Thursday, February 15, 2007

FEMALE ON THE FLOOR! Informational

Operational Forces

As the U.S. Army began the last decade of the twentieth century, it faced uncertain times and substantial downsizing, even though on two occasions during FY 90 and 91 it engaged in major military operations. The first was Operation JUST CAUSE, the U.S. invasion of Panama in December 1989 that resulted in the ouster of dictator Manuel Noriega and the restoration of a popularly elected government. The second was Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, a U.S.-led international coalition assembled to turn back Iraq's blatant aggression against neighboring Ku wait. On both occasions the U.S. Army rose to the task, employing a force made up of the best trained personnel and most modern equipment ever assembled. These operations confirmed the trend enunciated in President George Bush's August 1990 speech at Aspen, Colorado. He spoke of the need to plan for regional conflicts, rather than emphasize a global strategy based on preparation for a Soviet attack in Western Europe. Coupled with this change was the need to reduce the number and complexity of operational plans by calling on each theater to refocus on the increasing threat from regional powers, such as Iraq. Only the operational plans in the Pacific theater remained unchanged during FY 90 and 91.

Despite these new challenges, the public mood continued to call for a smaller military establishment. The end of the Cold War heralded the beginning of a historical process that has traditionally resulted in the drastic downsizing of the military force structure, regardless of long-term policies. Rapidly changing foreign developments and new fiscal realities within the United States, however, have not altered the fact that the world remains a dangerous place. In the words of Secretary of the Army Michael P. W. Stone, "Our nation faces a significantly more complex and varied security environment than at any time in our history. The question we now face is whether our Army is properly structured and equipped to meet the emerging strategic requirements of the 1990s and beyond." The Army continued to maintain a presence throughout the world, although 1990 and 1991 saw the United States turn over more defense responsibilities to other nations.

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