Accession Number:

ADA456584

Title:

Boots on the Ground: Troop Density in Contingency Operations

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

211.0

Abstract:

Recent Global War on Terrorism GWOT operations in Iraq have focused attention on the issue of the number of deployed troops needed to effectively conduct contingency operations. While pundits, military observers, and serving officers frequently address this issue, there seems to be no concise, systematic approach to this subject. Planning factors appear to be either extremely vague or nonexistent. Since historical analysis can be used to seek out examples from past similar operations to determine trends or estimates based on historical precedent, this work fills that gap with a brief but intensive study of troop strength in past contingency operations. While there are no established rules for determining troop density, since 1995 several military observers, analysts, and civilian journalists have promulgated general theories on troop density. Most theorists generally cite historical precedent when proposing ratios for troop density levels. Most density recommendations fall within a range of 25 soldiers per 1000 residents in an area of operations soldier per 40 inhabitants to 20 soldiers per 1000 inhabitants or soldier per 50 inhabitants. The 20 to 1000 ratio is often considered the minimum effective troop density ratio. However, are these estimates supported by historical data This work will study a selected sample of successful military contingency operations to answer that question. Since many of the activities of military forces in contingency operations are similar to the daily functions of civilian police forces, the work also will consider size and density factors for police forces in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles, and State Police forces. The analysis will then provide a recommended planning estimate for future contingency operations based on this review of historical experience. The current operation in Iraq will be analyzed using the recommended planning estimate.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE