July 19, 2013
Colloquium Speaker: LTG Michael D. Barbero
Lieutenant General Michael D. Barbero served as Director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) from March 2011 until his retirement in May 2013. In this post, he was responsible for leading the Defense Department’s actions to rapidly provide counter-IED capabilities in support of combatant commanders, military services and other federal agencies to enable the defeat of the IED as a weapon of strategic influence.
LTG Barbero was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1976. He is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff Course, the Advance Military Studies Program (SAMS) and the National War College.
As an Infantry officer, LTG Barbero has served in a variety of tactical assignments in Mechanized, Light and Air Assault Infantry units. He has served in the 1st Cavalry Division, 2d Infantry Division, two tours in the101st Airborne Division (AASLT), the 7th Infantry Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the 4th Infantry Division.
LTG Barbero has extensive experience as an Operations Officer, serving as the S3 of two separate Infantry Battalions and as the S3 of an Infantry Brigade. He has also served as the Chief of Current Operations at Division level, as the Deputy Director for Regional Operations in J3 on the Joint Staff, and as the CJ3 of Multi National Forces – Iraq (MNF-I). He has commanded the 3d Battalion 187th Infantry Battalion, the 2d Brigade 10th Mountain Division, and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and Fort Polk. Immediately prior to assuming command of MNSTC-I, LTG Barbero commanded the United States Army Infantry Center and Fort Benning, from November 2008 until June 2009. During his most recent deployment, from 2009 to January 2011, he was responsible for the training, equipping and development of all Iraqi security forces and building the ministerial capabilities of both the Ministries of Interior and Defense, while serving simultaneously as the Commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq and the Commander of the NATO Training Mission - Iraq.
A decade of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has confirmed that improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are the weapon of choice for threat networks around the globe. While there are obvious differences between these two conflicts, there are also common threads and lessons to be learned. As Iraq fades from view and the United States focuses increasingly on post-2014 Afghanistan, I fear that some will view the threat from these networks and IEDs as aberrations, unique to the Middle East or South Asia and to these two operations. Unfortunately, trends and evidence show that threat networks using IEDs are here to stay. We must capture the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan and, despite budgetary and other pressures, institutionalize them in our security framework.
[quoted from: © The Washington Post - May 17,2013]