Getting There is Only Half the Battle: Improving Forcible Entry Capability for Joint Force 2020
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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This thesis discusses the ability of U.S. joint forces to conduct forcible entry operations in the future operational environment. It argues that the Joint Force of 2020 will require a significantly improved capability to conduct such operations to support the requirements of the national military strategy and advance American interests in the world. The thesis makes five specific recommendations for improving forcible entry capability in various areas of the Joint Force. The thesis begins by examining global trends, emerging threats, and evolving military approaches that will make forcible entry operations more challenging, and more necessary, in the future. In so doing, it accounts for the decreasing size and changing posture of the Joint Force as it becomes smaller and more CONUS-based than at any time since 1940. It then describes the requirements of national strategy and offers four plausible vignettes set in the year 2020 in which forcible entry would most likely be needed. After comparing projected capabilities with future requirements, the thesis outlines the most significant gaps and provides recommendations. Unified combatant commanders are likely to require the capability for joint forcible entry in a variety of future contingencies. The Joint Staff and senior defense officials should understand these requirements so they can ensure that the Services retain essential capabilities currently available and develop or expand those that will be needed in the future. In this way, the Joint Force will be able to offer feasible and acceptable options to the President and Secretary of Defense if and when conflicts arise that demand it, while also ensuring the best possible capability with the least risk to the Nation.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics