to test the evacuation system and the emergency warning system at Khobar Towers were never exercised. The Giant Voice procedures were elaborate, unwieldy, and did not work.

The British contingent at Khobar Towers had installed a central fire alarm system and conducted monthly evacuation exercises at their facilities. 

Summation. Brigadier General Schwalier was advised that a viable terrorist threat existed and was kept informed that his facility was a terrorist target. It was described as a “soft target,” “critical target,” and a “specific site of concern.” Brigadier General Schwalier was informed of a number of vulnerabilities, but he concentrated almost exclusively on preventing a penetrating bomb attack. Knowing that some vulnerabilities were beyond his capability to correct, he failed to coordinate with his host nation counterpart to address these areas. He accepted the adequacy of host nation security measures in the area outside the fence.  (See Finding 22) Additionally, he failed to raise any force protection issues to his superiors. Without notice and located 7,000 miles away, Brigadier General Schwalier’s superiors were unable to assist him. Finally, he did not take those actions which would have mitigated the effects of clearly described vulnerabilities within his power to correct. 

RECOMMENDATION: Refer to the Chain of Command for action, as appropriate. 


FINDING 21:Funding for force protection requirements was not given a high priority by the 4404th Wing (Provisional).

Prior to the bomb attack on June 25, there were no significant budget requests from the 4404th Wing (Provisional) for force protection. This implies that the relatively minor force protection measures adopted during the 1996 fiscal year budget period were sufficient. 

Analysis showed that every budget requirement of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) that was submitted through the normal budget process to the Wing’s funding authority, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, was approved. Review of the budget requests for fiscal years 1994 through 1996 reflected few force protection requirements. However, not every force protection requirement was separately identified. Some measures to enhance force protection were integrated into requests for facility improvements submitted through Air Force civil engineering channels. 

The 4404th Wing (Provisional) did not assign force protection a high funding priority. For example, the Wing submitted a fiscal year 1996 unfunded budget request (UFR) for $6.5 million to U.S. Air Forces Central Command on May 15, 1996. It identified only five items related to force protection: Bitburg barriers, video cameras for closed-circuit recording of incidents at the dormitories, computers to operate the badge system for entry of Third Country National workers onto Khobar Towers, land mobile radios for security forces, and door alarms which cumulatively totaled approximately $450,000. Of these items, a Priority #5 of 11 was the highest assigned to a force protection requirement in the unfunded requirements submissions for fiscal years 1995 and 1996. “Vision 2000,” the first 4404th Wing (Provisional) long-range Facility Improvement Plan (Fiscal Years 1997-2003), provided a good example of planning for force protection. It included significant enhancements at Khobar Towers, such as Mylar shatter resistant windows film, perimeter fence improvements, surveillance equipment for the perimeter, and a vehicle entry control facility. However, none of these items was scheduled for implementation in the next year’s budget, 1997. All were planned for execution beyond fiscal year 1997 and would have required deliberate consideration for submission in each year’s budget. 

A comparison of the command budgets for U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia and the 4404th Wing (Provisional) reveals a significant difference in command emphasis. In the budget for U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Saudi Arabia, force protection measures were prioritized just behind mission readiness. In fact, preliminary budgets submitted by the staff were changed by the commander, Colonel James Ward, to reflect the force protection priority. 

RECOMMENDATION: Separately identify force protection requirements in budget submissions and assign them appropriate funding priorities. 


FINDING 22:  (a) The division of responsibility for the protection of Khobar Towers was clearly understood by both U.S. and Saudi officials.

(b) Saudi security forces were unable to detect, deter, and prevent the truck bomb attack outside the perimeter fence at Khobar Towers.

As discussed in Finding 15, the division of responsibility for protection was clearly understood by both U.S. and Saudi officials. A Saudi military official who is Brigadier General Schwalier’s counterpart, indicated that neither he nor any of his subordinates were made aware of the desire of U.S. forces to move the fence by any U.S. official. He stated that had he been requested to move the fence, he would have attempted to do so. Brigadier General Schwalier never requested additional force protection support from Saudi officials or complained of Saudi police or military performance of the security mission at Khobar Towers. 

Any uneasiness U.S. personnel felt about the ability of Saudi officials to patrol the perimeter was never formally communicated to any Saudi official. Security Police and Office of Special Investigations officials made verbal requests to their Saudi counterparts. Independent monitoring of the area by the U.S. observation posts verified significant increases in both interior and exterior patrols during this time frame. There is no record of a written request to Saudi officials, by either U.S. or Saudi officials, regarding physical security. 

Adequacy of Coordination on Antiterrorism Measures. As discussed in Finding 15, there were varying levels of coordination between the host nation and U.S. forces. At Khobar Towers, coordination consisted chiefly of an acknowledgment of the security responsibility between U.S. and Saudi forces. There was a Coalition Threat Working Group which discussed matters such as entry gate procedures. This forum had the potential to resolve some differences. However, this group’s ability to discuss an integrated antiterrorism plan was limited. The Working Group did not address expansion of the perimeter. A myriad of other factors affected the adequacy of coordination, including the rotation policy which inhibited the development of meaningful relationships with host nation counterparts. No combined exercises with Saudi security forces were conducted. 

Despite the coordination with local civilian police officials and the increased patrols of the north parking lot by the local civilian police, the terrorists exploited a vulnerability. The security of the north parking lot was clearly the responsibility of Saudi security forces. 


Establish and maintain regular working relationships between senior commanders and appropriate host nation officials. 

Raise critical force protection issues to the chain of command, if unable to solve them at the local level. 


Finding 23:  The medical care provided to the victims of the June 25 bombing at Khobar Towers was outstanding; however, mass casualty procedures could be improved

From just minutes after the bomb exploded at 9:55PM until the conclusion of all immediate medical treatment at 5:00AM the following day, emergency medical care was exemplary. Basic first aid bandaging and splinting were immediately provided to the injured by their comrades. Victims were bandaged using available material, such as sheets and towels when normal supplies were depleted or unavailable, and transported on litters, doors, ironing boards, chairs, and by two-man carry. These actions were crucial in decreasing blood loss and preventing further injury. The injured were sorted by the severity of their wounds and cared for according to need. For a few of the more seriously injured, intravenous fluid resuscitation therapy was provided at the blast site or the triage area by Emergency Medical Technician-trained pararescue, fire, and Security Police troops. Definitive care began for the first to arrive at the medical clinic within 17 minutes of the blast, and some of the more seriously injured patients were in an ambulance, stabilized, and ready for transport just 37 minutes after the blast. Intensive resuscitative efforts were provided to two patients within the clinic, but were unsuccessful. Their autopsy reports show that these individuals had massive injuries and would not have been likely to survive regardless of the location of their care. 

In total, 202 U.S. patients were assessed, treated and transported to local hospitals for further care in the first three hours after the blast. Approximately 300 more patients were treated on-site, primarily for lacerations. This included both suturing and bandaging performed at thirty different stations set up at the clinic and dining hall and through Self-Aid and Buddy Care. 

Host nation support was extensive. An Arabian American Oil Company hospital physician, along with the Red Crescent Society, coordinated much of the local ambulance response, to include 20-30 ambulances making multiple hospital runs. Seven local hospital doctors and 17 nurses arrived approximately 2 1/2 hours after the blast, providing care and assisting in coordination of transportation. The care provided by the host nation hospitals was appropriate and compassionate. U.S. military medical teams, which included general surgeons and intensive care specialists who arrived on the second day, visited patients daily and found the level of care to be good. Further, they noted that the Saudis had grouped the U.S. patients together, protected them with security guards, and provided them with English language magazines and free phone calls home. 

More reliable ambulance transport is needed. The 4404th Medical Group (Provisional) had only two ambulances available at the time of the blast. Regular phone communication was out, and cellular phone channels were saturated. Transportation would have been inadequate had the Saudis not responded. While the number of available vehicles was adequate, coordination of transportation was not possible initially. Even with Saudi radio communications support, coordination was not optimal. 

The large number of casualties and insufficient administrative specialists made recording of identification and tracking data difficult. Airmen were not wearing identification tags requiring that individuals identify themselves or be identified by others. Further, the extent of injury with alteration of normal identifying features, and the high turn over of people contributed to the difficulty with peer identification. A lack of translator support caused problems in tracking patients when Saudi vehicle drivers could not communicate which hospitals were saturated and where they planned to transport specific patients. This was further complicated by the lack of back-up radio communication with the hospitals. 


Continue emphasis on first aid, bandaging and splinting, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for all individuals. Initiate similar training for all services, where appropriate. 

Continue emphasis on realistic mass casualty training and exercise scenarios, and increase Advanced Trauma Life Support training for medical providers. 

Provide an increased number of ambulances in Saudi Arabia. 

Make the wearing of identification tags mandatory in contingency operations. 

Provide a patient on-line data base at all medical facilities to assist in identification and treatment of patients. 

Include requirements for patient administration in contingency plans for mass casualties.

Establish contingency contracting for local translator support in a crisis. 

FINDING 24: This finding and its recommendation are classified in their entirety.


Force protection is a key component of all mission analyses and must be continually reevaluated and updated as the operational mission progresses. It must include offensive and defensive measures — countersurveillance to deny the terrorist intelligence, variance in unit activities to avoid establishment of patterns, and coordination with local police and military forces to conduct patrols, as well as respond to crises. Importantly, the United States has the opportunity to integrate technology into a systems approach to security that can significantly enhance the capabilities of U.S. forces, possibly with fewer people. 

Successful physical security and force protection operations rely on the ability to detect and assess threats, to delay or deny the adversary access to his target, to respond appropriately to an attack, and to mitigate the effects of an attack. The first line of defense is detection and assessment of the threat. All efforts to combat terrorism must be developed and implemented against a specific threat to service members and facilities at a specific location. A general statement of threat capabilities, like the five State Department scenarios used in the January 1996 Vulnerability Assessment of Khobar Towers, will not suffice for planning purposes. 


FINDING 25:  Technology was not widely used to detect, delay, mitigate, and respond to acts of terrorism.

Modern equipment for force protection and physical security was either not available or not widely used in the theater. U.S. Army Forces Central Command locations within the theater had minimal access to such equipment. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command used rudimentary technology for perimeter security. Headquarters, U.S. Central Command had only a limited ability to provide advice and training to deployed forces on force protection systems. 

Lack of Information on Technologies. There is little information or specific guidance available to assist commanders in the theater in selecting technologies for application in specific locations and scenarios. 

Throughout the Area of Responsibility, manpower intensive approaches to force protection were the norm. At Khobar Towers, Security Police worked 12-hour shifts in extremely hot weather over periods of weeks. Modern physical security and force protection technology systems can provide significant enhancements to security in vulnerable locations. 


Provide professional technical assistance and information on force protection from the Department of Defense to units in the field. 

Designate a DoD element to rapidly acquire and quickly field integrated force protection technology to deployed forces. 

The third recommendation of Finding 25 is classified.

Train military leaders on an integrated systems approach to physical security and force protection technology. 


FINDING 26: U.S. allies have extensive experience and have accumulated significant lessons learned on force protection applicable to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. 

General Downing and three members of the Task Force met with agencies and forces of France, Israel, Jordan and the United Kingdom charged with combatting terrorism. 

Each of the visited countries discussed principles of force protection. A consolidated list follows: 

  • Accurate intelligence is critical in combating terrorist groups.
  • Coordination on force protection must take place at high levels of government.
  • Dissemination of threat information to individual servicemen and women is essential.
  • Avoid routines.
  • Keep soldiers alert by limiting their time on guard duty and varying their responsibilities.
  • Exercise plans and contingencies extensively.
  • Use sentries in pairs and never alone.
  • Use integral units for security missions, rather than individuals from different organizations.
  • Establish concentric zones of security.
  • Pre-assign sectors of responsibility for units during an attack.
  • Establish simple Rules of Engagement or Use of Deadly Force policy with high reliance on the judgment of individual soldiers to make correct decisions on the spot.
  • Provide technical and operational assistance to deployed forces.
  • Place a high priority on providing antiterrorism and counterterrorism training to service members and their families.
  • Provide interlocking coverage between guards and observation posts to achieve defense in depth.
  • Conduct force protection inspections by professionals who also know the area in which the deployed organization is located.
  • Perform constant, 24 hours-a-day, physical inspections and checks by the chain of command.
  • Use integrated technology to enhance security and human performance.

Technology Development. Several of the nations are engaged in on-going research and development with the United States on antiterrorism physical security standards and techniques. 

Integrated Systems Approach to Force Protection. The most impressive feature of the visits to Israel, Jordan, France and the United Kingdom was the fact that each country takes an integrated systems approach to combating terrorism. They offered the following insights: 

  • Intelligence organizations are tasked with producing specific threat information.
  • The specified threat and accompanying intelligence information are used to orient, educate, and train soldiers to recognize the threat and to develop tactics and technologies to detect and respond to that threat. Training often extends to military families.
  • The threat is constantly reevaluated. 
  • The threat is used to prioritize research, development, testing, and evaluation of technology to support force protection operations.
  • Tactics and technology are adapted to different operational environments. Standard operating procedures and proven methods are used, but commanders have the latitude to adapt flexibly to changes in terrorist tactics or methods.
  • An integrated system is designed by balancing people, technology, and the environment to achieve the best system to protect against specific, defined threats.
  • Detection, assessment, delay, denial, response, and consequence management are addressed.
  • Military, intelligence, law enforcement, and host nation forces are included in the effort.
  • An operations center to process information and to deploy response elements provides focus.
  • Force protection systems and procedures are tested and exercised on a frequent basis.
  • Inspections are conducted by professionals well-versed in the broad spectrum of force protection operations.
  • Assistance in the form of force protection expertise is provided to commanders who lack that capability within their assigned staffs and units.
  • The system is reassessed periodically and adapts to changes in the threat or other critical factors affecting success.


Develop and implement an integrated systems approach to force protection planning, using lessons learned from U.S. allies. 

Strengthen cooperative efforts between the United States and allies on terrorism and force protection matters. 

Develop a means of sharing information obtained during cooperative exchanges with other force protection professionals in the United States. 

Buffalo Soldiers

Copy Buffalo Soldiers and paste to the internet to view Articles relating to the Monument

Buffalo Soldiers

A newspaper story about the Academy’s All Black Football Team.

In 1973, history was made. First, West Point renamed a vast stretch of grassland, Buffalo Soldier Field. Then, a stone boulder with a plaque etched in its center sat at the far northeast corner of the field as a memorial to the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments who served at West Point between 1907-47. The tribute was befitting. Yet, nearly 50 years later, West Point would continue honoring the Buffalo Soldiers’ legacy by unveiling a sculpted monument on Friday at the U.S. Military Academy.

“We at the West Point Museum worked with the Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point, and the artist they eventually chose in Eddie Dixon, to make sure that the Buffalo Soldier uniform, the horse saddle and accessories are historically accurate to the period in which we are depicting in the sculpture,” David Reel, the executive director of the West Point Museum, said. “In this case, we’re depicting a Buffalo Soldier in 1907 when they first arrived here at West Point.”

Reel added that one of the main tasks the West Point Museum performs at the academy is to provide subject matter expertise to the creation of outdoor monuments and memorials. Additionally, Reel closely works with artists as they evaluate all the historical details of the time period to ensure the proper full-dress uniform that an enlisted Soldier would have worn is accurate.

“We wanted to make sure we had the correct insignia on the uniform (of the Buffalo Soldier) and the right guidon. So, we looked back at historical photographs to make sure we accurately depicted all the accouterments,” Reel said. “The rider would have worn the proper gauntlets and leggings while sitting atop a model 1885 McClellan saddle riding a Morgan horse breed, which were the type of horses they had at West Point at the time.”

In 1907, due to their prowess in horseback riding, the academy wanted to replace their existing cavalry detachment with members from the Buffalo Soldiers. Subsequently, the 9th Cavalry was sent to West Point while the rest of the regiment stayed out in the west, serving their term. Finally, in 1931, a detachment from the 10th Cavalry replaced the 9th and remained between 1931-47, instructing cadets, Lt Col. Frederick Black, an assistant professor in the Department of History, said.

