Structuring the Active and Reserve Army for the 21st Century.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC
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HE U.S. Army has changed dramatically in the past 10 years in both mission and size. Its Cold War focus on deterring or defeating the Soviet Union has shifted to a more global mission of fighting smaller conflicts against less formidable foes anywhere in the world. Todays Army is also 30 percent smaller than it was a decade ago. In spite of those changes, the composition of the Army has not shifted markedly. The service remains almost equally divided between active-duty and reserve soldiers those in the National Guard and Army Reserve, although the reserve component now has a slight majority. A question under debate in defense circles is whether that composition is well suited to the Armys current role of fighting regional conflicts and taking part in peacekeeping operations. The Army hopes to make its force structure better suited to its current mission by converting some of the combat forces in the National Guard to support forces. That change would eliminate some of the excess combat forces left over from the Cold War. But it would not enable the Army to get to regional conflicts more quickly than it can today. Nor would it improve the Armys ability to carry out the peacekeeping operations in which it is increasingly engaged. Finally, because the Armys plan would not reduce the overall size of the service, it would not yield significant savings. Without such savings, the Army may have difficulty finding the funds to acquire the modem weapons it will need in the next two decades.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics