Heavy Armor in the Future Security Environment

by David E. Johnson

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback8 pages $10 $8.00 20% Web Discount

Abstract

The U.S. Army is under pressure to demonstrate a valid need for heavy brigade combat teams in the future security environment — an environment in which many believe that such units will be largely irrelevant. Do heavy armored forces have a place in the U.S. military of the future?

The paper examines the capabilities of irregular, state-sponsored hybrid, and state adversaries in the context of recent experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and Lebanon. It concludes that heavy armored vehicles have been key enablers for light and medium armored forces engaged in irregular warfare and that they are the only vehicles able to maneuver on the battleground when adversaries have standoff weapons. To minimize future risk and cost, the author therefore recommends that the United States base much of its future capabilities on heavy armored forces that can scale down to confront irregular adversaries and serve as a hedge against challenges presented by a very complex and lethal future security environment.

The research described in this report was sponsored by the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command and conducted in the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.