An NYT story on the capability of today’s military to meet the “Two War” requirement of the mid-1990s:
The unusual mission in Iraq, which could last for years, has not just taken the slot for one of the two wars; it has upended the central concept of the two-war model…
After years of saying American forces were sufficient for a two-war strategy, “we’ve come to the realization that we’re not,” said another Defense Department official involved in the deliberations, who was granted anonymity because he could not otherwise discuss the talks, which are classified. “It’s coming to grips with reality.”
I think it’s safe to say that a major regional war with, say, North Korea right now would be a serious inconvenience for the US military.
I buy the “Two War” plan, but not the implementation. We don’t have enough combat troops (though the realignment is at least improving that a bit) and we don’t have enough logistical capability to support two major campaigns simultaneously.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If war were to break out in Korea or Africa or somewhere, we’d fight well and we’d find a way to keep the machine running. But not without great difficulty and loss.
War is always a great teacher when it comes to peace-time plans. Let’s hope the students are paying attention. You never know when there’s going to be a pop quiz.