The debate continues between Title 10 personnel urging the Army’s transformation to Future Combat Systems programs, and the experienced voices of those who’ve actually been in Afghanistan and Iraq and warn that future wars will be just as messy. The latest argument on behalf of the latter comes from Col. H.R. McMaster, who is heading the brain trust to assist Gen. Petraeus’ review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense transformation advocates never considered conflicts such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq—protracted counterinsurgency and state-building efforts that require population security, security-sector reform, reconstruction and economic development, building governmental capacity, and establishing the rule of law. Our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the 2006 Lebanon war, provide strong warnings that we should abandon the orthodoxy of defense transformation and make appropriate adjustments to force structure and development.
It’s a damned fine paper on how the “bunnies, rainbows and light” promises behind the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) are utterly unsuitable in asymmetrical warfare.