We've Been Here Before: The US Army's Transition to Large Scale Ground Combat After Vietnam   [open pdf - 534KB]

From the Master's Thesis Abstract: "Currently, the Army is undergoing a major transformation away from limited contingencies in Iraq and Afghanistan and relearning how to conduct Large Scale Ground Combat Operations (LSGCO). While this marks a fundamental divergence in the Army's concentration over the last 17 years, a modern historical example of this transition exists. From 1974-1991, the Army underwent a comprehensive restructuring that turned the attention from limited contingency operations in Vietnam to fighting a major land war in Europe. To understand this transformation, this study examines changes in doctrine and division-level organizations and how the Army validated those changes from the end of Vietnam through the Gulf War. This monograph uses a structured and focused approach to assess this transition. Eight focused research questions frame the inquiry around one detailed case study. Additionally, three tenets from the Army's Operating Concept provide the focus of the paper: lethality, innovation, and adaptability. The empirical evidence collected supports the study's thesis that transformations in doctrine and organizations, validated in training and operations, enabled the Army to become a lethal, adaptable, and innovative force during its transition to LSGCO after the Vietnam War."

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Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/
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