Accession Number:

ADA615980

Title:

A Force Orientation for the Continuum of Conflict

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-05-22

Pagination or Media Count:

51.0

Abstract:

The leadership of the U.S. Army is often criticized for its failure to anticipate the next conflict and structure itself accordingly. Recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan serve to many as examples of conflicts for which the U.S. Army was woefully unprepared and forced to pay a steep price in terms of blood and treasure for that unpreparedness. Additionally, many assert that we are at an historical inflection point and the U.S. Army should divorce itself from Cold War thinking and organize to meet these new threats. Are such claims valid or are they merely the flavor of the day This paper explores recent scholarship on the future of conflict to attempt to discern if the character of warfare is indeed changing and what those changes mean. It then continues to consider how those charged with providing for our nations defense view future threats to U.S. security. Lastly, based on this exploration, it considers various threat orientations upon which to base the structure of the U.S. Army and some of their implications. This paper is written during a time of budgetary austerity and decreased funding for our nations military. This austerity requires important decisions on the part of our military and national leaders. However, as resources remain finite under all economic circumstances, this paper seeks to address questions of capability as opposed to those of capacity. The capacity of the U.S. Army can and will fluctuate with the strategic and economic times. But capabilities are the important question here. Can the army of the most powerful nation in the world afford to seek efficiencies of cost and scale by eliminating its ability to conduct certain kinds of conflict Or is it required instead to maintain the ability to act across the entire continuum of conflict

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE