1

Background

INTRODUCTION

A rapid succession of military actions in the few years since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 have defined the shape of the future world in which the U.S. armed forces, including the Navy and Marine Corps, will have to operate. In the absence of a hostile global competitor having both the strategic and tactical force reach and military power of the Soviet Union at the peak of its strength, regional concerns have come to the fore. The Gulf War, military operations in northern Iraq (Provide Comfort), Somalia (Restore Hope), Haiti (Support Democracy), in and near the former Yugoslavia, and in many other areas, together with rising tensions with China, North Korea, and Russia over nuclear proliferation and export of long-range missiles and other auxiliaries of weapons of mass destruction, illustrate the range of actual and threatened military activities that will be involved. The regional focus of these activities does not make them less difficult for the U.S. armed forces, or less threatening to the nation's vital interests in the long run, than the situation that existed during the Cold War.

In many ways, the new orientation of national security concerns presents greater difficulties for the armed forces than have existed for the previous 45 years. Reduced defense budgets and force structure that followed the end of the Cold War mean that smaller U.S. forces will have to be prepared to operate in many more areas of the world—perhaps in widely separated areas at the same time. Opponents and their tactics will not be known in advance. Potential adversaries will include countries and “non-countries”—transnational and subnational groups such as broadly organized criminal or terrorist organizations—making for difficult planning against a diffuse “threat.”

Almost always, the United States will find itself operating militarily in international coalitions. The latter may shift and be reconstituted in response to local situational dynamics. The ad hoc Gulf War coalition and continuation of the U.N. Command in Korea are examples. Extension of NATO, our most enduring coalition, to areas outside the borders of its constituent countries is being contemplated by the Alliance with cautious recognition that its core security may now require such extension. The United Nations, as an organization that provides internationally recognized sanction for collective security-related action by groups of nations, will almost always be involved.



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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century 1 Background INTRODUCTION A rapid succession of military actions in the few years since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 have defined the shape of the future world in which the U.S. armed forces, including the Navy and Marine Corps, will have to operate. In the absence of a hostile global competitor having both the strategic and tactical force reach and military power of the Soviet Union at the peak of its strength, regional concerns have come to the fore. The Gulf War, military operations in northern Iraq (Provide Comfort), Somalia (Restore Hope), Haiti (Support Democracy), in and near the former Yugoslavia, and in many other areas, together with rising tensions with China, North Korea, and Russia over nuclear proliferation and export of long-range missiles and other auxiliaries of weapons of mass destruction, illustrate the range of actual and threatened military activities that will be involved. The regional focus of these activities does not make them less difficult for the U.S. armed forces, or less threatening to the nation's vital interests in the long run, than the situation that existed during the Cold War. In many ways, the new orientation of national security concerns presents greater difficulties for the armed forces than have existed for the previous 45 years. Reduced defense budgets and force structure that followed the end of the Cold War mean that smaller U.S. forces will have to be prepared to operate in many more areas of the world—perhaps in widely separated areas at the same time. Opponents and their tactics will not be known in advance. Potential adversaries will include countries and “non-countries”—transnational and subnational groups such as broadly organized criminal or terrorist organizations—making for difficult planning against a diffuse “threat.” Almost always, the United States will find itself operating militarily in international coalitions. The latter may shift and be reconstituted in response to local situational dynamics. The ad hoc Gulf War coalition and continuation of the U.N. Command in Korea are examples. Extension of NATO, our most enduring coalition, to areas outside the borders of its constituent countries is being contemplated by the Alliance with cautious recognition that its core security may now require such extension. The United Nations, as an organization that provides internationally recognized sanction for collective security-related action by groups of nations, will almost always be involved.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Events in Somalia and Bosnia, among others, have reinforced the prevalent U.S. position that U.S. forces will not be under U.N. command unless that command is delegated to U.S. force commanders, as in Korea and the Gulf. Nevertheless, the United Nations, by virtue of the collective political umbrella that it throws over security-related military activity by any coalition, will usually have to be accounted for in planning and executing such activity. At the same time, modern civilian communications technology—instant replay of ongoing world events on evening television news —brings the ugly details of war and of related highly disturbing events to full public view. The American public views these events with ambiguity and perplexity, and these attitudes affect military planning and operations in a complex way. While the public presses for military involvement to mitigate the suffering being shown, it also does not want to inflict suffering, and it takes a cautious view of the price worth paying to uphold our interests overseas. In the absence of a direct threat to the U.S. homeland or to our most vital national interests abroad (such as materialized when Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia), few issues are seen to justify U.S. involvement in long, costly conflicts with potentially high U.S. casualties and extensive local civilian damage. In response, the military Services are all evolving visions of their organizations and concepts of operation for future warfare. All recognize that they will be involved in such operations under joint command and with the need to operate jointly. However, the visions remain to be fully formulated and are not all consistent with each other. They differ especially in the areas of the very same questions of joint organization and operations, and also in consideration of operations in and around the highly urbanized and populated areas that will constitute the main zones of military conflict. There are, nevertheless, many common elements in the Services' visions of their futures. The most critical of them are as follows: The conviction, well founded, that the U.S. advantage in any conflict lies in advanced technology, especially technology related to the “war” for information. This includes technologies associated with command, control, communications, computing, and intelligence (C4I). The technology advance is reflected in the ability to find the military opposition; to know what the opponents are doing and to predict their activities based on real-time observation and on intelligence data; to precisely locate and identify hostile, friendly, and neutral forces in both space and time; to rapidly synthesize an accurate picture of the battlefield or zone of conflict for force maneuver and for weapon delivery; and to perform maneuvers and weapon delivery with precision. It also involves the ability to deny such information and weapon delivery to the opposition. Beyond that, there is concern about

