Letters

Final Word

As the lead author of the new Army-Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual, I was very disappointed in your article "Lessons Not Learned" (January), which was obviously written without reading the final version of the manual. The manual itself can be downloaded. I ask that you post this Web site for your readers, so they can download the manual and make their own judgments about its utility.

You would have profited greatly by talking to the writers involved in creating it. Those critiques you quote were directed at earlier drafts. We on the writing team carefully read them all, and engaged the critics, looking for the best ideas we could find.

For instance, the final version deals more extensively with intelligence and the multilayered and shifting coalition of enemies in modern insurgencies, two areas your article singles out for particular criticism. We made many other adjustments based on thousands of comments received from uniformed and civilian sources. What we could say about intelligence gathering also was affected by new congressional legislation and existing regulations, which we cannot contradict. The most influential theorist on our work was David Galula, who is quoted extensively in your article, though we gathered ideas from many places.

There is much that is new and revolutionary in the doctrine. While the manual was heavily influenced by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the writers realize that if we have created a document that is applicable only in those situations, we will have failed in our mission. Because the key theme of the manual is learning and adapting, we will be rewriting it again in a few years, and will continue to search for and incorporate new ideas to make it better.

Conrad Crane
Director
U.S. Army Military History Institute
Carlisle, Pa.

The Real Deal

I very much enjoyed "Speeding Up Acquisition Reform" (December 2006). Dov Zakheim's article draws a comparison between the funding reforms and reforms in the actual acquisition process.

As an ex-Defense Department contracting officer of several years, some of which were directly associated with fulfilling requirements of deployed troops at overseas bases, I can only say that we acquired supplies and services in the fastest way at the best value prices. Many times, we catered to the troops' needs within 24 hours.

This was only possible due to the hard work of the dedicated contracting professionals and a congressional mandate that raised the dollar threshold for acquisition of terrorism-related supplies and services and exempted such re-quirements from the routine long acquisition process. Nevertheless, Mr. Zakheim's suggestion will be highly welcomed by the acquisition community.

Madhu LeFevre
Procurement Analyst
NASA Office of Inspector General
Kennedy Space Center
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.