“… I think of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Montford Point Marines, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the 761st Tank Battalion Black Panthers, the ‘Triple Nickle’ 555 Parachute Infantry Battalion, among others. These are all contributions made by African American warriors and patriots to serve this nation for so long,” USMA Class of 1980 Vincent Brooks said. “But among them, none shine brighter or more enduringly in their impact than the collection of warriors known as the Buffalo Soldiers.”

Finally, the crowd watched with anticipation as cadets removed the tarp covering the monument, revealing a bronze, sculpted Buffalo Soldier holding a guidon while riding his horse atop a granite base.

The audience responded with applause and celebration as they viewed the monument, took photos and engrossed themselves in the history and relevance of the moment.

“On this field, we can feel them. We can sense their stoic discipline in the heat of the West Point summer, in the gloom of the West Point winter. We can imagine their impressive and impeccable uniforms and their equipment mounted atop perky eared horses and sturdy Army mules,” Brooks said. “We can draw inspiration from them now and we will for generations to come. As we dedicate this monument, let us be reminded of the noble service and the sacrifices they contributed so immeasurably to the history of West Point and our nation.

“And let us ever be reminded, as we marvel at its beauty and the strength that it portrays that once upon a time, there really were giants that roamed the plain,” he added. “The cavalry plane, now known as Buffalo Soldier Field, and this is what they looked like.”

Al Robb

Will Meade


Intrepidity and Character Development Within the Army Profession

Intrepidity . . . And Character Development within the Army Profession

Don M. Snider Dr. U.S. Military Academy


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January 2008


Don M. Snider, Ph.D. Visiting Professor, SSI

How many Army soldiers, particularly Leaders, who just read the title of this opinion piece, knew the meaning of the first word; how many brought to their reading an accurate understanding of the term? More importantly, how many Army Leaders could place a true meaning of the word into the context of the Army as a unique profession producing, for the security of the American people, fighting forces for effective land combat? Where does intrepidity fit in what the Army produces and how does the profession develop such a thing?

I ask this question for two reasons. First, I ask it because it is a subject little understood and little discussed in public discourses today within American society. Extended cultural wars will do that. This means that most members of Generation Y being accessed into the Army, whether to be Soldiers or Leaders, know little of it. And that means the developmental tasks for the Army are much greater than before. Secondly, I ask this question because, without a right understanding of intrepidity and a capability to develop it within its Generation Y Soldiers, the Army has little chance of being an effective fighting force. In contrast, where it is found there is not, nor will there be, any peer to the American Army as a fighting force.

To refresh our understanding, the summary of action of June 28, 2005, Operation REDWING, Afghanistan, describes the battlefield deeds of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy: “By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lieutenant Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of [Hospital Corpsman 2d Class] Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.” As the Medal of Honor citation makes clear, Lieutenant Murphy was able to choose, in the face of certain death, to expose himself in open terrain for better communications in the chance that his teammates might be reinforced and rescued. He was able to do that because within his “fighting spirit” he had developed intrepidity—“a resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance,” according to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

So the issue I speak of in this opinion piece is the Soldier’s fighting spirit, his or her individual spirituality or character, and the Army’s ability to understand it and to develop it in its Soldiers and Leaders. This is not a new subject for the Army. Many older Soldiers will remember that for the post-World War II generation, General George Marshall spoke matter-of-factly about the common understanding within the U.S. Army: “The soldier’s heart, the soldier’s spirit, the soldier’s soul are everything. Unless the soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied on and he will fail himself, his commander, and his country in the end. It is not enough to fight. It is the spirit that wins the victory.”

Marshall and his colleagues in uniform were not the only Americans who understood and were comfortable to speak openly and publicly about the importance of the individual spirituality of our Soldiers. At the new World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC, is inscribed: “They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war . . . even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit—a magic blend of skill, faith, and valor—that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory.” The American public understands and, appropriately, has memorialized the role of the human spirit in mortal combat.

Turning to the Army profession, then, how does it understand and talk about the spirituality of individual Soldiers and its influence on their behavior, particularly in combat? The Army’s approach centers on the Warrior Ethos which has been promulgated as a four-sentence portion of the Soldier’s Creed: “I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.” However, while concluding that it is crucial for “all soldiers [to] truly understand and embody this warrior ethos,” the doctrine is almost silent on how such an element of character is “embodied”—developed and sustained. There is no language, no developmental model, no suggested pedagogy. Even more unhelpful, the doctrine states: “While individuals are responsible for their own character development, Leaders are responsible for encouraging, supporting and assessing the efforts of their people.”

So how are Army Leaders to fulfill this critical leadership role if, as individuals, the Army dismisses character development as “their own responsibility?”

This utterly unprofessional Catch-22 has evolved from the politically correct fear abiding for some time within Army Leaders that they cannot approach the issue of individual Soldier spirituality for fear of crossing some undiscovered boundary having to do with “religion.” “And you know, don’t you, that we can’t go there?”

So how can the Army get beyond the culture wars raging within our society, beyond having its tongue tied by political correctness, and get back to articulating its expert knowledge of human development? Once it does, it can move on to its expert work of developing Leaders of character who can, in turn, develop Soldiers of character and, thus, intrepidity in combat.

I offer two suggestions. First, is to update the profession’s knowledge of human development with language and developmental models that elevate the understanding and discussion of human spirituality to where it belongs and where it exists in current


university research programs, to a position above religion (see, for example, Simply stated, this means that the Army understands and accepts that the spirituality of its Soldiers and Leaders—their worldview that shapes character—can be informed by many sources, only one of which might, at the choice of the individual, be religion.

Fortunately, this work has already started with a new text at the U.S. Military Academy, Forging the Warrior’s Character . . . which proposes that, if the human spirit is “the animating force within living beings; the part of a human associated with mind, will, and feelings; and the essential nature of a person,” then the development of that spirit should form the cornerstone of any leader development program for the Profession. 1

Something deeper motivates leaders of character who are more than merely the sum of their educational parts. Such is the concern of the dynamic quest of reflective people who search for truth and the strength of will to live according to it. Throughout human history, this dynamism has found expression not only in the truths of the great religious and philosophical traditions, but also in the worlds of literature, art, music, and other forms of creative expression. However diverse their sensibilities, however varied their answers, these traditions address the perennial concerns of human beings: What is real? What kind of life is worth living? How am I to treat others? How do I distinguish good from evil, truth from falsehood, justice from injustice? How do I develop the strength of will to act upon my beliefs and convictions and to meet my responsibilities?

Surely the Army seeks Soldiers and Leaders who are so grounded and matured in their individual beliefs and convictions. If so, then the second suggestion follows logically.

My second suggestion is that the Army adopts the position that its institutional role and responsibility in the realm of the Soldier’s spiritual development is to facilitate the individual’s search for the moral meaning that defines a Leader’s character. This means the Army will have to move beyond its “we don’t do that” approach to the character development of its Soldiers and Leaders. And well it should, since research from Iraq continues to show (also a chapter in the new text) that authentically moral leaders better earn their followers’ trust and thus a greater ability to exercise high-impact leadership. And, in a CONUS setting, this means Leaders who are better able subsequently to mentor Soldiers and junior leaders, and the developmental process goes on and on.

Please note carefully what is suggested here. I am not suggesting that the Army decrease in any manner its emphasis on developing the tactical competence of its Soldiers or Leaders. I am suggesting, however, that the Profession restore appropriate balance to the development of both competence and character. Both remain, as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have repeatedly shown, essential to Soldiers and Leaders in effective fighting forces.

In sum, the result of implementing these two suggestions over time should be two very salutary developmental outcomes for the Army Profession: Soldiers and Leaders


will be better grounded individually in what they believe and in their strength of will to act on those beliefs; and, the dissonance between what they believe and hold dear and what the institution declares is “right” via the Professional Military Ethic (e.g., the Seven Army Values, etc.) would be reduced. Both outcomes move the profession in the direction of a more cohesive and effective fighting force.

And both are available by updating and revamping how the Profession understands and learns from the intrepidity of the new generation of heroes such as Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, USN.


