Friday, October 16, 2015

The Army We Wish To Have

Remember how the Left complained loudly (do they have any other way?) that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld stated the obvious when he said "we go to war with the Army we have and not the Army we wish we had" when the question was whether our Army was too small to win in Iraq?

Mind you, that complaint was part of an effort to argue for an unneeded draft to damage the party in power rather than an effort to win the war.

But I digress (as I can!)

Well, guess what size Army our civilian leaders wish to have in the future? One that could shrink to 420,000 and only 24 maneuver brigades.

Yeah, that's a mistake, as O'Hanlon writes:

In my new book, "The Future of Land Warfare" (Brookings Institution Press, 2015), I attempt to debunk the new conventional wisdom (which began with the Obama administration but also permeates thinking beyond): Messy ground operations can be relegated to the dustbin of history.

To be fair, before the Iraq War Rumsfeld believed that numbers of ground troops could be dramatically reduced by technology that replaces troops to win ground wars.

We learned that was not quite true enough for counter-insurgency. So now we just assume we don't need to fight any type of ground operations.

That will work out swell when the Army gets sent anyway.

The Marines should take note, because no matter how much they don't want to be a "second Army," if the Army is too small to fight a ground war, the Marines will be sent to fight no matter what the Marines have focused on.

(I was going to link to my paper, The First Gulf War and the Army's Future, which used the example of Iraq's initial invasion of Iran in 1980 to argue against reducing our Army back then, but the server that it has existed on for so many years after I stopped using that ISP was finally scrubbed or perhaps died. Pity.)