Defense Transformation in the Post-Rumsfeld Era

by Venomous Kate

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.

2 Responses to “Defense Transformation in the Post-Rumsfeld Era”

  1. Hmmm, I don’t disagree, but the asymmetric advantage that the American soldier has is the investment in training and material available to him that his opponent lacks. FCS is not only newer vehicles, it brings with it embedded communications, language translation and persistent sensors that empower the soldier to more quickly understand the situation and share that understanding. Is this the right thing to invest in to support the future soldier? I don’t know. But I’m sure it is better than another stealth fighter, helicopter, rifle, or SOF gee-gaw.

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