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Beyond the Three-Block War.

Beyond the Three-Block War, edited by David Rudd, Deborah Bayley, and Ewa K. Petruczynik, Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, 2006, ISBN 1-894736-10-9, 122 pp., paper, $30.00. To order, go to

Beyond the Three-Block War begins with remarks by David Rudd, President and Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies (CISS):
 The "three-block war" is a term which, on the surface,
 seems deceptively simple. Coined by the former
 Commandant of the US Marine Corps, General Charles
 Krulak, it envisions the conduct of the three main categories
 of military operations--combat, stabilization, and
 humanitarian support--simultaneously within a confined
 geographical space. But beneath the conceptual simplicity
 is a complex, multi-dimensional puzzle with which all allied
 militaries ... are struggling to come to terms.

When Canadian soldiers went to the Kandahar region of Afghanistan in January, their mission was to engage in counterinsurgency, stabilization, and reconstruction operations alongside NATO allies and Afghan forces in some of the most challenging terrain in the world. The mission revealed the challenges of operating in complex human and geographical terrain and, for CISS, raised many questions. How would the counterinsurgency mission against the Taliban co-exist with stabilization and reconstruction duties? What roles would be performed by non-military actors? Are future conflicts going to be complex affairs involving simultaneous combat, peace support, and humanitarian operations? Will they be army-only missions or will the other services have a role to play?

The Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies' Strategic Forecast 2006 brought together civilian and military experts to examine this new complex environment and review military efforts to come to terms with the three-block war. Experiences and lessons learned were presented by Canadian, American, and British military and civilian personnel. Their findings illustrate the difficulties posed by irregular wars, and new complications from the proliferation of non-military actors.

Speakers and topics include:

* Beyond the Three-Block War, Lieutenant-General Thomas Metz (US Army)

* A Canadian View of the Three-Block War and Beyond, Major-General Andrew Leslie (National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa)

* Learning to Fight the Four-Block War: How Commanders Learn "Non-Military" Jobs, Colonel John Agoglia (US Army)

* The British Experience in the Three-Block War, Brigadier Ben Barry (UK Ministry of Defence)

* Private Security Companies in the Three-Block War, Dr. Christopher Spearin (Canadian Forces College)

* Civilian Actors in the Three-Block War, Wendy Gilmour (Foreign Affairs Canada)

* Air Forces in the Three-Block War, Colonel Jim Cottingham (Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre)

* Navies in the Three-Block War, Captain (Navy) Paul Maddison (Department of National Defence, Ottawa)

* Experimentation and the Canadian Forces, Commander George Prudat (Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre).
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Publication:Ploughshares Monitor
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2006
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