27 September 2012

New Landpower Analysis Group Being Set Up

The Army and SOCOM are setting up a new "landpower" group at the Pentagon.

The Army and Special Operations Command are starting a new strategic land power cell. The brand-new initiative, known only to a small group of planners thus far, is the brainchild of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and will take shape over the next few months. The group, which will also include the Marines, is designed to fuse the military's land cultures, from the conventional land power of "Big Army" to the people-oriented skills of Special Forces to technology and cyber efforts. Ultimately, the planning cell could include general officers from each of the major land components, Situation Report is told.

By creating a group focused on integrating those pieces, military strategists believe they can make more effective use of land power -- especially at a time when ground forces, after more than 10 years of war, are perceived to have fallen out of fashion in the hallways of the Pentagon. Ultimately, the effort could have implications for military doctrine, for the integration of conventional and specialized forces, and even for acquisition, according to an individual familiar with the nascent group.

The group's formation is bound to be controversial for the perception it will create at a time of a major budget crunch and the move to Asia - in effect, that the land forces are looking to lobby for more resources and influence But the individual familiar with the group pushes back on the notion that this is anything more than the ground forces taking a strategic approach to working better together.

"The Strategic Landpower initiative is intended to harness the lessons learned over the past decade of population-centric warfare, retain what worked, and then determine what that means for land forces going forward," the person told Situation Report. "Understanding the relationship between people, technology and the environment will improve our efforts to shape the environment in positive ways that prevent war, just as it should allow us to make lasting process in future conflicts if we have to fight."

By: Brant

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