AMERICA'S TOTAL FORCE: Can Army Reserve Components Adequately Support the National Military Strategy of the 1990s.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Representing over fifty percent of the deployable forces in the US Army, reserve components are relied on today, more than at any other time in this countrys history, to shoulder a crucial share of the nations defense. Significant changes in the worlds geopolitical landscape since 1990 have caused dramatic reductions in our active forces and resulted in an ambitious new national military strategy that includes a frenetic operational tempo, decreased deployment times and increased readiness requirements for many previously unheard of missions. While numerous initiatives have been undertaken recently to enhance the readiness of Army reserves, their ability to accomplish these new missions remains in question. This paper reviews the origins of Secretary of Defense Melvin Lairds Total Force and tracks its development through the 1970s and 1980s until its final examination during Operation DESERT STORM. It also examines Active Component initiatives undertaken to enhance the viability of reserve forces and the recent designation of select RC units as early wartime deployers. The author then addresses several recurring and unresolved maladies that face reserve commanders, tying their hands in the struggle with unit readiness. He finally presents recommendations that would remedy many of these reserve-unique issues.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Defense Systems