What Is The Most Important Force Management Challenge Facing A New Administration In 2009, And What Should They Do About It?

1091 words - 4 pages

The purpose of this paper is to define the most important force management challenge the new administration will face after entering office in 2009 and explain what they should do about it. Prior to September 11, 2001, no one would have predicted that seven years later, the United States Army would be engaged in two low-intensity, protracted wars fighting insurgents in the cities of Iraq and terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan at the same time. During the Cold War era of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, all of the United States' strategy objectives focus on stopping the Red Army as it rolled across the plains of Eastern Europe. Military leaders recognized that the way the Army would fight in the future had changed from large conventional conflicts against other nations to small unconventional warfare against rogue states and sponsors of terrorist groups. As a result, military planners have developed new doctrine that required the Army to be prepared to wage a full range of military operations along a broad spectrum of armed conflicts. These fundamental changes in doctrine represented a shift in the way Army forces are managed. The two most important force management challenge to the new administration will face is personnel and equipment. In order to over come these force management challenges, all the new administration has to do is to provide the funding and oversight for the programs already in place to fix the problems.The Global War on Terrorism has place great pressure on the military to maintain the overall number of forces needed to maintain the current optempo. With almost 507,000 Soldiers on active duty today, about one half of them (243,000), are deployed or forward station and serving in over 76 countries worldwide. Additional, as the requirement for the number of "boots on the ground" increase, most Soldiers are tagged for s second or third deployment. Since the start of the Global War on Terror, the average Soldier has completed more that 24 month in Iraq or Afghanistan. Repeated deployments affect recruiting and retention, and they have a very real impact on the Army ability to care for its Soldiers and their families. To meet today's challenges and to better position troops for the future, the Army is pursuing numerous initiatives that will reduce force management risk. To maximize the effectiveness and flexibility of the force, the Army has reorganized into brigade size modular-based units, consisting of 3,500 to 4,000 Soldiers that is tailored to meet the varied demands of the geographic combatant commanders.1The Army has insufficient funds to cover its projected force levels and modernization programs, let alone realize its middleweight force vision. The prospects for increased funding are bleak. Simply put, the Army will almost certainly have to make tough choices concerning programs and force structure cuts to develop a middleweight force option. While some cutting and stretching of selected modernization programs is under...

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