Well, a bit of a pointed set of facts, but I am a results oriented individual. The US Armed Forces are changing into the most powerful fighting force per man that has ever been seen on this planet. This is measured in full-spectrum effectiveness from civilian interface and intelligence gathering all the way to how much firepower can get directed at a single point. Some people would prefer the old architecture of the military, but I prefer a flexible and adaptive force structure that makes conflict a 'suit to fit' scenario rather than 'One size fits all' but fits none well. And so it went at Texas Fred's Ace in the Hole site in this area:
The Army and, in fact, the entire military structure is changing drastically... and boots on the ground is something that will always be necessary, but do consider some of the following:Yup, that about says it all.
1) We no longer use traditional logistics and supply methods. Of the one thing that this transformation has done is actually get needed goods out of stores to the field in record time. Having items IN THE STOREHOUSES is another matter, but once delivered their time to theater is mindbogglingly short compared to any other conflict we have ever waged. The Defense Logistics Agency learned this from... FedEx and UPS.
2) By changing the lower level structure to few units and combining them directly with Air Force ground support units we now have a fully 4-D combat capability with flexible response that has never been seen before. The first glimmerings of this was in Afghanistan where light infantry overcame the poorly equipped but still more massive state based military with the expediency of Special Forces serving as Air Force ground control fire support units. This was further done in Iraq when brandy-new weapons like JDAM pieces of concrete were guided *under* bridges to take out tanks. We are looking for *smaller* bombs so that we can better take out units without needing the messy collateral damage needed for less precise ordinance. *THAT* requires managerial overhead to smoothly operate behind the scenes.
3) Does anyone remember hearing that Baghdad would be another Stalingrad? The implication was that armored units would be ground up in MOUT environments (not that we had been training for such for over a decade). My reply was: yes, just like Stalingrad it will be a sniper's HEAVEN. And we have the best snipers on the planet for 24 hour targeting. Once local ground control by sniper was established, light infantry backed by armor moved with impugnity in Baghdad. Heavy Armor units now have the love of the Infantry as a one-stop shop for medical supplies, command and control and hard-point removal. Plus they keep side and rear attacks off by their presence.
The old hierarchical structure of combat is changing radically as we give individuals at lower and lower levels more and more authority to wisely use a whole array of combat capability. To do that requires new training with a feedback loop in-field. That has been accomplished and daily data gets sent back to training centers for digestion, analysis and then spinning up new scenarios. That insight then feeds directly back into the field for operational eval and testing.
No one else on the planet does *that* nor can do that.
All Army soldiers have now followed the Marine credo: Every trooper a Rifleman. From lowly logistics all the way up the chain, *everyone* is now a Rifleman first and their other job second. Everyone fights. Pure logistics and safe area work are turned over to contractors and even some in-field work is done by them. So that actual soldiers can get into the field and *fight*.
There is a high re-enlistment rate, the highest it has ever been. Skills are being retained and promulgated via this. Training before even entering the field now includes: local language instruction, cultural instruction, local traditions on inter-personal gifts, how not to piss of citizens that can give you information. There is a *heavy* book learning going on before a unit ships out and they do this and change it to meet the needs of the units they are replacing.
I call this NetWar. Flexible response and fully adaptable warfare that sees everything from helping farmers get crops in to dropping bunker buster JDAMs as part of a continuous spectrum. We are *not* occupiers... in fact if the local forces aren't trusted, people come to US forces because we are fair and just in how we do things and think things over before we bomb the hell out it. And it it needs destruction, it is GONE.
Do you really want to keep a military structure suited to fighting the Soviet Union around? NetWar is proving itself and having astounding results. It *works*. Each individual soldier in the field is now one of the mightiest soldiers in history. No other country trusts so much to mere enlisted men and women.
If you snipe at what is being done, then please offer something better and more effective. Look at results, don't complain about REMFs, as those REMFs are also Riflemen.