3. Whether or not the U.S. military has overcome the fundamental obstacle to achieving force readiness prior to the commencement of combat operations
The U.S. army no doubt is capable of producing the desired results in the proper time as and when it is demanded to operate anywhere in the world operation Just Cause which by today's standard is remote proved that the army was capable of speed and efficiency but showed that after the initial attack there was a lack of coordination in bringing civil unrest and chaos under control. The war in the Persian Gulf - which in fact has two series of operations, first the 'Eagle' and later the "Desert storm' involved sophisticated weapons and systems across continents proved some of the weakness of the army. The fiasco of operation Eagle ought to make us question the current setup of having so many packets and units of operation and there must be work done to integrate the army. The rescue operation attempted in operation Eagle throws light on some of the issues caused by the units of the army and the problem of their coordination. It is improbable that in the future the U.S. will have to enter massive ward with greater deployment of units. However though there is likelihood of a great war in terms of strong nations emerging to challenge the U.S., but in future after the end of the cold war, the transformation of the army should be in terms of conserving resources with better weapon with long-range capabilities being researched, or the alternate strategy advocated is to retain the status quo until a major conflict brews up and then gear the system to meet that challenge. However military advisers are of the opinion that it is time that the 'industrial age force' is transformed into the 'information age' force. (Worley, 2006)
The question is the army ready to face the new threats that will come, not in the form of marching brigades or tank units, but in the form of suicide bombers, snipers and terrorist groups who will target the army bases, civilian installations, both at home and U.S. interests every where in the world in future. There is no doubt that the U.S. army and the forces in general are prepared, and ready technically with the superior arms, training and strategy to meet any eventuality at home and abroad. The problem stems from the polarization of the army top brass, the President and Congress which impedes the efficiency of the programs for training and deployment. Similarly, the reorganization of the army was in terms of fighting at new theaters of war, with the enemy in clumps, the phenomenon of the suicide bombers and unconventional warfare groups like the Al-Qaeda. (Yates, n. d.)
While U.S. operations on the whole have been successful they are largely the result of overpowering technological and tactical superiority over the enemy. In Panama the enemy was restrained in conventional warfare with limited resources and the might of the U.S. presence already available in Panama helped the operation. In the case of the desert storm too the coalition and support of other countries, coupled with the limited and impoverished fire power of the enemy went a long way to make it a success. How ever if we juxtapose the same operation with a country that is organized, with equal or more resources like China for example we will immediately recognize that there is a great need to reorganize the very functioning of the armed forces. While such an enemy in the current political climate is theoretical, we cannot ignore the real threats from rogue nations who may cause conflicts that further intervention. This information age requires fast adaptation and by the analysis we have done we can say that while in terms of resources and strategy, the preparedness is flawless, the same cannot be said of mobility and mobilization of the components of the system to carry out operations to the very end. It is necessary to therefore improve the role of the Army in activities relating to stability, once the conflict gets underway for fulfilling the very purpose of the operation, namely bringing stability to the region where the operation takes place. Many things in the army like, maneuver, fire support, intelligence, combat service support, need be reworked and enhances into a single operational command so that the fragmentation of the units and their operation can be avoided. (Yates, n. d.)
To conclude it is observed that the army is equipped with the best men, material and resources that is available in the world, but the whole army has to be oriented to tackle the new blossoming enemy who is not the conventional soldier but an independent terrorist, and also gear up to meet civilian challenges in case of an operation like desert storm. Sadly both these aspects are not yet considered in their broader implications. Iraq is an example of the failure on these counts.
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