Reconstitution: The Forgotten Element of Large-Scale Combat Operations
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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The U.S. Military has mostly ignored the requirement for reconstitution operations since the fall of the Soviet Union. With a renewed emphasis on Large Scale Combat Operations and pacing threats like China and Russia, the Department of Defense acknowledged the changing operating environment faced by operational commanders. Large Scale Combat Operations between peer competitors will be increasingly fast and lethal, as both sides synchronize actions and weapons systems to achieve effects across all domains in an attempt to gain an advantage. Theater commanders will need to reconstitute forces after initial contact to regenerate combat power and build and maintain operational momentum. The U.S. Army has not adapted its reconstitution doctrine to reflect threats and changes in the conduct and character of modern combat within the current operating environment. Additionally, the U.S. Militarys posture relies on force projection, which relies on small forward-postured forces and long lines of operation. This posture presents challenges for commanders to balance their forces in time and space. Finally, the Army lacks the organization, command relationships, and practice to conduct rapid and efficient reconstitution in the face of enemy threats. For these reasons, the U.S. Army is not prepared to reconstitute units during Large Scale Combat Operations against a peer competitor.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics