APL Colloquium

April 2, 2004

Colloquium Topic: Lessons Learned From The Iraq War

The Iraq War was the first major war of the new millennium. Between the Gulf conflicts of 1991 and 2003, immense changes had occurred in America's armed forces - changes in doctrine as well as weapons. At the same time, there were long-running debates within the U.S. Defense Department about the proper uses of military power, with strategic implications for America's buildup for the Iraq War. Intensive air and ground operations in Iraq were conducted amidst blaring headlines, embedded videophone reports, and daily Centcom briefings. Day-to-day tactical and logistical decisions of infantry and air command were made as British and American troops moved into Basra and Baghdad despite opposing aims of coalition forces and the Iraqi regime. The talk will analyze Iraq War events in light of past military experiences, present battleground realities, and future expectations, revealing lessons learned about the "American way of war" as it has unfolded in Iraq.

Colloquium Speaker: MG Robert H. Scales Jr.

MG Robert H. Scales, Jr., USA (ret) was appointed President and CEO of Walden University in 2000. In December 2002 he was appointed President of Capstar Government Services (CGS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Educational Testing Services. He is currently an independent consultant for defense matters. Prior to joining the private sector Dr. Scales served over thirty years in the Army, retiring as a Major General. He commanded two units in Vietnam, winning the Silver Star for action during the battles around Dong Ap Bia (Hamburger Hill) during the summer of 1969. Subsequently, he served in command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, and Korea and ended his military career as Commandant of the United States Army War College. In 1995 he created the Army After Next program which was the Army's first attempt to build a strategic game and operational concept for future land warfare. He is the author of Certain Victory, the official account of the Army in the Gulf War, and Firepower in Limited War, a history of the evolution of firepower doctrine since the end of the Korean War. He was the only serving officer to have written books subsequently selected for inclusion in the official reading lists of two services; Certain Victory for the Army and Firepower for the Marine Corps. In addition he has written Future Warfare, a strategic anthology on America's wars to come, and Yellow Smoke: The Future of Land Warfare for America's Military. His latest work, The Iraq War: A Military History, written with Williamson Murray was published by Harvard University Press in October 2003. He is military analyst for National Public Radio and Fox News Network and is a frequent commentator and consultant for other major media networks on issues relating to military history and defense policy. He is a graduate of West Point and earned his PhD in history from Duke University.