5 Reasons The U.S. Army Will Lose Its Next War In Europe by Loren Thompson, Forbes
U.S. Army planners believe they may have to fight a “near-peer” adversary within five years. Near-peer in this case means a rapidly modernizing Russian military seeking to regain lost ground along Russia’s border with Europe. There’s plenty of evidence that Russia’s military is on the move in the Baltic region, near Ukraine, and elsewhere. Some observers have wrongly inferred that America’s Army has “only” five years to prepare for such a conflict. In fact, it has five years or less. It is common for aggressors to challenge new U.S. presidents early in their tenure.
If such a war were to occur, it would be mainly an Army show. The fight would be over control of large expanses of land with few geographical impediments to rapid advance. The U.S. Army would likely do most of the ground combat for NATO, because America contributes over two-thirds of the alliance’s resources. Losing such a war would drastically reshape the geopolitical balance in Europe, and reduce U.S. influence there to its lowest ebb since before World War Two. And yet losing is what the U.S. Army is currently postured to do.
This bleak outlook arises mainly because of the aggressive nationalism being exhibited by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, but also because of strategic misjudgments by the last two U.S. presidents. George W. Bush removed two U.S. heavy (armored) brigades from Europe during the closing days of his presidency, and then Barack Obama proposed a strategic “pivot” to the Pacific that further reduced America’s military presence on the ground. Putin got the message Washington was focused elsewhere, and proceeded to annex parts of Ukraine in 2014…