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    The
Future of the Army


What Is The
Future Of The Army?

International affairs is more complex now than ever before. With ever expanding communication technology, negotiations and other constructive political actions can take place more efficiently. However, international crises can also develop and explode into violence exponentially quickly as well. These same improvements in communication allow the public to hear about these problems quickly, which in turn applies more pressure to decision-makers to rapidly pursue a course of action.

During iconic wars of the past such as World War I and World War II, wars were much more “simple” in the sense that clear battle lines could be drawn and uniformed enemies were being faced by US Army soldiers. In modern conflicts, these soldiers face unknown insurgent enemies who disguise themselves and blend in with civilian populations and don’t adhere to traditional military tactics. This forces US forces to fulfill a more “counter insurgency” role as opposed to establishing traditional “front line” organization.

This dramatic transformation in the way wars are fought has prompted the US Army to change its fighting tactics. Instead of relying on heavy armor and firepower, today’s Army units are more mobile and able to operate in a variety of roles. Modern units are less armored and more infantry-centered and are more suitable for fighting in built-up areas like towns and cities. These forces sacrifice firepower to get this increase in mobility and agility. Greater use of electronics and computers will increase the situational awareness of units, which is their ability to know the key facts about themselves, the terrain and enemy in real time.

Not all of this change is technological. A standard armored division of the 90s would have more than twenty thousand men and would require additional forces for support. Smaller Army units would not have all of the resources needed to fight independently. The new organization is modular, and brigades of a few thousand soldiers will have everything they need in order to independently function in battle.

Such change is not just a thing of the future. Concepts which were being developed for employment over the next decade have instead begun being fielded in Iraq, and units have reorganized to change the mix of units – getting rid of types which are available in excessive numbers such as field artillery and air defense to allow the creation of more units such as military police and security forces.

Combat technology is also changing the way Army soldiers fight their battles. Firearms and other equipment are ever increasing in sophistication and allow soldiers to perform more effectively on the battlefield. One of the most widely-used pieces of new technology are drone aircraft such as the Predator. These planes are remote-controlled, thus avoiding risk of US soldiers’ lives. These technologically-advanced machines are able to perform a variety of roles including reconnaissance and carrying out missile strikes while remaining undetected.

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