Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

Facing the Future: Preparing Today's Military for Its Next Challenges

Facing the Future: Preparing Today's Military for Its Next Challenges

Transformation Requires Adaptation :  “Change,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker recently noted, “tends to indicate an end state,” while military transformation requires “constant adaptation” in response to a changing world. Part 2 by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.

Washington D.C. -- (AFIS) March 21, 2005 One of the hardest parts of transforming the military is the lack of a clear picture of the challenges it will face, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a recent interview.

“The transformation of the United States military (today) is to get us ready for what’s around the next corner,” said Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. “And this is difficult, because we don’t know what’s around the next corner.”

The chairman said that while the United States may not know specifically where the next threat will come from, “we know that the forces we came out of the last century with are not the forces we need today, or probably the forces we will need in the future.”

Myers credits the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 as starting transformation in the military by forcing the services to work more closely together. He said the landmark law laid the groundwork for the success of today’s forces.

The global war on terrorism highlights the accomplishments and needs of the military. In Afghanistan, innovative ways of using air power and special operations forces embedded with indigenous forces were the key to defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban. Around 20,000 U.S. servicemembers continue to provide support to the Afghan government and to hunt al Qaeda and Taliban remnants in some of the most forbidding terrain in the world.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was the first “really integrated joint fight” in U.S. history, the chairman said. In the first Gulf War, the services were “deconflicted,” meaning the Marines were given a certain area, the Army another and coalition forces still another. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the services depended on each other for combat power and support. In one instance, a Marine commander, serving under an Army commander, was in charge not only of Marine forces, but also British and U.S. Army units.

“Any unit making the approach to Baghdad relied heavily on airpower to be there at the right time, in the right place and with the right ordnance,” Myers said. It didn’t matter if the aircraft were from the Air Force, Navy, Marines or Army – all worked off a common knowledge base, common mission plan and were able to speak directly with the supported units on the ground.

But the military can do better, Myers said. Command and control is the area that will give warfighters the single biggest payoff. “We need to put efforts into command and control and link all players on the battlefield so information flows seamlessly between soldiers in foxholes and airplanes and tanks and ships and air defenses,” he said.

The joint task force commander should have the visibility of the battlespace and the tools needed to make changes in the plan quickly, Myers said. Right now, the Defense Department is ensuring that “legacy systems” – those systems already in use – can speak to each other. “If every commander in a joint task force – from platoon on up – sees the battlefield the same way, then they can very quickly apportion forces to get the job done,” the general said.

This flexibility and agility, Myers said, is key to new capabilities needed to defend against unknown threats. The U.S. military must be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. It must have the capabilities honed and ready when they are needed.

New technology plays a part, but only a part, said the chairman. “Technology can help you transform, but the real nuggets are how you employ what you have or how you develop systems that have inherent agility and flexibility and that aren’t single-purpose,” he said.

The bottom line, the chairman said, is that people are necessary for transformation in the military. Commanders cannot be threatened when subordinates have new ideas, but rather need to encourage new ideas and give subordinates the room and budget to try those ideas out, Myers said.

“We need people who say ‘I understand what the doctrine says, but the situation we’re confronting is quite a bit different, and here’s what I think we ought to do,’” the chairman said. “Most of this transformation will be cultural and will happen between our ears.”

See Also:

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).