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Persistent Conflict

What is it?
The global security environment is more ambiguous and unpredictable than in the recent past. Many national security and intelligence experts predict that the next several decades will be characterized by persistent conflictprotracted confrontation among state, non-state, and individual actors that are increasingly willing to use violence to achieve their political and ideological ends. We live in a world where global terrorism and extremist ideologies threaten our national interests. We face adept adversaries who exploit technological, informational, and cultural differences. Future operations in this dynamic environment will likely span the spectrum of conflict from peace operations to counterinsurgency operations to major combat operations.

What has the Army done?
The Armys existing transformation efforts are consistent with the future we describe. The creation of modular Army formations provides responsive organizations that can be tailored and scaled to respond to unforeseen contingencies. Rebalancing capabilities between the Active and Reserve Components has also added flexibility. New modular units are designed to operate across the spectrum of conflict from peacetime military engagement to major combat operations. As the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program continues, we will continue to incorporate proven technology products into existing formations to enhance current capabilities and further improve the Armys ability to succeed in the future operating environment. In addition, the Army has changed its leader development processes to grow agile and adaptive leaders. The Army has established organizations and programs to enhance language and cultural skills, such as Human Terrain Teams that assist Joint Force Commanders to understand the cultural environment in which they operate. The Army, in concert with the Department of State (DoS), has also conducted a gap analysis of tasks for stability, security, transition, and reconstruction operations in order to identify shortfalls and plan for future capabilities.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to transform its organizations and institutions, complete the transformation of units to Brigade Combat Teams (multi-functional and functional brigades) as the basis for employing forces, and adapt headquarters to facilitate the command and control of Joint Forces. Future Combat Systems support modular formations by providing levels of Joint connectivity, situational awareness, and synchronized operations that were previously impossible. Accelerating the increase in Army end strength will allow the Army to create additional units that implement the Army Force Generation process and provide sufficient dwell time to develop full-spectrum trained and ready forces led by leaders able to respond to uncertain environments. On the one end of full-spectrum capability, Army forces will have capability and capacity to conduct security cooperation activities, to include train, advise, and assist missions. The Army will be capable of conducting major combat operations and dominating the escalation of violence. In addition, the Army is encouraging a Department of Defense level capability gap analysis in coordination with the DoS Special Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stability.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army must ensure that it is capable of effectively operating across the full-spectrum of conflict. We must provide the forces combatant commanders require for the Army to transform into a land force that is versatile, expeditionary, agile, lethal, sustainable, and interoperable.

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