Academic journal article Military Review

America's Army Expeditionary and Enduring Foreign and Domestic

Academic journal article Military Review

America's Army Expeditionary and Enduring Foreign and Domestic

Article excerpt

AS OF SUMMER 2003, a higher percentage of the total Army appears committed to active combat operations than during any period since World War II. (1) While the Army moves to transform at a forced pace, it still defends against the most certain foreign threat the continental United States (CONUS) has faced since the War of 1812. Change is not new; it is a staple of defense. (2) However, new combinations of requirements--quick response (expeditionary) and long-term national commitments (enduring)--require unusual solutions both overseas and in CONUS.

Several new challenges facing the Army are implementation requirements that stem from the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States) These competing requirements include-

* Preemption of global terrorist attacks.

* Support of domestic homeland security.

* Reconstruction of failed states to eliminate sources of terrorism.

* Evolving landpower for total-spectrum operations that accelerate Transformation across all services.

The result is that America's Army must become more expeditionary--the first with the most--and more enduring--capable of providing long-term domination while rebuilding multiple failed states and defending the homeland.

New National Security Strategy

In June 2002 at West Point, New York, President George W. Bush introduced his principles of response to the threats of global terrorism. He said, "All nations that decide for aggression and terror will pay a price. We will not leave the safety of America and the peace of the planet at the mercy of a few mad terrorists and tyrants. We will lift this dark threat from our country and from the world." (4)

In two aspects, Bush's statement is a remarkable departure from past national security strategies. First, while deterrence--then defense--remain essential, particularly for the use of strategic nuclear weapons, strategy is offense-oriented, particularly with respect to countering global terrorism. Landpower must be capable of strategic offensive operations to preempt hostile use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Landpower should also be capable of effecting regime change in hostile states harboring terrorists supported by WMD with or without coalitions of the willing and with little advance notice.

These concepts are big, new, and quite different from past defensive multilateral military requirements [such as NATO] essentially structured current landpower strategy. Solid action programs, funded by a growing defense budget that dwarfs the combined defense budgets of potential friends and foes alike, back this national policy.

As proven in recent military operations, Bush says what he wants and then does what he says. Declaratory policy becomes quite credible because it has been consistently and effectively converted into action policy.

Opportunities for intervention abound. North Korea, Iran, and Syria have been put on notice after recent midintensity operations to effect regime change in Iraq. (5) Relocating U.S. forces in South Korea from the demilitarization zone could free those forces for offensive operations to force North Korean regime change in the event of provocation. Offensive U.S. military forces should be present in the Middle East for the near term. Is the next step to effect a presence in Palestine and the Golan Heights to guarantee peace? Or is it to respond to a terrorist coup in Pakistan (nuclear threat) or in Saudi Arabia (global oil supply)? Forces appear about ready to be dispersed globally to enable offensive operations in forward operating bases "designed for the rapid projection of American military power against terrorists, hostile states and other potential adversaries" around the world. (6) These are, indeed, new potential offensive warfighting readiness challenges for America's Army.

But there are other waves of challenges, such as Transformation and domestic defense. …

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