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Section: Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission 1995 Report to the President
    Subsection: * Appendix G

Force Structure Plan

Date Composed: 07/18/1995 Date Modified: 07/28/1995

Appendix G
Force Structure Plan

This appendix is taken verbatim from the Department of Defense Base Closure and Realignment Report, March 1995.


Public Law 101-510 requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to the Congress and the Commission a force structure plan for fiscal years 1995 through 2001. The force structure plan which follows incorporates an assessment by the Secretary of the probable threats to the national security during the fiscal year 1995 through 2001 period, and takes into account the anticipated levels of funding for this period. The plan comprises three sections:

The military threat assessment,
The need for overseas basing, and
The force structure, including the implementation plan.

The force structure plan is classified SECRET. What follows is the UNCLASSIFIED version of the plan.


The vital interests of the United States will be threatened by regional crises between historic antagonists, such as North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, and the Middle East/Persian Gulf states. Also the collapse of political order as a result of ethnic enmities in areas such as Somalia and the former Yugoslavia will prompt international efforts to contain violence, halt the loss of life and the destruction of property, and reestablish civil society. The future world military situation will be characterized by regional actors with modern destructive weaponry, including chemical and biological weapons, modern ballistic missiles, and, in some cases, nuclear weapons. The acceleration of regional strife caused by frustrated ethnic and nationalistic aspirations will increase the pressure on the United States to contribute military forces to international peacekeeping/ enforcement and humanitarian relief efforts.

The United States faces three types of conflict in the coming years: deliberate attacks on U.S. allies or vital interests; the escalation of regional conflicts that eventually threaten U.S. allies or vital interests; and conflicts that do not directly threaten vital interests, but whose costs in the lives of innocents demand an international response in which the United States will play a leading role.


The Balkans and parts of the former Soviet Union will be a source of major crises in the coming years as political-ethnic-religious antagonisms weaken fragile post-Cold War institutions. These countries may resort to arms to protect narrow political-ethnic interests or maximize their power vis--vis their rivals. The presence of vast stores of conventional weapons and ammunition greatly increases the potential for these local conflicts to spread. Attempts by former Soviet republics to transform into democratic states with market economies and stable national boundaries may prove too difficult or too costly, and could result in a reassertion of authoritarianism, economic collapse, and civil war.

In the Middle East, competition for political influence and natural resources (i.e., water and oil), along with weak economies, Islamic fundamentalism, and demographic pressures will contribute to deteriorating living standards and encourage social unrest.

The major threat of military aggression or subversion in the Persian Gulf region may well emanate from Iran. Iran will find its principal leverage in subversion, propaganda, and in threats and military posturing below the threshold that would precipitate U.S. intervention.

Iraq will continue to be a major concern for the region and the world. By the turn of the century, Iraq could pose a renewed regional threat depending on what sanctions remain in place and what success Iraq has in circumventing them. Iraq continues to constitute a residual threat to some Gulf states, particularly Kuwait.


The security environment in most of Asia risks becoming unstable as nations reorient their defense policies to adapt to the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet empire, the breakup of the former Soviet Union, and the lessons of the Persian Gulf War. Political and economic pressures upon Communist or authoritarian regimes may lead to greater instability and violence.

Our most active regional security concern in Asia remains the military threat posed by North Korea to our treaty ally, the Republic of Korea. Our concerns are intensified by North Korea's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and the associated delivery systems.

China's military modernization efforts of the last two decades will produce a smaller but more capable military with modern combat aircraft, including the Su-27 FLANKER. By the end of the decade China will also have improved strategic nuclear forces.

Japan's major security concerns will focus primarily on the potential emergence of a reunified Korea armed with nuclear weapons, on the expanding Chinese naval threat, and on the possibility of a nationalistic Russia.

In South Asia, the principal threat to U.S. security will remain the potential of renewed conflict between India and Pakistan. The conventional capabilities of both countries probably will be eroded by severe budget pressures, internal security obligations, and the loss of Superpower benefactors.


This broad characterization covers regions not addressed above and is not intended to either diminish or denigrate the importance of U.S. interests, friends, and allies in areas beyond Europe and the Pacific.

In Latin America, democratic foundations remain unstable and the democratization process will remain vulnerable to a wide variety of influences and factors that could easily derail it. Virtually every country in the region will be victimized by drug-associated violence and crime.

In Africa, chronic instability, insurgency, and civil war will continue throughout the continent. Two major kinds of security issues will dominate U.S. relations with the region: noncombatant evacuation and conflict resolution. Operations most likely to draw the U.S. military into the continent include disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, international peacekeeping, and logistic support for allied military operations. Further, conflict resolution efforts will test the growing reputation of the United States for negotiation and mediation.

Direct threats to U.S. allies or vital interests that would require a significant military response in the near-future are those posed by North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. More numerous, however, are those regional conflicts that would quickly escalate to threaten vital U.S. interests in southeastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. These conflicts would pose unique demands on the ability of U.S. Armed Forces to maintain stability and provide the environment for political solutions. Finally, there will be a large number of contingencies in which the sheer magnitude of human suffering and moral outrage demands a U.S. response, probably in concert with the United Nations.


Although we have reduced overseas presence forces, we nevertheless will continue to emphasize the fundamental role of mobile, combat-ready forces in deterring aggression by demonstrating our commitment to democratic allies and friends, and promoting regional stability through cooperation and constructive interaction. This is achieved through peacetime engagement, conflict prevention, and fighting to win. Overseas presence activities such as combined exercises, port visits, military-to-military contacts, security assistance, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, and protecting American citizens in crisis areas will remain central to our strategy. U.S. influence will be promoted through continuing these overseas operations.

