Making Peace While Staying Ready for War: The Challenges of U.S. Military Participation in Peace Operations Section 6 of 7
December 1999

CHAPTER IV

ALTERNATIVES TO IMPROVE BOTH THE ARMY'S CONDUCT OF PEACE OPERATIONS AND ITS READINESS FOR CONVENTIONAL WAR

For years, the Department of Defense has maintained that the force structure it needs to fight major theater wars is also capable of carrying out peace operations. Those operations, it contends, do not require either increasing the force structure or earmarking particular units for peace missions. But recent experience has raised questions about the validity of DoD's assertions, particularly for the Army. The diverse challenges that the Army faces in conducting peace operations while maintaining readiness for conventional war--which were outlined in Chapters II and III--suggest that alternatives to the service's current practices may be worth considering.

The Army could take many different approaches to improve its ability to participate in peace operations while staying ready for conventional war. For this analysis, the Congressional Budget Office chose four approaches as representative of the range of possibilities that the Army could consider (see Table 3). Each approach has advantages and drawbacks, and some approaches would be easier to implement than others.
 


TABLE 3.
FOUR ILLUSTRATIVE APPROACHES TO IMPROVE THE ARMY'S CONDUCT OF PEACE OPERATIONS
Approach Changes Costs or Savings (-)
(Millions of 1999 dollars)

One-
Time
Annual
Recurring

Option I: Cycle the Readiness of Some Active Army Units Select three existing active Army brigades; cycle each through high state of alert every six months; rely on alert brigade to carry out peace operations. n.a. -2
Option II: Reorganize Existing Active Army Forces for Peace Operations Designate four existing brigades to carry out peace operations, and create three standing headquarters to lead them. (Increase size of active Army by 750 to 900.) 30 90
Option III: Convert Some Combat Units in the Active Army into Support Units Convert one active-duty heavy division into support units. 940 -60 to -210
Option IV: Add Forces to the Active Army for Peace Operations Create four brigades designed to carry out peace operations and three standing headquarters to lead them. (Increase size of active Army by 20,000.) n.a. 1,900

SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office.
NOTE: n.a. = not applicable (negligible costs).

These options would change either the force structure of the active Army, the training and readiness cycles of some active-duty units, or both. The first option would place some of the Army's deployable units on training and readiness cycles similar to those of Navy and Marine Corps forces. A second approach would train and reorganize some of the Army's existing active-duty units specifically for peace operations. The third approach would add more of the support units that are in high demand for peace operations to the active Army. That option would address the shortage of such units that the Army sometimes faces and the subsequent need to call on the reserves for peace operations. The fourth alternative would expand the size of the active-duty Army so it was large enough to conduct long-term peace operations and still keep enough forces available to fight two nearly simultaneous major theater wars.

Another approach that some analysts have suggested is for the Army to rely more routinely on the reserves to conduct peace operations. But, as Chapter II noted, using reservists raises a host of problems in its own right. Thus, for reasons that are spelled out at the end of the chapter, CBO did not include that approach in this analysis.
 

OPTION I: CYCLE THE READINESS OF SOME ACTIVE ARMY UNITS

This option would place some active-duty Army units on a cyclical readiness schedule similar to the one employed for the components of Marine expeditionary units. As such, those units would train to a high readiness status and would be ready for a specific amount of time, perhaps six months, to deploy on short notice. During that time, the "on-call" units would be fully manned and equipped, personnel rotations would not take place, and individual training would not be scheduled. Units assigned to this schedule could train preferentially (though perhaps not exclusively) for peace operations. The Army would then be assured of having at least one suitably trained, cohesive unit ready to deploy on short notice for such operations.

At the end of their on-call period, the units would be placed on a less ready status, perhaps for 12 or 18 months. During that recovery period, members of the unit could attend to administrative duties, such as leave or school attendance, and personnel rotations could occur. The unit could also spend time performing any necessary equipment maintenance that had been deferred because of a deployment.

