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RAND: Rethinking US Force Structure

McG

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https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1700/RR1782/RAND_RR1782.pdf

I have only gotten through the summary so far, but this has the potential to be interesting and maybe to offer a few insights relevant to Canadian Force structure considerations.

Figured I would drop the link here as a Christmas gift to those who are into reading this sort of thing.
 

tomahawk6

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The article should be retitled to Defense With Less. The strategy determines the force structure. At one time we had a 2 war strategy which ended in the Obama administration. ships,planes and soldiers are expensive.Plan to do less and you dont need as many. Unfortunately for the democrats we were fighting a war which stymied efforts to take money from defense for non-defense spending. The Iraq War forced the Army for example to use the Guard/Reserves to make up for a shortfall in strength. Now we have a Reserve Force that is manned by troops with combat experience,something lacking since Korea. If war broke out in Korea we would once again be using the Guard and Reserve,but the ROK military is more than capable of facing off with an invading force from the North. The other aspect of defense posture is money.How much are we prepared to spend to fund the strategy ? The Trump administration has submitted a $639b defense budget an increase of $54b. This should start to revive the US force structure. When you are pinching pennies readiness suffers. There has been an increase in accidents this year caused by a number of factors human error and poor maintenance.

 

Infanteer

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Interesting.  4+1 one is the new "Red Army" for planning scenarios.  You get rising and decaying superpowers (China and Russia), a theocracy, a totalitarian regime, and terrorism.  That's a lot to plan for.
 

a_majoor

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tomahawk6 said:
The article should be retitled to Defense With Less. The strategy determines the force structure. At one time we had a 2 war strategy which ended in the Obama administration. ships,planes and soldiers are expensive.Plan to do less and you dont need as many. Unfortunately for the democrats we were fighting a war which stymied efforts to take money from defense for non-defense spending. The Iraq War forced the Army for example to use the Guard/Reserves to make up for a shortfall in strength. Now we have a Reserve Force that is manned by troops with combat experience,something lacking since Korea. If war broke out in Korea we would once again be using the Guard and Reserve,but the ROK military is more than capable of facing off with an invading force from the North. The other aspect of defense posture is money.How much are we prepared to spend to fund the strategy ? The Trump administration has submitted a $639b defense budget an increase of $54b. This should start to revive the US force structure. When you are pinching pennies readiness suffers. There has been an increase in accidents this year caused by a number of factors human error and poor maintenance.

Penny pinching is relative. This article suggests the US military could save $125 billion over the next five years by simply streamlining the internal bureaucracy, and would not "cost" a single service member.

How that sort of cost saving "should" be used is a different story. I can make arguments that the overall result of cutting Federal spending by that amount (and more, you could apply the methodology to every Federal department and agency) would help revitalize the larger economy by placing the money back in the productive economy, but the article points out that amount of money could also be used to build or sustain a larger force as well.

While Canada's military is much smaller, I would suggest that streamlining our internal bureaucracy would also produce significant savings. It might also kick us in the butt and change the culture from "process" oriented to "output" oriented as well (one can only hope).
 
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