Chairman Reflects on Armistice Day, Changing Character of War


Military leaders must appreciate the changing character of war, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Nov. 11 as he returned home from Paris, where he was attending ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford reflected on the anniversary, which signaled 100 years since the end of World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

“I think one of the things with World War I is the character of war hadn’t changed in some time,” he said. “We saw … our own experience in the Civil War – machine guns, concertina wire, railroads, communications and so forth. And I think even 50 years later, it’s pretty clear that leaders didn’t fully appreciate the changed character of war and the introduction of new technologies and how they’re going to change war.”

The general said that the costs of subsequent wars have “an enduring lesson for all of us, [and] that one of our responsibilities as a leader is to appreciate the changing character of war, and ensure that we anticipate the changes and the implications of those changes.”

Alliances and Partnerships

Dunford said the fact that the United States fought alongside allied countries for the first time during World War I resonates even today, as one of three lines of effort…

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