In September 2000, the nation's military leaders--the Joint Chiefs of
Staff--told Congress that U.S. troops are in danger of losing their military
pre-eminence unless the next president adds tens of billions of dollars to the
defense budget or sets a less ambitious agenda for using the military in hot
spots around the world.
At the heart of the Army's internal debate over transformation lies the
question of its true mission: what will the next war look like, what will be
the new kind of battlefield, and who is the potential enemy?
The factors and forces opposing Shinseki's vision to transform the U.S. Army
are formidable: from the difficulties of changing an army in peacetime to the
need for the cooperation of other services, from the obstacles inherent in the
Army's bureaucracy, culture and vested interests, to getting the resources and
money. Finally, there's the problem of achieving transformation within the
limitations of General Shinseki's four-year term.
Since 1993 U.S. national defense strategy has been based
on an ability to fight two major wars (2MTW) nearly at the same time.
Here are the views of critics who say the strategy is a Cold War relic and no longer feasible
given the increasing peacekeeping deployments, and the arguments of 2MTW's
defenders who maintain that eliminating the 2-war strategy would compromise America's
military pre-eminence and ability to deter aggressors. [An update: In July 2001 it was reported that
a classified document reveals the Pentagon is ready to abandon its 2-war strategy.]
The goal of near-term Army transformation is focused on avoiding what happened
with Task Force Hawk. This was the Army's futile attempt in the spring of 1999
to get Apache helicopters--the Army's most fearsome attack weapon--into
Albania so they could be used in NATO's war against Serbia's ethnic cleansing