One way to carry out this option would be to place three brigades--one from each of three existing divisions--in the pool of units on this schedule. One brigade could be fully ready and on call to deploy for six months. During that period, the second brigade would be training and preparing to be on call for the next six months. The third brigade, having been on call for the previous six months, would be in a recovery period in which its readiness was low.

Since this option would not add forces to the Army and would not require any change in equipment, the costs of implementing it would be negligible. In particular, it would not significantly change the Army's annual operating costs.

Advantages of Option I

The most obvious advantage of this approach is that the Army would have forces ready to deploy to peace operations on fairly short notice. Thus, cross-leveling of personnel and subunits would be reduced, and the turbulence that now occurs when Army units deploy to peace operations would decline for both deploying and nondeploying units.

From the point of view of the soldier, this option would have the advantage of increased predictability. Troops in the on-call units would know that they might have to deploy at any time. Conversely, troops in the units that were not on call would know that they were unlikely to deploy for some time, so they could plan for leave or individual training during those periods.

Another advantage of this approach would be improved training for peace operations. Since units in this cycle would be more likely to be sent to such operations, their training could focus on tasks needed for that mission. Moreover, the Army's increased capabilities for peace operations would come at little or no extra cost--an important advantage at a time when many priorities are competing for space in the service's budget.

Disadvantages of Option I

The Army is organized to fight primarily using divisions. A division typically has command and support staff that a brigade does not. But cycling the readiness of entire divisions is probably not practical. So, if a brigade deploys to a peace operation, it may also need to take some of its division's support units, causing difficulties for those units and leaving the rest of the division less capable.

That problem points up a larger drawback of this option: because the size and structure of the Army would not change, the personnel needed to increase the readiness of units in this cycle would have to come from other units. Thus, although the readiness of some units would increase, the readiness of others would inevitably decline. If the less ready units were needed for a major theater war or for other contingencies, they could take longer to get ready for deployment.

Another disadvantage is that if the units in this cycle concentrated their training on peace operations, their conventional warfighting skills could decline. Those units might then be less ready if needed for a major theater war. They could retrain to improve their warfighting skills, but that would mean delays before they were available for combat. The length of the delay would depend on how much training in combat skills the unit had while deployed and how much overlap existed between its combat skills and the skills it used during peace operations.

With this approach, the Army might also face some challenges in maintaining levels of morale and retention. The units in this cycle could be subject to frequent deployments, sometimes lasting for their entire six-month ready period. However, the Army could probably manage those challenges--for example, by providing the soldiers in these units and their families with extra support services or by offering them pay incentives.
 

OPTION II: REORGANIZE EXISTING ACTIVE ARMY FORCES FOR PEACE OPERATIONS

Another option would be to restructure the Army's current active-duty forces to make them better able to meet the needs of peace operations. Like the previous approach, this option would be intended to ensure that at least some units in the Army were always prepared to deploy to unanticipated peace operations and that they could do so without the turbulence that now occurs in the Army when units are needed for such operations.

This option would take two steps to improve the preparation of some units for peace missions. First, it would establish standing headquarters that would devote their full attention to those missions. Second, it would adopt, for a small part of the Army, practices similar to those employed by the Marines. Specifically, the option would create units organized along the lines of MEUs that could deploy to peace operations with little notice.

To establish a pool of leadership skills to conduct peace operations, this option would create standing task-force headquarters that would devote all of their attention to such operations--developing doctrine and suggested "force packages" and commanding the forces that actually deploy. Personnel serving in those headquarters would become specialists in peace operations. Each headquarters would be about the size of an Army division headquarters' staff--roughly 250 to 300 people--but it would not have any operational units attached. Rather, units with appropriate capabilities would be assigned before each specific operation. Those assigned units would include the traditional staff elements for personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, and communications, as well as additional public affairs, civil affairs, and military police units, which are usually needed during a peace operation.

