By Lt. Gen. David Barno, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Best Defense guest correspondent
The United States Army is struggling to
explain its relevance as it returns home from 13 years at war. The American
people and their lawmakers are increasingly averse to large-scale "boots
on the ground" missions after more than a decade of bloody and expensive
land wars. Together with the realities of skyrocketing personnel costs,
shrinking budgets, and a new strategy oriented on the Pacific Rim, these facts
have placed the Army at a strong disadvantage in the ongoing defense debates.
And while the new battles with ISIS suggest that land warfare is far from dead,
pressure to redefine the future role of the U.S. Army is unlikely to abate.
What kind of Army does the United States need, and what is this Army for? And
most importantly, what does the Army provide the nation?