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US Army Special Operations Command To Grow


Puggled and Wabbit Scot.
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Further to GAP's posting on the SEAL MOTHERSHIP, and in keeping with the DEFENSE BUDGET PRIORITIES posted by Haletown there is this from the Fayetteville Observer:

Leaner Army's focus changes as budget cuts loom

Drew Brooks

Staff writer
06:46 AM - 01/28/2012

Force reduction in the Army will push the military away from such long-term stability operations as in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gen. Raymond Odierno said Friday.

Odierno, the Army chief of staff, made his comments in response to the Pentagon's Thursday overview of the proposed defense budget.

Odierno said the leaner Army, seasoned by a decade at war, would bring added emphasis to cyber security and special operations.

He announced that U.S. Army Special Operations Command, based at Fort Bragg, would grow to about 35,000 soldiers. Currently, there are about 28,000 soldiers and civilians in the command, according to its spokesman, Lt. Col. Tom Bryant

Ongoing growth that predates the latest budget announcements had the command growing to approximately 32,000 by 2015, Bryant said.

Odierno said the Army would move away from the two-war capabilities of the past decade and instead operate on a smaller scale, relying on its partner nations. But he stressed that the U.S. military would not give up its role as leaders, and he maintained that a strong Army Reserve and Nation Guard would bolster the new, leaner military.

"The time is strategically right to reduce the Army's force structure," Odierno said. "We are an Army in transition."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that a force reduction of 100,000 troops would include 80,000 from the Army.

That would leave the Army with approximately 490,000 troops on active duty, according to officials. Odierno said those reductions would occur over the next six years, culminating in 2017.

As part of the troop reduction, the Army is analyzing its combat brigades and aims to eliminate at least eight of the Army's 45 combat brigades.

Part of that reduction will come from Europe, where two of four combat brigades are scheduled to be eliminated - one in 2013, the other in 2014.

Odierno said a decision on which other brigades will be affected will come in a few months, after a reorganization plan is developed.

Currently, the Army has 90,000 soldiers deployed and about 96,000 forward-stationed in 150 countries, Odierno said.

"We won't run the nation's Army off a cliff," he said.

The Air Force, meanwhile, will see a reduction of about 10,000 airmen, according to Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff.

Schwartz also addressed how the budget changes affected his branch Friday.

The Air Force reductions will come with the elimination of six tactical air squadrons and a shift to more unmanned aircraft.

Both Odierno and Schwartz also addressed the subject of additional base realignment and closure, a process that was most recently completed last fall and led to the movement of Forces Command and Army Reserve Command to Fort Bragg and the transition of Pope Air Force Base to Pope Army Air Field.

Odierno said he expects two more rounds of BRAC but was not sure when those would be. He said he expected an Army effect in the coming BRAC rounds to be minimal.

"The Army went through a very significant BRAC here not too long ago," he said. "You might see a reduction in an installation, but I don't think you'll see a big installation being asked to close."

Schwartz, however, hinted that big changes may come to Air Force bases.

The most recent BRAC process did not close Air Force bases, he said, and with recent reductions of aircraft - there are roughly 500 fewer planes than there were when the last round of BRAC began in 2005 - the Air Force has excess infrastructure.

Schwartz said he expects some bases to close but would not speculate further. North Carolina is home to one Air Force base, Seymour Johnson, in Goldsboro.

Both Odierno and Schwartz stressed that their services were willing to make sacrifices for the greater good of the military.

"This is not about winners or losers, this is about coming up with the right joint force," Odierno said.

Staff writer Drew Brooks can be reached at brooksd@fayobserver.com or 486-3567.

SOC will grow from 28,000 Civilians and Soldiers to 35,000 Soldiers.  Now, does that mean a growth of 7,000 Soldiers or does that imply a growth of greater than 7,000?  On the face of it, it would seem to be a growth of greater than 7,000.

Also from the DEFENSE BUDGET PRIORITIES there is this:

Reduced force structure will result in less capacity to conduct operations in multiple regions. Accordingly, the strategic guidance calls for a fresh approach to the traditional two war force­‐sizing construct that had shaped defense planning since the end of the Cold War. If we are engaged in a major combat operation in one theater, we will have the force necessary to confront an additional aggressor by denying its objectives or imposing unacceptable costs. This evolution not only recognizes the changing nature of the conflicts in which the U.S. must prevail, but it also leverages new concepts of operation enabled by advances in space, cyberspace, special operations, precision-­strike, and other capabilities.

This strategic precept puts a premium on self-­‐ and rapidly-­‐deployable forces that can project power and perform multiple mission types. This reinforces the need to maintain existing numbers of aircraft carriers, large­‐deck amphibious ships, and bombers. Furthermore, as the Marine Corps withdraws from the ground in Afghanistan, it will return to an afloat posture, with
the capability to rapidly respond to crises as they emerge.

All of this suggests an interesting, and concerning state of affairs in my opinion.  It seems to cede the concept of stability in international affairs and accept that the US will be limited to keeping its position solely by trying to keep everyone else off balance. 

Aside from the fact that I like stabiliity - and accepting that a stability is a utopian ideal - I don't think very much of this grand strategy.  While I accept that chaos is the natural order of things I'm generally inclined to support measures that counter chaos.  This strategy seems to be likely to promote chaos.  It seems to me that a chap trying to defend himself by lashing out at all and sundry by pinking them with his rapier is ultimately going to tire himself out while increasing the aggravation amongst friends and enemies alike.

Drones and Grey Ops may be domestically palatable but I can't see them doing anything more than buying time, at the expense of the public treasury, and decreasing stability.  What is the longer plan for recovering stability?

Our version of the Crisis of the Third Century?

PS (For the sake of the discussion - I assume that the Picts, Goths and Sassanids co-ordinated strategies).