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United States Power Projection Capability:  A Time For Change
AUTHOR Major Henry W. Mauer, USAF
CSC 1990
                        Executive Summary
THESIS:  As the United  States seeks to redesign its strategy for
military  power  projection in  the  face of  a  rapidly changing
domestic  and  international  political  environment,  it  should
restructure its military forces with an emphasis on strategic and
operational mobility.
ISSUE:   In a rapidly changing  world, the time has  come for the
United States to consider fundamental changes to the structure of
its power  projection forces.   The  force structure  that exists
today  is limited by  shortfalls in  strategic lift  capacity and
hampered by agreements governing the use of United States  forces
forward based  overseas. The changes  in Eastern Europe  in 1989,
coupled with fiscal problems  in the United States are  proving a
catalyst for  change in the United  States defense establishment.
At the same time, the future of forward basing for United  States
military forces  is  becoming  more  and  more  uncertain.    The
American  people and  their political  leaders have  embraced the
idea that the time is now for major cuts in the country's defense
establishment.    It  is  paramount that  the  nation's  military
leaders take an active role in this debate with more than just an
eye  toward defending the status  quo.  Military  leaders need to
provide a viable, strategically  sound blueprint for change which
not only ensures the  nation's security but also provides  for an
improvement in power projection capabilities.
CONCLUSION:   A restructuring of United  States' power projection
forces is  necessary.  Strategic and  operational mobility should
be the basis for the force structure and a realignment of air and
ground forces would best satisfy that requirement.
            United States Power Projection Capability:
                        Time for a Change
Thesis  Statement. As  the United  States seeks  to redesign  its
strategy for military power  projection in the face of  a rapidly
changing domestic  and  international political  environment,  it
should  restructure  its  military  forces with  an  emphasis  on
strategic and operational mobility
I.   Factors Affecting the Current Debate
     A.  Change in Europe
     B.  U.S. Budgetary Problems
     C.  Uncertainty over Forward Basing
II.  Present Power Projection Force: Structure and Limitations
     A.  Threat Basis
     B.  Forward Basing
     C.  Shortfall in Lift Capability
III. The Need for Restructuring and How to Accomplish It
     A.  Restatement of the issues
     B.  Need for military leadership on the issue
     C.  A proposal for change
     D.  How to pay for it
IV.  Conclusion
          United States Power Projection Capability
                      A Time for Change
     Anyone who watched the headlines in 1989 could not help
but  notice that the world  was changing in  a very dramatic
fashion.    The  face   of  Eastern  Europe  changed  almost
overnight with the collapse of the Berlin Wall on XX Oct and
the emergence  of non-communist governments  in the majority
of  previously communist  eastern European countries.   This
"outbreak of  peace" has  led many countries,  including the
United  States, to  a serious  reevaluation of  domestic and
international  political priorities.   Foremost  among these
considerations  in  the   United  States  has  been   fiscal
priorities  which, in  turn, have  focused attention  on the
nation's large military budget.  Over the past year pressure
has steadily increased  for a major reduction  in US defense
expenditures.  Recognizing that  the defense budget will not
be funded to the levels of past years, Department of Defense
planners have sought to "plan down" the force structure over
a period of the next several  years to bring it in line with
current political and fiscal realities. 1
      As the  United States  seeks to redesign  its strategy
for military  power  projection in  the  face of  a  rapidly
changing domestic and  international political  environment,
it should  restructure its military forces  with an emphasis
on strategic and operational mobility. In this paper I  will
first  discuss how the  changing international  and domestic
political environment has affected  the debate over the size
and structure of the U.S. military.  I will then address the
reasons for our present power projection force structure and
the shortfalls that currently exist.   Finally, I will cover
why the force  structure needs to be changed,  what emphasis
that  restructuring   should  take,   and  how  it   can  be
  Influences on the Force Structure and Strategy Debate
     For over  40 years  the nations  of the  North Atlantic
Treaty Organization  (NATO) and  the Warsaw Pact  have faced
each other  across the borders  of central Europe.   Tension
between  the two alliances has usually  been a reflection of
the relationship  between the  United States and  the Soviet
Union.  If relations between the two superpowers warmed, the
tension lessened  and vice versa.  Efforts at the bargaining
table to reduce the tension by reducing the military threat,
bore  little  fruit  until   the  late  1980s  when  Mikhial
Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union.