1. The author served as Project Director, chapter author, and coeditor for Forging the Warrior’s Character. . .


The views expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This colloquium brief is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.


Organizations interested in reprinting this or other SSI opinion pieces should contact the Publications Department via e-mail at All organizations granted this right must include the following statement: “Reprinted with permission of the Strategic Studies Institute Newsletter, U.S. Army War College.”

The Future of the Army Profession

Four years ago recognized scholars of the military, both in uniform and in civilian institutions, believed that during the drawdown of the 1990s the Army had become much too bureaucratic, losing much of its essential and historic character as a vocational profession. Together they produced the highly-acclaimed first edition of The Future of the Army Profession,whose editors summarized the project with the words given to field researchers by a frustrated Army Major: 

“How can I be a professional, if there is no profession?”

Now, after extended operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, new research from a similar group of scholars shows that many aspects of profession have been restored, especially in the field Army. But can the strategic leaders of the Army now capture and maintain that professionalism while simultaneously fighting a war and transforming the Army? On this question, the most informed perspectives available are contained in the seven parts of this 2d edition and they argue that the Army’s leaders must do so if they are to be successful in either endeavor. Organized around the profession’s expert knowledge, this text is designed for the development of military professionals at all levels, as well as for civilian courses in national security and military affairs. 

The Future of the Army Profession is listed in: The U.S. Army Chief of Staff’s Professional Reading List published by the U.S. Army Center for Military History,

Publications By Don Snider

American civil-military relations, the identities and development of the Army officer, and American military professions. He was research director, co-editor, and chapter author for three recent books on the Army as profession:

The Future of the Army Profession, 2d Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2005), now a textbook at the Army War College and

West Point

Forging the Warrior’s Character: Moral Precepts from the Cadet Prayer, 2d Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2008), also a text at

West Point; and forthcoming, American civil-military relations: The soldier and the state in a new era (Johns Hopkins University Press, spring, 2009). 

Dr. Snider’s other publications include:

Dissent and Strategic Leadership of The Military Professions (Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 2008);

Intrepidity and Character Development Within the Army Profession” (Strategic Studies Institute, 2008);

Leadership by Example (Army Magazine, November 2005),

Jointness, Defense Transformation, and the Need for a New Joint Warfare Profession ,” (Parameters, Autumn 2003);

Officership: The Professional Practice ” (Military Review, Jan-Feb 2003);

The Civil-Military Gap and Professional Military Education” (Armed Forces and Society, Winter 2001, co-author);

America’s Post-Modern Military” (World Policy Journal, Spring 2000);

Army Professionalism, The Military Ethic and Officership in the 21st Century” (Strategic Studies Institute, 1999, co-author);

The Uninformed Debate on Military Culture,” (Orbis, Winter 1999);

Civil-Military Relations and the Ability to Influence,” (Armed Forces and Society, Spring 1999, co-author);

U.S. Civil-Military Relations: Transition or Crisis” (CSIS, 1995, co-editor); “The Gulf War and What We Learned”, (Westview Press, 1992, co-author). 

Firepower, Attrition, Maneuver

US Army Operations Doctrine: 
A Challenge for the 1980s and Beyond
Colonel Wayne A. Downing, US Army

Then Colonel Wayne A. Downing was a student at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, from 1979 to 1980 when he wrote this article. Like other forward thinkers during the late 1970s, he came to the conclusion that the US Army’s attrition doc- trine was bankrupt. He contributed this article to Military Review to argue for abandoning attrition warfare in favor of maneuver warfare as an operating style. The article appeared in

the January 1981 edition, and as a result, Downing was consulted during the composition of the 1986 version of US Army Field Manual (Fm) 100-5, Operations.

HE US ARMY is currently pursuing a general effectiveness. German soldiers, for example, describe warfare doctrine which is bankrupt-it will not World War II experiences against the Americans in

work in practice. The avowed intent to defeat the Soviets in Central Europe with forward-oriented, firepower and attrition methods is doomed to failure given the real- ities of the balance of power between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Not only is the American obsession with firepower and attrition inhibiting the Army’s ability to defend Europe successfully, it also directly impedes the US ability to fight limited conflicts in other key areas of the world.

The premise of this article is that the US Army must embrace a maneuver-oriented doctrine in order to carry out its land combat mission successfully. This maneuver-oriented doctrine must focus on the vulnera- ble centers of gravity of our potential enemy. It should embrace the fundamentals of what B.H. Liddell Hart termed “the indirect approach” through emphasis on surprise, maneuver, and physical and psychological dislocation of the enemy.

Development of Current Army Doctrine

Throughout most of its long and illustrious history, the US Army has successfully employed firepower and attrition to overwhelm opponents. Beginning in the American Civil War and continuing through the two world wars, Korea and Vietnam, the United States has applied its technical and materiel superiority to annihilate opponents with firepower. Maneuver has consistently been subordinated to the effective appli- cation of firepower.1

The US penchant for technology, innovation and management techniques developed the application of firepower to a fine art and an unprecedented degree of

terms of being “steamrollered” and “pulverized” by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of munitions delivered by a plethora of weapons systems. One of the primary lessons the US Army felt it learned from World War II was the requirement for closely coordinated and effective firepower.2

In the Korean War, the United States used firepower with devastating tactical effect—initially to stem the North Korean onslaught and later to compensate for the numerical superiority of the Chinese. Firepower became a force multiplier and even, in many cases, a substitute for maneuver units on the battlefield. The role of tactical air power, especially close air support, came to the fore in this conflict.3

In Vietnam, the application of firepower-attrition reached unequaled efficiency and tactical effective- ness. Infantry (both light and mechanized), armor and cavalry were employed to locate the enemy while firepower destroyed him.4 Infantry units were even known as “target acquisition agencies” in some US divisions. Slogans, such as “Bullets Not Bodies” and “Pile On” still ring in the ears of many of the Army’s Vietnam-experienced officers and noncommissioned officers. Vietnam was a war fought to inflict maxi- mum attrition by the skillful application of massed firepower.5

As the nation began its disengagement from Viet- nam, the Army’s focus returned to Europe. In the NATO arena, the United States found a revitalized Warsaw Pact in the process of unprecedented modern- ization. The Army soon realized that it had sacrificed a decade of doctrinal and materiel advances in the


January-February 1997 • MILITARY REVIEW

Central Region. As this rude awakening was occurring, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War illuminated the realities of modern combat with advanced weapons systems.6 The US Army attempted to digest these lessons rapidly (perhaps too quickly) and produced one of the most controversial manuals ever printed—Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations.7 The manual is pure, tradi- tional US Army firepower-attrition doctrine applied to counter a Warsaw Pact conventional attack in Central Europe. FM 100-5 features forward defense with emphasis on destroying the enemy thrusts.8 There is nothing subtle about the doctrine—it advocates meet- ing the strength of the Soviet attack (armor) head-on and destroying it by massed firepower.

The combat techniques described in the manual stress almost mechanical methods of fighting—or applying firepower. Systems analysis terms, such as target servicing, target arrays, Pk (kill probability), firepower potential and firepower capability, are used throughout to describe the dynamics of combat.9 Queu- ing theory is implicit in many of the discussions.10 Fol- low-on interpretations of FM 100-5 use explanations couched in terms such as the “calculus of battle” and in mathematical notions expressed by Lanchester Laws and gaming theory to discuss the modern battlefield.

The factors, such as surprise, shock action, morale, and others, which cannot be quantified are, not surpris- ingly, left out of the equations. FM 100-5 continues to govern US Army tactical doctrine as well as force structure and modernization plans.11

Inadequacies of the Present Doctrine

The realities of the 1980s present harsh facts to US military leaders—facts which, in some cases, have not been directly addressed. The United States no longer enjoys an overwhelming materiel superiority.12 The Soviets have narrowed the technological gap which previously gave NATO an edge over the numerically superior Warsaw Pact. Nor is this devalued US mili- tary capability confined to Europe. The proliferation of modern conventional arms throughout the world, especially in crisis areas like the Middle East, com- bined with the inherent problems of deploying force to remote locations, have created conditions where US reaction forces could quite likely be outgunned as well as outmanned by a Third World nation.

