Small Wars Journal

Arming the U.S. Military for the Future

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Arming the U.S. Military for the Future

by Daniel R. DePetris

Download the Full Article: Arming the U.S. Military for the Future

There is a huge debate brewing in Washington today about the current health and state of the U.S. Military. And with good reason; virtually every branch of the military has been stretched to the brink over the past decade. 100,000 American soldiers are expected to be in Afghanistan by the end of this summer; 50,000 American troops will remain in Iraq for at least another year; and nearly 30,000 are deployed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korean aggression. All of this is not to be outdone by the tens of thousands more who are stationed in bases all across the European continent.

Unfortunately, these numbers only scratch the surface. Troop strength and deployment schedules fail to take on the more controversial issues of the force, like the billions upon billions of dollars that are being poured into the military from American taxpayers, and the billions it costs just to maintain America's current equipment.

Download the Full Article: Arming the U.S. Military for the Future

Daniel R. DePetris is a graduate candidate in the political science department at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He is also a contributor and student analyst at the Institute of National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT). The views expressed above are entirely his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Syracuse University or the INSCT.

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Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:33pm

This is a good article but it is leading us into the historical trap of fighting the current war with the previous war ideology. As up to date, today, as this article is, in 10 years could be irrelevant.

I agree that our way of warfare has changed drastically over the last 10 years. We fight less conventional and more specialized. We are using tank battalions as gun truck convoy security units. We are taking Field Artillery units and making them AAB's (Advisor Brigades). In the Guard and Reserves, we are fighting not as UIC's but as DUIC's because nowhere in the Army inventory is there an Agri-Business Development Team or a MiTT.

We need flexibility and interoperability. Our conventional forces are critical and should remain intact and kept in the planning cycle and well funded. We have had great success with them if for no other reason than the fact that it is a serious deterrent. Taking funding away from that is dangerous, especially with the decline of American exceptionalism in the world and more influence by others not favorable to us. Those conventional forces are critical.

If the DoD budget is slashed, enshallah, however make sure to relieve us of some of the responsibilities. We have made BCT Commanders warlords in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have become politicians or political advisors. We have pushed the role of Ambassador down to the Company Commander.

Maybe we should look at the idea of mission creep and think back to what put us where we are in the first place.

Fund the conventional force. Fund interoperability of Army/Air/Navy as well as DoD/State Department. Cut military funding to missions that can be/should be done by the State Department. And lastly, let's end the mission creep.

We are warriors.