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Forecasting Demand for U.S. Ground Forces Assessing Future Trends in Armed Conflict and U.S. Military Interventions

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Research Report]

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To defend against potential threats, the U.S. Army devotes significant resources to strategic and operational planning. This planning is an exercise in risk management across the wide array of potential threats facing the United States. Military planners need tools that leverage emergent trends in the global geostrategic environment to forecast future contingencies to preemptively build, shape, and prepare U.S. forces for the kinds of missions they are most likely to encounter in the future and for the contingencies that pose the greatest strategic risk to the United States. This report provides empirically grounded assessments of potential future demands for U.S. ground forces. It does so by presenting a dynamic forecasting model that projects future U.S. ground interventions in a range of scenarios through the year 2040. The model the authors have developed incorporates annual projections of opportunities for U.S. interventionincluding armed conflicts and their aftermathand U.S. ground interventions themselves for each year in the 20172040 time frame. The authors present three main types of projections trends in the future operating environment, including the incidence of interstate wars and intrastate conflicts future U.S. ground interventions, including those involving deterrence, combat, and stabilization activities and the anticipated average force requirements for those interventions. This analysis identifies key factors that can serve as early warning indicators of future conflicts and provides an improved empirical basis for estimating the frequency, magnitude, duration, and overlap of future contingencies.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]