Army Forces for the Future
Lt. Gen. John W. Woodmansee Jr., USA (Ret.)
As Gen. Donn Starry suggests in Chapter 2, probably never before in the nation's history have U.S. defense planners confronted as rapidly shifting scenarios of global change and national defense requirements and priorities. On the one hand, developments such as the dissolution of the Soviet empire, followed by the unraveling of the Soviet Union itself, along with the trends of militarization and conflict in the Third World, signal a world in volatile transition, with largely unpredictable implications for U.S. security. On the other hand, the reality of a shrinking defense budget and substantial reductions in the armed forces call for clear vision and painful choices.
It is with a view to the prospect of limitless potential for conflict on our small, warring planet and the reality of constrained resources that we must go about developing a long-range defense program that can provide an adequate "insurance policy" against future risks to our security. History teaches us that the last war is rarely a reliable guide to the requirements of the next one. Still, any projection of future security requirements must heed recent experience--in this case, the Gulf War.
The victory achieved by the U.S.-led coalition forces in Operation Desert Storm unquestionably will go down as one of the most decisive, with fewest casualties for the victorious side, of any campaign of comparable magnitude in history. It ranks with Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Inchon invasion and breakout of the Pusan perimeter in 1951 as the best in America's rich military heritage.