The Emergence of Feral and Criminal Cities: U.S. Military Implications in a Time of Austerity
by Robert J. Bunker (Land Warfare Paper 99W, April 2014)
This Land Warfare Paper considers the nature of the emerging global security environment. With the spread of economic liberalism that gained foothold after the conclusion of the Cold War, one might think that the 21st century is the perfect time for the modern democratic state to be a ubiquitous institution. However, between power vacuums developing in formerly autocratic states and economic troubles becoming more prevalent, the atmosphere of the world is increasingly toxic to the values upheld in Western democracy. With that being the case, nation building, and even city building, is presently beyond the scope of the diminishing resources and capabilities of the American military. Given the restrictions that the Army is facing in coming years, the author suggests limited policy objectives and operations and calls for further discussion of the implications that the changes in global politics demand of American foreign policy.
Cyberspace as a Weapon System
(Landpower Essay 14-1, March 2014)
This Landpower Essay explains how the environment of cyberspace has become weaponized—numerous actors seeking to gain advantage over the United States through its asymmetric exposure to the cyber domain are already maneuvering and employing the Internet as a weapons platform to achieve their own ends. In light of the pervasive nature of cyberspace and the numerous attacks and exploitations on all types of networks and services with exposure to the Internet, the Army must change the way it views the network from a set of provided services to a weapon system and warfighting platform capable of delivering operational effects across the full spectrum of combat operations. The Army must prepare its Soldiers with the commensurate training and education to operate, defend and maneuver in this environment of continual technological innovation.
★ ★ ★ 2013 ★ ★ ★
Remembering a Sine Wave: A History of Feast and Famine for the U.S. Army
by Frederick J. Kroesen (Special Report, October 2013)
This Special Report conducts a historical survey, beginning with George Washington’s Continental Army and progressing gradually into a discussion of concerns that the Army is currently facing in the 21st century. After every significant military engagement, funding and resources for sustainment of a ready and reliable force have been severely restricted. This has caused a centuries-old pattern of a hollow force and a lack of ability on the Army’s part to meet new challenges swiftly, adequately and economically—both in terms of financial concerns and in Soldiers’ lives. The best course of action, Kroesen argues, would be to learn from past mistakes and to move forward with a renewed and firmly established commitment to ensure the sustained capability of the Army in all future encounters.
Strategizing Forward in the Western Pacific and Elsewhere
by Huba Wass de Czege (Landpower Essay 13-4, October 2013)
This Landpower Essay argues that while there are some correct aspects of the AirSea Battle document, full adoption of its principles could lead to a brittle peace that would have the potential to easily tip into a long and expensive global warfare without winners—and the most undesirable version of a future China. Advocating a movement beyond outdated concepts—concepts that may have been functional and appropriate during the Cold War but are no longer—the author calls for a clearer understanding of warfare in the modern era and a capability of performing realistically and decisively when war does become the last resort in a desperate situation.
Army Adaptation from 1898 to the Present: How Army Leaders Balanced Strategic and Institutional Imperatives
to Best Serve the Nation
by Robert H. Simpson and Mark C. Smith (Land Warfare Paper 98, September 2013)
This Land Warfare Paper looks at the patterns of rising and falling support the Army has received, patterns which have accompanied every war that the United States has seen since the Spanish–American War. While it is natural that with the conclusion of each war support for the military should decrease, it is nonetheless vital that both civilian and military leaders provide for the uninterrupted sustainment of resources that will, at a minimum, allow for the optimal organization, training and equipping of Soldiers. When leaders invest excessive time and effort in changing external strategic policies, internal growth and structure will necessarily suffer. This will leave the Army ill-prepared to face inevitable military challenges, resulting in botched maneuvers that are costly not only in equipment but also in Soldiers’ lives. The authors posit that the strategic and institutional lessons learned from every major encounter that the United States has faced in the past 115 years all demonstrate a need for increased focus on internal Army improvement.