Small Wars Journal

The U.S. Army's Expeditionary Mission Command Capability: Winning in a Complex World

The U.S. Army's Expeditionary Mission Command Capability: Winning in a Complex World - Association of the United States Army

“The U.S. Army's Expeditionary Mission Command Capability: Winning in a Complex World” (Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2015) states the imperative that the Army maintain strategic and operational flexibility to deter and operate in multiple regions simultaneously. Demand for Army capabilities and presence continues to increase across combatant commands in response to emerging contingencies. Expeditionary maneuver becomes the norm as most of the Army is based in the United States (e.g., there are only two brigade combat teams forward stationed). Strategic responsiveness—units ready to deploy, transition to operations rapidly, function over wide areas, import a smaller logistics footprint—is an imperative. Whether the primary mission is combat, humanitarian assistance, counterinsurgency or other, Soldiers and leaders need a robust and varied set of capabilities, especially mission command. The core medium of expeditionary mission command is the network. The Army’s current plan will create a robust, versatile network through redesign and modernization efforts. Stretching from Army installations, to training facilities around the world, to the operational theater and the Soldier on point, the envisioned network supplies the infrastructure, systems, applications and tools necessary for all Army activities (training, missions and daily business). Putting the best expeditionary mission command capabilities in the hands of Soldiers and partners requires timely and predictable investment: significant funding for basic science and technology; more advanced research and development; acquisitions; and sustainment.

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The U.S./the West is the expansionist power of the current era.

Thus, today, it is the U.S/the West (rather than the Soviets/the communists as in the past era) who seek to transform other states and societies more along "modern" political, economic and social lines.

In this regard, it seems that we need a military force that, accordingly, is (a) able to support such an expansionist political objective and (b) deal with those challenges/consequences commonly associated therewith.

For example, it appears, in the expansionist context offered above, that we need:

a. A military force that can support favorable revolutions. (Specifically, revolutions, undertaken by indigenous personnel, for the purpose of transforming their states and societies more along modern western political, economic and social lines.)

b. A military force that can stand against those state and non-state actors (think Russia and ISIS) who would seek (through various ways and through various means) to disrupt, destroy, undermine, prevent, contain and/or roll-back these such favorable revolutionary and transformational attempts. And

c. A military force that can help deal with the local, regional and international instability that these such revolutionary and expansionist activities and initiatives, quite naturally and quite normally, bring in their wake.

("a" - "c" being, in truth, our militaries' responsibility, and stark reality, today?)

"Expeditionary Capability," thus, to be planned, developed, trained, equiped, deployed, etc., with these such requirements, challenges and objectives -- associated with our expansionist role and politial objective today -- well in mind?