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century and attention to “information warfare” more broadly, in terms of being able to influence and deny the opposition 's situational knowledge outside the military sphere. The current U.S. military paradigm is that, with smaller forces to be allocated over broader areas of the world, the Services must use their information warfare advantage, their capability for rapid strategic deployment, and high tactical tempo to focus their forces against key objectives rapidly while keeping the opposition confused about those objectives and about the Services' maneuver plans and operations until the opponents are defeated. The strategy of the Gulf War illustrated some concepts and techniques that had long developed in preparation for warfare against Soviet forces in the NATO context. It is intended that these concepts and techniques will be much more highly developed and refined in the future. The Services seek rapid success in military action. Weapon systems must do their work rapidly and destroy only their intended targets. Collateral damage and friendly casualties in protracted campaigns are to be avoided to the greatest possible extent. This is in keeping with the public's view of U.S. military involvement in warfare, casualties, and local civilian damage attending military engagements involving any but the most vital U.S. national interests. Given the uncertainties over where crises requiring military action will erupt, and the certainty that all potential opponents learned from observation of the Gulf War that time should not be allowed for a deliberate U.S. force buildup in a crisis area, readiness for rapid and effective response to hostile military action is paramount. These elements of agreement among the Services about future conditions and needs of warfare in regional conflict provide a basis for assessing Navy and Marine Corps missions and concepts of operation in such conflicts. First, some further aspects of this study and its background are explained, followed by a review of the missions and emerging concepts of operation. Some key issues of implementation are described and then treated in some detail. The questions asked in the terms of reference for the study are answered in the discussions of the several topics involved. The significance of the results for future Navy and Marine Corps planning and operations in regional conflict along the littoral is then evaluated.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century KEY ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY The time period covered by this study is roughly from 2005 to 2020. The decisions that will determine the shape and equipment of the armed forces by 2005 have already been made, and relevant plans and acquisitions are under way. The 2020 generation of equipment and forces is not yet under serious consideration. The period chosen is therefore the one for which the results of the study can be most helpful to Navy and Marine Corps choice of further directions for development. Every study of strategic and operational matters must be based on an assumed background environment. It is usually anticipated that the assumptions will hold for the duration of the period being studied, but it is prudent to ask what the consequences of changes in the environment might be. In this case, the key assumptions are as follows: Many regions of the world will remain politically unstable and confused. The United States will continue to project its influence in the world. There will be regional powers with strong economies and powerful military capability. A military “peer competitor” on a global scale, in the pattern of the former Soviet Union, is unlikely in the near term but may well emerge during the study period. Weapons of mass destruction will continue to proliferate. Pressures to further reduce the U.S. defense budget will remain severe. This means that the major platform array of the armed forces, which will absorb a large fraction of R&D and acquisition resources, will be the one that is in train today. These acquisitions include such systems as the F/A-18E/F; the F-22; possible aircraft that may emerge from the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program; the V-22; the C-17; the advanced amphibious assault vehicle (AAAV); the LPD-17; the Seawolf and new attack submarine; the Comanche; and many other platform systems, both new and upgraded. The numbers of any of these systems to be acquired are likely to be curtailed by pressures to keep expenditures down. Changes in the international environment could obviously affect these assumptions and their implications for the armed forces. For example, a Russian decision to stop short of implementing Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) II would have profound effects on our defense budget size and

