The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College is hosting an online debate on the future strategic role for the U.S. Army.

An overall debate has developed within the strategic community amongst one camp advocating counterinsurgency operations while the other for conventional warfighting.

SSI’s own Dr. Steven Metz begins the discussion with:

But there are signs that the future U.S. Army may not be committed to either large scale, protracted counterinsurgency/stabilization operations or large scale conventional warfighting. It may instead drop to a subsidiary role American strategy.

Nathan Freier, also from SSI, follows-up:

I do believe that strong U.S. land forces remain centerpiece capabilities in a world increasingly defined by complex, unconventional threats that are land- and people-centric.

The current debate within the community is taking place at the precise moment as future missions for the U.S. Army will eventually continue to expand and strain force capabilities.


David Kilcullen, an Australian army reservist who is an influential expert on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, and top adviser to Gen. David H. Petraeus during the troop surge in Iraq, has recently written a book titled The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. He presents in his book a fresh perspective on the War on Terror and uncovers the face of modern warfare.  The Economist and Wall Street Journal have reviews of the book.

Kilcullen was interviewed by the Washington Post wherein he talks about the biggest problem during the surge was a hostile American Congress; lessons learned in Iraq that apply to Afghanistan and within one to six months we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state.  Click here to read the interview.

H/T: Small Wars Journal