Middleweight Forces and the Army's Deployability Dilemma
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The US Army stands at an important crossroads as it looks to the 21st century. On one hand beckons an inviting path of continuing its achievements since the trauma of Vietnam. In 15 years the Army has rebuilt its leadership, reasserted its discipline, and restored its morale, while fielding a new generation of potent, sophisticated weapons, embracing a classic warfighting doctrine, and organizing heavy and light forces with superb combat potential. Yet the Armys accomplishments have not produced the full range of deployable, flexible, and capable forces demanded by a changing security environment. This article will show how emerging strategic and military trends point to another path, one which adds the potential of middleweight forces to the light and heavy units already in our arsenal, thus providing truly versatile land power readier to face tomorrows complex and difficult global challenges. Americas future strategic challenges are clear. More independent allies, skillful Soviet public diplomacy, and emerging regional powers will complicate American security choices and erode US ability to maintain bases, port access, and overflight rights. Worse still, the lingering US debt will exert significant pressure to reduce military expenditures, security assistance, and foreign aid. Declining relative American economic power also reinforces domestic arguments against US overseas presence, deployed and afloat. The net effect will diminish though not eliminate American ability to rely upon forward deployments as a keystone of its national military strategy.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics