This is the first of an eight part series highlighting critical elements of the 2008 Army Posture Statement

Tuesday February 26, 2008

Strategic context: An era of persistent conflict

Persistent conflict and change characterize the strategic environment. We will confront highly adaptive and intelligent adversaries who will exploit technology, information and cultural differences to threaten U.S. interests. This era of persistent conflict will result in high demand for Army forces and capabilities. A number of global trends are creating the conditions for persistent conflict.

Globalization and technology. Increased global connectivity and technological advances will continue to drive global prosperity--yet they also will underscore disparities. While advances in technology are benefiting people all over the world, extremists are exploiting that same technology to manipulate perceptions, export terror, and recruit the people who feel disenfranchised or threatened by its effects.

Radicalism. Extremist ideologies and separatist movements will continue to have an anti-Western and anti-U.S. orientation. Radical and religious extremist groups, separatists and organizations that support them are attractive to those who feel victimized or threatened by the cultural and economic impacts of globalization.

Population growth. The likelihood of instability will increase as populations of several less-developed countries will almost double in size by 2020. The "youth bulge" created by this growth will be vulnerable to anti-government and radical ideologies and will threaten government stability.

Resource competition. Competition for water, energy, goods, services and food to meet the needs of growing populations will increase the potential for conflict. By 2025, global energy demands are expected to increase by 40 percent, threatening supplies to poor and developing nations.

Climate change and natural disasters. Climate change and other projected trends will compound already difficult conditions in many developing countries. These trends will increase the likelihood of humanitarian crises, the potential for epidemic diseases, and regionally destabilizing population migrations.

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The diffusion and increasing availability of technology increases the potential of catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. Many of the more than 1,100 terrorist groups and organizations are actively seeking weapons of mass destruction.

Safe havens. States that are unable or unwilling to exercise control within their borders create the potential for global and regional groups to organize and export terror. Territories under the control of renegade elements or separatist factions will challenge central government authority, potentially creating a base from which to launch broader security threats.

The trends that fuel persistent conflict characterize the strategic environment now and into the future and will require integration of all elements of our national power (diplomatic, informational, economic and military) to achieve our national objectives. The implication for the Army is the need to be modernized, expeditionary and campaign capable, and prepared to operate across the full spectrum of conflict.

2008 Army Posture Statement


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor


  • Stability operations now part of Army's core mission (ARNews)
  • U.S., Philippine troops jump in Balikatan (ARNews)
  • Guardsman to compete in Alaska's Iditarod (ARNews)
  • Unit strives for cohesive security in Afghan province(AFIS)


  • NATO confronts surprisingly fierce Taliban (WP)
  • Wheelchair bomb kills officer in Iraq (LAT)
  • 'I feel that we will die': Civilians fearful as Turks move into Iraq (SDUT)
  • Attacks in Pakistan kill at least 11 people (BG)


  • Military fears 'unknown quantity' (WT)
  • Congress: Why should each military branch get same budget? (CSM)
  • China to cooperate on access to records (BG)
  • Chiarelli likely to command Iraq forces (WP)


  • Opinion: Don't credit Al-Qaeda by assuming it offers Muslims hope (AA | Story)
  • Toll rises in Turkey-PKK conflict (AJ | Story)
  • British Museum and army team up in move to rescue Iraq's heritage (GRD | Story)
  • Opinion: Potemkin innovative Army (RT | Story)
  • Can the Mideast avoid war? (AA | Story)


  • Measuring up (N2G)
  • Combat Camera: Forward observers paint targets for artillery strike in Mosul (TT)
  • A defiled star (KB)
  • Massive explosion in Tabriz, Iran - possible missile facility? (GP)
  • U.S. Army turns to Disney for help (FP)
  • Building an Army that can build nations (HJ)

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Operations in and among the population. FM 3-0. Coming Feb. 28.


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