Outlines the changes that the U.S. military must undergo to meet the new demands of national security policy.
The United States faces extraordinary challenges on both the strategic and operational levels. At the strategic level, the national security environment is in flux and many of the structures, concepts, and methods of the past no longer apply to the conditions we now face. Containment, the alliance system, our military doctrine, and many other elements of national security policy were not designed for prolonged struggle with militant Islam, an ascendant China, a Russia which is no longer a containable super power enemy but a rival for influence at America's expense, a decline in American influence, and a sharply divided American polity. Generals Zeb Bradford and Frederic Brown, co-authors of the highly influential book on the U.S. military in Vietnam, U.S. Army in Transition, have teamed up again to discuss the need for a new era of transition within the Armed Forces.
Bradford and Brown point to the current war in Iraq, a lack of interagency competence across the national government, and the botched disaster relief efforts of Katrina as glaring examples of the failure of America's Army to adapt to present-day challenges. Given the rapid and dramatic changes throughout the world, the authors stress how selective adaptation of specific programs and procedures can contribute to improving policy execution within and across all facets of government, including the armed forces. Yet this adaptation to change must be institutionalized, requiring the Army to become a constantly evolving learning organization. Only within this context can the army manage to act on the myriad demands of the day including taking the leadership in international cooperation, fighting the amorphous enemy of The Long War against terrorism, responding effectively to disaster scenarios, and engaging in stabilization and reconstruction efforts around the world.