Dempsey’s Final Instruction to the Pentagon: Prepare for a Long War

In a new National Military Strategy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warns the Pentagon to reorganize its global footprint to combat prolonged battles of terrorism and proxy wars.

The U.S. military needs to reorganize itself and prepare for war that has no end in sight with militant groups like the Islamic State and nations that use proxies to fight on their behalf, America’s top general warned Wednesday.

In what is likely his last significant strategy direction before retiring this summer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Pentagon that “global disorder has trended upward while some of our comparative advantages have begun to erode,” since 2011, the last update to the National Military Strategy.

“We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly… that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important… and that as a hedge against unpredictability with reduced resources, we may have to adjust our global posture,” Dempsey writes in the new military strategy.

Dempsey, the president’s senior military advisor, criticizes Russia, Iran, North Korea and China for aggressive military actions and warns that the rapidly changing global security environment might force the U.S. military to reorganize as it prepares for a busy future.

The military has been shrinking since 2012, when the Obama administration announced plans to pivot forces to the Asia-Pacific region as troops withdrew from Afghanistan and Iraq. But since then, Obama slowed the Afghanistan withdrawal as fighting continues there, and thousands of American military forces have found themselves back in the Middle East and North Africa conducting airstrikes, gathering intelligence and training and advising Iraqi soldiers that are battling ISIS. Since U.S. forces are not deployed to Iraq in a combat role, significantly fewer numbers are needed compared to the hundreds of thousands troops that were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. Still, U.S. commanders have repeatedly said it will take decades  to defeat ISIS, and a stronger nonmilitary effort to defeat the ideology that fuels Islamic extremist groups.

Full article: Dempsey’s Final Instruction to the Pentagon: Prepare for a Long War (Defense One)

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