The headquarters units would have to deploy often because their staff would coordinate the forces deployed for all peacetime contingencies. To provide a rotation base for repeated or long-term peace operations, this option would create three such headquarters. Each could be assigned a different regional specialty, which would help to focus its staff's analysis and planning. Creating three such standing headquarters would require roughly 750 to 900 additional personnel.

This option would also make a more drastic change to the Army by organizing four units specifically to take part in peace operations. Unlike the rotating units in Option I, which would be regular combat brigades on call for contingencies, the brigade-sized units in this option would tailor all of their training, equipment, and special capabilities for peace missions. Therefore, they would contain more support forces, civil affairs units, and military police than traditional combat brigades, but they would also need enough armored equipment to protect themselves during peace enforcement missions. Those brigades would be maintained at full strength since they would be expected to deploy on short notice, which would avoid the need to cross-level before a deployment.

If the United States continues its recent pattern of involvement in peace operations, those specialized brigades would probably have to deploy often. Although the Army does not have an official ceiling for the amount of time a unit can be deployed, it uses 120 days per year as an unofficial benchmark. That benchmark would require a rotation base of at least three brigades. A fourth brigade would provide a cushion to cover simultaneous deployments. When needed for a peace operation, the deploying brigade would be assigned to one of the three standing headquarters.

The Army could fashion those brigades from existing third brigades that are located far from the headquarters of their active divisions. Examples include the 1st Armored and the 1st Infantry Divisions (headquarters in Germany, third brigades in Kansas); the 10th Mountain Division (headquarters in New York state, third brigade in Alaska), and the 25th Light Infantry Division (headquarters in Hawaii, third brigade in Washington state). As nonstandard, task-organized brigades, those units would focus on missions essential for peace operations. But in the case of a major theater war, they could revert to serving as the third brigades of their associated divisions.

The costs of this approach would not be large. Creating new headquarters units would entail one-time costs of about $30 million. In addition, paying for extra active-duty soldiers to staff the three headquarters and to operate the headquarters and the four fully staffed brigades would add about $90 million per year to the Army's recurring costs.

Advantages of Option II

This approach would directly address concerns about readiness by giving some active units primary responsibility for peace operations and giving others primary responsibility for conventional deterrence and warfighting. Thus, each pool of forces could focus on always being ready to carry out its main mission. The advantages of that approach would be apparent for both staff and operational units.

At the staff level, tasks performed in peace operations have relatively little overlap with conventional warfighting tasks. Planning and executing a peace operation involves significantly different kinds of analysis, coordination, and negotiation, which are usually carried out by the task-force commander and his or her staff. By creating a pool of staff with primary responsibility for peace operations, people with different skills would not have to be pulled from all over the Army. Moreover, having standing headquarters would ensure that the planning and execution skills for peace operations would be practiced on a regular basis. (At the same time, traditional division headquarters would be able to focus on their conventional missions.) By training together regularly, the staff assigned to the new headquarters would develop cohesion, which would increase their flexibility during deployments. And the skills and knowledge base needed for peace operations would develop over time and would remain concentrated in those headquarters.

Similarly, having brigades specifically organized for peace operations would allow soldiers to train routinely for such operations, thus preparing them for unanticipated deployments as a matter of course. The advantages of such a brigade would be similar to those of a Marine expeditionary unit. Each brigade would already be organized to train in the manner in which it would deploy, which would enhance its cohesion as well as its personnel and training. A soldier assigned to one of those brigades would remain in that assignment for a full tour. That would not only allow the soldier to become proficient in the skills necessary for peace operations but also minimize the personnel disruptions that the Army has experienced with past contingencies. Many of the peace operations in which U.S. ground forces have taken part have been small enough for one brigade to handle.

This option would also help the Army's ability to conduct conventional war. It would minimize the disruption to other units from cross-leveling personnel and attaching units in an ad hoc manner, as the Army does now. And it would allow the units outside the four specialized brigades and three designated headquarters to concentrate on training for major regional conflicts.

