"Potential adversaries of the United States have learned that they cannot compete with the U.S. in a conventional war but that the U.S. is vulnerable to asymmetric or insurgent threats. It is clear that the United States must find a way to transform its ground forces to meet these threats without losing the ability to deter any conventional threats. To this end, some leaders and analysts are calling for the United States military to break its ground forces in two; one focusing primarily on major combat operations and one focusing on stability and counterinsurgency operations. This study shows that two forces are not necessary. Instead, the military must develop tactical and operational commanders with the mental flexibility to adapt to any situation they face. This study analyzes three cases where ground forces had to transition between these two forms of warfare. The first case study is the United States Army in the Indian Wars that conducted stability and counterinsurgency operations immediately after fighting major combat operations in the Civil War. The next is the British Army in the First World War that fought a conventional war after 58 years of stability counterinsurgency operations since the end of the Crimean War. The final case study is the British Army in Malaya that had to conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations immediately after fighting major combat operations in the Second World War. The focus of this study is whether tactical and operational commanders have the mental flexibility to transition between these to two kinds of warfare."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/