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Abstract

            The United States military has been undergoing transformation since Operation
Desert Storm in 1991.

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            This paper focuses on efforts by the US armed forces to transform its military might to prepare for future challenges.

Outline

I. Introduction

            A. Background Information

Topic: What efforts have been undertaken by the military to transform themselves in order that they would be able to cope up with future challenges? What are some instances that shows these efforts?

B. Thesis or Argumentative Statement: The military has undertaken several steps in order to transform itself and become battle-ready.

II. Reasons That Support the Thesis Statement

1.      There is a common belief that the former Soviet Union and other countries involved would launch an attack on Northern Europe through the deployment of tanks and aircrafts.

2.      The U.S. Navy is planning to implement its military transformation efforts known as Sea Power 21, a move which will minimize the use of personnel and develop new methods of ship deployment.

3.      The United States has begun its military transformation efforts since Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as well as in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

4.      Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that the United States is looking to intensify its utilization of space technology as part of its military transformation efforts.

III. Counter Arguments and Responses

A.    The United States has no capacity to implement military transformation efforts since it would require advanced weaponry and sophisticated vehicles.

B.     Making the United States space-capable would prove too costly. Deploying a small counter-force already requires a lot of time what more a project that would launch the United States in space.

IV. Conclusion

A.    The United States has already initiated efforts to transform its military so that it would be capable to handle future conflicts.

U.S. Military Transformation Efforts

            The state of security in modern society has been changed over the last decade. There have been major transformations in national security threats and military technology. Originally, majority of contemporary military weapons all had one aim in mind and that is to destroy the Soviet Union and communism. There was a belief that USSR and the signatories of the Warsaw Pact would try to conquer Western Europe by deploying tanks and aircrafts (Chizek, 2003).

            However, in order to repulse such kind of attack, high level of weapons, tanks, fighter and bomber planes, and aircrafts would need to be deployed. The good news is that the Warsaw Pact has been abolished and no similar threats have emerged (Chizek, 2003).

            According to the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review of the United States Department of Defense, it is hard to predict or determine when the next major threat would be launched.

            The U.S. Naval Department has several plans underway to transform its forces in order to make them battle-ready in future conflicts. Known as Sea Power 21, the principal elements of the initiative is to concentrate on littoral waters operations, network-centered functions, utilization of unmanned vehicles, decreasing manpower requirements, directly launching and aiding expeditionary operations ashore from sea bases, new methods of naval formation and fresh approaches of deploying ships, streamlining and reforming business practices (O’Rourke, 2006).

The Definition of Defense Transformation

            Defense transformation refers to the wide scale, discontinuous, and possibly disorderly changes in military arms, organization and operational concepts which resulted from significant technological changes and the development of new and various challenges to international security (O’Rourke, 2006).

            Compared to incremental or evolutionary changes in the military resulting from regular modernization efforts, it is possible that defense transformation would involve discontinuous or disturbing kinds of change (O’Rourke, 2006).

            For military analysts, they believe that transforming defense can be possible by developing new technologies, such as advanced information technologies for network functions, distributed sensors, and precision-guided weapons. Likewise, they have the belief that transforming the department’s defensive capabilities is possible by adequately preparing them for upcoming military challenges of the 21st century (O’Rourke, 2006).

Components of Sea Power 21

            The transformation efforts of the Department of Navy are centered on three principal elements (O’Rourke, 2006):

Sea Strike. This refers to the capacity of the Navy to generate accurate and continuing offensive strength from the sea.
Sea Shield. This is the capacity of the naval forces for homeland security and strategic defense from ballistic missiles.
Sea Basing. The capacity of naval forces to function at sea in defense of sovereignty without any political pressure related to using terrestrial bases in various countries.
War on Terrorism

            In the middle part of 2005, the Department of Navy started strengthening its transformation efforts in order to enhance its ability to take part in the Global War on terrorism, which includes establishing a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (ECC), National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC), Navy Foreign Area Officer group which comprise of officers with special knowledge of foreign countries and regions, to name just a few (O’Rourke, 2006).

            The job of the Oversight Committee of Congress is to address potential issues such as inadequate, excessive, or sufficient transformation initiatives, over or underemphasis on certain elements of transformation, and establishing balance between transformation efforts for taking part in the global war on terrorism and preparation for possible challenges brought about by enhanced Chinese naval military troops (O’Rourke, 2006).

            The United States Navy launched Sea Power 21 in 2003 as a means of providing the branch with more flexibility and agility to cope up with future challenges (Training O2, n.d).

Military Transformation in Space and Weapons Technology

            No other country relies on its space capability than the United States and its dependence on the technology is growing even more. Huge losses on its space capability would be disastrous for its economy and that of the world. The protection of the United States’ space capability would benefit both civilians and the military itself (Dolman, 2005).

            According to Sec. Donald Rumsfeld of the Department of Defense, part of the military’s transformation process is the enhancement of America’s space capability. The ambitious project will allow the armed forces to sight enemies over long distance and likewise thwart potential threats to its homeland security (David, 2002).

            Sec. Rumsfeld revealed that the transformation project would allow the United States to have uninterrupted access to space. Likewise, the transformation project would detect threats on American space assets, cyber attacks on information networks, cruise and ballistic missiles, chemical and biological weapons. Military transformation likewise gives military leaders the opportunity to solidify its advantages and test its military power (David, 2002).

            Military transformation initiatives have been evident since 1991 during Operation Desert Storm (ODS). Such was the dominance of the US military that it was able to defeat its opponents after 10 days of ground battle. In fact, Gen. Arthur Clarke even went to the extent of calling ODS as the first space war (David, 2002).

            This military supremacy was again shown in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. By this time, the US armed forces has been transformed from a space supported to a fully space capable force. US space capability was utilized in Operation Iraqi Freedom as technologies such as space lift, rapid battle damage assessment, meteorological support, command and control, among others was very evident (Dolman, 2005).

            With such precise and advanced technology, the key to victory in future wars is space access. In order for military transformation to continue, space weapons must be added to the already mighty arsenal of the United States (Dolman, 2005).

            Transforming the military into a space-capable unit poses a lot of problems. First, the required facility needed for such project would be costly. Establishing a small counter-force already requires years of investment, what more a project that would launch United States into space (Dolman, 2005).

Conclusion/Summary

            The state of security in modern society has been changed over the last decade. There have been major transformations in national security threats and military technology. Originally, majority of contemporary military weapons all had one aim in mind and that is to destroy the Soviet Union and communism. There was a belief that USSR and the signatories of the Warsaw Pact would try to conquer Western Europe by deploying tanks and aircrafts.

            Defense transformation refers to the wide scale, discontinuous, and possibly disorderly changes in military arms, organization and operational concepts which resulted from significant technological changes and the development of new and various challenges to international security.

For military analysts, they believe that transforming defense can be possible by developing new technologies, such as advanced information technologies for network functions, distributed sensors, and precision-guided weapons. Likewise, they have the belief that transforming the department’s defensive capabilities is possible by adequately preparing them for upcoming military challenges of the 21st century.

In the middle part of 2005, the Department of Navy started strengthening its transformation efforts in order to enhance its ability to take part in the Global War on terrorism, which includes establishing a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (ECC), National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC), Navy Foreign Area Officer group which comprise of officers with special knowledge of foreign countries and regions, to name just a few.

The U.S. Naval Department has several plans underway to transform its forces in order to make them battle-ready in future conflicts. Known as Sea Power 21, the principal elements of the initiative is to concentrate on littoral waters operations, network-centered functions, utilization of unmanned vehicles, decreasing manpower requirements, directly launching and aiding expeditionary operations ashore from sea bases, new methods of naval formation and fresh approaches of deploying ships, streamlining and reforming business practices.

            The transformation efforts of the Department of Navy are centered on three principal elements:

Sea Strike. This refers to the capacity of the Navy to generate accurate and continuing offensive strength from the sea.
Sea Shield. This is the capacity of the naval forces for homeland security and strategic defense from ballistic missiles.
Sea Basing. The capacity of naval forces to function at sea in defense of sovereignty without any political pressure related to using terrestrial bases in various countries.
According to Sec. Donald Rumsfeld of the Department of Defense, part of the military’s transformation process is the enhancement of America’s space capability. The ambitious project will allow the armed forces to sight enemies over long distance and likewise thwart potential threats to its homeland security.

Military transformation initiatives have been evident since 1991 during Operation Desert Storm (ODS). Such was the dominance of the US military that it was able to defeat its opponents after 10 days of ground battle. In fact, Gen. Arthur Clarke even went to the extent of calling ODS as the first space war.

            This military supremacy was again shown in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. By this time, the US armed forces has been transformed from a space supported to a fully space capable force. US space capability was utilized in Operation Iraqi Freedom as technologies such as space lift, rapid battle damage assessment, meteorological support, command and control, among others was very evident.

Transforming the military into a space-capable unit poses a lot of problems. First, the required facility needed for such project would be costly. Establishing a small counter-force already requires years of investment, what more a project that would launch United States into space.

References

Chizek, J (2003 January 17). Military Transformation: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Congressional Research Services. Retrieved October 17 2008 from www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL31425.pdf

David, L (2002 February 4). Rumsfeld: Space Goal Part Of U.S. Military Transformation. Space.com. Retrieved October 17 2008 from http://www.space.com/news/rumsfeld_space_020204.html

Dolman, E (2005 September 14). U.S. Military Transformation and Weapons in Space. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Retrieved October 17 2008 from www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2004_2009/documents/dv/dolman-05_12_01_/dolman-05_12_01_en.pdf –

O’Rourke, R (2006 April 19). Naval Transformation: Background and Issues for Congress. CRS Web. Retrieved October 17 2008 from www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS20851.pdf

Sea Power 21. Training O2. Retrieved October 17 2008 from http://trainingo2.net/wikipedia/mobiletopic.php?s=Sea+Power+21

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