Author: Dr Conrad C Crane
The author analyzes the role of landpower in the 170 smaller-scale contingencies conducted by the United States during the last decade. He divides such contingencies into engagement, enhanced deterrence, hostility, and stabilization phases, and discusses the military’s role in each one. The author especially emphasizes the recurring problems in the planning, execution, and force structure for stabilization tasks, including nation-building. He concludes that, despite the desire of American leaders to limit military involvement in such missions, it is unavoidable because of the capability mismatch between military and civilian organizations, combined with the requirements of peace operations and the character of American soldiers. Recommendations include acceptance of some degree of nation-building as the Army’s mission and adapting its force structure, training, and planning accordingly.