Expand the U.S. Military? Not So Fast-

  • Title: Expand the U.S. Military? Not So Fast
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  • Released: 0000-00-00
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  • Pages: 3
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  • ASIN: B0053T2WZE


Today there is bipartisan support for increasing the size of the U.S. military, particularly the land forces. While conservatives like Frederick Kagan and Thomas Donnelly have provided the most detailed rationale, even liberals like Barack Obama agree. At first glance, this seems like a common sense step to alleviate the stress on the military and prepare for future security challenges. But is it? When the rationale for expansion is carefully dissected, its desirability is not so clear.
Expanding American ground forces is necessary if one or both of two things are true. The first is whether the United States will need to sustain a major military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan for an extended period of time. If so, we need a larger Army and Marine Corps to increase the interval between deployments, thus protecting the quality of life for service members and providing time for training and professional development. Certainly Iraq and Afghanistan badly stress the Army and the Marine Corps. This must be addressed before American land forces sustain irreparable damage. But enlarging the ground forces may not be the best way to do this. It will be years before an expanded force produces more noncommissioned, company, and field grade officers—the groups most affected by the current pace of deployment. New units will need leaders, thus increasing the demand for noncommissioned, company, and field grade officers even more. pdf
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