The Future of American Landpower: Strategic Challenges for the 21st Century Army
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Armies historically have been criticized for preparing for the last war. Since the early 1980s, however, the U.S. Army has broken this pattern and created a force capable of winning the next war. But, in an era characterized by a volatile international security environment, accelerating technological advances (particularly in acquiring, processing, and disseminating information), the emergence of what some are calling a "revolution in military affairs," and forecasts of increasingly constrained fiscal resources, it seems ill-advised to plan only for the "next Army." The purpose of this monograph, therefore, is to begin the debate on the "Army After Next." Initiating such a discussion requires positing the outlines of future security conditions and the Army's role in that environment. This also means challenging convictions that provide much of the basis for the "current Army," as well as some of the assumptions that undergird planning for the "next Army." The authors recognize that not all will agree with their assumptions, analysis, or conclusions. Their efforts, however, are not intended to antagonize. Rather, they seek to explore the premises which will shape thinking about the "Army After Next." The ensuing exchange of ideas, they hope, will help create a force that can continue to be called upon to serve the interests of the Nation in an as yet uncertain future.
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