Montgomery Meigs rides again

The mania for professionalism that stamped the post Civil War army of Grant, Sherman, Schofield, et al, has borne its ultimate fruit in a peacetime army today that will not recognize any situation that cannot be managed professionally at a peacetime pace. From a new book by Australian General Andrew Smith on the response to IEDs:
The DoD’s initial response was organizational: the immediate formation by the U.S. Army of an ad hoc task force of 12 personnel (an organization—the Army IED Task Force), located in Washington, DC, to study and attempt to address the IED problem.

This response was repeated over the ensuing years as the IED problem grew. In July 2004, the Army Task Force was upgraded to a Joint Integrated Process team (under Army leadership), moving the IED response into the Joint arena.

In June 2005, the U.S. CIED apparatus was upgraded again into the Joint IED Defeat Task Force (JIEDD TF), under a specific DoD Directive, to further improve coordination of the DoD’s efforts.

The status of the JIEDD TF was further elevated in December 2005 by the appointment of retired four-star General Montgomery “Monty” Meigs as its Director. Meigs’ selection was significant in its own right. Some years previously, he had published a treatise on the scientific response to the submarine threats of World War II, in which he explained the evolution of a solution that, he concluded, consisted of optimized equipment and doctrine developed by close cooperation between the R&D community and operators. With this background, Meigs brought with him a sophisticated understanding of how urgent capability development efforts need to be coordinated.

The JIEDD TF’s title was upgraded to the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in January 2006 by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and finally the new Organization was codified by the issue of a specific directive in February of that year.

This entire evolution, from the first U.S. IED fatality to the establishment of a statutory organization under four-star leadership, had taken 2.5 years
Elsewhere, Smith notes, "To deal with that [IED] surprise, both the United States and Australia needed to make institutional responses in a cycle that took at least 6 years. The subsequent impact of IEDs in Afghanistan suggests, in fact, that the response is still incomplete."