      Gorbachev came to power with  a different point of view
toward  both the Soviet Union's internal political situation
and toward  the international community.   After almost five
years  in power,  Gorbachev's  reforms have  resulted in  an
almost  complete  restructuring  of the  political  face  of
eastern Europe.  Every  member of the Warsaw Pact,  save the
Soviet  Union,  has  seen  the  demise  of  their  communist
government  in the  past year.   The  emerging non-communist
governments  are seeking  closer ties to  the west  and many
have already asked the Soviet  Union to remove their forward
deployed troops.  These changes have led many experts in the
United States, both in  and out of military circles,  to the
conclusion that,  at least  for the present  and foreseeable
future, the Warsaw pact is defunct as a military alliance. 2
      These rapid and dramatic changes have led to unexpected
concessions by the Soviet Union in the Central Forces Europe
(CFE) talks which are aimed  at reducing the size of US  and
Soviet forces stationed in central Europe. 3  It matters not
whether this  new flexibility on the Soviet's part is simply
recognition  that the  new  governments of  the Warsaw  Pact
nations  will likely ask them  to leave, or  that they truly
seek  to reduce  the  tension level  that  has prevailed  in
central Europe for  decades.   The result is  the same:  the
Warsaw  Pact  no longer  presents  the  level of  threat  to
western  Europe that  it  once did  and  its probability  of
launching a credible surprise  attack against NATO is almost
     These events, and  how they will  and should affect  US
military  requirements, have dominated  the recent political
debate  over military  spending  within the  United  States.
This debate  has covered the entire  spectrum of viewpoints,
from those  who feel there is  no longer any need  for large
standing  military forces to those who  plead for caution in
down-sizing the force structure until we can be sure of long
term Soviet  intentions.   The debate is  further fueled  by
those who  seek the  "peace dividend" that  would supposedly
result  from dramatic  cuts in  the United  States' military
budget  as  force  size  is   reduced.    According  to  its
proponents, this dividend would  be used for everything from
reducing the national debt  to funding social programs long-
delayed due to fiscal restraints.
     An issue  overshadowed by the events  in eastern Europe
and  the Soviet Union, but which holds as much potential for
dramatically affecting  United States' military  strategy in
the future, is that of forward basing.  Notwithstanding  the
uncertain  future of United States bases in NATO, US hold on
forward bases elsewhere in the world is tenuous at best.  At
present,  negotiations  are  underway, and  not  going well,
concerning the  continued use of bases in the Philippines. 4
Over the  past three years the United States has encountered
tremendous difficulty in negotiations with Portugal, Turkey,
and Spain. 5  In each  instance the  issue has been  tied to
demands  for increased  monetary  aid and  in  at least  two
nations,  the  Philippines  and  Spain,  internal  political
pressures  have forced  the  governments to  seek a  lowered
level of U.S.  presence. 6  The issues of  monetary aid  and
internal political stability  are ones not easily addressed
by  the United States.  Present U.S. budgetary problems make
increases in foreign monetary aid almost prohibitive and any
attempt  to affect  the  internal  political environment  in
countries already experiencing anti-U.S. sentiment  would be
laden with dangers.
     The  changing  domestic  and   international  political
environments of  the 1990s  offer many challenges  to United
States' military strategists and national policy makers.  As
they seek to reach a consensus on U.S. military needs in the
decade ahead and  into the next century,  they  will have to
carefully balance the potential threats to national security
against the  present-day military structure  and blend  them
with  present day  political realities  to both  protect the
nation and see it prosper.
      Present U.S. Power Projection Force Structure:
              Its Emphasis and Limitations
     The threat postured  by the Warsaw Pact  is the primary
basis for  the present structure of  United States' military
forces.  The majority of US forces stationed overseas are in
NATO nations  (over 300,000 military personnel  presently in
central Europe alone) 7 and US military strategy has centered
on how to first deter, then, if necessary, win a war against
the  Soviet-led  alliance.    This standoff  in  Europe  has
provided  the stimulus  for  shaping  US military  strategic
policy  over the  past four  decades and  has served  as the
justification for a large standing military and the hardware
to give it the necessary firepower.
     Though not  of the same magnitude,  the ongoing problem
on the Korean peninsula has occupied United States' military
attention almost as long as the Warsaw Pact.  As a result, a
sizable US  military force is also  permanently stationed in
South Korea  with the mission  of defending that  country in
the event of a North Korean invasion.
     While Europe and Korea  are not the only two  places in
the world that US military forces maintain a  presence, they
are the best  examples of the  cornerstone of United  States
power  projection  strategy  - forward  basing  against  the
     The  United  States  is  heavily dependent  on  forward
basing to confer  credibility to its pledge to  deter Soviet
aggression,  both in Europe and elsewhere in the world.  The
basing  of powerful  and  mobile ground  troops, along  with
tactical aircraft, close  to the forward edge  of the battle
area (FEBA) have served to overcome the formidable obstacles
presented  by  both the  Atlantic and  Pacific oceans.  The
permanent  presence of  troops and  equipment have  not only
underscored U.S. commitment to  its alliances, but they have
also greatly reduced response time in the event of a crisis.
While it can be successfully argued, judging from the recent
events in  eastern Europe, that  this strategy  has been  an
overwhelming success, the luxury  of forward basing does not
come without problems.
     With  nearly half-a-million  troops  based outside  its
borders, 8  the  United  States'  capability  for  strategic
military power  projection is  still limited  outside Europe
and parts of Southeast Asia.  This limited capability is the
result of  several factors.    The first  of these  involves
international agreements allowing the U.S. to base forces in
other nations.  While the agreements normally allow  the use
of U.S. military forces in actions to defend and protect the
host nation or its alliance partners, they  rarely allow for
unrestricted use of these same bases and forces for military
action outside these parameters.  The operations to resupply
the Israeli government during  the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and
the Libyan air strike of  1986 provide excellent examples of
how  these agreements  can  hamper U.S.  efforts to  project
military  power from  forward bases.   In  both cases,  most
European  governments denied  the United  States the  use of
NATO facilities  to conduct  operations,  even  though these
facilities were manned  and maintained by US forces.   These
denials  even extended  to aircraft  overflight rights.  The
notable  exceptions  were  Portugal  during  the  1973  war,
allowing the use of  the Azores, and Great Britain  in 1986,
allowing the  use of bases  there for  launching the  Libyan
raid. Even with these exceptions, US forces had to resort to
extraordinary measures to accomplish their  mission. Without
the  cooperation of  these  two foreign  governments, it  is
likely that  neither operation  could have succeeded  on the
scale that they did.
     Negotiations with foreign nations over the past several
years  indicate  that  the   United  States  will  run  into
increased   opposition  to   its  continued   presence,  the
Philippines  being only the most recent example.  It is also
likely that  nations which continue to  allow the stationing
of  US forces within their borders will be very reluctant to
permit  the use  of  those forces  for  actions outside  the
defense of the host nation.    The increased interdependence
of nations for raw  materials and finished products, coupled
with   emerging   Third   World  alliances   among   nations
sympathetic to one another's causes, make it increasingly
difficult  for a  country to  take unilateral  actions which
might offend a nation or group of nations.
      The most widely  recognized problem with  United States
forward  basing   strategy  is  an  insufficient  number  of
strategic  lift  assets  to  reinforce  and  supply  already
deployed  forces. 9   Forward   deployed  forces  have  been
maintained  at  levels  thought  sufficient to  counter  the
initial assault by Warsaw  Pact forces against NATO.   It is
an accepted fact that  these forces will have to  be rapidly
reinforced  if NATO is to drive back and defeat a Soviet-led
invasion. 10
          The United States has  committed to increasing its
force  commitment to 10  divisions on the  ground in Western
Europe 10 days  after any conflict with  Warsaw Pact nations
begins.   To  accomplish this, U.S.  plans call  for airlift
assets  to  bring in  the  initial  wave of  reinforcements,
followed  closely thereafter  by sealift assets  bringing in
the bulk of the equipment.  Clearly, the United States' plan
to accomplish reinforcement hinges  on strategic airlift and
sealift assets. 11  At present, even with U.S. forces forward
deployed to  NATO at  FY 89 levels  (approximately 350,O00),
the U.S. does not  have enough airlift or sealift  assets to
carry  out  its stated  reinforcement  plan.   The  lack  of
sufficient strategic lift assets is the definitive shortfall
in U.S. power projection  capabilities and the shortfall has
existed for a long time.
     In 1978 the Department of Defense conducted an exercise
called  Nifty  Nugget to  simulate  a  mass mobilization  of
forces. 12  The results  were unimpressive--the United States
was  not  capable of  mobilizing  or  sustaining the  forces
required to support its own war plans. 13  One result of that
exercise  was  a  Congressionally  Mandated  Mobility  Study
(CMMS) issued in  1981.   The CMMS concluded  that the  U.S.
should establish  an airlift capacity goal of 66 million ton
miles per day (MTM/D) (the ability to move one  ton of cargo
by  air  a distance  of one  mile in  one  day) in  order to
fulfill its mobility commitments.  Though the CMMS looked at
four   world-wide   scenarios,   determining   that   actual
requirements ranged  between 73  and 125 MTM/D,  the study's
authors settled  on 66 MTM/D  as the fiscally  possible one.
To  put  this  in  perspective,  consider  that  to  move  a
mechanized Army  division to Europe would  require about 150
ton  miles to make  it there. 14  In  other words,  it would
require  all US airlift assets (see chart), over two days to
move  one mechanized division to Europe if the United States
were capable  of moving 66 MTM  in one day which  it is not.
In 1989, a full  eight years after the study  was published,
the United  States was capable  of airlifting only  46 MTM/D
even after  adding 50 more  C-5B aircraft to  their aircraft
inventory and stretching the  entire C-141 fleet gaining the
equivalent  of  30 more  aircrafte. 15    Using the  present
capacity to move 150 ton miles worth of equipment would take
over  three days.   The  plan for  finally attaining  the 66
MTM/D goal by the turn of the century is the acquisition  of
210  C-17 aircraft.    The program,  however, is  almost two
years behind schedule  however and is the subject of intense
scrutiny  by  congressional lawmakers  looking  to trim  the
defense budget. 16
     Airlift is  not the only strategic  lift asset employed
by the United States to move forces and equipment forward to
the battle.   Sealift is, in fact, the primary  mover of the
vast  quantities  of  supplies  and  equipment necessary  to
sustain  the  forward  deployed  forces.   Sea  convoys  can
deliver a  much greater quantity  of supplies  for the  time
expended than can  airlift because of  a ship's much  larger
volume.   While  airlift is critical in  the first ten  days
after  mobilization begins,  sealift will  carry the  lion's
share of the load after the ten day point. 17
  All  that said however, one  must note that  US sealift is
suffering  from  the  same   shortfall  in  assets  that  is
affecting the airlift force and  in many respects sealift is
in much worse straits.
     Compared to forty years ago the United States' merchant
fleet is  70% smaller, the nations  National Defense reserve
fleet has declined by 85%,  US ships carry over 80% less  of
the country's  ocean-borne foreign cargo and  there are less
than 14,500 personnel engaged in the maritime industry, down
from more than 60,000.  In the same time  frame the nation's
fleet has  declined from first in  the world to  tenth.  The
actual carrying  capacity of the  fleet has increased  by 25
percent due  to the addition of large  tankers and container
ships,  however the  military  usefulness of  the fleet  has
declined significantly. 18
     A thorough discussion of the problems faced by the U.S.
merchant fleet and  the efforts to correct them  are outside
the scope of this paper.  It is necessary however to briefly
touch  on  the current  outlook  for   merchant  shipping to
provide the proper  perspective for the present  discussion.
The sealift goal for the United States is one million short-
tons  and the  nation is  presently capable  of  moving only
797,000 -- 20 percent  short of that goal.   The most recent
effort to  increase that  capability to 839.8  million short
tons failed to receive congressional and DOD support. 19  The
sealift portion of the  nation's deployment planning relies,
in part, on World War II cargo vessels now over 50 years old
and on substantial use of foreign flagged commercial vessels
that  are expected  to  be made  available  by U.S.  allies.
Presently,  these  foreign flagged  vessels  are  in no  way
controlled by the United States' government. 20   To further
aggravate  the  situation, there  are  no  shipyards in  the
United States actively engaged in building merchant ships. 21
As  of this writing there  is no concrete  plan, such as the
C-17  for  airlift,  for  correcting  the   myriad  problems
suffered by  the maritime  industry.  Several  proposals are
under consideration by the  current session of Congress, but
nothing has become law.
     Consider  the  above  in  light of  a  former  Military
Sealift  Commander's estimate in 1987 that 95 percent of the
dry  cargo  and 99  percent of  the  liquid cargo  needed to
sustain  land combat must go by sea. 22   The bottom line is
this--the  shortfall  in  present  United   States'  sealift
capacity adversely affects the nation's capability for power
projection  and there is  no consensus on how  to  solve the
     While airlift  and sealift are vital  components of the
United States' force projection strategy, they are virtually
impotent   without   seaports   and   airports   to  conduct
operations.  The present  United States' strategy of forward
basing assures, at least initially, the availability and use
of  air and  seaports should  the U.S.  have to come  to the
defense of an ally.  Clearly the luxury of a forward base in
or near areas of vital interest to the United States greatly
simplifies force projection problems.   When this is not the
case however, i.e, no friendly port or airfield available, a
forced entry would be  required to establish a  forward base
to support  the introduction  of follow-on forces  and their
     Since  World War II, the United States has had very few
occasions  to  conduct  forcible entry  operations,  which I
define as landing forces in a foreign country  against armed
opposition.  In  fact, of the  three major operations  since
1945,  all  of which  were  successful,  none  of the  three
matched the  magnitude of the landings  against the Japanese
during  the Pacific  war.  Inchon,  in Korea,  was conducted
against  light defenses,  due  in great  part to  McArthur's
ability  to   tactically  and  operationally   surprise  the
enemy. 23  While the  invasions of  both Grenada and  Panama
were forced entries, neither was  a formidable test of  U.S.
capability to  conduct forcible entry operations.   In fact,
in Panama  the United  States actually had  forward deployed
forces in the invaded country.
     Any  real test of U.S. ability to launch a major forced
entry operation would highlight many of the problems already
touched upon in the discussion of sealift and airlift.  Both
the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps possess capabilities
to  conduct such operations.   The Army's likely scenario is
an airborne  invasion subject to the  limitations of airlift
and forward basing operations  already discussed (over 3 days
to move  1 mechanized division with  present lift capacity).
It is difficult to imagine Army forces being able to rapidly
mass  the firepower  required  under such  a scenario  given
these restraints.
     The Marine Corp's scenario is a landing from the sea --
a "Normandy"  type invasion --  for which they  have trained
for  decades.   Once again  however, the  lack of  assets to
accomplish the mission bring into question the Corps ability
to successfully  prosecute  a forced entry operation against
a potent opposing force.  Marine Corps doctrine states  that
the force will fight as a Marine Expeditionary Force or MEF.
The notional makeup of such a force consists of one division
of infantry,  with associated  tanks and artillery,  plus an
air  arm which adds a potent source of offensive firepower.
A report  on Strategic mobility published  in December 1989,
by the Association of the United States Army points out that
under  the very best conditions the Navy could lift only the
assault  echelon  of  1 and  a  third  MEF.   The  remaining
portions of the assault  follow on echelon would have  to be
moved by commercial shipping and the last elements would not
leave  home  ports until  the 14th  day.   While  this would
provide  a landing  force capable  of an  amphibious assault
with  60  days  of  supplies  and  ammunition  it  is  still
relatively light,  in terms of firepower,  when you consider
the potential size and capabilities of opposing forces, such
as  the Soviets  or Soviet  trained and  well-equipped third
world  nations.   The  assets  necessary  to provide  for  a
favorable  force ratio  against a  well-armed enemy  are not
available  now  and  don't  look  to  be  available  in  the
foreseeable future.