Disadvantages of Option II

This approach would have two main disadvantages. First, it would reduce the military's overall capability to wage conventional war, since several units in the Army would not train for that as their primary mission. Those units could eventually be trained and readied for conventional conflicts, but doing so would take time. (Although that time would be significant, it would probably still be less than the time needed to mobilize a National Guard brigade.)

Second, the soldiers assigned to units specializing in peace operations would probably have to deploy overseas frequently. Theoretically, those soldiers could be under increased strain, suffer from low morale, and be likelier to leave the Army. That problem might not turn out to be significant, however, since troops would presumably rotate in and out of those units.
 

OPTION III: CONVERT SOME COMBAT UNITS IN THE ACTIVE ARMY INTO SUPPORT UNITS

This alternative would convert one active-duty heavy division entirely into support units. In the conversion, units in that division that already perform support services would remain as they are. Combat units, such as artillery and tank units, would be turned into the types of units most needed for peace operations, such as civil affairs and military police units. Personnel in those units would be retrained and reequipped. The change would yield about 15,000 active-duty support troops, which, if configured correctly, could provide skills necessary for peace operations and also help fill the Army's shortage of support forces.

Creating more support units in the active Army without expanding the Army's overall size or budget would require reassigning some combat duties to the reserve component. With one fewer heavy division, the Army would arguably no longer have enough combat forces in its active component to fight two nearly simultaneous major theater wars. As a result, it might have to rely on National Guard combat units to help make up the force needed if a second conflict broke out.

This option would entail a one-time cost of $940 million to reorganize and reequip the combat units for support roles. Much of that money would be spent on new equipment, primarily trucks and other materials-handling equipment. That one-time cost could be spread over several years as the conversion took place; it would also be offset to some extent by avoiding the costs of activating reservists for peace operations and by reduced operating costs (because the support units would be cheaper to operate than the combat units they would replace). After the conversion, the Army would see recurring savings of $60 million to $210 million per year, mostly because of avoided costs for activating reservists.

Advantages of Option III

This approach would increase the Army's readiness for peace operations by making its active-duty force structure better suited to carry out such operations without relying on reservists. Peace operations are the most probable, if not the most demanding, missions that the military is likely to face in the near future. Thus, some defense analysts would argue that the military should be designed (at least in part) to conduct them. Furthermore, by creating more high-demand support units in the active Army, the rate of deployment of existing support units could be reduced.

To some extent, this option would also enhance the Army's capability and readiness to conduct conventional war. Adding more support forces to the active Army would ensure their early availability in the event of a major regional conflict. A study by the Army has determined that the service does not have enough support forces to fight two major theater wars; this option would alleviate some of that shortage.(1)

Adopting this approach would also allow the Army to avoid some of the costs of activating reserve units for peace operations. Those costs, although small compared with the Army's total budget, are not trivial. Indeed, the Army's incremental costs to activate reservists in 1997 totaled over $230 million. Furthermore, in some cases, the costs of using reserve units could be higher than the costs of using comparable active-duty units.(2)

Disadvantages of Option III

The greatest disadvantage of this option is that the United States would no longer have enough combat forces in the active Army to fight two major theater wars nearly simultaneously. Some observers might argue that reserve combat troops are less responsive or less capable than active-duty combat troops. If that is the case, this option would put the United States at greater risk of being unable to win (or win easily) a second conflict. Although the same total number of forces might eventually be available to take part in that conflict, the reserve units might not bring the same total combat capability as the active units they replaced. In addition, the reserve units would need time to prepare for combat, so they would probably not be available as early as active units.

Another disadvantage of this option is that it would run counter to DoD's Total Force Policy, which seeks to integrate the reserves more fully into all aspects of DoD operations. Indeed, the military's recent trend is to involve the reserves to a greater extent in day-to-day operations. Reducing the role of reserve support units in peace missions would, by contrast, decrease the integration of the Army's active and reserve components (although, as noted above, reserve combat units could end up playing a greater role in Army operations if two major wars erupted).
 

