The proposition that there is a shift from a few large threats to many small threats is confirmed by historical data. For example, during the period 1950–1989, there were 10 major military deployments. Since 1990 there have been 27 major deployments, representing a 16-fold increase, and almost all of them have involved joint operations of U.S. services (U.S. Army, 1997). General John Shalikashvili notes that between Operation Desert Storm and the end of 1996, the military had engaged in over 40 contingency operations.

In addition to expected changes in the types of hostile threats, it is anticipated that military units will engage in numerous and diverse operations other than war, most of which are expected to be highly unpredictable (Shalikashvili, 1996a, 1996b, 1997; Holmes, 1997; National Research Council, 1997a; Osborne, 1997; Association of the United States Army, 1997; Senate Armed Services Committee, 1997). These operations other than war may include:

    1.  

    Traditional peacekeeping, which involves stationing neutral, lightly armed troops, with permission of the host state(s), as an interposition force following a cease-fire.

    2.  

    Passive observation, which consists of the deployment of neutral, unarmed personnel, with permission of the host state(s), to collect information and monitor activities (e.g., cease fire, human rights, or disarmament).

    3.  

    Election supervision, which consists of monitoring polling places and voting procedures.

    Other distinctive missions in this category might include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, pacification of civil disturbances, arms control verification, drug interdiction, and antiterrorist operations.

    The conduct of such missions will require military formations of widely variant size and composition. Command and control practices will be particularly challenged and the training of individuals and units will need to be adapted to the nonmilitary dimensions of such missions.

    Top military officials at the Defense Department envisage a lean, more mobile, more flexible force with significantly greater



    The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
    Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
    Terms of Use and Privacy Statement