Army Builds Advisor Brigades: Counterinsurgency Is Here To Stay by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Breaking Defense
After a decade of debate, the US Army is finally creating permanent units dedicated to advising foreign forces. The six new Security Force Assistance Brigades will be a marked departure from the ad hoc training teams used throughout the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They would also be well suited to build up local allies to take down the Islamic State, which the Trump Administration has made its top priority.
The advisor brigade initiative predates Trump, however: Gen. Mark Milley floated the idea publicly in 2015, in his first months as Army Chief of Staff. But the Army’s had a lot to think about, from the war in Ukraine to wargames in Pacific. That Milley would still push this plan through, and that the service would allocate about 3,000 of its most experienced troops to the six advisor brigades, suggests the service really is serious about learning the lessons of 15 years of guerrilla warfare - even as the Army reorients towards conventional warfare against nation-states such as Russia.
That said, the advisor units have a secondary mission for major wars, as Milley has made clear from the start. To make the org chart for Security Force Assistance Brigade, you basically take a regular infantry or tank brigade and strip away all the junior troops. What’s left of the 4,000-strong combat brigade is 500 of the most senior officers and sergeants, the people with the experience to train a foreign military and the rank to command respect…