CSIS Report: U.S. Ground Force Capabilities through 2020
October 13, 2011
WASHINGTON, October 13, 2011– The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) New Defense Approaches Project has written a new report: “U.S. Ground Force Capabilities through 2020.” A link to the full report and brief summary appear below.
Please find a summary of the report prepared by the report’s author below:
As an era of greater austerity rushes in, policymakers face numerous difficult choices about how to prioritize shrinking resources. This study is an effort to inform those choices in the particular area of U.S. ground force capabilities, based on an examination of how well current plans align with potential future challenges ground forces might be called upon to address.
The study team employed a straightforward approach. First, the team surveyed the existing literature and solicited expert opinion to inform a characterization of the types of operations in which ground forces might engage over the next decade. Second, to amplify that understanding, the team explored in more detail the primary tasks those operations would involve. Finally, the team assessed, at a very high level, the current and planned capabilities that future leaders might be able to call upon to conduct those missions.
The results indicate that future investments in two areas—stability operations and security force assistance—may exceed what will be needed. Capabilities in three other areas—strategic responsiveness, armored maneuver, and forcible entry—are particularly important, and either are or may become areas where, should they be cut back too far, U.S. options to meet key threats would be severely constrained.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions; accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in these publications should be understood to be solely those of the authors.
H. Andrew Schwartz