A firepower-attrition strategy is quite likely not going “to win the first battle” given a numerically superior enemy with comparable quality weapons. The United States may not be able to project sufficient force to a remote region to “fight outnumbered and win” against even a fourth-rate force equipped with modern weapons systems. A “come as you are” war in

The combat techniques described in the manual stress almost mechanical meth- ods of fighting—or applying firepower. Systems analysis terms, such as target servicing, target arrays, Pk (kill proba- bility), firepower potential and firepower capability, are used throughout to describe the dynamics of combat. Queuing theory is implicit in many of the discussions. Fol- low-on interpretations of FM 100-5 use explanations couched in terms such as the “calculus of battle” and in mathematical notions expressed by Lanchester Laws and gaming theory to discuss the modern battle- field. The factors, such as surprise, shock action, morale, and others, which cannot be quantified are, not surprisingly, left out of the equations.

Central Europe could quite likely be a stunning defeat. The US Army must look beyond firepower-attrition to find new ways of accomplishing the land combat mission in the 1980s.13

What Is Needed?

The US Army’s concept of warfare for the 1980s must focus on objectives and methods which recognize the realities of its military capabilities vis-à-vis those of potential adversaries. This style of warfare should capitalize on American strengths and take advantage of an enemy’s weaknesses and shortcomings.

Objective—enemy centers of gravity. More than 150 years ago, Karl von Clausewitz offered sound and timeless counsel to military and civilian leaders on the orientation of warfare:

One must keep the dominant characteristics of both belligerents in mind. Out of these characteristics a certain center of gravity is formed, the hub of all power and movement, on which all depends. That is the point against which all our energies should be directed.14

The “centers of gravity” concept is valid across the spectrum of warfare-confined not only to a nation’s grand strategy, but also applicable to the operational realm of tactics. Strategic considerations will most likely outline a series of centers of gravity which are general and relatively consistent over time. Tactical assessments will produce changing, specific objectives to be exploited. In both contexts, the enemy centers of gravity must be evaluated to assess which are vulnerable to friendly attack. By attacking and influencing these centers of gravity, a numerically inferior force can defeat a superior enemy.


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The centers of gravity concept that Clausewitz described can be physical factors (a line of communi- cation, a key piece of terrain, the enemy reserve), and they may well be intangible (the enemy’s morale, the support of the local population, the confidence of the enemy commander). In either case, the center of gravity is critical to the effort and success of the enemy.

Concept—the indirect approach. The methods of attacking the enemy’s centers of gravity can vary between straightforward assault (which is often appro- priate for a vastly superior force) to less direct methods which rely on speed, surprise and deception.

When faced by a numerically superior enemy with equal or greater firepower and mobility, the direct firepower-attrition methods employed by the US Army become increasingly questionable and most likely dysfunctional. The “indirect approach” described by Liddell Hart seems to be the appropriate means to attack Clausewitz’ “centers of gravity.”15 Liddell Hart contends the methods should attack the mind of the enemy commander and the will of the enemy army.16 The fundamentals of surprise and maneuver are used to attack critical targets which dislocate the enemy physically and psychologically-these are the goals of military operations, not the mere physical destruction or attrition of enemy forces.17

Method-maneuver warfare. Applied at the opera- tional level, these concepts are especially applicable to the US Army facing the challenges of the 1980s and beyond. Maneuver warfare, directed at an enemy’s centers of gravity, emphasizes speed and movement to present an opponent with rapidly developing and quickly changing situations. Attacks are directed at the weaknesses of the opponent’s attack or defense so that he is unable to adequately react.18 Firepower remains an essential part of a maneuver strategy but does not become the raison d’être for maneuver.

Americans appear to be ideally suited for this fluid form of combat. Oft-reported, national characteristics of the American soldier have always been his flexibil- ity, adaptability and ingenuity-traits required for the maneuver warfare of Liddell Hart’s indirect approach. Conversely, looking at potential adversaries, the major weaknesses ascribed to the Soviets (and most Third World countries) is inability at the tactical level to cope with rapidly changing situations and events.19

The Soviet Combined Arms Concept

In order to develop a maneuver strategy to counter the Soviets, it is necessary to examine the essentials of the Soviet combined arms concept (CAC).

Overview. The CAC is the philosophical foundation of Soviet military doctrine. But coming to grips with

the concept is often extremely difficult for Western analysts-at least one eminent scholar argues that not even all the Soviet military truly understand their own CAC! The Soviet CAC is both a concept and an oper- ational method or technique-and herein lies much of the confusion.20

It is generally accepted that the Soviet CAC is not merely cross-attachment or cross-reinforcement of units as in the United States and other Western armies. The Soviets mean much more by CAC than the task organization for combat.21 Professor John Erickson contends that the CAC is an interactional process among the elements of the Soviet armed forces which produces “joint effort . . . on the basis of their close and uninterrupted interaction and the fullest exploitation of their capabilities.”22 The Soviet CAC simultaneously confronts its opponents with a variety of weapons systems of widely differing capabilities. In such an engagement, the action the opponent takes to avoid or neutralize one Soviet system continues to make the opponent vulnerable to other Soviet systems. The Soviet CAC dictates an interaction among elements which is both complementary and supplementary.

This interactional concept is dynamic and synergistic in Soviet eyes in that the total effect realized on the battlefield by the CAC far outweighs the sum of indi- vidual contributions of the components. This dynamic and synergistic nature places great emphasis on timing, tempo, depth of attacking forces, densities of weapons, relationships among forces and command and control (troop control in Soviet terms).23

The Soviet CAC is not the classic German blitzkrieg which stressed fluid, flexible and highly independent operations at all echelons. The Soviet CAC is disci- plined, very rigid and explicitly formatted—even its espousal is dogmatic in nature and authoritatively embraces all elements of the Soviet army forces.24

As an operational method, the CAC also addresses how the Soviets intend to fight.

Characteristics. The Soviet CAC is characterized by fire, assault (shock/attack) and maneuver. Overwhelm- ing fire support was a keystone of Soviet offensive operations in the Great Patriotic War and continues to be a major Soviet goal. Capitalizing on the shock effect of firepower and movement, Soviet attacks are envis- aged as overwhelming, in great depth (echelons) and unceasing.25 But the purpose of the entire operation is maneuver. Fire and assault create the breakthrough-the penetration which allows maneuver into the enemy rear, destroying reserves and disrupting the continuity and coherence of the defense.26 Professor Erickson asserts that the purpose of the initial Soviet penetration is to force the enemy to commit his reserve. Once the enemy


January-February 1997 • MILITARY REVIEW

reserve is located and destroyed by the first or second echelons, then the true exploitation of the enemy’s rear begins.27

In its essence, then, the Soviet concept requires:

● Maintenance of momentum and freedom of maneuver along multiple axes of advance.

● Maximum rates of advance to prevent effective defense in depth.

● A high degree of control by the central directing headquarters and close coordination among enemy elements.

● Close timing of the multiecheloned attacking forces to achieve the synergistic effect of tempo of operations.28

The Soviet CAC is the classic illustration of the set- piece battle and presents an extremely formidable, if not overwhelming, opponent—if it is allowed to proceed according to Soviet plans. But, like all operational methods, the Soviet CAC has weaknesses which can be exploited.

Weaknesses. The extremely dogmatic and rigid application of the doctrine at the operational level discourages (perhaps even excludes) decentralized execution—a sine qua non for maneuver warfare. At its very core, then, the Soviets have created conditions which threaten the essence of their concept.29

The centralized direction of the CAC by the very capable and professional Soviet General Staff demands reliable and effective command, control and communi- cations (C3) throughout operations.30 C3 will be one of the greatest problems for both sides on either a nuclear or conventional European battlefield.

In addition, Soviet commanders have been condi- tioned to conduct all operations against a backdrop of overwhelming fire superiority—especially artillery.31 Conditions which degrade or deny this advantage will have a significant effect on Soviet attack doctrine and on the actions of tactical commanders.32

Finally, the entire Soviet concept is based on tempo and timing among elements. Unforeseen events which impede the highly prized timing among units or the tempo of attack (especially the second-echelon units in a multiecheloned attack or among cooperating units in the single-echelon attack) will have a major negative effect on operations—as the synergistic, dynamic effect of interaction is lost or degraded.33 This appears to be a significant shortcoming in the Soviet strategy. War, as so aptly stated, is subject to friction and uncertainty more so than any other form of human endeavor. If any undertaking must have flexibility, it is combat.34

Summary. The foregoing discussion has outlined the centers of gravity of the Soviet CAC. In the macroview, the concept is highly dependent on the uninterrupted


interaction between elements of the armed forces. This timing and tempo depends in part upon the Soviet C3 system; fire support, especially artillery; and the timely arrival (at the proper place) of the Soviet second ech- elon (in the multiechelon operations) or all the many elements cooperating in the single-echelon attack.

enemy with equal or greater firepower and mobility, the direct firepower-attrition methods employed by the US Army become increasingly questionable and most likely dysfunctional. The “indirect approach” described by Liddell Hart seems to be the appropriate means to attack Clausewitz’ “centers of gravity.” … The fundamen- tals of surprise and maneuver are used to attack critical targets which dislocate the enemy physically and psychologically-these are the goals of military operations, not the mere physical destruction or attrition of enemy forces.

US Army Doctrine for the 1980s

A US Army doctrine designed to counter the Soviet CAC must emphasize:

● Attacking the vulnerable centers of gravity of the Soviet system.

● Utilizing an indirect approach to these centers of gravity.

● Pursuing maneuver warfare to compensate for overwhelming Soviet strength in firepower and the directness of their military doctrine.

Maneuver warfare. Maneuver warfare is not mobility, nor is it movement. Maneuver warfare, in its essence, positions friendly forces so as to put the enemy forces at maximum disadvantage by forcing the enemy to react to unexpected, unplanned situations which threaten the viability of his military operations. Successful maneuver warfare presents the adversary with an increasing number of reactionary events which, in their cumulative effect, unravel and unhinge enemy attack or defense.35

Applied to the Soviet CAC, US Army maneuver warfare would feature retention of certain key terrain by infantry equipped with a high density of antitank weapons. This terrain retention is designed to upset the timing of the Soviet offensive and determine the location and direction of major Soviet thrusts.36 The retention of terrain must be flexible to avoid the anni- hilation of friendly units by massive Soviet firepower.


When faced by a numerically superior


MILITARYREVIEW • January-February1997


Maximum attention must be given to deception, cover and concealment and decentralized execution.

In a maneuver-oriented strategy, the bulk of the US forces are retained as mobile, armor-heavy reserves. As the covering force and infantry identify, attrit and perhaps channelize the Soviet main thrusts, the mobile reserve attacks these thrusts from the flanks and rear— to dislocate the Soviet plans and disrupt the tempo of their attack—and then quickly reconstitute.37 Maneuver warfare is fought in depth and, while forward oriented, does not rely primarily on retention of terrain.

While a maneuver-oriented strategy can contain the Soviet first echelon, the key to destroying the Soviet CAC is to attack the second echelon and truly upset the timing and tempo of the overall enemy attack. In the case of a single-echelon attack, opportunities will be present to attack and disrupt the vast number of units in the single echelon with similar effect on timing and tempo.

Disrupting timing and tempo. Timing and tempo can be thwarted in three different ways:

● In the multiecheloned attack, heavy emphasis must be placed on interdiction of the Soviet second-echelon movement to the battlefield.38 This must be given the highest priority, and the majority of tactical air support and surface-to-surface missiles must be dedicated to this essential, 24-hour-a-day task.

The Army’s own organic fire support, while pri- marily involved in the first-echelon battle, must assist whenever and wherever possible in the crucial inter- diction tasks. If the first-echelon battle is progressing satisfactorily and sufficient reserves are available, the Soviet second echelon can be attacked by highly mobile, tank-heavy forces. Total interdiction of the second echelon is not required for success. Interdiction efforts which degrade, slow down and disorganize the timely arrival of the second echelon will have a devastating effect on the CAC.

In the case of a single-echelon attack, the majority of effort must be placed on disrupting and delaying the momentum of the attacking forces. Tactical air support will be critical and must be primarily allocated to close air support and battlefield air interdiction—close-in interdiction effort.

The command and control problems of employing all their forces in a single echelon will present staggering problems to Soviet commanders, especially tactical leaders. NATO efforts which can delay and disorganize movement and actions within the Soviet single echelon can have a catastrophic effect on their CAC.

● Soviet C3 may well be the Achilles heel of their dogmatic doctrine. There is strong evidence to support the efficiency and professionalism of the

high-level Soviet staffs and equally strong proof that the operational commanders are given little, if any, latitude in carrying out their assigned mission. If Soviet C3 can be neutralized or seriously degraded, then the CAC will not be able to react to the debil- itating effects of first-echelon battle surprises pro- duced by the US maneuver doctrine and the effects of second-echelon interdiction.39

● Attack the Soviet artillery. The backbone of Soviet tactical fire support is their artillery. It can be neutralized in a direct and indirect manner. Counter- battery suppression by the Army’s own artillery and armed helicopters, as well as US Air Force close air support, can seriously degrade Soviet artillery. The vagaries and uncertainties which are the byproducts of successful maneuver warfare are perhaps the most effective means of depriving the Soviet commander of his expected fire support. When the set-piece battle prescribed by the CAC begins to unravel and not progress according to schedule, the entire time- table of artillery support and resupply will begin to disintegrate.40

Tactical nuclear weapons. A successful US Army maneuver doctrine can defeat a Soviet attack or defense. Maneuver warfare is also viable on a nuclear or conventional battlefield. The maneuver-oriented concept is enhanced by the employment of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs). Integration of TNWs into the US Army’s maneuver warfare doctrine in Cen- tral Europe, or any other place in the world, would truly give the United States the capability to fight outnumbered and win. Early employment of TNWs across the Warsaw Pact borders on staging areas and key lines of communication would significantly affect the timing and tempo of Soviet operations at the outset of the war.

In addition, the selected targeting of Soviet C3 by TNWs could achieve far-reaching results. While TNWs support a maneuver doctrine, they must not replace such a method with the familiar firepower-at- trition model. Studies and field exercises have clearly shown that TNWs and chemical weapons cannot be used effectively unless fully integrated with maneu- ver operations.


A maneuver-oriented doctrine is a war-winning strategy for the US Army. Such a doctrine acknowl- edges the realities of the 1980s and beyond and cap- italizes on inherent American strengths of flexibility, adaptability and originality.

Maneuver warfare can be successful on a nuclear or conventional battlefield, and it can be conducted


January-February 1997 • MILITARY REVIEW

in Central Europe or in any other portion of the world where US vital interests are at stake. Maneu- ver warfare can also be conducted during offensive or defensive operations. It places primary emphasis on attacking the mind of the enemy commander and the will of his army.

At the operational level, maneuver warfare is directed at those key elements of the enemy strategy and force structure which are vulnerable to attack. Maneuver warfare is complemented by the introduc- tion of TNWs. In fact, a publicly stated US national policy of intent to employ TNWs in the normal course of military operations could serve as a major deter- rent to both the Soviets and their surrogates, as well as other potential adversaries throughout the world.

Adoption of maneuver warfare will not be easy for the US Army. It means a fundamental change in traditional concepts of how to fight. Attrition and fire- power were, in many ways, a simpler form of warfare. Maneuver is much more flexible and decentralized. An American preference for mission-type orders, commanders forward at the key location and inherent national characteristics will enhance adoption of a maneuver doctrine.

In addition to a change in philosophy, the Army must also take a serious look at its force structure when adopting a maneuver strategy. A detailed discussion of these topics is beyond the scope of this article, but several key parameters appear to be important.

Force structure must orient on decentralized exe- cution by flexible elements possessing impressive mobility and suppressive firepower. Command and control will be important, not so much from higher to lower but laterally. Units must be small and highly flexible, avoiding the large, unwieldy organizations of the past and present. Commanders must be able to command “up-front” at the point of decision.

Commanders at higher echelons (corps and above) must be able to “look deep” and “see” the battlefield. One of the crucial tasks to be accomplished, on the European battlefield, for example, is the requirement to determine the nature of the Soviet attack. Is it single echelon, the classical multiechelon attack, or some other variation? Early determination of the mode of Soviet attack will be crucial to the timely and wise allocation of critical tactical air assets as well as the positioning of reserve and reinforcing forces.

The Army must take a critical look at where its commanders “command.” Advanced command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) systems are presently being designed which will force a division commander to remain to the rear at


a centralized location in order to receive and process the myriad details soon to be available to him. The commander’s critical presence “up-front” at the point of decision will be forfeited, an issue that must be fully examined.

The Army must take a critical look at where its commanders “command.” Advanced command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) systems are presently being designed which will force a divi- sion commander to remain to the rear at a centralized location in order to receive and process the myriad details soon to be available to him. The commander’s critical presence “up-front” at the point of decision will be forfeited, an issue that must be fully examined.

The size of the Army divisions is growing to unmanageable proportions. It is rapidly becoming beyond the capability of three general officers and a cumbersome staff to conduct maneuver warfare and manage the vast array of critical functions within their commands. Maneuver warfare seems to dictate smaller, mobile formations —perhaps 6,000 to 8,000 men—commanded by a general officer with the mission of fighting. Most combat support functions would likely remain in such a formation with small selected combat service support elements. However, the bulk of the support should be provided by an external organization to avoid distracting the combat commander from his primary fighting mission.

Active and effective reconnaissance elements are absolutely essential in maneuver warfare. These units must be available and responsive to the tactical com- mander in order to exploit vulnerabilities presented in this fluid form of maneuver. Military police or some other traffic control elements will also be required to control follow-up echelons and direct critical resupply and limited maintenance units.

Combined arms will be needed, and elements of the current Army are appropriate-but the mix of forces may be worthy of reconsideration. The nation has worldwide commitments. The US Army must be able to react rapidly to protect these interests wher- ever they are located. Therefore, the air/sea trans- portability of the equipment is a key consideration.

The ultimate key to victory, however, is psycholog- ical. The US Army must embrace a doctrine it knows

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MILITARYREVIEW • January-February1997


can win! This confidence must permeate the ranks from general to private. A maneuver-oriented doc- trine for the 1980s will provide this positive outlook. Maneuver warfare oriented on vulnerable centers of gravity can defeat the Soviets or any other opponent wherever we must fight.

Work is under way on a new FM 100-5, Oper- ations, that will result in significant changes to current doctrine. At press time, it was anticipated that a coordinating draft would be sent to the field in the December 1980-January 1981 period.-Editor [1981] MR

  1. Major Robert A. Doughty, Leavenworth Papers: The Evolution of US Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76, Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., August 1979, pp 45-50; John Erickson, “Soviet Combined-Arms: Theory and Practice,” unpublished paper, September 1979; and Edward N. Luttwak, “The American Style of Warfare,” Air Force Magazine, August 1979, pp 86-88.
  2. Doughty, op. cit., p 3.
  3. Ibid., pp 7-12.
  4. Ibid., pp 33-40.
  5. Ibid., p 40.
  6. Ibid., pp 40-43.
  7. While Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, Department of the Army, Wash-ington, D.C., 1976, is still hotly debated within the Army, perhaps its greatest service has been overlooked. The manual has surfaced the critical issues so they can be identified and discussed. Also, see Doughty, op. cit., p 45.
  8. Doughty, op. cit., p 43; and Luttwak, op. cit., p 87.
  9. FM 100-5, Operations, op. cit.
  10. General Donn A. Starry, “A Tactical Evolution-FM 100-5,” article published by USArmy Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va., September 1979, p 15.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Don L. Mansfield, “Soviet Army Echelonment: Employment Concepts and Tactical Options,” concept issue paper, Deputy Directorate for Long-Range Planning, Headquarters, US Air Force, Washington, D.C., July 1979, p 86.
  13. William S. Lind, “Military Doctrine, Force Structure and the Defense Deci- sion-Making Process,” Air University Review, May-June 1979, pp 22-24; and Luttwak, op. cit., pp 86-88.
  14. Karl von Clausewitz, On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1976, pp 595-96.
  15. Basil H. Liddell Hart, Strategy, Praeger Publishers, N.Y., 1961, pp 337-46.
  16. Other distinguished strategists such as Sunzi (Sun Tzu), Mao Zedong (Tse- tung), Vo Nguyen Giap and J.F.C. Fuller have emphasized a similar indirect approach.
  17. Liddell Hart, op. cit., pp 13-14, 25-26 and 355-60; and Lind, op. cit., pp 21-22.
  18. Lind, op. cit., pp 1 and 4.
  19. Major General F.W. von Mellenthin, “Armored Warfare in World War II,” Battelle,Contract Number DAAK 40-78-C-0004, 10 May 1979, p 90.
  20. John Erickson, “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack,” Soviet MilitaryDigest, October 1978, p 11.
  21. Erickson, “Soviet Combined-Arms: Theory and Practice,” op. cit., pp 1 and 3-4.
  22. Ibid., p 177.
  23. Ibid., V. Ye. Savkin, The Basic Principles of Operational Art and Tactics (ASoviet View), Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1972, p 272; and Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Walker, “Through the Looking Glass: An Analysis of Soviet Combined-Arms,” Air War College Research Report, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., March 1980, p 6.
  1. Lieutenant Colonel David K. Anderson, “The Counter Mobility Potential in the NATO Context,” Strategic Review, Winter 1979, p 68; Colonel John Boyd, “Briefing on the Boyd Theory-Competitive Observation-Decision-Action Cycles,” with introduction (dated 25 June 1979) by William S. Lind, 1 August 1978; and Erickson, “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack,” Soviet Military Digestop. cit., p 17, and “Soviet Ground Forces and the Conventional Mode of Operations,” URSI/RMAS Research Center Bulletin, date unknown, p 46.
  2. Currently, there is strong debate by Western analysts as to the validity of the echelonment theory. There are cogent arguments which suggest a single-eche- lon attack by the Soviets is the most likely form of attack. See Steven L. Canby, “The Soviet Method for Armored Warfare: Rigid or Flexible?,” unpublished paper, 3 October 1979, pp 1-6; and Mansfield, op. cit ., pp 22-30.
  3. Erickson, “Soviet Combined-Arms: Theory and Practice,” op. cit., and “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack, “Soviet Military Digestop. cit., pp 9 and 38-42.
  4. Erickson, “Soviet Combined-Arms: Theory and Practice,” op. cit.
  5. Anderson, op. cit., p 70.
  6. Joseph D. Douglass Jr., The Soviet Theater Nuclear Offensive, Department ofthe Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1971, p 81; Walker, op. cit., p 11; and Kenneth R. Whiting, “Soviet Theater Doctrine and Strategy,” Air War College Associates Program, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., April 1977, p 11.
  7. John Erickson, “Trends in Soviet Combined-Arms Concept, Strategic Review, Winter 1977, pp 42 and 51.
  8. Erickson, “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack,” Soviet Military Digest, op. cit, pp 32-36; and Colonel I.N. Varob’yev, “Fire, Assault, Maneuver,” Selected Soviet Military Writings, 1970-75 (A Soviet View), Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1971, pp 220-22.
  9. Anderson, op. cit., p 68; and Walker op. cit., pp 14-16 and 24-25.
  10. Anderson, op. cit., p 71; and Erickson, “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack,” Soviet Military Digestop. cit., pp 4, 10 and 15; “Trends in Soviet Combined-Arms Concept,” Strategic Review,”op. cit., p 51; and “Soviet Ground Forces and the Conventional Mode of Operations,” URSI/RMAS ResearchCenter Bulletin, op. cit., p 45.
  11. Anderson, op. cit., p 74; and Clausewitz, op. cit., pp 119-21.
  12. Boyd, op. cit.; William S. Lind, “Toward a New Understanding of War,” unpub-lished paper, September 1978, pp 3-10; and Mellenthin, op. cit., pp 167-68.
  13. Mellenthin, op. cit., p 151.
  14. Luttwak, op. cit., p 87.
  15. Erickson, “Trends in Soviet Combined-Arms Concept,” Strategic Review,”op.cit., p 51.
  16. Erickson, “The In-Place Unreinforced Soviet Attack,” Soviet Military Digest,op. cit, p 11; and “Trends in Soviet Combined-Arms Concept,” StrategicReview,”op. cit., p 51.
  17. Lind, “Toward a New Understanding of War,” op. cit., pp 8-9.