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century orientation. Beyond such potential developments, it would be unrealistic at this stage to forecast that the world political situation will become more orderly; it is still sorting itself out after the relaxation of the restraints imposed by the rigors of the Cold War. Many of the ancient political, religious, and ethnic animosities, drives for political control, and economic hardships that underlie the instabilities are matters that will change over generations rather than years. It would be difficult for the United States to withdraw from involvement in this unstable world, given our worldwide strategic and economic interests, although we will doubtless be careful about deciding which of the many ongoing conflicts affect those interests enough to warrant U.S. involvement. The appearance of a world-scale “peer competitor,” collapse of existing arms control agreements, or growth of adverse relationships with currently friendly nations could change current defense budget emphases or loosen budget constraints. If that happens, and the U.S. government decides to build up its forces, that would typically mean doing so with the capabilities available at the time. Thus it is important in any case for the Navy and the Marine Corps to continue developing their new concepts and capabilities to the maximum extent currently possible, despite the environment of severe budgetary restraint that may prevail into the indefinite future. The implications of the budget assumption for the Navy and Marine Corps over the period considered by the study warrant deeper consideration. By the turn of the century, years of technological progress will have brought these Services to the brink of a new level of military capability that is much greater than the current level. Strategic closing time of a large force will have been reduced from weeks or months to a few days or a week or two. Airborne assault speeds of amphibious forces will have been increased from about 100 miles per hour using helicopters to 250 miles per hour using the V-22, with large increases in range of operation. Seaborne assault speeds will have been increased relatively more, from about 7 knots using current landing craft to 25 knots using the new AAAV; this increase in speed and range will carry with it the opportunity for the amphibious fleet to stand off at much longer distances from shore defenses. The Services will be able to count on relatively unconstrained observation and communication using both airborne and space systems. And they will have the use of weapons that mostly hit their targets with one or two shots, rather than weapons that mostly miss. Once the Navy and Marine Corps have achieved these new, high levels of capability, they face a period of consolidation over the time period being considered in the study. The next technological steps toward improving combat power are known. They include advanced ship hull designs for more rapid movement across the oceans with ship-sized cargoes; efficient vertical short take-off landing (VSTOL) for all combat aircraft; stealth in all systems; long-range, small ballistic missiles for tactical use; automatic target recognition for

