Force Sizing to the Nth:

Rand analysts suggest in a new study that the US military must undertake a new division of labor and toss out the 2001 force-sizing construct of 1-4-2-1 in favor of one that it would call 1-n-2-1. The “n” in this case signifies that DOD should no longer focus on four “classically defined” regions—Europe, Northeast Asia, East Asian Littoral, and Middle East and Southwest Asia. Instead, the study says, ” To meet the three most likely future challenges—terrorist and insurgent groups; regional powers with nuclear weapons; and military competition in Asia—requires a “new division of labor” and one that recognizes that “the demands of 1-2-n-1 need not apply equally to every [military] branch.” The Rand analysts would focus the Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Forces on “stability operations,” working directly with host country counterparts. They would posture the Air Force and Navy to fight “large-scale power projection operations,” and to provide enabling support—lift, intelligence, humanitarian efforts—for the ground forces. This construct, they say, would relieve the land services of the “need to provide forces for more than one major war,” saving limited resources—money and troops.