Part of a Series
To meet the challenges of the 21st century, the U.S. military force of the future must be more mobile and flexible, as well as robust. It must be able to respond to many different types of operations. It must have the agility to respond rapidly anywhere in the world, yet be robust enough to sustain operations over the long-term. U.S. ground forces must be able to muster hundreds of thousands of people to engage in conventional combat or manpower-intensive counterinsurgency operations. But the U.S. also needs a force that is agile and mobile enough to quickly respond to crises around the world in order to conduct combat operations, as well as more delicate peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
Rebuilding and expanding the military’s ground forces would enable the Army to become less dependent on the Army National Guard, decrease our excessive reliance on private contractors to perform military functions, and ensure that the soldiers and Marines receive adequate time at home between deployments.
One key way to improve the military’s capabilities will be to expand Special Operations foces. Commanders will continue to rely on special operations forces when engaging in irregular operations, especially counter-terrorism missions. These highly trained, elite troops are able to conduct precision strikes against specific target sets with a high probability of success. Unlike conventional ground forces, special operations units are able to operate surgically without causing the types of collateral damage that are highly counter-productive in stability or counterinsurgency operations.
For more information about the Center for American Progress’ policies on rebuilding the military after Iraq see:
- Restoring American Military Power: Toward a New Progressive Defense Strategy for America, by Lawrence J. Korb and Max Bergmann