Accession Number:

AD1017735

Title:

Hollow Force, Hollow Metaphor: Assessing the Current Defense Drawdown

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College Joint Advanced Warfighting School Norfolk United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2016-04-04

Pagination or Media Count:

66.0

Abstract:

In a 1980 testimony to Congress, the Armys Chief of Staff, General Edward Meyer, used the phrase hollow Army to articulate his perception of an undermanned, poorly trained post-Vietnam U.S. Army. While the validity of Meyers assessment remains disputed, Service leaders still use the phrase as an expedient and vivid way to describe shortfalls in readiness, force structure, and modernization. The phrases recurring use, typically in periods following conflict, suggests the existence of a hollow force narrative perpetuated by senior military leaders following conflict, politicians cut defense budgets too rapidly and too much, making military forces unprepared for the next war. However, the metaphor itself has never really been defined and is being used in the contemporary defense drawdown by Service leaders in different ways.

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE