Two Armies: Balancing America's Landpower for Competition and National Security
Journal of Strategic Security
The United States ground forces face divergent array of threats from a return of great power competitors and from a continuance of irregular non-state opponents and stability operations, leading the Army and Marine Corps to struggle with capability focuses. American ground forces historically swing from preparing their forces for one spectrum of conflict to the other based on immediate and perceived threats. The pendulum swing creates uncertainty and capability gaps, requiring sharp shifts when
... unanticipated, immediate threat emerge. A hybrid force model creates two distinct army groups within the larger Army force -allowing one to focus on conventional threats, the other on irregular war and stability operations. A compartmentalized force model divides the Army's focus by component, with the active component focusing on the major combat operations and the reserve component focusing on irregular and stability conflict. A service-centric force solution gives the Marine Corps the sole expeditionary responsibility across the spectrum of conflict, and the Army the sustained land-based operational responsibility. The United States land forces benefit with preparedness with a specialized two army system or service divided responsibilities, positioning the United States ground forces to best protect the national interests with the best prepared forces.