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Eric T. Olson

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Eric T. Olson, was the Deputy Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, Civil-Military Affairs in the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad from 2006-07. Following that, from 2007-08 he served as the Chief of Staff and Principal Advisor to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. An Army officer for 34 years, he commanded infantry units at all levels from platoon to division, achieving the rank of major general and serving his last 3 years as the Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division (Light), which included duty as the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force-76, during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan (2004-05).

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SSI books and monographs by Eric T. Olson

  • Some of the Best Weapons for Counterinsurgents Do Not Shoot

    October 26, 2010

    Authored by Eric T. Olson.
    Reconstruction, defined in U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07 as “the process of rebuilding degraded, damaged, or destroyed political, socioeconomic, and physical infrastructure of a country or territory to create the foundation for long-term development” has leapt to the forefront of Army priorities, measured by the important role that it plays in today’s counterinsurgency operations and its prominence in the latest doctrine. This paper examines the history of reconstruction as a part of Army operations, assesses the capabilities of today’s forces to conduct successful reconstruction operations in support of a counterinsurgency campaign, and makes recommendations to build a capability that is commensurate with the demands of our doctrine and the imperatives of the modern battlefield.