Accession Number:



Operation Iraqi Freedom, Future Combat Systems, and the Modular Force: Reconsidering Brigade-centrism in Large-scale Combat Operations

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This paper aims to add context to the discussion surrounding how the Army will fight its next large-scale combat operation. The interrelated lessons of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Modular Force, and Future Combat Systems FCS provide insights for the design of the future force. Transforming the Army while engaged in the Global War on Terror, without a clear future warfighting concept, led the army to a technology-driven organizational solution, the FCS. With modularity came the concept of brigade-centrism, a significant departure from the division-centric Army of the 20th Century. The technology of FCS intended to create brigades that fought like divisions and might have led to a novel warfighting concept. The Army accepted risk in this organizational model with the assumption that its brigades would be re-organized through the fielding of Future Combat Systems. Because that assumption was false, the army must re-examine brigade-centrism as it develops its future operating concept.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]