Contingency Force Sizing
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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The study objective was to assess the impact of the problems driving U.S. contingency force size, and to assess the value to the force of a reconnaissancestrike complex RSC. The study identified four problems inserting the force, defending against armored attack, defending against infiltration, and logistics. To assess their impact, it drew upon the histories of previous operations, military literature, professional judgment, and the IDA- developed VFM combat model. Force insertion is not trivial, but in the past the U.S. has inserted contingency forces without great opposition. Once ashore, U.S. forces could use an RSC of sophisticated targeting capabilities and precision strike munitions to defeat large armored opponents. However, future contingency operations might find U.S. forces in close terrain. facing infantry-based infiltration attacks. Today the U.S. would require a large ground force to defend a position in such a situation. That force would require and would have to defend a sizable logistical infrastructure to support itself away from a permanent base. The study found that force would be much larger than the RSC- supported force required to defeat an armored attack. Furthermore, it would be very difficult to lift and supply such a force by air.
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