Improving U.S. Capability to Deploy Ground Forces to Southwest Asia in the 1990s

A Briefing

by Philip M. Dadant

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An examination of both conventional and unconventional methods of improving U.S. capability to project forces in the 1990s. Southwest Asia is used as an example destination. The study compares mobility system additions of equal 20-year life cycle costs, both quantitatively for speed in projecting forces and qualitatively for ability to quicken deployment with warning, feasibility, our confidence in cost estimations, and the vulnerability of ports, but does not compare the vulnerability of vehicles. Lighter-than-air ships, surface effect ships, and floating airbase prepositioning are included in the comparisons. Only prepositioning allows really quick deployment, but the study concludes that no single system supplies all desirable attributes without risks and drawbacks. The Note shows the performance of two mixed systems; the methodology developed permits comparison of other mixes.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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