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Authored by Lieutenant Colonel G. Scott Taylor.
The Army goes to great lengths to capture lessons learned and preserve these lessons for current practitioners and future generations. Though the Army is one of the most self-critical organizations found in American society, a well-deserved reputation has also been earned for failing to inculcate those lessons by transforming the institutional Army. Change is achieved through a continuous cycle of adaptive innovation, experimentation, and experience. In Iraq, out of necessity while in contact with a dynamic enemy, the Army transformed on the battlefield with radical changes in doctrine, organization, training, and materiel, which significantly enabled battlefield success. As a result of the withdrawl of troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, this Paper analyzes the success of the military’s counterinsurgency strategy and nation-building efforts, examines the future of combat which the Army may face in order to recommend a suitable force posture, and makes recommendations for future competencies and capabilities utilizing the problem-solving construct of DOTMLPF in order to ensure future victories in this relevant component of the full spectrum of conflict.