Williamsburg, VA (June 21-22) – U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command leadership participated in a round of discussions with policymakers, senior industry executives and scholars during the 34th annual Virginia Colonial Chapter of the Association of the United States Army Professional Forum at the College of William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, June 21-22.
Gen. David G. Perkins, TRADOC commanding general, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director of TRADOC’s Army Capabilities Integration Center, provided their insights and perspectives on the theme of the event, “Ready Land Forces to Win in a Complex World.”
“The problem we’re trying to solve is how to win in the complex environment that our Army must now operate in,” Perkins said.
To address this operating environment, Perkins elaborated on the Army Operating Concept’s goal of building a force with the ability and capabilities to rapidly deploy and transition.
“We’re generally at an ‘away game’ and the enemy is at a ‘home game,’ so they can start to set the environment to our disadvantage. What we want to be able to do is deploy, transition quickly to offensive operations and maintain a high pace of operations,” he said.
Perkins explained mobility as the capability permitting military forces to gain positions of relative advantage, conduct high tempo operations, and concentrate combat power against decisive points, while operating dispersed across wide areas.
“Army forces must possess strategic, operational and tactical mobility,” Perkins said. “When combined with firepower and protection, mobility at the tactical level allows Army units to gain positions of relative advantage and overmatch the enemy in close combat.”
The AOC also states that overwhelming the enemy’s decision-making process with multiple dilemmas also proves as an advantage in future conflicts.
“The key to a strategic win is to present the enemy with multiple dilemmas,” Perkins explained. “To compel enemy actions requires putting something of value to them at risk. Army forces allow joint force commanders to dictate the terms of operations and render enemies incapable of responding effectively.”
Perkins said a complex world is defined as an environment that is not only unknown, but unknowable and constantly changing. “We cannot predict who we will fight, where we will fight, and with what coalition we will fight.
To win in a complex world, we must provide the joint force with multiple options, integrate the efforts of multiple partners, operate across multiple domains and present our enemies and adversaries with multiple dilemmas.”
While Perkins reiterated how to “Win in a Complex World” as described in the AOC, McMaster presented the way ahead, by defining the Army’s requirements to develop the capability and capacity to win in future conflicts.
“It’s essential we work together today; not just across our Army, but across the joint force and especially with industry as well,” McMaster said.
“We are at a period of time where threats to national security are increasing. I personally believe, we are at a period of greatest risk of a major international military crisis,” he said.
Risks are going up because of threats, enemies and adversaries, he said. “But risks are also going up because of decreases in resources in our Army.”
McMaster emphasized three areas of concern that contribute to increased risks: the reduction in the size of the Army, the reduction of the modernization budget and lack of modernization of the current Army.
“We have to do the best we can with what we’ve got. That means, we have to work together even more effectively at prioritizing our efforts and going from the concept on how we are going to fight to delivering capabilities,” he said.
McMaster outlined the way ahead in this dilemma as: think, learn, analyze and implement. Under “think,” the process is defined as establishing a sound conceptual foundation for Army modernization. Concepts include describing how future forces will fight and win, while also providing an intellectual foundation for modernization. “Learn” defines the process to conduct rigorous experiments, wargames and assessments to learn in a focused, sustained and collaborative manner.
“To address the Army Warfighting Challenges, learning must provide an analytical framework in a focused, sustained and collaborative manner. Learning also requires using wargames, experiments, assessments and experience to identify capability gaps and opportunities to achieve overmatch. Learning requires developing solutions in the near, mid and far terms to ensure future combat effectiveness,” McMaster said.
“Analyze” involves an effort focused on first-order military challenges, where rigorous analysis is needed to identify top priorities and ensure sound investments in the future. Lastly, “implement” requires a process to deliver integrated doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities solutions to improve combat effectiveness of the current and future force.
“There is a huge role for all of us in this,” McMaster said. “For industry in particular, your research and development efforts are helping us identify opportunities now.”
To watch the full event visit TRADOC’s YouTube Page: