April 1, 2008  

Timely doctrine

TO THE ARMY, for the new FM 3-0 Operations Field Manual, a welcome capstone doctrine document that is long on common sense and thankfully short on acronyms and “Army talk.” This is doctrine in tune with its time. It raises stability and civil-support operations to the same level of importance as combat operations, and empowers soldiers to accept risk. FM 3-0 emphasizes the need for trust between superiors and subordinates, prescribes giving leaders maximum latitude to accomplish the mission, and warns higher commanders against abusing technology to micromanage subordinates. The Army seems to be learning its post-9/11 lessons.