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century guided weapons; and many other advances. The problem is that all these next steps require overcoming significant technological hurdles that will greatly increase the costs of the individual systems. And, as currently anticipated, the finances simply will not be available to make these advances. A period of consolidation should not be thought of as simple, however. As the remainder of this report shows, the Services will face many problems of changing doctrine, acquiring new equipment, and budget reallocations, simply to absorb the most important advances currently at hand. And it must be kept in mind that decisions about further advances will have to be selective—often the increased individual cost of a new system may save substantial force-wide costs and help reduce the duration of a conflict. In addition, the Services will have to be on the alert for unforeseen technological advances (e.g., inexpensive automatic target recognition) that will clearly warrant exploitation. Such opportunities will place additional pressures on available resources and will impose a need for unexpected trade-offs within the expected tight budgets. CAPABILITIES OF POTENTIAL MILITARY OPPOSITION The committee considered a range of possible scenarios in which the Navy and Marine Corps might be involved in different parts of the world. These ranged from major regional conflicts (MRCs), in which aggression that threatens U.S. vital interests must be halted; through smaller regional conflicts that might involve fighting between and sometimes within less developed countries, where our interest is in containing violence that might pose secondary threats to our national well-being and that of our allies; to military operations short of war that nevertheless require applications of military force and might involve combat. The operations short of war include protecting evacuations, separating fighting factions, creating or maintaining order out of chaos in a military or civilian setting, operations against sub- or transnational groups such as international terrorists or drug lords whose activities endanger U.S. citizens and interests, and tasks of related character. All operations of the Navy and the Marine Corps over the past few years, from the Gulf War to activities in the Adriatic, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti, illustrate the range of military activities involved in the above kinds of scenarios. Military operations short of war are and will clearly continue to be the most frequent. However, anticipation of possible MRCs that would involve the United States requires the greatest preparation of the forces for extensive combat and absorbs the most resources in research and development, system acquisition, training and exercises, and simply maintaining a forward posture and a high condition of readiness.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century How serious might the military opposition be in any of the scenarios considered? Even in situations of lesser conflict or operations short of war, with primitive opposition, opponents may field some formidable capabilities. Such capabilities will be available to any opponent, however crude or advanced. They include access to information from space-based observation (which sophisticated adversaries may obtain by launching their own systems, or that others may purchase from any of the space data systems offered for sale in world markets). Any regular or irregular force may be adept in the use of concealment, cover, and deception, and many have demonstrated exceptional ability to exploit the international news media for their purposes. All opponents will be able to field capable low-altitude air defenses, including shoulder-fired, IR-guided surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) of Stinger vintage that are very difficult to countermeasure, and advanced, vehicle-mounted antiaircraft machine guns of large caliber having lead computing sights and associated night-viewing devices. All will also have skill with small arms, explosives, and fusing, and all will be able to use diverse land and sea mines. Many potential adversaries will also have broad arrays of modern weapons and military capabilities that are currently for sale in world markets today and that are being developed by several nations with recently acquired advanced technological capability. These are likely to include the following: Modern tanks, combat aircraft, and artillery; Radar-based air defenses, including short-range systems like Crotale, medium-altitude systems like the Russian SA-6 and SA-8, and advanced, long-range, high-altitude systems like the SA-10 and SA-12 that may have some counter-stealth and counter-tactical ballistic missile capability; Tactical ballistic missiles with ranges from 200 to 2,000 miles and advanced guidance systems capable of achieving an accuracy of 50 meters, and possibly equipped with maneuvering, radiation-seeking guided warheads; Antiship cruise missiles that (1) fly at subsonic speed but have stealth characteristics that significantly reduce engagement time or (2) are supersonic sea-skimmers that present similar difficulties; Many means of surveillance and targeting, including space systems, aircraft, and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) that may provide some

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century information-gathering capability even in the face of U.S. and allied air superiority; and An additional array of sea combat capabilities, including advanced quiet submarines armed with modern torpedoes; surface combatants up to destroyer, cruiser, or even, in the future, aircraft carrier level; and small, fast speedboats that are difficult to sink and that can damage U.S. surface combatants with missile launches or in suicide missions. Many countries in what used to be known as the “Third World” are also known to be working on weapons of mass destruction that can be associated with some of the delivery systems listed above. Over the period being considered by the study we may expect continuing gradual proliferation of nuclear weapons in small numbers, and more rapid proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. This listing of military capabilities that the Navy and Marine Corps may meet in any of the scenarios considered emphasizes that the Services must not rest complacent with their present military capabilities. Given the time it takes to field new military systems and to develop new tactics and operational techniques using them, especially in the assumed tight budget environment, continuing progress will be necessary to meet potentially demanding opposition that we can see being fielded today. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS MISSIONS AND CONCEPTS OF OPERATION1 Missions Forward Presence The missions for which the Navy and Marine Corps are preparing their forces are driven by the diffuse character of post-Cold War threats to U.S. national interests in a constantly changing world and by the retrenchment of the extensive forward basing that characterized U.S. force deployments during the Cold War era. The Navy continues to be responsible for protection of the sea lines of communication (SLOC) and for contributions to protection of the 1   The material in this section describing the Navy and Marine Corps views of their missions and operational concepts has been synthesized from extensive Navy and Marine Corps publications and briefings that were given to the committee. The interpretation of the input material and elaboration of its significance and potential problems of implementation are the exclusive responsibility of the committee.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century overseas airlift and sealift terminals. The Navy and Marine Corps are ideally designed to maintain, with only a few anchoring bases, a forward presence that can be adjusted to the exigencies of regional political and military developments. Maintaining a continuing forward presence in peacetime is their first mission. It enables friendly engagement with local forces and populations, through port visits, combined military training and exercises, and mutual education that can be used to encourage policies and activities that further the interests of the United States as well as those of the local powers. Forward forces, in the form of carrier battle groups (CVBGs) and amphibious ready groups (ARGs), with potential augmentation by maritime prepositioned forces (MPFs), create a visible presence in areas where crises involving a need for military force may arise, without the need to infringe the sovereignty of any country in a region. The forces' presence can act as a deterrent, and they can be reinforced for enhanced deterrence with minimal provocation and without creating local political difficulties for current or potential allies at sensitive times. Transition Force Transition forces would be in place, visible, and ready to intervene if necessary should deterrence fail and a crisis arise. The Navy and Marine Corps mission in such cases is to be the initial intervention force. Rapid and timely military action by these ready forces may prevent a military situation from getting out of hand by stopping an attack before it develops fully. Through maneuver, firepower, and isolation of the battlefield, these forces can keep an aggressor from building up enough local military strength to succeed in a planned attack, and they can confine aggression in such a way that if reinforcements are needed there will be time for them to arrive and enter the action in the most effective manner. Should reinforcement be necessary, the Navy and Marine Corps forces that meet the crisis become the transition force to secure a lodgment for the entry of Army and Air Force combat units where the latter have had no prior opportunity to deploy into a base structure before the onset of the crisis, either because no bases existed or because they were not able or invited to deploy beforehand. Continuing Joint and Combined Operations The Navy and Marine Corps would then continue with the other U.S. Services and local national forces in joint and combined operations until the military action is successfully completed. All the while, the Navy, and the Marine Corps as needed, would protect the sea lines of communication and help protect the air lines of communication into the theater.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Evolving Navy and Marine Corps Concept of Operations The classical mode of operation for amphibious landing against opposition has included a landing onshore from the sea at a point where opposition could be evaded or reduced, followed by a buildup of forces, of facilities such as airfields, and of enough logistic supply (e.g., 60 days) for a sustained campaign. When the buildup has been readied, offensive maneuver against opposing forces could be undertaken. In this pattern, the transition over the sea-land boundary dominated the initial part of the operation. This pattern of amphibious operation has been conditioned by the performance of the available transport technology, including amphibious assault craft with their 7-knot speeds and 100- to 120-knot helicopters, in the transition from sea to shore. The coming availability of a new generation of movement capability, in the form of the 25-knot AAAV and the V-22 aircraft that can land and take off vertically but fly like an airplane at airplane speeds, will enable the Navy and Marine Corps to extend the concept of Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) to large enough dimensions to circumvent the earlier constraints of the sea-land boundary. In the new formulation that is being considered, Marine forces will land by air and by surface, taking tactical advantage of much greater available space along the shoreline and inland to go where immediate opposition to the landing is non-existent or weakest. They will be able to place forces in multiple locations over a broad front, positioned to focus on and maneuver rapidly to the objective of the landing: port(s); airfield(s); C3 facilities; and the people who operate them. They will, by their maneuver, seek to neutralize or subdue opposition rapidly and to make the objective secure and functioning in the service of the lodgment. The anticipated rapidity of maneuver will put a premium on pre-landing intelligence gathering, preparation of the landing zones by special operations forces and of the local population by psychological operations, and preliminary fires to clear landing areas deep in the opposition 's territory as well as on the beach, if and as necessary.2 It is helpful, to visualize the scope of the OMFTS concept as it is currently evolving, to picture a scenario in which a port city with its airfield must be taken (see illustration in Figure 1). The city is defended by an army dispersed in depth around its periphery as well as inside its boundaries. Its outer defenses and logistic support include a crucial strong point at another settled area that commands a vital cross-road, about 50 to 75 miles away. Under the old scheme of amphibious maneuver, a landing might be made on a shore area near the city; an assault force with several weeks ' logistic supply 2   It is worth noting that activities such as those described here will appear, in some form and emphasis, in any of the scenarios examined, from forcible entry in an MRC to any of the missions associated with the many different kinds of operations other than war.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Figure 1 Proposed new implementation of Operational Maneuver from the Sea.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century would be built up on that beach; and then an assault on the city would be undertaken. The opposition forces would in the meantime have had an opportunity to converge on the landing and build defenses against it, and would have to be overcome upon the initiation of the assault. Under the new approach, the initial assault force would, for example, first move against the crucial strong point inland. The mission of these forward maneuver elements would be reconnaissance by fire; attracting, locating, engaging, fixing, damaging, and destroying the opposing defensive units; and thus preparing the way for the main force to land directly where it could take the city with minimal resistance. The forward units, operating far inland from “the beach, ” would thus be key elements in the creation and control of the lodgment, essentially developing the safe space for much larger scale friendly operations. Implementing the New Form of OMFTS To implement the OMFTS concept in its emerging form, the Navy and Marine Corps have the following sequence in view: Lighten the force. In their ultimate form the initial assault forces ashore would have organic mobility in the form of light vehicles and helicopters, sensors, communications, and much close-in combat power such as mortars and antitank and antiaircraft weapons, but no tanks or artillery for indirect fire. (The Marine Corps is not currently considering total elimination of artillery from the initial assault force in the new version of OMFTS; in fact, it is working on a lightweight 155-mm howitzer for that role. The extrapolation of the concept to complete elimination of artillery from this part of the force, in favor of other forms of long-range firepower that the Navy and Marine Corps also plan to use—described immediately below and discussed in detail later in this report—is a limiting case that the committee used to explore the full implications of the concept. The study was pursued in terms of that limiting case, with implications of any version of the concept that has less radical change—implications largely associated with the ability to support the concept logistically— indicated in the discussion of the results that emerged.) Provide major fire support from the fleet. Such fire support, in the form of attack aviation, surface-to-surface missiles, and extended-range ships' guns, will be provided on call, with targeting by the forward assault elements, over the entire depth of the area under attack, to engage threats to the lodgment and the fleet. In providing the fire support, the fleet will stand off from shore farther than has been