January-February 1997 • MILITARY REVIEW

West Point a Century Age
1911-1920: An Amazing Decade

Jim Ryan

Wayne Willis

Physics Professor 1971-1974.
Program Development nuclear warhead for the Pershing II missile 1978-1982.

Robert Hufschmid

Bob Hufschmid

Robert Hufschmid & Suzy Weisman

William Hoos

William Arthur Hoos


CAPT – O3 – Army – Regular 
25th Infantry Division 

Length of service 4 years
His tour began on Jan 5, 1966
Casualty was on Feb 14, 1966
Body was recovered
DATE OF BIRTH: May 2, 1937
East Chicago, Indiana

William Hoos graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1962.


Silver Star

DURING Vietnam War
Service: Army
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Division: 25th Infantry Division

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Captain (Infantry) William Arthur Hoos, Jr. (ASN: 0-95978), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A , 1st Battalion, 5th Mechanized Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, during a reconnaissance in force operation near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam on 14 February 1966. During the early morning hours Captain Hoos’ company made contact with and engaged a well-fortified Viet Cong force employing small arms and automatic weapons. With complete disregard for his own safety Captain Hoos continuously exposed himself to the intense hostile fire while leading his men through the heavily booby trapped area. He personally directed the fires of his men, administered to their needs, maintained an air of calmness and strong leadership, and assisted in protecting the landing site he had selected for the evacuation of casualties. He constantly cautioned his men about booby traps and personally pointed them out to his men that day. While directing fire against a hostile emplacement, a command detonated mine was exploded directly to the front of Captain Hoos which mortally wounded him. Inspired by his dauntless and heroic actions of that day, Captain Hoos’ men successfully completed the mission. Captain Hoos’ extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in close combat against a numerically superior hostile force were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

POSTED ON 9.25.2001 POSTED BY: PATRICK LUZZI WILLISM ARTHUR HOOS You have a beautiful grandaughter named Malia borne by your daughter Terri.

OSTED ON 5.2.2020



The “Friends of Rocky Versace” remember one of Rocky’s fellow alumni from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point – a Plebe in Cadet Company G-1, USCC when Rocky was a Firstie in Co. K-2, and a brother Airborne-Ranger – Captain William Arthur Hoos Jr., USMA Class of 1962, on what would’ve been his 83d birthday – 2 May 2020.

POSTED ON 7.11.2019



Dear Captain William Hoos, Thank you for your service as an Infantry Unit Commander. Thanks also for graduating from WEST POINT. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.

POSTED ON 5.2.2019



Captain William Arthur Hoos Jr., Served with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, United States Army Vietnam.

POSTED ON 3.12.2016




CPT William Arthur Hoos Jr was an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. He was one of 335 men from West Point who died or are MIA in Southeast Asia/Indochina during the period October, 1957 – September, 1972. “Well done; Be thou at peace.” 

POSTED ON 12.22.2013



Bill Hoos was an infantry company commander with A Company, 1st Battalion 5th Mechanized Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, when he was killed in action on 14 February 1966, near Cu Chi, Vietnam. I was with Captain Hoos that day, working as his artillery forward observer.

POSTED ON 12.18.2013



Dear Captain William Arthur Hoos Jr, sir 

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned. 

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you. 

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir 

Curt Carter


If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep…for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile…Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine…Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine…and I, perchnace, may therein comfort you.








ON 14 FEBRUARY 1966 













and was entitled to wear the


~~~ – DUTY – HONOR – COUNTRY – ~~~

~~~ – THE LONG GRAY LINE – ~~~



USMA – 1962 – 24026

POSTED ON 2.14.2004



Thank you William for serving our country and for our freedom. My brother was KIA on the same day as you, that day our thoughts was with him, but now, my thoughts are with each and every one of you who have made any sacrifice and served. May God bless each of you!!

Jim McDonough

8/2/1966 James & Lucy McDonough

James M. McDonough



DATE OF BIRTH: 29-Nov-39
Portland, Maine


Silver Star

DURING Vietnam War
Service: Army
Rank: Captain
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Division: 25th Infantry Division

Headquarters, U.S. Army Vietnam, General Orders No. 6041 (October 15, 1966)


The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Captain (Infantry) James M. McDonough, Jr. (ASN: 0-96057), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Captain McDonough distinguished himself on 2 August 1966, while serving as a Platoon Leader during a company search and destroy operation in the Republic of Vietnam. While moving toward its objective, Captain McDonough’s company uncovered a Viet Cong base camp and immediately received intense hostile fire. Captain McDonough, quickly realizing that the numerically superior Viet Cong force was maneuvering to encircle his unit, repositioned his men. At this time, the insurgents began to mortar attack the besieged American unit. Realizing that his troops could not successfully break contact at this time, Captain McDonough directed the retaliatory fire of his men. Seeing his radio operator lying wounded in an exposed position, Captain McDonough, with complete disregard for his safety, crawled through intense hostile fire and dragged his wounded comrade to a covered position. After administering first aid, he called in an accurate artillery barrage upon the assaulting insurgents which repulsed them. During the lull that followed, Captain McDonough moved among his men giving instructions, attending the wounded, and reorganizing the defense. When a second Viet Cong assault began under the cover of mortar fire, Captain McDonough again called for and adjusted artillery fire. He then repeatedly braved the hostile fire while moving among his men, directing their fire and repositioning them until he was mortally wounded by hostile machine gun fire. Through his courageous efforts, Captain McDonough contributed immeasurably in repelling the Viet Cong force until a friendly relief force arrived. His extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior Viet Cong force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Captain James M McDonough was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his exemplary courage under fire. The citation reads (in part): “Captain McDonough distinguished himself on 2 August 1966, while serving as a Platoon Leader during a company search and destroy operation in the Republic of Vietnam. While moving toward its objective, Captain McDonough’s company uncovered a Viet Cong base camp and immediately received intense hostile fire. Captain McDonough, quickly realizing that the numerically superior Viet Cong force was maneuvering to encircle his unit, repositioned his men. At this time, the insurgents began to mortar attack the besieged American unit. Realizing that his troops could not successfully break contact at this time, Captain McDonough directed the retaliatory fire of his men. Seeing his radio operator lying wounded in an exposed position, Captain McDonough, with complete disregard for his safety, crawled through intense hostile fire and dragged his wounded comrade to a covered position.” 


The “Friends of Rocky Versace” remember one of Rocky’s fellow alumni from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point – a Plebe in Cadet Company B-1, USCC when Rocky was a Firstie in Co. K-2 and a brother Airborne-Ranger/CIB recipient – Captain James Michael McDonough Jr., USMA class of 1962, on what would’ve been his 81st birthday – 29 November 2020.


Dear Captain James McDonough, Thank you for your service as an Infantry Unit Commander and for graduating from West Point. Your 54th anniversary just passed, sad. Saying thank you isn’t enough, but it is from the heart. Time passes quickly, but our world needs help. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage, guidance and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.


Dear Captain James M McDonough Jr, sir 

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned. 

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you. 

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir 

Curt Carter 


James is buried at New Calvary Cemetery in South Portland, ME. SS BSM AM-3OLC PH


If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep…for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile…Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine…Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine…and I, perchnace, may therein comfort you.

POSTED ON 12.19.2001




A Company, 2/35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 25th Inf Division.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; 
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, 
This day shall gentle his condition; 
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed 
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, 
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks 
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

POSTED ON 11.15.1998



Gathered under ponchos in the rain
Our world submerged by monsoon weather 
Steaming heat and tough terrain
Guided by the Master’s hand

It was a time unlike another
Never to be shared again
But you will always be my brother
And in my memory of a distant land

Al Wilhelm