The Light Infantry Division: Essential Component of National Defense or Cold War Relic
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The world in 1999 is a rapidly changing place. Regional conflict based on ethnic, religious, cultural and economic differences is increasing because of a lack of superpower containment. The number of regional powers involved in these conflicts and the strength of their military forces is increasing because of the economic gains these nations have enjoyed from an improved world economy. Improved weapons technology is providing very precise weapons with increased ranges to whoever can afford them and improved information technology is permitting enhanced battlefield situational awareness that allows a commander to act and apply combat power faster than an opponent. The Government has adopted the policy of engagement to counter these many conflicts while they are still manageable and maintain U.S. leadership. To execute the policy of engagement while recognizing that all U.S. military forces have been significantly downsized, the National Military Strategy NMS requires that U.S. forces be multi-mission capable, meaning that forces should be trained, armed, and equipped to operate across the full spectrum conflict. The NMS also requires that U.S. forces be lethal so that U.S. forces can defeat the potentially larger opponents that are likely to be involved in these regional conflicts. The light infantry division was created in 1984 in an effort to provide a more strategically deployable force and to address the increasing number of counter-insurgencies present in the 1980s. This was accomplished by reducing the number and size of mobility and firepower assets in the division to the bare minimum that was thought to be required for operations in low intensity conflict. These reductions have reduce the divisions mobility because now only one battalion out of nine can move faster than four kilometers an hour through the use of the divisions lift aviation battalion.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics