US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
After conducting over a decade of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Armys ability to conduct major combat operations has been potentially degraded. As the Army re-balances and draws down, it must regain these lost combined arms competencies in order to maintain combat readiness. In doing so, however, it must still retain the skills gained from recent counterinsurgency campaigns, and it must balance readiness for conventional, large-scale combat operations with operational deployments to support a host of non-combat related missions. This monograph examines the 2006 Israel Hezbollah War as a historical case in which a contemporary army had to transition from sustained irregular operations to large-scale conventional war. The case study shows that the Israeli Defense Force did not make this transition effectively, and it examines factors that contributed to this failure. The variables examined relate to organizational, training, and leadership issues. These variables are then brought to bear on the current transition facing the US Army.