Over the past 50 years, the day-to-day presence of U.S. forces in regions of geostrategic importance to U.S. national interests has been key to averting crises and preventing war. Our forces throughout the world show our commitment, lend credibility to our alliances, enhance regional stability, and provide crises response capability while promoting U.S. influence and access. Although the number of U.S. forces stationed overseas has been significantly reduced, the credibility of our capability and intent to respond to any crisis will continue to depend on judicious overseas presence. Overseas presence is also vital to the maintenance of the collective defense system by which the U.S. works with its friends and allies to protect our mutual security interests while reducing the burdens of defense spending and unnecessary arms competition.


U.S. interests in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, require continuing commitment. We must maintain forces, forward stationed and rotational, with the capability for rapid reinforcement from within the Atlantic region and from the United States when needed.

The end of the Cold War significantly reduced the requirement to station U.S. forces in Europe. Yet, the security of the United States and of Europe remain linked, and continued support of the evolving Atlantic Alliance is crucial. Our long-term stake in European security and stability, as well as enduring economic, cultural, and geopolitical interests require a continued commitment of U.S. military strength.

Our overseas presence forces in Europe must be sized, designed, and postured to preserve U.S. influence and leadership in the Atlantic Alliance and in the future security framework on the continent. The remaining force is a direct response to the uncertainty and instability that remains in this region. Forward-deployed forces provide an explicit and visible commitment to the security and stability of Europe. Pre-positioned and afloat equipment supports rapid reintroduction of CONUS-based forces should the need arise in Europe or elsewhere.

Persistent Iraqi challenges to Persian Gulf security provide a solid grounding for continued U.S. presence in the region. Air, ground, and maritime deployments, coupled with pre-positioning, combined exercises, security assistance, and infrastructure, supported by a European and regional enroute strategic airlift infrastructure, greatly enhanced our recent crisis-response force buildup. Our future commitment will include rotational deployments of battalion-sized maneuver forces, land-based tactical aviation units, and five surface combatants, reinforced by pre-positioned and afloat equipment, access agreements, bilateral planning, periodic exercises, deployments of Carrier Battle Groups (CVBGs), Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs), and Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) (MEUs(SOC)), visits by senior officials, and security assistance.


U.S. interests in the Pacific, including Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, also require a continuing commitment. As Asia continues its economic and political development, U.S. overseas presence will continue to serve as a stabilizing influence and a restraint on potential regional aggression and rearmament.

A strong U.S. naval and land-based presence is designed to buttress our interests in the region. A carrier and amphibious force, including 1(+) CVBG and one Marine Expeditionary Force with one MEU(SOC) will be forward-based in this region. One Army division, less one brigade, with supporting Combat Support (CS)/Combat Service Support (CSS) elements, and one Air Force Fighter Wing Equivalent (FWE) in South Korea and 1(+) FWE in Japan are forward-based in this region. In addition, presence in both Alaska and Hawaii will be maintained.


In the less-predictable yet increasingly important other regions of the globe, the United States seeks to preserve its access to foreign markets and resources, mediate the traumas of economic and social strife, deter regional aggressors, and promote the regional stability necessary for progress and prosperity. From Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa to the far-flung islands of the world's oceans, American military men and women contribute daily to the unsung tasks of nation-building, security assistance, and quiet diplomacy that protect and extend our political goodwill and access to foreign markets. Such access becomes increasingly critical in an era of reduced overseas presence, when forces deploying from the United States are more than ever dependent on enroute and host-nation support to ensure timely response to distant crises. In the future, maintaining overseas presence through combined planning exercises, pre-positioning and service agreements, combined warfighting doctrine, and interoperability could spell the difference between success and failure in defending important regional interests.


U.S. strategy for the come-as-you-are arena of spontaneous, often unpredictable crises requires fully trained, highly ready forces that are rapidly deliverable and initially self-sufficient. In regions where no U.S. overseas presence exists, these contingency forces are the tip of the spear, first into action, and followed if necessary by heavier forces and long-term sustainment. Therefore, such forces must be drawn primarily from the active force structure and tailored into highly effective joint task forces that capitalize on the unique capabilities of each Service and in the special operations forces. In this regard, the CINCs must have the opportunity to select from a broad spectrum of capabilities such as: airborne, air assault, light infantry, and rapidly deliverable armor and mechanized infantry forces from the Army; the entire range of fighter, fighter-bomber, and long-range conventional bomber forces provided by the Air Force; carrier-based naval air power, the striking capability of surface combatants, and the covert capabilities of attack submarines from the Navy; the amphibious combat power and rapid response Maritime Prepositioning Forces of the Marine Corps, which includes on-station MEU(SOC)s; and the unique capabilities of special operations forces. Additionally, certain reserve units must be maintained at high readiness to assist and augment responding active units. Reserve forces perform much of the lift and other vital missions from the outset of any contingency operation.


FY 94 FY 97 FY 99

Active 13 10 10
Reserve 8 8 8

Active 3 3 3
Reserve 1 1 1



Active 11 10 10
Reserve 2 1 1


Active 978 936 936
Reserve 795 504 504

Active 139 104 103
Reserve 12 22 26

DoD Personnel
(End Strength in thousands)

FY 94 FY 97 FY 99

Army 543 495 495
Navy 468 408 394
Marine Corps 174 174 174
Air Force 426 385 382
TOTAL 1,611 1,462 1,445

RESERVES AND 997 904 893

CIVILIANS 913 799 759

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