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century customary before the availability of the new transport means, the AAAV and the V-22, with their higher assault speeds. Whereas previously the amphibious assault fleet might be 3 to 6 miles offshore, in the new concept it will stand off about 25 miles, out of visual range of shore-based defenses, and outside the area where ground clutter from the shore would interfere with radars contributing to the ships ' defenses against antiship missiles. The higher assault speeds will more than compensate for the time spent covering the longer distances to the landing and combat areas. No major logistic base ashore. The support base will stay at sea, in logistic support ships or on a mobile offshore base (both described in a subsequent section). Logistic support will be furnished from the seaborne base as needed until the objective area is firmly held. (This should not be taken to imply “just-in-time” logistic supply, in the pattern of new manufacturing technology. Rather, it means that logistic support will be called for and furnished as the forward combat elements need it, starting from a base that stays at sea rather than being moved ashore in anticipation of need during combat.) It is visualized that with these changes in force design and operations, the maneuver forces ashore will be able to rapidly take and hold key terrain and facilities essential to winning the campaign early or to pursuing it successfully into subsequent phases. The assault forces would be expected to drive opponents out of the objective area with a minimum of friendly and collateral civilian casualties; to remove mines and other passive defenses from ports and airfields, preparing those facilities for friendly entry in force; and to preempt communication facilities such as radio and television stations and the telephone and radio communications networks, preparatory to establishing and maintaining civic order while any subsequent military campaigning is pursued in forward areas. Observations About Current Ability to Support the Concept A few observations on the emerging form of the OMFTS concept are in order. The concept as described above (either the limiting case described or a somewhat less radical change) is, as yet, an evolutionary goal, not a firm force development plan. The concept will emerge in a series of major steps, associated with major equipment advances in the force —for example, acquisition in quantity at different but overlapping times of the AAAV, the V-22, advanced weapons and targeting, revised C3 and logistic systems enabled