     The facts speak for themselves.  The United States does
not have  the strategic  or operational assets  to make  its
present  power  projection strategy  a  credible  one.   The
threat  upon which the strategy  is based has  changed.  The
foundation of  that strategy, the forward  basing of forces,
faces  a very uncertain future.  A  change is coming and the
only  question  left to  answer  is how  much  impact United
States' military leadership will have on the final outcome.
   The Need for Restructuring and How to Accomplish It
     As  the  United  States  enters  into  this  period  of
uncertainty,  defense  planners and  national  policy makers
alike must  come to grips with the idea that a change in the
structure of U.S. military forces is going  to take place.
For now, the  United States' military force structure is out
of sync with the perceived threat.  The most likely scenario
against  which  US  forces   might  be  deployed  is  widely
recognized, even in military circles, as one involving Third
World nations in  a Low  Intensity Conflict.   War with  the
Soviet  Union and  Warsaw  pact is  considered unlikely  and
troop reductions,  both forward  deployed  and overall,  are
just  a matter  of  time.   Uncertainty surrounding  forward
basing, the political realities  in Eastern Europe today and
the fiscal  constraints in  the United States  are providing
the justification for the proponents of change.  Whether the
result of  a mis-perception  of the  threat by  the American
public and  its political leadership or  a real, fundamental
reduction in the threat to  the nation's security, change is
      Now  is the time  for U.S. military  leadership to take
the initiative in developing  a new structural framework for
the nation's defense forces.  The task cannot be left solely
in the hands of  political leaders.  The military  must make
an input  and it  must be  a viable  one that  addresses the
world  as it is,  politically, strategically,  and fiscally.
What  follows  is  an   outline  for  that  structure  which
emphasizes  mobility and  fire power  while seeking  to take
into  account the  limitations  already  addressed  in  this
     The United  States military of  the 1990s and  into the
next century should be  one capable of projecting  forces to
areas of vital national interest with enough combat power to
ensure these areas  can be  protected and defended.     This
military structure must continue  to have powerful air, sea,
and ground  forces.   As a  prerequisite, these  forces must
have  minimal dependence  on forward  basing and  equipment,
with maximum flexibility in terms of roles and missions.
       A single, mobile, yet  powerful ground combat  force,
trained in both airdrop and amphibious operations for forced
entry missions, capable  of conducting sustained  operations
once deployed, is absolutely  essential. Such a combat force
would be strategically sound and fiscally viable, ensuring a
potent  force  projection   capability,  while   eliminating
redundancies  in  capabilities and  weapons  systems.   This
ground combat force would be complemented by an air arm that
would also undergo a change in structure.  Air  power in the
future must have the  same mobility as the ground  forces it
works with.   If this is  to happen, the United  States must
reduce  its  dependence  the  forward  basing   of  tactical
aircraft.   The only feasible  way of doing  so, while still
maintaining a  credible force, is to  centralize US tactical
air capability under the Navy.
      U.S. Air Force tactical  air assets should be limited
to that  required to  defend the continental  United States.
All other tactical air  assets, including any limited forces
committed to overseas alliances, should be under the command
of the Navy.   Such a structure would require  more carriers
and modified aircraft.   At the same time however,  it would
dramatically reduces  U.S. dependence  on forward basing  in
foreign nations.  It also centralizes command of US tactical
air assets outside  the United States  under one service  --
the one most capable of operationally positioning the assets
to affect the  outcome of  a conflict.   Its mobility  would
ensure support  for the ground combat arm  while still being
able to  carry the deep  air battle  to the enemy.   As  the
battle  progressed,  air assets  could  be  moved ashore  to
disperse  potential  targets,  but  such  a  structure would
ensure their presence, in force,  from the beginning of  the
conflict.     The primary reason behind such  a move is that
Air  Force  tactical air  is  heavily  dependent on  forward
basing,  without  which  it faces  formidable  obstacles  to
reaching the battle.   The majority of  areas throughout the
world that  the United States looks upon  as vital interests
cannot be  reached by  U.S. based tactical  aircraft without
air  refueling.   Such  areas   are   beyond  the   physical
capabilities of  even the best Tactical  Air Command pilots.