OPTION IV: ADD FORCES TO THE ACTIVE ARMY FOR PEACE OPERATIONS

Although DoD policy assumes that forces can switch quickly from peace operations to a major theater war if necessary, doing so may not be feasible. Forces that take part in peace operations, particularly Army combat units, may need considerable time to regroup and recover before being ready to fight a conventional war. Moreover, the Army would need all of its active forces and its reserve support forces to fight two nearly simultaneous major regional wars, even in the absence of peace operations.

To address those concerns, CBO examined a final option that would expand the size of the active-duty Army so it could conduct sizable peace operations for extended periods while keeping enough forces available to fight two major theater wars. Because peace operations frequently require different forces and training than conventional war, this option would expand the Army by adding units designed and designated for peace operations.

Specifically, Option IV would increase the Army's active force by 20,000 soldiers--enough to create the four specialized brigades and three headquarters described in Option II. The four brigades--two with light infantry or military police and two with armored equipment--could be deployed singly or in combination, depending on the requirements of the particular peace operation. In addition, each of the brigades would have a complement of the other high-demand support units needed for most peace operations.

Those brigades would provide most of the Army's response for peacetime deployments. For large peace enforcement operations such as the ones in Haiti or Bosnia, where the U.S. contribution exceeded 20,000 soldiers, all of the brigades could be deployed simultaneously until the need for forces decreased. For smaller operations such as the one in Rwanda, one headquarters and one brigade of 5,000 soldiers could be sent on each rotation.

A dedicated force of 20,000 soldiers, however, would probably not be sufficient to carry out all of the operations that might occur in peacetime. The pace of such operations has increased significantly since the late 1980s. And although most of those operations required less than 20,000 soldiers at one time, the Army could participate in more than one operation at once. The Army's deployments since 1990, and recent attempts by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to project the forces needed to conduct future small-scale contingencies, suggest that an average of about 8,500 Army personnel will be deployed to contingencies at any one time.(3) Nevertheless, operations requiring more than 20,000 personnel at one time have occurred every two years or so, and DoD projects them to continue at a similar pace through the foreseeable future. Thus, a contingency force of 20,000 soldiers would have to be augmented in times of heavy activity.

If the Army does need to deploy about 8,500 troops to contingencies at any one time, this force would provide a thinner rotation base than the service desires and would not be able to meet the Army's goals for personnel deployments. With an average of 8,500 soldiers deployed, a force of 20,000 soldiers would provide a rotation base of almost 2.5 to 1. That is less than the Army's preferred rotation base of 3 to 1 and would allow a typical unit to spend just eight months at home for every six months deployed, rather than the Army's preferred 12 months at home. However, since soldiers would not spend their entire career serving in the contingency force, one assignment with a higher-than-desired deployment rate might not prove too onerous.

The four new brigades could be equipped with many of the weapons and vehicles that are being retired from National Guard combat units that the Army plans to convert into support units. The Army estimates that 600 tanks, 1,300 armored personnel carriers, 50 attack helicopters, and 260 artillery howitzers will be retired when those units are converted. Although that equipment is not the newest in the Army's inventory, peace enforcement operations rarely need the firepower and high-tech weaponry that conventional warfare does. For example, the Army's older armored personnel carrier, the M113, may actually be better suited to peace operations than its replacement, the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. The M113 can carry more personnel and supplies and lacks the more powerful weapons on a Bradley, which may not be necessary in most peace operations.

Because the new brigades would use equipment that the Army already has, the one-time costs to equip them would be negligible. However, operating the four brigades and three new headquarters would add an extra $1.9 billion a year to the Army's recurring costs. (That figure is substantially higher than the $90 million recurring cost of Option II because that option would reorganize existing brigades, which the Army is already paying to operate, rather than add new ones.)

