The U.S. Army's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and the Strategic Studies Institute are pleased to offer this groundbreaking monograph on the future of U.S. landpower. The Department of Defense (DoD) experienced revolutionary change in its strategic outlook over the past 8 years. As it transitions to new leadership in the White House and undertakes a historic Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), it will be important for DoD to examine the "first principles" that guide its force planning.
Consistent with his past writing on the rapid onset of an unconventional operating environment, Mr. Nathan Freier takes a critical look at the mission-assignment and orientation of U.S. landpower. He calls for an unconventional revolution in U.S. land forces that optimizes them for intervention in complex and violent crises of governance and security in states crippled by internal disorder. In the end, he argues that the armed stabilization of states and regions in crises will be not just equivalent in importance to traditional warfighting in future land force planning, as suggested by DoD 3000.05 (Stability Operations), but instead the primary land force mission for the foreseeable future.
The Department of Defense (DoD) cannot long ignore the inadequacy of much of the current force for nontraditional challenges lurking on the strategic horizon. In the face of the next large-scale unconventional challenge when the President turns to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) for options, the SecDef must have the right force available to respond effectively.
Senior landpower leaders in particular should reorient on a new unconventional balance point for force optimization. They should anticipate that there will be changes in the U.S. approach to defense-relevant and defense-specific challenges around the world. As a consequence, they should act proactively to help the SecDef identify and build capabilities for the new balance point during the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review. Doing so will enable DoD to better account for contemporary strategic conditions with minimum future institutional disruption. This monograph arrives at the following conclusions.