Washington, D.C., September 20, 2010 – Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the National Guard and Reserves – which comprise nearly half of total U.S. military manpower – have served repeatedly in Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously protecting the homeland against threats ranging from natural disasters to terrorism. Yet America’s need for operational service by its cost-effective Guard and Reserves will last beyond the current conflicts.
In An Indispensable Force: Investing in America's National Guard and Reserves, report authors John Nagl and Travis Sharp argue that although policymakers have taken great strides in recent years to support the Guard and Reserves, the U.S. government still is not investing sufficiently in the policies, laws, and budgets required for the Guard and Reserves to fulfill their current and future role in U.S. national security. Nagl and Sharp recommend that the Pentagon take advantage of this opportune moment, when the wartime experience of the Guard and Reserves make them more capable than ever before, to make further improvements in roles and missions, readiness, cost, education and the “continuum of service” concept of flexible 21st century personnel management.
Download An Indispensable Force here.
"It is time for the U.S. government to accelerate the transformation of the Guard and Reserves into the type of ready, capable and available operational force that will prove essential to protecting the United States at home and abroad throughout the 21st century," write the authors.
Watch an exclusive CNAS interview with report author John Nagl here.
The report, which has been endorsed by the 12 former members of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, will be launched at an event this Thursday, September 23, 2010, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. RSVP for the event here. The event will feature a panel of leading experts including: CNAS President Dr. John Nagl; Former Chairman of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves Arnold Punaro; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Dennis M. McCarthy; Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Craig R. McKinley, USAF; and Senior Fellow and Director of the CSIS New Defense Approaches Project Dr. Maren Leed.