Forecasting the Effects of Army XXI Design Upon Multinational Force Compatibility

by Brian Nichiporuk

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It is likely that most future U.S. Army operations will be conducted with allies or as part of a coalition; thus, the ability of the Army to operate effectively in concert with other nations is an important issue. This documented briefing identifies the aspects of Army XXI that could create difficulties in multinational force compatibility, and it recommends policies and procedures to ameliorate the problems. The analysis focuses on the Army’s ability to operate with West European NATO forces because they have more modern equipment than our other allies and partners and have worked in conjunction with the U.S. Army for years. If Force XXI advances create compatibility problems with NATO forces, the problems are likely to be greater with other allies and partners. Some of the key aspects of Army XXI (C4I, force employment, logistics) could make it harder to operate as part of a multinational force, especially in short-warning contingencies requiring power projection outside of Europe. Three policy/procedural approaches would help reduce incompatibility: anticipating command structure requirements, increased technical/operational information sharing, and intensified engagement efforts.

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This project was conducted in RAND's Arroyo Center.

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