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Close-Combat Lethality Discussed in New ILW Paper

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U.S. Army
Wednesday, April 04, 2018

A new Institute of Land Warfare research paper focuses on political, strategic and moral implications of a Defense Department task force dedicated to making front line warfighters more lethal.

Written by retired Army Col. Daniel S. Roper, director of national security studies at the Association of the U.S. Army’s educational arm, the ILW Spotlight explains the issues facing the Secretary of Defense Close Combat Lethality Task Force created in February. The task force was directed to improve combat preparedness, lethality, survivability and resiliency of close-combat ground formations, which make up about 4 percent of the military but since World War II have accounted for about 90 percent of combat deaths.

“Fallen U.S. troops present the greatest vulnerability to U.S. employment of military power,” Roper writes. “This vulnerability makes winning quickly both a moral necessity and a strategic imperative. This raises the issue of how America can make its infantry not only better but also dominant on tomorrow’s battlefields.”

The DoD-led task force, created by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is expected to look at personnel policies, training and human performance, equipment and weapons.

A public discussion of the task force will be hosted by AUSA on April 11. The event will also be livestreamed. Details about the event are available here: https://www.ausa.org/events/close-combat-lethality-task-force-discussion

Roper’s ILW Spotlight is available here: https://www.ausa.org/publications/regaining-tactical-overmatch-close-combat-lethality-task-force