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This report is about the Army's future and the role an organizational vision for the Army can play in that future. The authors suggest that for an Army that wishes to adapt to the changing national security planning environment, the key element is the Army's vision of itself, its sense of identity and purpose, of what it is and what it is about. While the Army's essential institutional planning problem over the past 40 years has largely been one of managing budget, personnel, and technological resources, the problem for the future may involve reconceiving the Army to meet new threats to the nation's security or to minimize institutional damage. Although the Army has no explicitly acknowledged current organizational vision, its institutional thoughts and actions do reflect a widely shared sense of identity and purpose as the ready armored defender of Central Europe. If the authors' projections of planning trends materialize, this current vision puts the Army on a collision course with what is perceived as its post-Cold War future. A fundamental choice may have to be made between the Army's current combat role and its former historical role as a provider of noncombat military services to the nation. Of the eight alternative visions of the Army that the authors pose, they believe the most relevant and realistic ones call for a U.S.-based Army performing general military service that may rely on either active or reserve forces.

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