Countering A2AD From the Ground

One of the Army’s leading futurists believes Army forces on the ground is the solution to the growing anti-access, area-denial threats to US power projection capabilities, rather than the “standoff capabilities” that would be provided by Air Force and Navy long-range strike assets. Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, said the new Army Operating Concept—Win in a Complex World—“gets to the problem of cross domain operations, gets to air, space, and maritime domains, that are increasingly challenged by advanced technologies that we’ve seen in recent years.” The fact that Army forces operate on land “is important because, guess what, all your problems, in cyberspace, in space, maritime, air, where do they originate? They originate on land, because people live there,” and that is where the political decisions are made that cause the problems, he said. McMaster, who also serves as deputy commanding general, Futures, in the Army Training and Doctrine Command, said the Army’s mission is to operate on land to defeat enemy forces, to control territory, and to deny the enemy the use of that ground. Noting the recent threat to Israel from missiles fired from the Gaza strip, McMaster asked: “Do you want to deal with it only with standoff capabilities? It’s not going to get it done properly,” he said.