All other aircraft in the  U.S. military inventory would  be
under the control of the U.S. Air Force.
     The key to this force structure will be the procurement
of  the lift assets, both  sea and air,  essential to ensure
the forces and equipment  can get to where they  are needed.
This will  require a realistic  consensus on the  size force
the  nation needs  to  ensure its  security and  protect its
vital interests, as  well as  a commitment to  see that  the
necessary lift assets are built quickly.  It is not all that
unlikely that, at least  in terms of airlift, the  assets to
do the job are either available or  in production.  In terms
of sealift however, a  consensus for action will have  to be
reached and then acted upon quickly.
      The force structure as  presented above will require an
elimination  of service distinctions over roles and missions
and a  consolidation of the  nation's Army and  Marine Corps
forces into a single  ground combat force.  It  is necessary
that military leaders recognize that  interservice rivalries
over  who  should  have  what  role  or  capability  can  be
detrimental  to the  nation's defense  effort.   Often times
such fights  end up  blurring the  real issues  involved and
often  lead to a duplication of  efforts and weapon systems.
The  nation can no longer afford such luxuries.  Our leaders
need the courage to  put country ahead of service  and agree
upon  a force  structure that  best meets  the needs  of the
nation.   A proposal to  restructure the  military would  be
incomplete without addressing the funding  requirements such
a plan  would generate.   The  plan presented  above assumes
that overall  funding for  defense  will be  reduced as  the
force  grows  smaller  and  certain  weapons  systems,  both
present and planned, are cut from the budget.  The plan also
assumes that personnel costs will decline as the size of the
force  does  the  same.   Eliminations  of  redundancies  in
weapons systems  and capabilities  will also free  up funds.
The  key to success of  the proposed force  structure is for
the nation's military  leaders to  convince national  policy
makers  that not  all  of the  savings  from these  cuts  be
invested  elsewhere.   It  is  critical that  enough  of the
savings  be   invested  in   improving   the  mobility   and
flexibility of the forces remaining, ensuring a powerful and
rapid force projection capability.  The first step should be
an  investment of  this  "peace dividend"  in improving  the
nations sealift capability  by funding  a revitalization  of
the  merchant  marine.   Such a  program  would be  aimed at
providing  the  subsidies  necessary  to  encourage  private
industry  investment in  rebuilding  the country's  merchant
fleet.   In  return, private  industry would  build military
capabilities  into the  ships, yet  use them  for commercial
ventures in  peacetime.  Secondly, the nation should fund an
increase   the  Navy's   amphibious  assault   assets,  thus
providing for a larger and more powerful assault echelon and
reducing  dependence  on  commercial and  foreign  shipping.
Finally, the C-17 should be procured as rapidly as possible.
This single  asset will raise the  nation's airlift capacity
by almost  30  percent  and  provide a  critical  source  of
mobility to United States power projection forces.   The end
result  could be  that the  nation's military  force, though
smaller, would be  more capable of defending  the nation and
its vital interests.
     Change is coming  to the United  States military.   The
pace  of world events  has overtaken  even the  most forward
thinking  national  policymakers  and military  strategists.
Threats that  once were are  no more  -- at  least to  some.
Threats  that   were  once   considered  minor,   given  the
possibility of  nuclear war with  the Soviet Union,  are now
moving to the  forefront.  The  structure and the  necessity
for a  large military force  are being questioned.   Defense
needs  will have  to  fight harder  and smarter  for funding
priorities.   The  only questions  yet  unanswered regarding
changes  in the United  States military are  what nature and
form will the changes  take.  The nation's military  leaders
must be the driving force behind providing viable, realistic
and  strategically sound  answers.   The result  should be a
potent and credible power projection force founded on proven
strategic and operational mobility.
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