Join us on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time for a conversation with Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland on Urban Combat/ Ramadi. Urban warfare can take many forms, from guerrilla attacks to militia patrols to gang violence, but fighting in cities and towns, where civilians are at risk and combatants can hide more easily, is markedly different from combat in a more open or defined theater of operations. The very introduction of military forces into a city changes it. Combat operations can disrupt and destroy many parts of a city. There is physical destruction, clearly, of buildings, homes, and infrastructure, but combat can also destroy political power systems, social processes, and the natural flows of a city.
About Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland
LTG MacFarland retired from the Army in 2018 and joined General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group as Vice President of Weapons Programs. In addition to serving as a senior fellow at the Association of the US Army’s Institute for Land Warfare, he is a non-resident senior fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
During the course of his military career, LTG (Ret) MacFarland led armor and cavalry units at every echelon from platoon to corps in CONUS, Germany, the Balkans, and Iraq. As a General Officer, he commanded JTF-North in support of US border security, the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and III Armored Corps in Iraq and at Fort Hood, Texas. He also served as Deputy Commanding General of US Forces in Afghanistan and Deputy Commanding General of the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.
As a brigade combat team commander in Ramadi, Iraq, he is credited with fostering the Sunni Arab “Awakening” movement, which was instrumental in turning the tide of the war. While commanding III Corps, he also commanded all coalition forces in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from 2015 to 2016, during which time coalition forces seized the initiative, recaptured nearly half of the enemy’s territory and set the conditions for the enemy’s final defeat.
He is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy, the Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (Eisenhower School). He also earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech.
His decorations included the Combat Action Badge, Parachutist and Air Assault Wings, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Army Distinguished Service Medals and twenty-two other medals for his achievements in peace and war. Regarding LTG MacFarland’s service, Sen. John McCain told TIME magazine in 2016, “MacFarland had the courage to adapt and innovate… I can think of no better commander than MacFarland to lead U.S. and coalition force[s].”
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