Friday, January 6, 2012

The Army We Need

“We cannot wish away instability, failed states, post-conflict instability, large refugee flows, genocide, terrorism, humanitarian catastrophe, regime change, and the need for intervention.”
 All of 44's chiz 'bout a leaner meaner killing machine should caveat this:
The true purpose of America’s Army and Marine Corps: to fight and win our nation’s battles. Humanitarian assistance, stability operations, and counterterrorism have become military missions mostly by default. There is simply no other organization that can handle a crisis as rapidly and efficiently as the U.S. military.
The Army and Marine Corps this country requires have to achieve a proper balance between their light and heavy forces. Light forces remain crucial because of their rapid strategic deployability, their ability to traverse any terrain, and their unparalleled capacity to closely interact with local populations. Still, there are times when nothing will do except a battalion of heavy M-1 tanks and Bradley armored personnel carriers. These heavy forces have proven their worth in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Moreover, they are absolutely essential for fighting a more advanced enemy. And it is these advanced nations that are our primary worry for the future. As the world becomes wealthier, more and more nations will be able to afford military establishments that can be overcome only by heavy armor. God help us if we ever come to blows with a technically advanced force and all we have to fight with are light forces optimized for counterinsurgency warfare. Some are too quick to forget that the light forces that first deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield referred to themselves as “speed bumps,” to discourage the enemy until the heavy armored divisions arrived to support them.
Likewise, the Army is not once again turning its focus away from counterinsurgency warfare because of a sour taste left by Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather, it is peering into an uncertain future and noting that a host of potential enemies can be confronted only by a U.S. Army and Marine Corps capable of engaging in a high-tempo, heavy-force-dominant combined-arms fight.

Pic - "Thinking the Unthinkable about Napalm and Flamethrowers"