Fresh from its
failed Middle East missions, the force is eager
to take on the new Cold War with confidence.
By Andrew J.
August 27, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -
States Army is moving on.
and Iraq, U.S. troops fought long and hard and
bravely. Alas, their sacrifices did not result
in anything like the decisive victories that
were promised when those wars began years ago.
But rather than getting all hung up on what went
amiss, Army leaders have identified a new arena
of ground combat: the Indo-Pacific, with China
openly identified as Enemy No. 1.
the possibility, even the probability of a new
Cold War, pitting the United States against the
PRC, is a topic of considerable conversation. As
far as the Army’s leadership is concerned, the
time for talk has passed. That new Cold War is
already underway and the Army eagerly embraces
the challenges that lie ahead, and with
U.S. Army Transformation of Land Power in the
issued in May 2020 by Lieutenant General Charles
A. Flynn in his capacity as the Army’s G-3/5/7,
provides “the grand strategic roadmap” that will
enable the Army to meet those challenges.
allotting the Army a major presence in the
Indo-Pacific holds the key to addressing the
nation’s “twenty-first century security
challenges.” General Flynn states the matter
straightforwardly. “The key idea that underlies
the Army’s vision for transformed land power in
the Indo-Pacific—and the strategic lever to
regain a competitive stance against China—is
increased presence of forces.” Positioning U.S.
ground forces throughout the region—the document
mentions Japan, South Korea, Thailand,
Philippines, India, and Indonesia as prospective
locations, but also hints at Malaysia and
Vietnam—will persuade China to behave.
“Joint forces designed and developed for the theater and to counter the PLA, using high-end capabilities to demonstrate all-domain overmatch, are a means to force [emphasis added] the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army leadership to restrain their ambitions and compete constructively inside the U.S.-led international order,” Flynn continues.
The Army will
need both a larger presence in the Pacific and
also a different presence—units possessing
greatly enhanced capabilities. These should
include “long range, area and precision fires,
air and missile defense, operational network,
combat vehicles, and other critical combat
systems and enablers.” On the rationale for
these new capabilities, the document’s
“solution narrative” deserves to be quoted at
investing in and developing leap-ahead
technology and all-domain concepts, Army
formations are able to demonstrate the
dominant maneuver that can create
operational facts on the ground that
maximize the decision space of our national
leadership and allow for favorable conflict
resolution. Through fires and other effects,
Army formations are able to frustrate
adversary decision making and produce the
kind of attrition and disruption that
exhausts adversary will to compete and fight
in armed conflict.”
language that dense paragraph, regurgitating a
familiar vision of war made new by advanced
technology, can be reduced to a single sentence:
We will be needing lots more money.
present commander-in-chief signed off on this
“grand strategic roadmap”? That President Trump
possesses the attention span to trudge through
such bloated prose seems unlikely.
in the Biden camp comprehends the magnitude of
the Army’s ambitions is also unlikely. Their
attention lies elsewhere just now.
A cynic might
suspect that there are bureaucratic politics at
play here, the Army unwilling to allow the Navy,
Air Force, and Marine Corps to exclude it from
an Indo-Pacific money trough that promises to be
very deep indeed. That cynic would be right.
Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute
for Responsible Statecraft. -