Army transformation and the Future Combat System
Gregory, Robert H.
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This thesis examines current efforts to transform the U.S. Army to face new challenges. The Army's transformation is based on the development of the Future Combat System (FCS), initiated in 1999. The FCS consists of eight new manned vehicles, various unmanned sensors, robotic vehicles, and remote controlled missiles, all connected by a common network. Critics of the Army's transformation contend that this equipment and associated doctrine is based on traditional Cold War scenarios rather than the types of challenges the Army is likely to face. This thesis examines whether the FCS is influenced by traditional preferences for certain types of doctrine, equipment, and capabilities. To do this, the development of the Army's current capabilities, through past reforms, is first described. Second, the influence of tradition on the development of future capabilities is examined. Third, the potential for FCS to achieve its design goals is measured in both technical and strategic terms. Fourth, the manner in which FCS capabilities relate to irregular warfare is examined from the perspective of the Army's combat arms branches. Finally, considering the significance of institutional culture and past reforms, this thesis determines if outdated traditional considerations influence current Army transformation efforts.
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