Accession Number:

ADA411749

Title:

Military Transformation and Legacy Forces

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING PROGRAM

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

40.0

Abstract:

Given the pace of technological change and uncertainties about future threats, transformation will likely follow a more turbulent process featuring aggressive experimentation, a continual insertion of new capabilities in relatively small packages, and the concurrent retirement of portions of the legacy force. In two case studies, this paper examines the 1940 German offensive in the West and the US Air Forces introduction of stealth and precision in OPERATION DESERT STORM to make the point that it is not necessary to transform the entire force in order to achieve transformed capabilities. The Germans victory over Allied forces in 1940 was the result of the combined efforts of legacy forces which, in terms of division-sized units, made up over 90 percent of the Wehrmachts force structure, and the 10 percent transformed force different types of armored formations using independent and integrated tank units, infantry, and cavalry. The glue that held both forces together was a common doctrine emphasizing such things as speed, decentralized leadership, and rapid exploitation, and perfected during years of experimentation between the two world wars. The DESERT STORM case study focuses on precision and stealth, two of the more significant advances in warfighting, USAF planners were able to extend the transformed capabilities of the leading edge units to the whole force in the opening air campaign. The result was the most decisive operational victory in the history of air power.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE