Transforming to Meet New Challenges

By Sharp, Walter (Skip | Army, October 2010 | Go to article overview

Transforming to Meet New Challenges


Sharp, Walter (Skip, Army


U.S. Forces Korea

In 2010, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) looks to the future as it continues to transform to meet new challenges. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. The memorials, reenactments and celebrations remind us that the Korean War still holds many lessons for our current transformation efforts. The best way to honor our veterans and fallen is to ensure that today's servicemembers are armed with all we have learned from our past and ongoing wars so that they are ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. U.S. Forces Korea, the Eighth U.S. Army and our Republic of Korea (ROK) allies are transforming today so they will be better prepared to meet tomorrow's regional challenges.

The Korean War taught us that our militaries must be agile, adaptive forces that can transform rapidly to meet the requirements of multiple contingencies. A force might have to make the transition from peacekeeping to insurgency to general war in a very short time span. Our USFK transformation efforts prepare us to meet a wide range of contingencies. First, we are prepared to deter aggression and provocations as part of our everyday armistice mission. Second, we are prepared to fight in a general war to defend the territory of the Republic of Korea. Third, in the aftermath of general war or destabilizing conditions on the Korean Peninsula, we are ready to conduct stability operations. Finally, the ROK-U.S. alliance can provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the region.

When we look at the history of the Korean War, we discover that the units that fought in those early battles had, following World War II, quickly and effectively transformed from fighting a general war in the Pacific to occupation duty in Japan. The occupation of Japan was a success, and commanders from General of the Army Douglas MacArthur down seemed content. The root of the problem, however, was that as a result of the wrong kind of planning and training, the wrong unit organization and the wrong force posture, those forces could not transform rapidly to deal with an unforeseen contingency. These deficiencies, along with a general sense that nuclear weapons had made land warfare obsolete and that the United States would always have the time and space to rapidly enlarge a small force of professionals with conscripts and reservists, led directly to the tragedy of Task Force Smith and the near disaster of the Pusan Perimeter battles.

Thousands of lives were sacrificed needlessly as units, leaders and soldiers relearned lost skills in the heat of battie. The Army transformed on the fly, in fighting positions and command posts under enemy fire. Learning was measured in lives and in hilltops won or lost.

After the Korean War, Army leaders took the first steps towards becoming a learning organization. The realization that our enemies would fight us via insurgencies and not general war led to a great deal of study and thought about counterinsurgency warfare. The intellectual ferment culminated in the tests of air mobility concepts by the 11th Air Assault Division (Test), which deployed to Vietnam as the First Cavalry Division and successfully used air-assault tactics to win at Ia Drang and in other battles.

Applying the lessons of the Korean War and others derived from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, USFK and our ROK allies, in conjunction with U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Embassy, are looking ahead to construct the force and alliance that can continue to deter war provocations and preserve peace and stability in Northeast Asia through the 21st century.

Like the Far East Command in 1950, we find that the security environment in Northeast Asia is changing. North Korea knows that it cannot defeat the combined conventional might of the Republic of Korea and the United States and will increasingly use other means to reach its strategic goals. While we must always remain prepared for a conventional attack, we must also be an adaptive, agile force that can fight and win across the spectrum of conflict. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Transforming to Meet New Challenges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.