The Lessons of Modern War - Vol. 3

By Anthony H. Cordesman; Abraham R. Wagner | Go to book overview

5

A STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGY
STRATEGY FOR LIMITED
FORCE ENGAGEMENTS

The technological implications of each conflict under study have been examined in detail, but it is critical that the West transform these lessons into a suitable strategy for technological development and determine how these lessons should influence Western technology and force-structure needs. The projection of Western power into Third World areas is of particular importance, but so is the need to deal with the strengths and weaknesses of friendly and hostile regional forces.

Although there are many ways in which such a "technology strategy" can be developed, the best approach seems to be to consider how the lessons of the conflicts under study relate to a contingency use of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) forces. Although France, Britain, Turkey, and Italy also have important power projection capabilities, USCENTCOM is the key Western power projection force that would be involved in the defense of the Gulf and the West's oil supplies. Lessons which apply to USCENTCOM will often be equally important for other uses of other Western out-of-area forces.


Force Structure and Contingency Requirements

USCENTCOM forces are currently composed of a variety of units from all four U.S. military services (see Table 5.1). The units in Table 5.1 are not exclusively assigned to USCENTCOM, but they perform USCENTCOM missions in the event that forces are needed in the area. This means that the technology and equipment assigned to USCENTCOM forces must be able to perform in other combat environments and theaters of war.

USCENTCOM's area of responsibility includes nineteen nations that

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The Lessons of Modern War - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acronyms xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan 3
  • Notes 219
  • 3 - The Falklands War 238
  • Notes 353
  • 4 - Analysis of the Lessons of Limited Armed Conflicts 362
  • Notes 401
  • 5 - A Strategic Technology Strategy for Limited Force Engagements 402
  • Notes 433
  • Sources and Methods 434
  • Bibliography 437
  • Index 452
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