Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
Screen-shot from the ATT document.
"Instead of focusing on fielding a fully modernized force to [U.S. European Command], an alternative may be to deter Russia with minimal current conventional forces, and permit the Army to shift strategic focus for modernization efforts to [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command]," the ATT suggests in the document.
The ATT say China is "anticipated to surpass Russia as the greater competitor to the United States in a 2028 to 2035 timeframe," and recommends that the Army "[deter] Russia in the near-term with a 'good enough' force in Europe, while investing in the long-term requirements against the larger threat in Asia."
In order to carry this out, the transition team suggests that the Army could expand partner-building capacities and combined training in Europe; improve command and control capabilities; "marginally increasing Army combat power in EUCOM;" and more.
In turn, the Army could field its newest and most modern capabilities to forces in INDOPACOM, and make that theater its priority in order to push back on China.
The first option, which the ATT ultimately did not recommend, was for McConville to focus on "fielding new multi-domain formations," which the transition team says would allow the Army to "create irreversible momentum and establish an MDO 'foothold.'"
"The National Defense Strategy clearly establishes that this is an era of great power competition with an emphasis on the Indo-Pacific and Europe," Gen. McConville's spokesperson, Army Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg, told Task & Purpose. "Gen. McConville is committed to modernizing the Army's doctrine, equipment, and processes in support of the National Defense Strategy."
The recommendation from ATT is just that — a recommendation — and the team ultimately defers to the Army staff to "conduct a more comprehensive analysis to further understand the second and third order effects" of the two options they present. But in order to stay on track and have a MDO-capable force by 2028, which is the deadline the service has been aiming for, the ATT says that senior Army leaders may need to have decisions made sooner rather than later.
U.S. Army aviation officials have launched an effort to restore full air assault capability to the 101st Airborne Division — a capability the Screaming Eagles have been without since 2015.
The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.
On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.
President Donald Trump belittled his former defense secretary, James Mattis, by characterizing him as the "world's most overrated general," according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
The account from numerous officials came during an afternoon closed door meeting with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday. In the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly brought up dissenting views towards the president's decision to withdraw the vast majority of roughly 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria.
Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.