via Rand Report
This report, France’s War in Mali: Lessons for an Expeditionary Army, presents key observationsThe report is here and is a must read.
and an analysis of French Army operations in Mali in 2013 as a model for what an expeditionary,
regionally aligned force might look like, one that meets a number of U.S. Army
desiderata regarding tailorability, scalability at a level lower than a brigade, and light deployment
and sustainment requirements. In effect, the U.S. Army arguably could not do what theFrench did because of a variety of differences. At the very least, those differences would havemeant that the Army would have deployed a vastly larger force, with much greater sustainmentrequirements.
In recent years the U.S. Army’s interest in developing and maintaining ready expeditionary
forces has coincided with budget pressures that have generated interest in learning to do
more with less. Thus, on the one hand, there are discussions regarding what an expeditionary
force should look like, how it should be organized, what capabilities it should have, how it
should be deployed and sustained, and so on, all within the larger context of modularity and
the Army Force Generation cycle. On the other, there is an interest in being able to operate at a
smaller scale and tailor force packages for specific needs. Related to both are questions pertaining
to specialization versus aspiring to true full-spectrum capabilities, as well as the development
of regionally aligned forces, which is tantamount to specialization. But what would that
really look like? This study should be of significance to Army planners interested in shaping
the future force and responding to the requirements associated with making the Army more
expeditionary as well as tailorable, capable of operating effectively at smaller scales, and more
What has me screaming at the moon? I've been beating on a drum that we have the ultimate combined force in our MAGTF structure and that the idiocy of toying with the concept, instead of reinforcing it (especially our MEUs for operations in the Pacific & Europe) is stupid on a stick.
Well guess what. The paper basically serves as a guideline for how the Army can mimic what we already have but instead are tossing it away.
The second thing is that apparently wheeled vehicles...wheeled armored vehicles can do work. The bias toward tracks might be grounded more in historical reference and less than actual capability of the vehicles in question.
Read it for yourself and be impressed by the French action. I know I was.