The US Army fights me back! -- in a nice peaceful way

The following is the text of an email I received today after asking Lieutenant General William Caldwell IV for comment as one of the authors of the United States Army's Manual with some economic development ideas that I criticized: Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: FOUO

Dear Dr. Easterly,

LTG Caldwell is currently on personal leave and not regularly receiving


This is a very important topic to him -- the manual to which you refer

represents the most widely-collaborated publication the Army has ever

produced. It was written over the course of a year and involved

representation from each of the services, all the other agencies of the

USG, and our allies and partner nations, as well as significant

contributions from the development and humanitarian communities, and the

private sector. The manual is not intended to serve as military

solution to a much broader and more complex problem, but a guide for

military leaders to better understand and execute their appropriate

roles and responsibilities within the framework of national and

international approaches to these operations. While the goals

articulated within the manual may seem optimistic, they represent the

collective contributions of acknowledged experts from a wide range of

fields, many of whom brought decades of field experience to this effort.

The content in the manual -- as well as the terms, definitions, and

frameworks -- reflects their wisdom, knowledge, and hard-earned


The manual is certainly not solely a product of the Department of

Defense or the US Army. It is the result of unprecedented collaboration

that, while appearing "utopian" from your perspective, provides a

waypoint from which to navigate the challenges we face now and in the

future. To navigate that path, we relied on a collaborative approach to

best define our own service role within the broad framework articulated

in the manual. While the approach we used to develop the manual was

unique, we believed that this was the most effective was to ensure that

the practitioners in the field had the strongest voice possible and the

end product was shaped with their own words. While the manual will

never be perfect, it has achieved the desired effect of spurring dialog

and discussion on a critical topic -- and your contribution to that

dialog is welcome and appreciated.

Best regards,

LTC Steve Leonard

Director, Commander's Initiatives Group

U.S. Army Combined Arms Center

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027