June 28, 2007

CNAS Launch: The Future of U.S. Ground Forces

By Michael O’Hanlon and Michèle Flournoy

Dr. John J. Hamre moderated the discussion of the CNAS report “Shaping U.S. Ground Forces for the Future: Getting Expansion Right,” written by Michèle Flournoy and Tammy Schultz.

Flournoy provided an overview of the report, which is the first in a CNAS series on the Future of the U.S. Military, and commentators retired General Michael Hagee and Dr. Michael O’Hanlon provided an array of examples of considerations for the military’s future operating environment. The report highlights the unprecedented strain on the All-Volunteer Force, and the rare opportunity to shape the force for the future that expanding the ground forces by nearly 100,000 presents. Getting the mix of capabilities (shape) right, said Flournoy, is more important than the end strength number (size). Since future operations will present a wide variety of challenges, the future force must truly become full spectrum, which among other things will mean increasing irregular warfare capabilities. General Hagee discussed things that have not changed on the battlefield, such as confronting a thinking enemy, as well as some things that have changed, like the enemy not wearing a uniform. He also stressed the importance of having a national debate over the role of the National Guard and Reserves. O’Hanlon said that expanding the ground forces somewhat in the short-term made sense even with a drawdown in Iraq due to easily imaginable scenarios that would require U.S. forces, ranging from Darfur to Pakistan. Dr. Hamre concluded the session by observing that issues regarding quality versus quantity, the priority given to equipment and modernization, and the operational versus institutional Army needed further analysis and debate.

  • Podcast
    • July 1, 2020
    COVID-19 Has Forced The Army To Rethink And Step Up Its Virtual Recruiting Efforts

    The Army is holding its first nationwide virtual recruiting campaign, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to scale back face-to-face interactions and revealed gaps in its di...

    By Emma Moore

  • Video
    • June 24, 2020
    The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

    On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...

    By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • June 21, 2020
    Why your next university president should be a veteran

    Robert L. Caslen’s tenure as president at the University of South Carolina was nearly over before it began. When he started his presidency in August 2019, he faced dissen...

    By Emma Moore & Barrett Y. Bogue

  • Reports
    • June 11, 2020
    Called to Lead

    Authors Barrett Bogue and Dr. Andrew Morse examine the connections between military service and higher education leadership roles based on interviews with veterans who work in...

    By Barrett Y. Bogue & Dr. Andrew Morse

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia