Small Wars Journal

RAND Report: Are Heavy Ground Combat Units Better Than Light Forces and Airstrikes?

RAND Report: Are Heavy Ground Combat Units Better Than Light Forces and Airstrikes? By Todd South – Army Times

In recent years, the Army has stationed more troops in Europe to balance against Russia and also increased temporary Pacific rotations, while the Marine Corps is throwing much of its weight into highly mobile, distributed units to counter China.

But which approach is more likely to keep either adversary in check?

A recently released RAND Corporation report has found that a combination of heavy ground forces and air defense in theater but not necessarily on the front lines, has had the best effect on deterring conflict.

Its authors looked at the main arguments around deploying forces – keeping most U.S. forces in the United States to deploy only as a last resort versus keeping large numbers permanently stationed in critical regions such as Europe and Asia…

Read on.