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century by advancing technical capabilities, and other changes. Each change in equipment will require adjustments in tactical concepts and perhaps in doctrine. The changes will have to be implemented and tried in exercises and in operations, and force commanders will have to develop confidence thereby that each step taken will work successfully before the next step can be taken. This will be especially true when forces have to rely on far-distant sources of firepower for their protection and logistic support. Once the new OMFTS concept is fully implemented, it will be based on an interconnected set of systems and operations that are finely tuned to each other. Experience in war suggests that there is a high risk that such a concept can prove fragile in wartime operations. The committee accepted the Navy's and Marine Corps' new concept of OMFTS, to which the Services are already committed, as a good one, following logically from feasible technological developments and well conceived to meet changing military needs. The current approach to amphibious operations in warfare along the littoral in an MRC poses a number of serious problems: the time it takes to build up a landing to meet a surprise attack effectively; the opportunity that time affords an opponent to marshal resistance to the operation; and the vulnerability of the fixed supply base on land during the buildup and subsequent operations. The new approach can remedy these problems. There are, however, a number of weaknesses in the Navy and Marine Corps ability to implement the expanded OMFTS concept with current systems: Uncertainty of responsiveness and effectiveness in providing long-range fire support from the fleet to forces far over the horizon. This uncertainty is based on the following conditions: Communications connectivity with mobile forces beyond the horizon, the linchpin of battlefield awareness, is weak; Command and control and targeting are too slow, and combat identification (CID) is too uncertain, to assure the forward forces of reliable, sustained, and accurate fire support when they call for it; and Old patterns, generally unsuited to the new operational concept 's fire support needs, still dominate weapon system design and munitions acquisition. Today's logistic system cannot support the new concept.

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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century The mine countermeasures arsenal is inadequate to ensure success with the necessary rapid timing in landing operations. Today's planning scenarios neglect the need to deal with large populations in potential objective areas, which will often be highly urbanized. There is insufficient attention to field medicine suited to the littoral environment. There is insufficient attention to several aspects of force protection in operations along the littoral—in particular, vulnerability of the logistic ships to antiship cruise missiles and quiet submarines, and vulnerability of the entire force to potential use of weapons of mass destruction; Many opportunities to benefit from joint system elements are not yet recognized. Coalition issues, especially command and control in complex arrangements involving the United States, other coalition partners, and the United Nations, also have to be addressed. The new OMFTS concept and associated systems will require resources beyond current plans. In the chapters that follow, each of these problem areas is addressed in turn. The committee has attempted to show what must be done to make the evolving OMFTS concept work most effectively. The problems and issues in each area are outlined, and remedial actions are recommended.