Counterinsurgency training necessary for U.S. Army, says Gen. CaseyMay 7, 7:35 PMLaw Enforcement ExaminerJim KouriTraining for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism has never been more important for the U.S. Army.Photo credit: DoD
General George W. Casey Jr. said it is unfair that the press has portrayed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as having to pressure the Army and its leaders to adopt counterinsurgency as a necessary capability, according to a report by Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service.
"I spent 32 months in Iraq," Casey said in Washington, D.C., yesterday during a Defense Writers' Group breakfast. "I get it."
The Army Chief of Staff said that when he served as commander of the 1st Armored Division in 1999 to 2001, he thought that if a division could handle conventional war it could handle anything below it on the scale of conflict, according to Garamone's report, obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
"After 32 months in Iraq, I don't believe that anymore," the decorated General said. Casey said he now believes the Army has to posture itself and train to operate across the spectrum.
In 2008, he said, the Army came out with a new full-spectrum doctrine that said Army formations will simultaneously "apply offense, defense and stability operations to seize the initiative and achieve the desired results."
"It is not an easy intellectual shift to move away from the idea that the Army is supposed to fight other armies," Casey said. "It takes a decade to fully ingrain a doctrine in an organization the size of the Army."