How the U.S. Army advances reform and transformation
According to foreign media reports, the U.S. Army has recently established a “modern army capable of multi-domain warfare” based on the “strategic competition of major powers” and the reality of “inadequate military power.”
Implementation in four phases
The US media recently said that the US Army is currently “real, thorough and even revolutionary changes” to combat doctrine, military training, and force formation in accordance with the “Army Strategy” issued in 2018. The US Army executives stated that the US Army will review the tactics required for large-scale conventional warfare and pay more attention to the development of weapons, technologies and platforms required for large-scale mechanized warfare between large countries. The future reform and transformation of the US Army mainly consists of four stages.
The first stage is to improve combat readiness. By 2022, the U.S. Army will expand significantly, and the size of regular troops will increase from 476,000 to more than 500,000. According to the US media, unlike the current dilemma of “demolition of the eastern wall to fill the western wall”, all US Army forces that will perform emergency operations and overseas deployments will be fully staffed before the expedition.
The second stage is to improve combat capabilities. From 2022 to 2026, the U.S. Army will turn its attention to the development of new operational concepts and deployment of mature technology weapons, including upgrading the Army’s missile defense system, as well as the installation of hypersonic missiles, next-generation combat vehicles, helicopters and drones.
The third stage is to expand the operational advantage. From 2026 to 2028, the US Army will vigorously develop the “regional denial” capability in response to Russia’s “step-by-step threat” and increase its ground combat advantage against Russia.
In the fourth stage, multi-domain combat power is formed. From 2028 to 2035, the US Army will “prove the validity of the multi-domain warfare principle and ensure the seamless integration of combat forces.” By that time, the US Army will become a “modern army capable of multi-domain warfare.”
Dealing with the three “risk points”
Foreign media said that the U.S. Army’s push for reform and transformation is mainly to respond to the three “risk points.”
First, the level of combat readiness is insufficient. The US Army recently released a report that only 3 of the 58 US Army combat brigades can be put into combat at any time, and the state of combat readiness is very worrying. The US media said that the bad tradition of the US Army is “never prepared for future wars.” One of the important purposes of this reform and transformation is to make up for the “shortcomings” in combat readiness, and strive to build a force that “stands back”.
The second is the lag in weapon development. According to US media, when the U.S. Army performs “security war” missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, traditional adversaries are using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, hypersonic weapons, and nanotechnology to limit the U.S. military’s mobility and offset the U.S. military’s Attack methods and even destroy the command and control system of the US military. The US Army’s senior officials also pointed out that the army’s budget investment has always been a phenomenon of “staggering” of people and weapons, which has led to the relatively late development of the Army’s modern weapons research and development, which has restricted the generation of combat effectiveness.
Third, the threat of major powers has intensified. The U.S. military emphasizes that the U.S. Army is currently mainly performing “marginal combat tasks” such as anti-riots, and has failed to play an effective role in responding to strategic competition among major powers. According to the US media, “After the end of the Cold War, the US Army, which is considered to be the world’s strongest ground force, is now considered difficult to meet the challenges of Russia and other countries.”
Transformation or “double-edged sword”
Overall, the “reason” for the US Army’s reform and transformation is not sufficient. From the state of combat readiness, according to the “2020 US Military Strength Index” report recently released by the American Heritage Foundation, the US Army’s combat readiness level was rated as “extremely strong.” From the perspective of weapon research and development, the six major modern weapons programs currently being promoted by the US Army are generally considered to represent the cutting-edge level of weapon development. From the perspective of threats from major powers, the US Army has frequently held joint exercises at Russia ’s doorstep since this year to continuously verify the “dynamic force deployment” strategy, posing a great threat to Russia ’s national security.
Looking ahead, the reform and transformation of the US Army may become a “double-edged sword”, which will have an inestimable impact on its own military development and global strategic balance.
On the one hand, reforms and transformations may enable the U.S. Army to achieve a new leap forward. The US Army established the Future Command in 2018 to build the “brain” of reform and transformation; the “Quadruple” development strategy was the “flesh and blood” of reform and transformation. As the current US Secretary of Defense Esper and the US Chief of Staff’s Joint Chief of Staff Milly have served in the Army, the two will definitely vigorously promote the reform and transformation of the Army in the future. .
On the other hand, reform and transformation may trigger global strategic turmoil. This round of reform and transformation of the US Army against Russia is too obvious, which can easily cause Russia’s strong dissatisfaction and vigorous countermeasures. The United States and Russia may start a fierce strategic game or arms race in the future. In addition, an important part of the U.S. Army’s reform and transformation is the advanced deployment of advanced weapons and equipment and verification of combat capabilities, which will trigger turbulence in the regional situation. The negative effects of the US Army’s reform and transformation deserve high vigilance, and the relevant trends deserve continued attention.