Force XXI versus an Unconventional Warfare Threat.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES
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This report examines the operational concept of Force XXI, the U.S. Army of the 21st Century, to determine if it will be applicable against an enemy employing an unconventional warfare strategy. The study suggests that the concept, as it is outlined in TRADOC PAM 525-5, will be ill suited to defeating an enemy who shuns conventional force-oriented combat and instead seeks to defeat the U.S. by exhausting its will to continue the conflict. The study examines the nature of future conflict and the likelihood of U.S. involvement in it, in order to establish that the probability of the U.S. Army facing an opponent employing an unconventional strategy necessitates that its Force XXI concept account for this type of conflict. The study then summarizes the Force XXI operational concept using TRADOC PAM 525-5s framework of five battle dynamics battle command, battlespace, depth and simultaneous attack, early entry, and combat service support. It then establishes likely characteristics of a UW opponent, considering the areas of operations, organization, weaponry, communications, and logistics. Finally, the study compares Force XXIs operational concept against the UW force characteristics to assess whether it is suited to combatting an unconventional opponent. The study concludes that much of the Force XXI operational concept is based on the ability of technical systems to provide the commander with a timely and accurate picture of the situation that allows him to orchestrate the effects of precision weapons to deliver a paralyzing blow to the enemy. The characteristics of a UW force seem to negate the collection capabilities of Force XXI, as well as providing little susceptibility to precision attack.
- Unconventional Warfare