Advantages of Option IV

This alternative would add to the Army's overall military capability in two ways. First, like Option II, it would improve the service's ability to conduct peace operations. By creating units that were fully manned at all times and trained primarily for peace operations, it would ensure that those units would be ready to deploy to such operations on short notice. In addition, by adding support units to the active component, the Army could reduce its reliance on reserve units during peacetime and avoid the potential problems associated with frequent call-ups of reservists.

Second, and perhaps more important, this option would increase the Army's capability and readiness for conventional war. Because the Army would have enough forces both to fight two major theater conflicts and to conduct most peace operations, forces would not have to extricate themselves from a peace operation to take part in a conventional war. Adding new units dedicated to peace operations would also allow existing units to improve their readiness for conventional war. It would reduce personnel disruptions throughout the Army and lower the rate of deployment for units whose primary mission is preparing for conventional war. Those units could improve their training in warfighting skills without the frequent distractions of preparing for and deploying to peace operations. They could also maintain their equipment in a higher state of readiness, since it would not have to be used as intensively. Moreover, by providing enough forces in the active Army that reserve units would not be needed for peace operations, this option would let the reserves focus on their wartime mission, thus improving their readiness for conventional war as well.

Disadvantages of Option IV

The greatest drawback of this option is that it would add significant costs to the defense budget. Paying 20,000 additional active-duty personnel and operating the new headquarters and brigades would cost almost $2 billion annually. The Army would avoid the costs of putting reservists on active duty, but those costs would offset the costs of the new forces to only a very small extent.

The other disadvantages of this option are similar to those of Option II. The additional forces, being designated for peace operations, could be subject to a high rate of deployment. If the United States conducted multiple operations simultaneously, most or all of the units could be needed. Such frequent deployments would be hard on the morale of the soldiers in those units and their families.

Finally, since the new units would be equipped and trained specifically for peace operations, they would not be thoroughly trained for combat. Some observers might argue that forces that are obviously trained for combat are more intimidating to potential aggressors, thus making them more effective at keeping the peace.
 

COULD THE RESERVES PLAY A LARGER ROLE IN PEACE OPERATIONS?

Many analysts have suggested another approach to alleviate some of the strain on active-duty forces that results from peace operations: call on the reserves more routinely for such operations. But critics argue that a larger role for the reserves is not a practical idea. As Chapter II noted, volunteer call-ups do not always yield the numbers or types of forces needed for a particular operation. In those circumstances, assembling entire units from disparate volunteers can be difficult and time consuming. But involuntary call-ups, which require action by the President, can be politically difficult to obtain and, if too frequent, can harm retention and recruitment in the reserves. An equally important issue regarding reservists is cost. The General Accounting Office has noted that using reservists in an operation increases costs, in part because reservists are paid extra for active duty.(4) And two recent RAND studies have concluded that because fast-breaking operations or those in hostile environments do not lend themselves to the use of reserve units, routine dependence on the reserves to shoulder a greater share of peace operations is not a cost-effective approach.(5)

For all of those reasons, increasing the use of reserve forces would probably not address many of the challenges outlined in Chapters II and III. Moreover, significantly changing the role of reserve forces would have effects well beyond their use in peace operations, including effects on training, pay, and retention. The implications of such a change should be the subject of a separate analysis. Thus, CBO did not examine in detail the increased use of Army reserve forces for peace operations as an alternative to current practice.

Nevertheless, some ways exist to use Army reservists more effectively within existing constraints. For example, the Army could avoid some of the problems with volunteer call-ups by making individual or small groups of reservists a permanent part of some active-duty support units. Those units are typically maintained at less than full strength, so before they deploy overseas to a peace operation, the Army must try to fill their personnel shortages. Identifying and obtaining filler personnel and integrating them into the units can take time and delay deployment. The Army could keep the positions permanently filled with full-time soldiers, but doing so would be expensive. A less costly alternative would be to authorize the assignment of reservists to fill out the active-duty units' rosters. That would also be less disruptive than borrowing personnel from other active-duty units. In certain cases, it might be more practical to assign entire reserve units than individual reservists to round out an active-duty unit.

