October 10-12 was the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army here in D.C., and everywhere the theme was “brace for impact” as the Army prepares for a new round of downsizing now getting underway before the war is entirely over. I always make a point of attending the AUSA conference, and this year I went under the auspices of AOL Defense, for whom I wrote several stories:
- on the lessons-learned of the last downsizing:
“Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself because we’re going through the perturbations of a downsizing: Have a vision,” summed up retired Brig. Gen. John Sloan Brown…. Amidst the steep downsizing of the late 1980s and early ’90s, he said, “a relatively select group of folks envisioned a future that they could put into practice when funded.”
- on a new effort to strengthen infantry squads:
To solve a tactical problem, the materiel development community might propose an upgrade to the M-4 carbine, but if adding more days of training or a new marksmanship simulator would solve the same problem more effectively — or, especially in these increasingly cost-conscious days, more affordably — the new approach would steer funding towards the training enhancements instead…
- and on managing the reduction in the size of the Army that has already begun:
The balance between the Army’s resources and its commitments is “precarious” even as the number of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan declines, because the total size of the Army is going down at the same time. If the demand for troops continues to drop as planned, Army leaders say they should be able to handle the nation’s military missions. Any deviation from the plan, however, voids that guarantee….
Click here to see summaries of and links to all my stories for AOL Defense. All readers are welcome to comment below.