Using reservists as permanent fillers would allow them to train with their active unit and become familiar with the people in it. If the unit deployed to a peace operation, the associated reservists would provide a local pool of volunteers either to accompany the unit or to fill in at its home station. That practice could be much less disruptive than some of the Army's past attempts to find reserve fill-ins. (In one instance, it called on a reserve unit from California to provide fill-ins for an active-duty unit that had deployed overseas from Fort Drum in upper New York state.) However, relying on reservists as fillers might not be practical because the President would probably have to call up the reserves to ensure that the required personnel were available.

Another suggestion would link selected reserve units and potential volunteers with theater contingency plans.(6) That would let reserve units and individual reservists know what region of the world they might be deployed to, so they could focus their planning and training on that region and perhaps respond more quickly to selected contingencies there.

The primary benefit to the active Army of those changes would be a decline in the personnel turbulence among nondeploying units that now occurs when units go overseas. As an added benefit, the deployment rate for some active-duty soldiers would decrease, and the strain on active-duty units that are currently in high demand would ease. Reserve units and personnel would also benefit through closer integration with active-duty units. And in general, those changes would provide greater integration between the active and reserve components, particularly in training and planning for contingencies--something that official DoD policy advocates.

But even those more limited suggestions would have some drawbacks. To institute them on a permanent basis, the Army would have to budget funds in advance for the cost of activating reservists during peacetime, which could increase its budget. Other costs would result from reconfiguring the policies for integrating active-duty and reserve personnel. Finally, calling on reservists routinely has the potential to hurt their retention as well as employers' support for hiring and retaining reservists.
 

CONCLUSIONS

The Army's primary purpose is to fight and win two major regional conflicts that occur nearly simultaneously. Because undertaking peace operations requires different types of forces, different skills, and more frequent deployments than preparing for such conflicts does, it is not surprising that the Army faces some trade-offs in capability and readiness as it tries to perform both missions. (Since the Marine Corps's primary purpose--responding to crises--is closer in character to peace operations, the Corps has not faced those trade-offs to the same extent that the Army has. If the Corps has to deploy more often or for longer periods in the future, it will probably encounter many of the same problems as the Army.)

If frequent deployments to peace operations continue, the Army may need to consider changing some of its organizations or practices to improve its ability to deploy while minimizing the associated disruptions. Possible changes include putting some active-duty Army units on a readiness cycle similar to that used by Marine expeditionary units; converting some combat units in the active Army into support units, which are in high demand for peace operations; reorganizing some existing active brigades into brigades that specialize in peace operations (and creating specialized headquarters for such operations); and expanding the active force structure by adding those specialized brigades and headquarters while retaining all of the Army's current forces. In addition, many other approaches exist, including relying on reservists more routinely for peace operations.

As long as the Army must deploy often to peace operations, it will continue to run the risk of being less ready for conventional combat than it would be otherwise. If that level of risk is considered unacceptable, decisionmakers may face a choice: either increase funding enough to provide the means for responding to peace operations while maintaining readiness for conventional war, or decrease U.S. commitments to peace operations.


1. Congressional Budget Office, Structuring the Active and Reserve Army for the 21st Century (December 1997), p. 11.

2. See Ronald E. Sortor, Army Forces for Operations Other Than War (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1997), p. 85.

3. Based on average deployments from 1990 to June 1998 and projected deployments from 2000 to 2010.

4. General Accounting Office, Peace Operations: Reservists Have Volunteered When Needed, GAO/NSIAD-96-75 (April 1996), p. 9.

5. Sortor, Army Forces for Operations Other Than War; and Roger Allen Brown and others, Assessing the Potential for Using Reserves in Operations Other Than War (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1997).

6. Brown and others, Assessing the Potential for Using Reserves in Operations Other Than War.


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